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The healthcare environment is recognized as a source for healthcare-acquired infection. Because cleaning practices are often erratic and always intermittent, we hypothesize that continuously antimicrobial surfaces offer superior control of surface bioburden.
To evaluate the impact of a photocatalytic antimicrobial coating at near-patient, high-touch sites in a hospital ward.
The study took place in 2 acute-care wards in a large acute-care hospital.
A titanium dioxide-based photocatalytic coating was sprayed onto 6 surfaces in a 4-bed bay in a ward and compared under normal illumination against the same surfaces in an untreated ward: right and left bed rails, bed control, bedside locker, overbed table, and bed footboard. Using standardized methods, the overall microbial burden and presence of an indicator pathogen (Staphylococcus aureus) were assessed biweekly for 12 weeks.
Treated surfaces demonstrated significantly lower microbial burden than control sites, and the difference increased between treated and untreated surfaces during the study. Hygiene failures (>2.5 colony-forming units [CFU]/cm2) increased 2.6% per day for control surfaces (odds ratio [OR], 1.026; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.009–1.043; P=.003) but declined 2.5% per day for treated surfaces (OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.925–0.977; P<.001). We detected no significant difference between coated and control surfaces regarding S. aureus contamination.
Photocatalytic coatings reduced the bioburden of high-risk surfaces in the healthcare environment. Treated surfaces became steadily cleaner, while untreated surfaces accumulated bioburden. This evaluation encourages a larger-scale investigation to ascertain whether the observed environmental amelioration has an effect on healthcare-acquired infection.
This paper explores the influence of institutions on indigenous entrepreneurship within the muttonbird economy of Ngāi Tahu (a New Zealand Māori tribe). It determines that colonisation removed the traditional Ngāi Tahu institution of executive authority which once regulated muttonbird exchange. Without this regulatory function whānau (family) birders compete against each other at their own expense and to the benefit of traders. As a consequence the birders are constrained in applying their birding knowledge and abilities to realise market opportunity. Furthermore, declining returns and harvesting pressure is in some cases reducing the financial and natural capital of whānau, whilst threats to continuing birding culture potentially undermines the socio-human capital contained within inherited traditions and the maintaining of kinship connections. It is argued that the development of a contemporary executive authority to regulate exchange and market product may reinvigorate entrepreneurial birding activities.
The Galactic Center contains large amounts of molecular and ionized gas as well as a plethora of energetic objects. Water masers are an extinction-insensitive probe for star formation and thus ideal for studies of star formation stages in this highly obscured region. With the Australia Telescope Compact Array, we observed 22 GHz water masers in the entire Central Molecular Zone with sub-parsec resolution as part of the large SWAG survey: “Survey of Water and Ammonia in the Galactic Center”. We detect of order 600 22 GHz masers with isotropic luminosities down to ~10−7 L⊙. Masers with luminosities of ≳10−6 L⊙ are likely associated with young stellar objects. They appear to be close to molecular gas streamers and may be due to star formation events that are triggered at pericenter passages near Sgr A*. Weaker masers are more widely distributed and frequently show double line features, a tell-tale sign for an origin in evolved star envelopes.
On 1984 October 6 we conducted a 3-station intercontinental Mark II VLBI experiment in order to study the very luminous water vapor maser source in the nucleus of the galaxy NGC 3079, which was detected first by Haschick and Baan (1985) using the Haystack Observatory 36.6 m antenna. The cross correlation spectrum for the longest Owens Valley to MPI baseline is presented in Figure 1 and shows the phase variation across the width of the brightest feature at 955.7 km s−1 to be less than 10 degrees of phase.
St Andrews was of tremendous significance in medieval Scotland. Its importance remains readily apparent in the buildings which cluster the rocky promontory jutting out into the North Sea: the towers and walls of cathedral, castle and university provide reminders of the status and wealth of the city in the Middle Ages. As a centre of earthly and spiritual government, as the place of veneration forScotland's patron saint and as an ancient seat of learning, St Andrews was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. This volume provides the first full study of this special and multi-faceted centre throughout its golden age. The fourteen chapters use St Andrews as a focus for the discussion of multiple aspects of medieval life in Scotland. They examine church, spirituality, urban society andlearning in a specific context from the seventh to the sixteenth century, allowing for the consideration of St Andrews alongside other great religious and political centres of medieval Europe.
Michael Brown is Professor of Medieval Scottish History, University of St Andrews; Katie Stevenson is Keeper of Scottish History and Archaeology, National Museums Scotland and Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History, University of St Andrews.
Contributors: Michael Brown, Ian Campbell, David Ditchburn, Elizabeth Ewan, Richard Fawcett, Derek Hall, Matthew Hammond, Julian Luxford, Roger Mason, Norman Reid, Bess Rhodes, Catherine Smith, Katie Stevenson, Simon Taylor, Tom Turpie.
Although the compartmentalization of poultry industry components has substantial economic implications, and is therefore a concept with huge significance to poultry industries worldwide, the current requirements for compartment status are generic to all OIE member countries. We examined the consequences for potential outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the British poultry industry using a metapopulation modelling framework. This framework was used to assess the effectiveness of compartmentalization relative to zoning control, utilizing empirical data to inform the structure of potential epidemiological contacts within the British poultry industry via network links and spatial proximity. Conditions were identified where, despite the efficient isolation of poultry compartments through the removal of network-mediated links, spatially mediated airborne spread enabled spillover of infection with nearby premises making compartmentalization a more ‘risky’ option than zoning control. However, when zoning control did not effectively inhibit long-distance network links, compartmentalization became a relatively more effective control measure than zoning. With better knowledge of likely distance ranges for airborne spread, our approach could help define an appropriate minimum inter-farm distance to provide more specific guidelines for compartmentalization in Great Britain.
For a complete, finite volume real hyperbolic n-manifold M, we investigate the map between homology of the cusps of M and the homology of M. Our main result provides a proof of a result required in a recent paper of Frigerio, Lafont and Sisto.
Human campylobacteriosis exhibits a distinctive seasonality in temperate regions. This paper aims to identify the origins of this seasonality. Clinical isolates [typed by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST)] and epidemiological data were collected from Scotland. Young rural children were found to have an increased burden of disease in the late spring due to strains of non-chicken origin (e.g. ruminant and wild bird strains from environmental sources). In contrast the adult population had an extended summer peak associated with chicken strains. Travel abroad and UK mainland travel were associated with up to 17% and 18% of cases, respectively. International strains were associated with chicken, had a higher diversity than indigenous strains and a different spectrum of MLST types representative of these countries. Integrating empirical epidemiology and molecular subtyping can successfully elucidate the seasonal components of human campylobacteriosis. The findings will enable public health officials to focus strategies to reduce the disease burden.
To investigate microbiological biofilm contamination of retrieved bone-anchored hearing aids.
Materials and methods:
Nine failed, retrieved bone-anchored hearing aids and 16 internal screws were examined by scanning electron microscopy. A fixture from a failing implant, which had been removed and disassembled under aseptic conditions, was cultured. Finally, an internal screw from a new, unimplanted fixture was examined by scanning electron microscopy.
Debris was seen on the fixture and abutment of all bone-anchored hearing aids, and on the heads of the 16 internal screws. On eight screws, biofilm extended down the shaft to the threads, where it was several micrometres thick. Culture of a failing fixture yielded staphylococcus. The new, unimplanted fixture internal screw showed evidence of scratching and metallic debris on the threads, which may interfere with close fitting of the screw and subsequently facilitate microleakage.
There may be a link between internal microbial contamination and failure of bone-anchored hearing aids.
During a 15-month period in Scotland a small but important number of human Campylobacter cases (3·2%) arose from 91 putative household outbreaks. Of the 26 outbreaks with known strain composition, 89% were composed of the same MLST which supports the potential use of MLST in public health epidemiology. The number of cases associated with household outbreaks is much larger than general outbreaks and there is some evidence to indicate that there may be secondary transmission, although this is relatively rare.
Understanding the frequency distribution of parasites and parasite stages among hosts is essential for efficient experimental design and statistical analysis, and is also required for the development of sustainable methods of controlling infection. Nematodirus battus is one of the most important organisms that infect sheep but the distribution of parasites among hosts is unknown. An initial analysis indicated a high frequency of animals without N. battus and with zero egg counts, suggesting the possibility of a zero-inflated distribution. We developed a Bayesian analysis using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods to estimate the parameters of the zero-inflated negative binomial distribution. The analysis of 3000 simulated data sets indicated that this method out-performed the maximum likelihood procedure. Application of this technique to faecal egg counts from lambs in a commercial upland flock indicated that N. battus counts were indeed zero-inflated. Estimating the extent of zero-inflation is important for effective statistical analysis and for the accurate identification of genetically resistant animals.