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Although infections caused by Acinetobacter baumannii are often healthcare-acquired, difficult to treat, and associated with high mortality, epidemiologic data for this organism are limited. We describe the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and outcomes for patients with extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (XDRAB).
Retrospective cohort study
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs)
Patients with XDRAB cultures (defined as nonsusceptible to at least 1 agent in all but 2 or fewer classes) at VAMCs between 2012 and 2018.
Microbiology and clinical data was extracted from national VA datasets. We used descriptive statistics to summarize patient characteristics and outcomes and bivariate analyses to compare outcomes by culture source.
Among 11,546 patients with 15,364 A. baumannii cultures, 408 (3.5%) patients had 667 (4.3%) XDRAB cultures. Patients with XDRAB were older (mean age, 68 years; SD, 12.2) with median Charlson index 3 (interquartile range, 1–5). Respiratory specimens (n = 244, 36.6%) and urine samples (n = 187, 28%) were the most frequent sources; the greatest proportion of patients were from the South (n = 162, 39.7%). Most patients had had antibiotic exposures (n = 362, 88.7%) and hospital or long-term care admissions (n = 331, 81%) in the prior 90 days. Polymyxins, tigecycline, and minocycline demonstrated the highest susceptibility. Also, 30-day mortality (n = 96, 23.5%) and 1-year mortality (n = 199, 48.8%) were high, with significantly higher mortality in patients with blood cultures.
The proportion of Acinetobacter baumannii in the VA that was XDR was low, but treatment options are extremely limited and clinical outcomes were poor. Prevention of healthcare-associated XDRAB infection should remain a priority, and novel antibiotics for XDRAB treatment are urgently needed.
Despite a growing understanding of disorders of consciousness following severe brain injury, the association between long-term impairment of consciousness, spontaneous brain oscillations, and underlying subcortical damage, and the ability of such information to aid patient diagnosis, remains incomplete.
Cross-sectional observational sample of 116 patients with a disorder of consciousness secondary to brain injury, collected prospectively at a tertiary center between 2011 and 2013. Multimodal analyses relating clinical measures of impairment, electroencephalographic measures of spontaneous brain activity, and magnetic resonance imaging data of subcortical atrophy were conducted in 2018.
In the final analyzed sample of 61 patients, systematic associations were found between electroencephalographic power spectra and subcortical damage. Specifically, the ratio of beta-to-delta relative power was negatively associated with greater atrophy in regions of the bilateral thalamus and globus pallidus (both left > right) previously shown to be preferentially atrophied in chronic disorders of consciousness. Power spectrum total density was also negatively associated with widespread atrophy in regions of the left globus pallidus, right caudate, and in the brainstem. Furthermore, we showed that the combination of demographics, encephalographic, and imaging data in an analytic framework can be employed to aid behavioral diagnosis.
These results ground, for the first time, electroencephalographic presentation detected with routine clinical techniques in the underlying brain pathology of disorders of consciousness and demonstrate how multimodal combination of clinical, electroencephalographic, and imaging data can be employed in potentially mitigating the high rates of misdiagnosis typical of this patient cohort.
A survey of Veterans’ Affairs Medical Centers on control of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and carbapenem-producing CRE (CP-CRE) demonstrated that most facilities use VA guidelines but few screen for CRE/CP-CRE colonization regularly or regularly communicate CRE/CP-CRE status at patient transfer. Most respondents were knowledgeable about CRE guidelines but cited lack of adequate resources.
Previous genetic association studies have failed to identify loci robustly associated with sepsis, and there have been no published genetic association studies or polygenic risk score analyses of patients with septic shock, despite evidence suggesting genetic factors may be involved. We systematically collected genotype and clinical outcome data in the context of a randomized controlled trial from patients with septic shock to enrich the presence of disease-associated genetic variants. We performed genomewide association studies of susceptibility and mortality in septic shock using 493 patients with septic shock and 2442 population controls, and polygenic risk score analysis to assess genetic overlap between septic shock risk/mortality with clinically relevant traits. One variant, rs9489328, located in AL589740.1 noncoding RNA, was significantly associated with septic shock (p = 1.05 × 10–10); however, it is likely a false-positive. We were unable to replicate variants previously reported to be associated (p < 1.00 × 10–6 in previous scans) with susceptibility to and mortality from sepsis. Polygenic risk scores for hematocrit and granulocyte count were negatively associated with 28-day mortality (p = 3.04 × 10–3; p = 2.29 × 10–3), and scores for C-reactive protein levels were positively associated with susceptibility to septic shock (p = 1.44 × 10–3). Results suggest that common variants of large effect do not influence septic shock susceptibility, mortality and resolution; however, genetic predispositions to clinically relevant traits are significantly associated with increased susceptibility and mortality in septic individuals.
The assessment of needs among patients with severe mental disorders is one of the most studied measures in treatment planning and monitoring of mental health services. Nevertheless, studies on this subject are scarce in Brazil, even following the recent expansion of community services.
To investigate the prevalence and correlates of unmet needs among outpatients with psychotic disorders in Brazilian community mental health services.
This is a cross-sectional study with a random sample of 401 outpatients with psychotic disorders in the city of Santos, Brazil. Needs were assessed through interviews with patients using the Camberwell Assessment of Needs (CAN), which investigates 22 clinical, social and basic needs. The Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS) was used to assess symptoms. Data were analyzed with multiple linear regression, using p < 0.05. Independent variables were introduced in hierarchical levels, as follows: 1) demographic variables; 2) history and severity of illness; and, 3) service utilization.
The most reported needs were psychotic symptoms (67.0%), information needs (55.0%), psychological distress (41.8%) and money (41.5%). The mean number of unmet needs was 2.91 (+-2.56). A greater number of unmet needs was significantly associated to lower education, more negative symptoms and general psychopathology, all with p = 0.001.
The most reported needs were clinical and social. The number of unmet needs was consistent with the results of international studies. Furthermore, the association of greater unmet needs with lower education and higher symptoms severity may indicate the need for further and comprehensive psychosocial interventions.
Identification of genetic variants associated with eating disorders is underway. The Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative, an initiative of the Klarman Family Foundation, has contributed to advancing the field, yielding a large-scale genome-wide association study published in Nature Genetics. Eight genetic variants significantly associated with anorexia nervosa were identified, along with patterns of genetic correlations that suggest both psychiatric and metabolic origins of this serious and life-threatening illness. This article details the role of Professor Nick Martin in contributing to this important collaboration.
Biodiversity offsetting aims to achieve at least no net loss of biodiversity by fully compensating for residual development-induced biodiversity losses after the mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimize, remediate) has been applied. Actions used to generate offsets can include securing site protection, or maintaining or enhancing the condition of targeted biodiversity at an offset site. Protection and maintenance actions aim to prevent future biodiversity loss, so such offsets are referred to as averted loss offsets. However, the benefits of such approaches can be highly uncertain and opaque, because assumptions about the change in likelihood of loss as a result of the offset action are often implicit. As a result, the gain generated by averting losses can be intentionally or inadvertently overestimated, leading to offset outcomes that are insufficient for achieving no net loss of biodiversity. We present a method and decision tree to guide consistent and credible estimation of the likelihood of biodiversity loss for a proposed offset site with and without protection, for use when calculating the amount of benefit associated with the protection component of averted loss offsets. In circumstances such as when a jurisdictional offset policy applies to most impacts, plausible estimates of averted loss can be very low. Averting further loss of biodiversity is desirable, and averted loss offsets can be a valid approach for generating tangible gains. However, overestimation of averted loss benefits poses a major risk to biodiversity.
Seed dispersal is an important ecological process that structures plant communities and influences ecosystem functioning. Loss of animal dispersers therefore poses a serious threat to forest ecosystems, particularly in the tropics where zoochory predominates. A prominent example is the near-total extinction of seed dispersers on the tropical island of Guam following the accidental introduction of the invasive brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis), negatively impacting seedling recruitment and forest regeneration. We investigated frugivory by a remnant population of Såli (Micronesian starling – Aplonis opaca) on Guam and two other island populations (Rota, Saipan) to evaluate their ecological role as a seed disperser in the Mariana archipelago. Using a combination of behavioural observations, nest contents and fecal samples, we documented frugivory of 37 plant species. Native plants comprised the majority (66%) of all species and 90% of all seeds identified in fecal and nest contents. Diet was highly similar across age classes and sampling years. In addition, plant species consumed by Såli comprised 88% of bird-dispersed adult trees and 54% of all adult trees in long-term forest monitoring plots, demonstrating the Såli’s broad diet and potential for restoring native forests. Overall, we provide the most comprehensive assessment to date of frugivory by the Såli and confirm its importance as a seed disperser on Guam and throughout the Marianas.
A guideline for the prevention of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in 127 Veterans Health Administration acute-care facilities was implemented in July 2012. Beginning in 2015, a targeted assessment for prevention strategy was used to evaluate facilities for hospital-onset healthcare-facility–associated CDIs to focus prevention efforts where they might have the most impact in reaching a reduction goal of 30% nationwide.
We calculated standardized infection ratios (SIRs) and cumulative attributable differences (CADs) using a national data baseline. Facilities were ranked by CAD, and those with the 10 highest CAD values were targeted for periodic conference calls or a site visit from January 2016–September 2019.
The hospital-onset healthcare-facility–associated CDI rate in the 10 facilities with the highest CADs declined 56% during the process improvement period, compared to a 44% decline in the 117 nonintervention facilities (P = .03).
Process improvement interventions targeting facilities ranked by CAD values may be an efficient strategy for decreasing CDI rates in a large healthcare system.
We examined Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) prevention practices and their relationship with hospital-onset healthcare facility-associated CDI rates (CDI rates) in Veterans Affairs (VA) acute-care facilities.
From January 2017 to February 2017, we conducted an electronic survey of CDI prevention practices and hospital characteristics in the VA. We linked survey data with CDI rate data for the period January 2015 to December 2016. We stratified facilities according to whether their overall CDI rate per 10,000 bed days of care was above or below the national VA mean CDI rate. We examined whether specific CDI prevention practices were associated with an increased risk of a CDI rate above the national VA mean CDI rate.
All 126 facilities responded (100% response rate). Since implementing CDI prevention practices in July 2012, 60 of 123 facilities (49%) reported a decrease in CDI rates; 22 of 123 facilities (18%) reported an increase, and 41 of 123 (33%) reported no change. Facilities reporting an increase in the CDI rate (vs those reporting a decrease) after implementing prevention practices were 2.54 times more likely to have CDI rates that were above the national mean CDI rate. Whether a facility’s CDI rates were above or below the national mean CDI rate was not associated with self-reported cleaning practices, duration of contact precautions, availability of private rooms, or certification of infection preventionists in infection prevention.
We found considerable variation in CDI rates. We were unable to identify which particular CDI prevention practices (i.e., bundle components) were associated with lower CDI rates.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Longitudinal studies of first episode of psychosis (FEP) patients are critical to understanding the dynamic clinical factors influencing functional outcomes; negative symptoms and verbal memory (VM) deficits are two such factors that remain a therapeutic challenge. This study uses white-gray matter contrast at the inner edge of the cortex, in addition to cortical thickness, to probe changes in microstructure and their relation with negative symptoms and possible intersections with verbal memory.
T1-weighted images and clinical data were collected longitudinally for patients (N = 88) over a two-year period. Cognitive data were also collected at baseline. Relationships between baseline VM (immediate/delayed recall) and rate of change in two negative symptom dimensions, amotivation and expressivity, were assessed at the behavioral level, as well as at the level of brain structure.
VM, particularly immediate recall, was significantly and positively associated with a steeper rate of expressivity symptom decline (r = 0.32, q = 0.012). Significant interaction effects between baseline delayed recall and change in expressivity were uncovered in somatomotor regions bilaterally for both white-gray matter contrast and cortical thickness. Furthermore, interaction effects between immediate recall and change in expressivity on cortical thickness rates were uncovered across higher-order regions of the language processing network.
This study shows common neural correlates of language-related brain areas underlying expressivity and VM in FEP, suggesting deficits in these domains may be more linked to speech production rather than general cognitive capacity. Together, white-gray matter contrast and cortical thickness may optimally inform clinical investigations aiming to capture peri-cortical microstructural changes.
Laboratory identification of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is a key step in controlling its spread. Our survey showed that most Veterans Affairs laboratories follow VA guidelines for initial CRE identification, whereas 55.0% use PCR to confirm carbapenemase production. Most respondents were knowledgeable about CRE guidelines. Barriers included staffing, training, and financial resources.
Objective: Post-stroke cognitive impairment is common, but mechanisms and risk factors are poorly understood. Frailty may be an important risk factor for cognitive impairment after stroke. We investigated the association between pre-stroke frailty and acute post-stoke cognition. Methods: We studied consecutively admitted acute stroke patients in a single urban teaching hospital during three recruitment waves between May 2016 and December 2017. Cognition was assessed using the Mini-Montreal Cognitive Assessment (min=0; max=12). A Frailty Index was used to generate frailty scores for each patient (min=0; max=100). Clinical and demographic information were collected, including pre-stroke cognition, delirium, and stroke-severity. We conducted univariate and multiple-linear regression analyses with covariates forced in (covariates included were: age, sex, stroke severity, stroke-type, pre-stroke cognitive impairment, delirium, previous stroke/transient ischemic attack) to investigate the association between pre-stroke frailty and post-stroke cognition. Results: Complete data were available for 154 stroke patients. Mean age was 68 years (SD=11; range=32–97); 93 (60%) were male. Median mini-Montreal Cognitive Assessment score was 8 (IQR=4–12). Mean Frailty Index score was 18 (SD=11). Pre-stroke cognitive impairment was apparent in 13/154 (8%) patients. Pre-stroke frailty was significantly associated with lower post-stroke cognition (Standardized-Beta=−0.40; p<0.001) and this association was independent of covariates (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.05; p=0.005). Additional significant variables in the multiple regression model were age (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.05; p=0.002), delirium (Unstandardized-Beta=−2.81; p<0.001), pre-stroke cognitive impairment (Unstandardized-Beta=−2.28; p=0.001), and stroke-severity (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.20; p<0.001). Conclusions: Pre-stroke frailty may be a moderator of post-stroke cognition, independent of other well-established post-stroke cognitive impairment risk factors. (JINS, 2019, 25, 501–506)
Monitoring the effectiveness of knee and hip arthroplasties could be useful at the clinical, economic, and patient levels. In Catalonia, there is currently no systematic monitoring of the different prostheses available. The aims of this study were to propose an approach for the systematic identification of knee and hip prostheses with the highest revision rates, and to identify those with the poorest outcomes.
Data recorded from January 2005 to December 2016 were considered from 53 out of the 61 public hospitals in Catalonia included in the Catalonian Arthroplasty Register (RACat). Specific prostheses were classified by joint, type, fixation, and, in total hip prostheses, the bearing surface. Prostheses with the worst outcomes were identified using a three-step approach, based on previous literature: (i) screening using Poisson models; (ii) comparison of prostheses using adjusted Cox models; and (iii) consensus-based review by a panel of orthopedic surgeons to detect possible sources of bias. After this process, selected prostheses were provisionally labeled as having the poorest outcomes. This process will be repeated periodically within the RACat to definitively classify the prostheses.
After first two steps, ten knee prostheses and eight hip prostheses were identified. After the panel discussion (third step), one knee and one hip prosthesis were excluded from the final list. The knee prosthesis was excluded because it was a unicompartmental implant, while the hip prosthesis was excluded because it was a monoblock implant. Finally, nine knee prostheses and seven hip prostheses were provisionally identified as having the worst results relative to other available prostheses. These results await confirmation in subsequent analyses.
This study contributed to the current need to identify hip and knee prostheses whose outcomes might be worse than expected. This identification could have an impact at the patient, surgeon, industry, and stakeholder levels.
Depression is a common post-stroke complication. Pre-stroke depression may be an important contributor, however the epidemiology of pre-stroke depression is poorly understood. Using systematic review and meta-analysis, we described the prevalence of pre-stroke depression and its association with post-stroke depression.
We searched multiple cross-disciplinary databases from inception to July 2017 and extracted data on the prevalence of pre-stroke depression and its association with post-stroke depression. We assessed the risk of bias (RoB) using validated tools. We described summary estimates of prevalence and summary odds ratio (OR) for association with post-stroke depression, using random-effects models. We performed subgroup analysis describing the effect of depression assessment method. We used a funnel plot to describe potential publication bias. The strength of evidence presented in this review was summarised via ‘GRADE’.
Of 11 884 studies identified, 29 were included (total participants n = 164 993). Pre-stroke depression pooled prevalence was 11.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 9.2–14.7]; range: 0.4–24% (I2 95.8). Prevalence of pre-stroke depression varied by assessment method (p = 0.02) with clinical interview suggesting greater pre-stroke depression prevalence (~17%) than case-note review (9%) or self-report (11%). Pre-stroke depression was associated with increased odds of post-stroke depression; summary OR 3.0 (95% CI 2.3–4.0). All studies were judged to be at RoB: 59% of included studies had an uncertain RoB in stroke assessment; 83% had high or uncertain RoB for pre-stroke depression assessment. Funnel plot indicated no risk of publication bias. The strength of evidence based on GRADE was ‘very low’.
One in six stroke patients have had pre-stroke depression. Reported rates may be routinely underestimated due to limitations around assessment. Pre-stroke depression significantly increases odds of post-stroke depression.