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Data about the effectiveness of different antibiotic regimens for the treatment of acute Q fever from clinical studies is scarce. We analysed the antibiotic treatment regimens of acute Q fever patients in 2007 and 2008 in The Netherlands and assessed whether hospitalization after a minimum of 2 days antibiotic therapy was related to the initial antibiotic therapy. Clinical data on antibiotic treatment and risk factors of acute Q fever patients were obtained from general practitioner medical records and self-reported by patients. For the 438 study patients, doxycycline was the most commonly prescribed initial antibiotic in both study years. After adjustments for confounding factors, doxycycline (200 mg/day), moxifloxacin, as well as other possibly effective antibiotics [including other new fluoroquinolones and doxycycline (100 mg/day)] showed significant lower risks for hospitalization compared to β-lactam antibiotics and azithromycin (reference group), with the lowest risk for doxycycline (200 mg/day) (odds ratio 0·04, 95% confidence interval 0·01–0·22). These data support current guidelines that recommend doxycycline as the first choice antibiotic for treating acute Q fever.
LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is an innovative radio telescope optimized for the frequency range 30–240 MHz. The telescope is realized as a phased aperture array without any moving parts. Digital beam forming allows the telescope to point to any part of the sky within a second. Transient buffering makes retrospective imaging of explosive short-term events possible. The scientific focus of LOFAR will initially be on four key science projects (KSPs): (i) Detection of the formation of the very first stars and galaxies in the universe during the so-called epoch of reionization by measuring the power spectrum of the neutral hydrogen 21-cm line (Shaver et al. 1999) on the ∼ 5′ scale; (ii) Low-frequency surveys of the sky with of order 108 expected new sources; (iii) All-sky monitoring and detection of transient radio sources such as γ-ray bursts, X-ray binaries, and exo-planets (Farrell et al. 2004); and (iv) Radio detection of ultra-high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos (Falcke & Gorham 2003) allowing for the first time access to particles beyond 1021 eV (Scholten et al. 2006). Apart from the KSPs open access for smaller projects is also planned. Here we give a brief description of the telescope.
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