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Norovirus (NoV) infections occur very frequently yet are rarely diagnosed. In Denmark, NoV infections are not under surveillance. We aimed to collect and describe existing laboratory-based NoV data. National NoV laboratory data were collected for 2011–2018, including information on patient identification number, age and sex, requesting physician, analysis date and result. We defined positive patient-episodes by using a 30-day time window and performed descriptive and time series analysis. Diagnostic methods used were assessed through a survey. We identified 15 809 patient-episodes (11%) out of 142 648 tested patients with an increasing trend, 9366 in 2011 vs. 32 260 in 2018. This corresponded with a gradual introduction of polymerase chain reaction analysis in laboratories. The highest positivity rate was in patients aged <5 years (15%) or >85 years (17%). There was a large difference in test performance over five Danish geographical regions and a marked seasonal variation with peaks from December to February. This is the first analysis of national NoV laboratory data in Denmark. A future laboratory-based surveillance system may benefit public health measures by describing trend, burden and severity of seasons and possibly pinpoint hospital outbreaks.
Tail biting is a welfare and economical concern in modern pig production. One common preventive measure used throughout the world is tail docking, which is generally considered one of the most effective methods for limiting tail biting. However, tail docking is a painful mutilation and systematic tail docking is not allowed in the EU. Therefore, the aim was to compare pig behaviour and the prevalence of tail biting in finishing pigs with intact tails housed in two different pen designs under Danish commercial conditions. PEN1 was a traditional Danish pen and PEN2 was inspired by Swedish finisher pen design and had a larger proportion of solid floor area (PEN1: 1/3 and PEN2: 2/3), reduced group size (PEN1: 15 and PEN2: 12), increased space allowance per head (PEN1: 0.7 m2 and PEN2: 0.89 m2) and straw allocated on the floor (PEN2) whereas straw was provided in a straw rack in PEN1. Tail damage observations were carried out daily by the stockperson and every 2 weeks one trained research technician assessed tail damages according to a tail scoring system. Tail lesions were observed in 51% of PEN1 and in 11% of PEN2 (P < 0.001). PEN1 had higher prevalence of tail damages than PEN2 (23% v. 5%, P < 0.001). Behavioural observations were carried out by the use of video recordings. Pigs in PEN2 tended to spend more time on tail-directed behaviour than pigs in PEN1 (P = 0.07), whereas pigs in PEN1 tended to spend more time on ear-directed behaviour (P = 0.08). Pigs in PEN2 spent more time on straw-directed behaviour compared to pigs in PEN1 (P < 0.001). Pen design did not affect time spent on other penmate-directed behaviour. In addition, the level of welfare between the two pen designs was compared using the Welfare Quality® protocol. PEN2 received an overall score of ‘excellent’ while PEN1 scored ‘enhanced’. PEN2 scored higher on all principles besides ‘good health’, where PEN1 scored better on lameness and wounds. The main measurements accounting for the differences were water supply, huddling, tail biting, social behaviour and fear of humans. In conclusion, the combination of increased space allowance, increased area of solid flooring, straw allocated onto the floor and reduced group size (PEN2) resulted in fewer tail damaged pigs and a better overall welfare assessment, despite a tendency for more tail-directed behaviour.
Declining sea ice is expected to change the Arctic's physical and biological systems in ways that are difficult to predict. This study used stable isotope compositions (δ13C and δ15N) of archaeological, historic, and modern Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) bone collagen to investigate the impacts of changing sea ice conditions on walrus diet during the last ~4000 yr. An index of past sea ice conditions was generated using dinocyst-based reconstructions from three locations in the northeastern Chukchi Sea. Archaeological walrus samples were assigned to intervals of high and low sea ice, and δ13C and δ15N were compared across ice states. Mean δ13C and δ15N values were similar for archaeological walruses from intervals of high and low sea ice; however, variability among walruses was greater during low-ice intervals, possibly indicating decreased availability of preferred prey. Overall, sea ice conditions were not a primary driver of changes in walrus diet. The diet of modern walruses was not consistent with archaeological low sea ice intervals. Rather, the low average trophic position of modern walruses (primarily driven by males), with little variability among individuals, suggests that trophic changes to this Arctic ecosystem are still underway or are unprecedented in the last ~4000 yr.
The cold, wet climate of the Arctic has led to the extraordinary preservation of archaeological sites and materials that offer important contributions to the understanding of our common cultural and ecological history. This potential, however, is quickly disappearing due to climate-related variables, including the intensification of permafrost thaw and coastal erosion, which are damaging and destroying a wide range of cultural and environmental archives around the Arctic. In providing an overview of the most important effects of climate change in this region and on archaeological sites, the authors propose the next generation of research and response strategies, and suggest how to capitalise on existing successful connections among research communities and between researchers and the public.
Tail biting in domestic pigs relates to a range of risk factors, primarily in the pigs’ environment. Preventive tail docking is widely used, and various experimental approaches suggest that docking reduces the risk of tail biting. However, whether the docking length affects the prevalence of tail biting outbreaks is less studied, as is how a shortened tail will affect pigs’ social behaviour. The aim of this study was to investigate how three different tail docking lengths, measured at docking, as well as retained intact tails (Short: 2.9 cm; Medium: 5.7 cm; Long: 7.5 cm; and Undocked) affected tail biting risk and behaviour directed at other finisher pigs with the same docking length treatment. Tail lesions were scored weekly, as was behaviour at pen level after introduction to finisher pens and until a potential outbreak of tail biting or slaughter. Pigs from four commercial herds (258 litters) entered the study. Before the pigs entered the finisher section and data collection started, some pigs were excluded, mainly due to tail biting outbreaks in the weaner section. The risk of a tail biting outbreak differed significantly between treatments (P=0.001), with a lowered risk of a tail biting outbreak in Short pens compared with Undocked (P<0.001) and Medium (P<0.05), and was affected by herd as well (P<0.001). Pens in the Long and Undocked treatments were pooled for the behavioural analysis due to low representation, especially in the Undocked treatment. The probability of tail contacts, where a pig interacted with a pen mate’s tail, differed between docking length treatments and was highest in the Long/Undocked compared with the Short treatment (P<0.01), but docking length did not affect aggressive behaviour. Docking length affected the risk of a tail biting outbreak and the frequency of tail-directed behaviour in our participating herds, of which three reported a high prevalence of tail biting problems. Only the shortest docking length treatment (Short) reduced the tail biting risk, but did not completely prevent tail biting outbreaks.
Introduction: Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) provide access to care in rural communities. After hours, registered nurses (RNs) and paramedics work together in the ED with telephone support by an emergency medical services (EMS) physician. The safety of such a model is unknown. Relapse visits are often used as a proxy measure for safety in emergency medicine. The primary outcome of this study is to measure unscheduled relapses to emergency care. Methods: The electronic patient care record (ePCR) database was queried for all patients who visited two CECs from April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013. Abstracted data included demographics, time, acuity score, clinical impression, chief complaint, and disposition. Records were searched for each discharged CEC patient to identify unscheduled relapses to emergency care, defined as presenting back to EMS, CEC, or any other ED within the Health Authority within 48 hours of CEC discharge. Results: There were 894 CEC visits, of which 66 were excluded due to missing data. The dispositions from CEC were: 131/828 (15.8%) transferred to regional ED; 264/828 (31.9%) discharged home; 488/828 (58.9%) discharged with follow up visit booked; and 11/82 (1.2%) left the CEC without being seen. There was 37/828 (4.5%) visits which relapsed back to emergency care, all of whom were discharged from CEC or left without being seen: 3/828 (0.4%) relapsed back to EMS (two taken to regional ED and one to CEC); 16/828 (1.9%) relapsed to regional ED (by walking-in); and 18/828 (2.2%) had a relapse to the CEC (walk-in). 516/828 (62.3%) CEC visits were resolved in a single visit. Conclusion: This study was based on only two of the 7 operating CECs due to accessing paper-based charts for multiple health regions. We also acknowledge the limitations of using relapse as a proxy for safety, and that low volumes and acuity will make detection of adverse events challenging. Albeit a proxy measure, the rate of patients who relapse to emergency care was under 5% in this case series of two CECs. Most patients had their concern resolved in a single visit to a CEC. Further research is underway to determine the effectiveness, optimal utilization and safety of this collaborative model of rural emergency care.
In developing countries with limited access to ENT services, performing emergency cricothyroidotomy in patients with upper airway obstruction may be a life-saving last resort. An established Danish–Zimbabwean collaboration of otorhinolaryngologists enrolled Zimbabwean doctors into a video-guided simulation training programme on emergency cricothyroidotomy. This paper presents the positive effect of this training, illustrated by two case reports.
A 56-year-old female presented with upper airway obstruction due to a rapidly progressing infectious swelling of the head and neck progressing to cardiac arrest. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was initiated and a secure surgical airway was established via an emergency cricothyroidotomy, saving the patient. A 70-year-old male presented with upper airway obstruction secondary to intubation for an elective procedure. When extubated, the patient exhibited severe stridor followed by respiratory arrest. Re-intubation attempts were unsuccessful and emergency cricothyroidotomy was performed to secure the airway, preserving the life of the patient.
Emergency cricothyroidotomy training should be considered for all surgeons, anaesthetists and, eventually, emergency and recovery room personnel in developing countries. A video-guided simulation training programme on emergency cricothyroidotomy in Zimbabwe proved its value in this regard.
Healthcare provider hands are an important source of intraoperative bacterial transmission events associated with postoperative infection development.
To explore the efficacy of a novel hand hygiene improvement system leveraging provider proximity and individual and group performance feedback in reducing 30-day postoperative healthcare-associated infections via increased provider hourly hand decontamination events.
Randomized, prospective study.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and UMass Memorial Medical Center in Massachusetts.
Patients undergoing surgery.
Operating room environments were randomly assigned to usual intraoperative hand hygiene or to a personalized, body-worn hand hygiene system. Anesthesia and circulating nurse provider hourly hand decontamination events were continuously monitored and reported. All patients were followed prospectively for the development of 30-day postoperative healthcare-associated infections.
A total of 3,256 operating room environments and patients (1,620 control and 1,636 treatment) were enrolled. The mean (SD) provider hand decontamination event rate achieved was 4.3 (2.9) events per hour, an approximate 8-fold increase in hand decontamination events above that of conventional wall-mounted devices (0.57 events/hour); P<.001. Use of the hand hygiene system was not associated with a reduction in healthcare-associated infections (odds ratio, 1.07 [95% CI, 0.82–1.40], P=.626).
The hand hygiene system evaluated in this study increased the frequency of hand decontamination events without reducing 30-day postoperative healthcare-associated infections. Future work is indicated to optimize the efficacy of this hand hygiene improvement strategy.
In September 2011, a patient cluster with a rare Salmonella serotype – Strathcona – was identified in Denmark. An outbreak investigation was initiated to reveal the source in order to stop the outbreak. In addition to hypothesis-generating interviews, comparable analyses of patients’ household shopping receipts were conducted. A matched case-control study with 25 cases and 56 population register controls was conducted to test the findings of the hypothesis-generating investigation. In total, 43 cases of Salmonella Strathcona were reported in Denmark. Additionally, 28 cases were reported from Germany, Italy, Austria and Belgium. The results of the investigation in Denmark showed that 8/10 cases had bought datterino tomatoes prior to disease onset. Illness was associated with a specific supermarket chain [matched odds ratio (mOR) 16·9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·2–130], and having consumed elongated small tomatoes (OR 28·1, 95% CI 2·6–302). Traceback investigation showed that the tomatoes came from an Italian producer. This outbreak, linked to tomatoes, underpins the growing recognition of the broad source range of Salmonella and the ability of fresh produce to cause multi-country outbreaks. It is important to strengthen the international cooperation between public-health and food-safety authorities in the European Union to investigate future multi-country outbreaks in order to prevent illness from ready-to-eat produce.
To limit tail biting incidence, most pig producers in Europe tail dock their piglets. This is despite EU Council Directive 2008/120/EC banning routine tail docking and allowing it only as a last resort. The paper aims to understand what it takes to fulfil the intentions of the Directive by examining economic results of four management and housing scenarios, and by discussing their consequences for animal welfare in the light of legal and ethical considerations. The four scenarios compared are: ‘Standard Docked’, a conventional housing scenario with tail docking meeting the recommendations for Danish production (0.7 m2/pig); ‘Standard Undocked’, which is the same as ‘Standard Docked’ but with no tail docking, ‘Efficient Undocked’ and ‘Enhanced Undocked’, which have increased solid floor area (0.9 and 1.0 m2/pig, respectively) provision of loose manipulable materials (100 and 200 g/straw per pig per day) and no tail docking. A decision tree model based on data from Danish and Finnish pig production suggests that Standard Docked provides the highest economic gross margin with the least tail biting. Given our assumptions, Enhanced Undocked is the least economic, although Efficient Undocked is better economically and both result in a lower incidence of tail biting than Standard Undocked but higher than Standard Docked. For a pig, being bitten is worse for welfare (repeated pain, risk of infections) than being docked, but to compare welfare consequences at a farm level means considering the number of affected pigs. Because of the high levels of biting in Standard Undocked, it has on average inferior welfare to Standard Docked, whereas the comparison of Standard Docked and Enhanced (or Efficient) Undocked is more difficult. In Enhanced (or Efficient) Undocked, more pigs than in Standard Docked suffer from being tail bitten, whereas all the pigs avoid the acute pain of docking endured by the pigs in Standard Docked. We illustrate and discuss this ethical balance using numbers derived from the above-mentioned data. We discuss our results in the light of the EU Directive and its adoption and enforcement by Member States. Widespread use of tail docking seems to be accepted, mainly because the alternative steps that producers are required to take before resorting to it are not specified in detail. By tail docking, producers are acting in their own best interests. We suggest that for the practice of tail docking to be terminated in a way that benefits animal welfare, changes in the way pigs are housed and managed may first be required.
Early excessive weight gain is positively associated with later obesity, and yet the effect of weight gain during specific periods and the impact of infant feeding practices are debated. The objective of the present study was to examine the impact of weight gain in periods of early childhood on body composition at 3 years, and whether infant feeding modified the relationship between early growth and body composition at 3 years. We studied 233 children from the prospective cohort study, SKOT (in Danish: Småbørns Kost og Trivsel). Birth weight z-scores (BWZ) and change in weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ) from 0 to 5, 5 to 9, 9 to 18 and 18 to 36 months were analysed for relations with body composition (anthropometry and bioelectrical impedance) at 3 years by multivariate regression analysis. BWZ and change in WAZ from 0 to 5 months were positively associated with BMI, fat mass index (FMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI) at 3 years. Full breastfeeding for 6 months (compared to less than 1 month) eliminated the effect of early growth (P= 0·01). Full breastfeeding for 6 months (compared to less than 1 month) also eliminated the positive relation between BWZ and FMI (P= 0·009). No effect modification of infant feeding was found for FFMI. In conclusion, high birth weight and rapid growth from 0 to 5 months were associated with increased FMI and FFMI at 3 years. Longer duration of full breastfeeding reduced the effect of birth weight and early weight gain on fat mass.
The aim of the present study was to compare total food intake, total and relative edible plate waste and self-reported food likings between school lunch based on the new Nordic diet (NND) and packed lunch from home. In two 3-month periods in a cluster-randomised controlled unblinded cross-over study 3rd- and 4th-grade children (n 187) from two municipal schools received lunch meals based on NND principles and their usual packed lunch (control). Food intake and plate waste (n 1558) were calculated after weighing lunch plates before and after the meal for five consecutive days and self-reported likings (n 905) assessed by a web-based questionnaire. Average food intake was 6 % higher for the NND period compared with the packed lunch period. The quantity of NND intake varied with the menu (P < 0·0001) and was positively associated with self-reported likings. The edible plate waste was 88 (sd 80) g for the NND period and 43 (sd 60) g for the packed lunch period whereas the relative edible plate waste was no different between periods for meals having waste (n 1050). Edible plate waste differed between menus (P < 0·0001), with more waste on soup days (36 %) and vegetarian days (23 %) compared with the packed lunch period. Self-reported likings were negatively associated with percentage plate waste (P < 0·0001). The study suggests that portion sizes need to be considered in new school meal programmes. New strategies with focus on reduction of plate waste, children's likings and nutritious school meals are crucial from both a nutritional, economic and environmental point of view.
A triple hurdle model estimates cattle farmer willingness to adopt or expand prescribed grazing on pasture in the United States in response to a hypothetical incentive program. Interest in adoption/expansion is estimated first, then willingness to participate in the program, followed by intensity of participation measured as additional acres enrolled. The supply elasticity of enrolled acres with respect to the incentive is 0.13. Nonpecuniary factors inter alia farmer sentiment about stewardship, current farm management practices, farm location, and education are associated with farmer willingness to participate and with participation intensity.
Norovirus outbreaks occur frequently in Denmark and it can be difficult to establish whether apparently independent outbreaks have the same origin. Here we report on six outbreaks linked to frozen raspberries, investigated separately over a period of 3 months. Norovirus from stools were sequence-typed; including extended sequencing of 1138 bp encompassing the hypervariable P2 region of the capsid gene. Norovirus was detected in 27 stool samples. Genotyping showed genotype GI.Pb_GI.6 (polymerase/capsid) with 100% identical sequences. Samples from five outbreaks were furthermore identical over the variable capsid P2 region. In one outbreak at a hospital canteen, frozen raspberries was associated with illness by cohort investigation (relative risk 6·1, 95% confidence interval 3·2–11). Bags of raspberries suspected to be the source were positive for genogroup I and II noroviruses, one typable virus was genotype GI.6 (capsid). These molecular investigations showed that the apparently independent outbreaks were the result of one contamination event of frozen raspberries. The contaminated raspberries originated from a single producer in Serbia and were originally not considered to belong to the same batch. The outbreaks led to consultations and mutual visits between producers, investigators and authorities. Further, Danish legislation was changed to make heat-treatment of frozen raspberries compulsory in professional catering establishments.
Tail biting is a serious animal welfare and economic problem in pig production. Tail docking, which reduces but does not eliminate tail biting, remains widespread. However, in the EU tail docking may not be used routinely, and some ‘alternative’ forms of pig production and certain countries do not allow tail docking at all. Against this background, using a novel approach focusing on research where tail injuries were quantified, we review the measures that can be used to control tail biting in pigs without tail docking. Using this strict criterion, there was good evidence that manipulable substrates and feeder space affect damaging tail biting. Only epidemiological evidence was available for effects of temperature and season, and the effect of stocking density was unclear. Studies suggest that group size has little effect, and the effects of nutrition, disease and breed require further investigation. The review identifies a number of knowledge gaps and promising avenues for future research into prevention and mitigation. We illustrate the diversity of hypotheses concerning how different proposed risk factors might increase tail biting through their effect on each other or on the proposed underlying processes of tail biting. A quantitative comparison of the efficacy of different methods of provision of manipulable materials, and a review of current practices in countries and assurance schemes where tail docking is banned, both suggest that daily provision of small quantities of destructible, manipulable natural materials can be of considerable benefit. Further comparative research is needed into materials, such as ropes, which are compatible with slatted floors. Also, materials which double as fuel for anaerobic digesters could be utilised. As well as optimising housing and management to reduce risk, it is important to detect and treat tail biting as soon as it occurs. Early warning signs before the first bloody tails appear, such as pigs holding their tails tucked under, could in future be automatically detected using precision livestock farming methods enabling earlier reaction and prevention of tail damage. However, there is a lack of scientific studies on how best to respond to outbreaks: the effectiveness of, for example, removing biters and/or bitten pigs, increasing enrichment, or applying substances to tails should be investigated. Finally, some breeding companies are exploring options for reducing the genetic propensity to tail bite. If these various approaches to reduce tail biting are implemented we propose that the need for tail docking will be reduced.
Recent Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have identified four low-penetrance ovarian cancer susceptibility loci. We hypothesized that further moderate- or low-penetrance variants exist among the subset of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) not well tagged by the genotyping arrays used in the previous studies, which would account for some of the remaining risk. We therefore conducted a time- and cost-effective stage 1 GWAS on 342 invasive serous cases and 643 controls genotyped on pooled DNA using the high-density Illumina 1M-Duo array. We followed up 20 of the most significantly associated SNPs, which are not well tagged by the lower density arrays used by the published GWAS, and genotyping them on individual DNA. Most of the top 20 SNPs were clearly validated by individually genotyping the samples used in the pools. However, none of the 20 SNPs replicated when tested for association in a much larger stage 2 set of 4,651 cases and 6,966 controls from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Given that most of the top 20 SNPs from pooling were validated in the same samples by individual genotyping, the lack of replication is likely to be due to the relatively small sample size in our stage 1 GWAS rather than due to problems with the pooling approach. We conclude that there are unlikely to be any moderate or large effects on ovarian cancer risk untagged by less dense arrays. However, our study lacked power to make clear statements on the existence of hitherto untagged small-effect variants.
Chilli peppers have been shown to enhance diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) and reduce energy intake (EI) in some studies, but there are few data on other pungent spices. The primary aim of the present study was to test the acute effects of black pepper (pepper), ginger, horseradish and mustard in a meal on 4 h postprandial DIT. The secondary aim was to examine the effects on subjective appetite measures, ad libitum EI and energy balance. In a five-way placebo-controlled, single-blind, cross-over trial, twenty-two young (age 24·9 (sd 4·6) years), normal-weight (BMI 21·8 (sd 2·1) kg/m2) males were randomly assigned to receive a brunch meal with either pepper (1·3 g), ginger (20 g), horseradish (8·3 g), mustard (21 g) or no spices (placebo). The amounts of spices were chosen from pre-testing to make the meal spicy but palatable. No significant treatment effects were observed on DIT, but mustard produced DIT, which tended to be larger than that of placebo (14 %, 59 (se 3) v. 52 (se 2) kJ/h, respectively, P= 0·08). No other spice induced thermogenic effects approaching statistical significance. Subjective measures of appetite (P>0·85), ad libitum EI (P= 0·63) and energy balance (P= 0·67) also did not differ between the treatments. Finally, horseradish decreased heart rate (P= 0·048) and increased diastolic blood pressure (P= 0·049) compared with placebo. In conclusion, no reliable treatment effects on appetite, EI or energy balance were observed, although mustard tended to be thermogenic at this dose. Further studies should explore the possible strength and mechanisms of the potential thermogenic effect of mustard actives, and potential enhancement by, for example, combinations with other food components.
This paper shows that control of foodborne disease outbreaks may be challenging even after establishing the source of infection. An outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium U323 infections occurred in Denmark from March to September 2010, involving 172 cases. Before the detection of human cases, several positive isolates of the outbreak strain had been found in a particular pig slaughterhouse and thus early traceback, investigation and control measures were possible. Several batches of pork and pork products were recalled and the slaughterhouse was closed twice for disinfection. No single common food item was identified as the outbreak source, but repeated isolation of the outbreak strain from the slaughterhouse environment and in pork and products as well as patient interviews strongly suggested different pork products as the source of infection. Furthermore, a matched case-control study identified a specific ready-to-eat spreadable pork sausage (teewurst) as the source of a sub-outbreak (matched odds ratio 17, 95% confidence interval 2·1–130).