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Neospora caninum is a commonly diagnosed cause of reproductive losses in farmed ruminants worldwide. This study examined 495 and 308 samples (brain, heart and placenta) which were collected from 455 and 119 aborted cattle and sheep fetuses, respectively. DNA was extracted and a nested Neospora ITS1 PCR was performed on all samples. The results showed that for bovine fetuses 79/449 brain [17.6% (14.2–21.4)], 7/25 heart [28.0% (12.1–49.4)] and 5/21 placenta [23.8% (8.2–47.2)] were PCR positive for the presence of Neospora DNA. Overall 82/455 [18.0% (14.6–21.7)] of the bovine fetuses tested positive for the presence of N. caninum DNA in at least one sample. None (0/308) of the ovine fetal samples tested positive for the presence of Neospora DNA in any of the tissues tested. The results show that N. caninum was associated with fetal losses in cattle (distributed across South-West Scotland), compared to sheep in the same geographical areas where no parasite DNA was found. Neospora is well distributed amongst cattle in South-West Scotland and is the potential cause of serious economic losses to the Scottish cattle farming community; however, it does not appear to be a problem amongst the Scottish sheep flocks.
Consuming whey protein before a meal may reduce postprandial glucose excursions, however, optimising timing of supplementation is important to improve its clinical utility. A total of thirteen centrally obese, insulin-resistant males (waist circumference: 121 (sem 3) cm; homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR): 6·4 (sem 1·2)) completed four experimental conditions in a single-blind, crossover design. Participants consumed mixed-macronutrient breakfast and lunch meals on all occasions, with 20 g whey protein consumed 15 min before (PRE), alongside (DUR) or 15 min post-breakfast (POST) or omitted (CON). Capillary glucose and plasma concentrations of insulin, TAG and NEFA, in addition to subjective appetite ratings, were collected for 180 min after each meal. PRE and DUR reduced post-breakfast glucose peak by 17·0 (sem 1·9) % (P<0·001) and 9·2 (sem 2·9) % (P=0·046), respectively, compared with CON. Post-breakfast glucose AUC was lower following PRE compared with POST and CON (PRE: 982 (sem 30) v. POST: 1031 (sem 36) and CON: 1065 (sem 37) mmol/l×180 min; P≤0·042) but similar to DUR (1013 (sem 32) mmol/l×180 min; P=0·77). Insulin was lower during PRE, when compared with POST and DUR (both P≤0·042) but similar to CON. There were no between-condition differences in measures of postprandial lipaemia or appetite, and no effect of condition post-lunch. Consumption of whey protein as a preload or alongside a mixed-macronutrient breakfast reduces postprandial glucose excursions in centrally obese, insulin-resistant males. Whey consumed as a preload has superior glycaemic-lowering effects. Supplementation at breakfast does not alter glycaemic responses to subsequent meals.
The current study examined trajectories of maternal and paternal depression in the year following the birth of an infant sibling, and relations with family risk factors and firstborn children's internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Latent class growth analysis was conducted on 231 families in a longitudinal investigation (prebirth and 1, 4, 8, and 12 months postbirth) and revealed four classes of families: both mother and father low in depressive symptoms (40.7%); mother high–father low (25.1%); father high–mother low (24.7%), and both mother and father high (9.5%). Families with both mothers and fathers high on depressive symptoms were higher on marital negativity, parenting stress, and children's internalizing and externalizing problems, and lower on marital positivity and parental efficacy than other classes. Children, parents, and marital relationships were more problematic in families with fathers higher on depressive symptoms than in families in which mothers were higher, indicating the significant role of paternal support for firstborn children undergoing the transition to siblinghood. Maternal and paternal depression covaried with an accumulation of family risks over time, no doubt increasing the likelihood of children's problematic adjustment after the birth of their infant sibling.
To test the feasibility of using telehealth to support antimicrobial stewardship at Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs) that have limited access to infectious disease-trained specialists.
A prospective quasi-experimental pilot study.
Two rural VAMCs with acute-care and long-term care units.
At each intervention site, medical providers, pharmacists, infection preventionists, staff nurses, and off-site infectious disease physicians formed a videoconference antimicrobial stewardship team (VAST) that met weekly to discuss cases and antimicrobial stewardship-related education.
Descriptive measures included fidelity of implementation, number of cases discussed, infectious syndromes, types of recommendations, and acceptance rate of recommendations made by the VAST. Qualitative results stemmed from semi-structured interviews with VAST participants at the intervention sites.
Each site adapted the VAST to suit their local needs. On average, sites A and B discussed 3.5 and 3.1 cases per session, respectively. At site A, 98 of 140 cases (70%) were from the acute-care units; at site B, 59 of 119 cases (50%) were from the acute-care units. The most common clinical syndrome discussed was pneumonia or respiratory syndrome (41% and 35% for sites A and B, respectively). Providers implemented most VAST recommendations, with an acceptance rate of 73% (186 of 256 recommendations) and 65% (99 of 153 recommendations) at sites A and B, respectively. Qualitative results based on 24 interviews revealed that participants valued the multidisciplinary aspects of the VAST sessions and felt that it improved their antimicrobial stewardship efforts and patient care.
This pilot study has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using telehealth to support antimicrobial stewardship at rural VAMCs with limited access to local infectious disease expertise.
Single patient or ‘n-of-1’ trials are a pragmatic method to achieve optimal, evidence-based treatments for individual patients. Such trials could be particularly valuable in chronic, heterogeneous, difficult to treat illnesses such as schizophrenia.
To identify how often, and in what way, n-of-1 trials have been used in schizophrenia.
We performed a systematic search in the major electronic databases for studies adopting n-of-1 methodology in schizophrenia, published in English from the start of records until the end of January 2017.
We identified six studies meeting inclusion criteria. There was wide variability in study methodology and analysis. Each trial reported positive outcomes for their respective intervention, but all studies were at high risk of bias.
In conclusion, n-of-1 trials are currently underutilised in schizophrenia. Existing trials suggest the method is well tolerated and potentially effective in achieving optimal treatments for patients, but more standardised methods of design, execution and analysis are required in future trials.
Declaration of interest
S.M.L. has received grants and personal fees from Janssen, and personal fees from Otsuka and Sunovion, in the past 3 years, outside the submitted work.
Fathers are a crucial source of support for children following the birth of an infant sibling. This study examined whether fathers were more vulnerable to the effects of interparental conflict than mothers, and whether there was a subsequent spillover cascade from interparental conflict to children's externalizing behavior problems. We followed 241 families after the birth of a second child. Mothers and fathers reported on interparental conflict and parental efficacy at 1 and 4 months postpartum and punitive discipline and firstborn children's externalizing behavior problems across a longitudinal investigation (prenatal and 4, 8, and 12 months postpartum). For both mothers and fathers, interparental conflict prenatally predicted decreased parental efficacy following the birth. Fathers’ lower parental efficacy was significantly associated with increased punitive discipline toward the older sibling at 4 months, whereas mothers’ lower parental efficacy was not. Coercive family processes were present between mothers’ and fathers’ punitive discipline and older siblings’ externalizing behavior problems. Results were inconsistent with the father vulnerability hypothesis in that both mothers and fathers were vulnerable to interparental conflict, which in turn spilled over to create coercive family processes that exacerbated children's externalizing behavior problems in the year following the birth of a second child.
While Nozick and his sympathizers assume there is a widespread anti-hedonist intuition to prefer reality to an experience machine, hedonists have marshalled empirical evidence that shows such an assumption to be unfounded. Results of several experience machine variants indicate there is no widespread anti-hedonist intuition. From these findings, hedonists claim Nozick's argument fails as an objection to hedonism. This article suggests the argument surrounding experience machines has been misconceived. Rather than eliciting intuitions about what is prudentially valuable, these intuitive judgements are instead calculations about prudential pay-offs and trade-offs. This position can help explain the divergence of intuitions people have about experience machines.
On 27 April 2015, Washington health authorities identified Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with dairy education school field trips held in a barn 20–24 April. Investigation objectives were to determine the magnitude of the outbreak, identify the source of infection, prevent secondary illness transmission and develop recommendations to prevent future outbreaks. Case-finding, hypothesis generating interviews, environmental site visits and a case–control study were conducted. Parents and children were interviewed regarding event activities. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Environmental testing was conducted in the barn; isolates were compared to patient isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Sixty people were ill, 11 (18%) were hospitalised and six (10%) developed haemolytic uremic syndrome. Ill people ranged in age from <1 year to 47 years (median: 7), and 20 (33%) were female. Twenty-seven case-patients and 88 controls were enrolled in the case–control study. Among first-grade students, handwashing (i.e. soap and water, or hand sanitiser) before lunch was protective (adjusted OR 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.88, P = 0.04). Barn samples yielded E. coli O157:H7 with PFGE patterns indistinguishable from patient isolates. This investigation provided epidemiological, laboratory and environmental evidence for a large outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from exposure to a contaminated barn. The investigation highlights the often overlooked risk of infection through exposure to animal environments as well as the importance of handwashing for disease prevention. Increased education and encouragement of infection prevention measures, such as handwashing, can prevent illness.
Paratuberculosis (Johne’s disease) is a chronic invariably fatal enteritis of cattle caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis and has recently been isolated from wild rabbits. One potential route of transmission of M.a.paratuberculosis from rabbits to cattle is the ingestion of rabbit excreta contaminating pasture. Here we (1) determine the prevalence and level of infection in rabbits and their excreta (2) quantify the level of rabbit faeces contaminating cattle pastures and (3) determine the impact of rabbit faeces on cattle grazing behaviour.
Accurate and reproducible patient positioning is a critical step in radiotherapy for breast cancer. This has seen the use of permanent skin markings becoming standard practice in many centres. Permanent skin markings may have a negative impact on long-term cosmetic outcome, which may in turn, have psychological implications in terms of body image. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using a semi-permanent tattooing device for the administration of skin marks for breast radiotherapy set-up.
Materials and methods
This was designed as a phase II double-blinded randomised-controlled study comparing our standard permanent tattoos with the Precision Plus Micropigmentation (PPMS) device method. Patients referred for radical breast radiotherapy were eligible for the study. Each study participant had three marks applied using a randomised combination of the standard permanent and PPMS methods and was blinded to the type of each mark. Follow up was at routine appointments until 24 months post radiotherapy. Participants and a blind assessor were invited to score the visibility of each tattoo at each follow-up using a Visual Analogue Scale. Tattoo scores at each time point and change in tattoo scores at 24 months were analysed by a general linear model using the patient as a fixed effect and the type of tattoo (standard or research) as covariate. A simple questionnaire was used to assess radiographer feedback on using the PPMS.
In total, 60 patients were recruited to the study, of which 55 were available for follow-up at 24 months. Semi-permanent tattoos were more visible at 24 months than the permanent tattoos. Semi-permanent tattoos demonstrated a greater degree of fade than the permanent tattoos at 24 months (final time point) post completion of radiotherapy. This was not statistically significant, although it was more apparent for the patient scores (p=0·071) than the blind assessor scores (p=0·27). No semi-permanent tattoos required re-marking before the end of radiotherapy and no adverse skin reactions were observed.
The PPMS presents a safe and feasible alternative to our permanent tattooing method. An extended period of follow-up is required to fully assess the extent of semi-permanent tattoo fade.
Engaging adolescents is critical to encouraging future climate change adaptation and mitigation behaviours. Adolescents are typically more receptive to climate change messages than adults, but educators and communicators need research-based strategies for optimizing engagement, including information about what factors are most influential in changing behaviours. To better understand how communication with teachers, friends and family, climate change knowledge and climate change concern predict climate change behaviour, we administered a survey to a random sample of middle school students in North Carolina, USA (n = 1371). We measured climate change behaviour with a multi-item scale asking respondents about energy conservation, alternative transportation and engagement with environmental issues. We found that climate change concern and discussing climate change with family and friends predicted climate change behaviour. We also found that students from urban, high socioeconomic status schools were more likely to engage in climate change behaviour than students in urban, low socioeconomic status schools or rural schools. These results suggest that education efforts should leverage communication with family and friends in programming designed to encourage climate change behaviour. Further, efforts to promote climate change behaviour among low socioeconomic status urban and rural adolescents may be warranted, but would benefit from further investigation into the ideological, physical and knowledge-based drivers of behaviour differences documented in this study.
Epidemiological studies demonstrate that poor glycaemic control is an independent risk factor for CVD. Postprandial glycaemia has been demonstrated as a better predictor of glycated Hb, the gold standard of glycaemic control, when compared with fasting blood glucose. There is a need for more refined strategies to tightly control postprandial glycaemia, particularly in those with type 2 diabetes, and nutritional strategies around meal consumption may be effective in enhancing subsequent glycaemic control. Whey protein administration around meal times has been demonstrated to reduce postprandial glycaemia, mediated through various mechanisms including an enhancement of insulin secretion. Whey protein ingestion has also been shown to elicit an incretin effect, enhancing the secretion of glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide and glucagon-like peptide-1, which may also influence appetite regulation. Acute intervention studies have shown some promising results however many have used large dosages (50–55 g) of whey protein alongside high-glycaemic index test meals, such as instant powdered potato mixed with glucose, which does not reflect realistic dietary strategies. Long-term intervention studies using realistic strategies around timing, format and amount of whey protein in relevant population groups are required.
As chemical management options for weeds become increasingly limited due to selection for herbicide resistance, investigation of additional nonchemical tools becomes necessary. Harvest weed seed control (HWSC) is a methodology of weed management that targets and destroys weed seeds that are otherwise dispersed by harvesters following threshing. It is not known whether problem weeds in western Canada retain their seeds in sufficient quantities until harvest at a height suitable for collection. A study was conducted at three sites over 2 yr to determine whether retention and height criteria were met by wild oat, false cleavers, and volunteer canola. Wild oat consistently shed seeds early, but seed retention was variable, averaging 56% at the time of wheat swathing, with continued losses until direct harvest of wheat and fababean. The majority of retained seeds were >45 cm above ground level, suitable for collection. Cleavers seed retention was highly variable by site-year, but generally greater than wild oat. The majority of seed was retained >15 cm above ground level and would be considered collectable. Canola seed typically had >95% retention, with the majority of seed retained >15 cm above ground level. The suitability ranking of the species for management with HWSC was canola>cleavers>wild oat. Efficacy of HWSC systems in western Canada will depend on the target species and site- and year-specific environmental conditions.
Efforts to prioritize wildlife for conservation benefit from an understanding of public preferences for particular species, yet no studies have integrated species preferences with key attributes of the conservation landscape such as whether species occur on islands (where invasive exotics are the primary extinction threat) or continents (where land use change is the primary extinction threat). In this paper, we compare wildlife species preferences among children from a continental location (North Carolina, USA, n = 433) and an island location (Andros Island, The Bahamas, n = 197). Children on the island preferred feral domesticated species and different types of taxa than mainland children, perhaps due to the strongly divergent species richness between the regions (e.g. island children showed greater preferences for invertebrates, lizards and aquatic species). Boys preferred fish, birds and lizards more than girls, whereas girls preferred mammals. The fact that island children showed strong preferences for invasive species suggests challenges for conservation efforts on islands, where controlling invasive exotic species is often of paramount importance, but can conflict with cultural preferences for these same species.
Untreated maternal depression during the postpartum period can have a profound impact on the short- and long-term psychological and physical well-being of children. There is, therefore, an imperative for increased understanding of the determinants of depression and depression-related healthcare access during this period.
Respondents were 11 089 mothers of 9-month-old infants recruited to the Growing Up in Ireland study. Of this sample, 10 827 had complete data on all relevant variables. Respondents provided sociodemographic, socioeconomic and household information, and completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD).
11.1% of mothers scored above the CESD threshold for depression. 10.0% of depressed mothers and 25.4% of depressed fathers had depressed partners. Among depressed mothers, 73.1% had not attended a healthcare professional for a mental health problem since the birth of the cohort infant. In the adjusted model, the likelihood of depression was highest in mothers who: had lower educational levels (odds ratio (OR) 1.26; 95% confidence intervals (CIs) 1.08, 1.46); were unemployed (OR 1.27; 95% CIs 1.10, 1.47); reported previous mental health problems (OR 6.55; 95% CIs 5.68, 7.56); reported that the cohort child was the result of an unintended pregnancy (OR 1.43; 95% CIs 1.22, 1.68), was preterm (OR 1.35; 95% CIs 1.07, 1.70), or had health/developmental problems (OR 1.20; 95% CIs 1.04, 1.39); had no partner in the household (OR 1.33; 95% CIs 1.04, 1.70) or were living with a depressed partner (OR 2.66; 95% CIs 1.97, 3.60); reported no family living nearby (OR 1.33; 95% CIs 1.16, 1.54); were in the lowest income group (OR 1.60; 95% CIs 1.21, 2.12). The primary determinant of not seeking treatment for depression was being of non-white ethnicity (OR 2.21; 95% CIs 1.18, 4.13).
Results highlight the prevalence of maternal depression in the later postpartum period, particularly for lower socioeconomic groups, those with previous mental health problems, and those with limited social support. The large proportion of unmet need in depressed mothers, particularly among ethnic minority groups, emphasises the need for a greater awareness of postpartum mental health problems and increased efforts by healthcare professionals to ensure that mothers can access the required services.
Voters use observed economic performance to infer the competence of incumbent politicians. These economic perceptions enter the voter's utility calculations modified by a weight that is minimized when the variance in exogenous shocks to the economy is very large relative to the variance in economic outcomes associated with the competence of politicians. Cross-national variations in the political and economic context systematically increase or undermine the voter's ability to ascertain the competency of incumbents. We test one hypothesis: As policy-making responsibility is shared more equally among parties, economic evaluations will be more important in the vote decision. We employ two multilevel modeling procedures for estimating the contextual variations in micro-level economic voting effects: a conventional pooled approach and a two-stage procedure. We compare the multivariate results of a pooled method with our two-stage estimation procedure and conclude that they are similar. Our empirical efforts use data from 163 national surveys from 18 countries over a 22-year period.