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The objective of this Research Communication was to use polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis to investigate a region of the bovine TLR4 gene (TLR4) in pasture-fed New Zealand (NZ) Holstein-Friesian × Jersey (HF × J) cross dairy cows and to determine whether gene variation was associated with milk production traits. Genetic variation was observed, with two variants (A and B) containing a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (c.2021C/T) that was non-synonymous and putatively results in a p.Thr674Ile substitution in the transmembrane/cytoplasmic domain of TLR4. Variant A was associated with higher milk yields, but lower milk fat percentages, whereas B was associated with lower milk yields, but higher fat and protein percentages. Cows of genotype AA produced more milk than AB or BB cows, but the milk produced by AA cows contained less fat than AB or BB cows.
The subsurface exploration of other planetary bodies can be used to unravel their geological history and assess their habitability. On Mars in particular, present-day habitable conditions may be restricted to the subsurface. Using a deep subsurface mine, we carried out a program of extraterrestrial analog research – MINe Analog Research (MINAR). MINAR aims to carry out the scientific study of the deep subsurface and test instrumentation designed for planetary surface exploration by investigating deep subsurface geology, whilst establishing the potential this technology has to be transferred into the mining industry. An integrated multi-instrument suite was used to investigate samples of representative evaporite minerals from a subsurface Permian evaporite sequence, in particular to assess mineral and elemental variations which provide small-scale regions of enhanced habitability. The instruments used were the Panoramic Camera emulator, Close-Up Imager, Raman spectrometer, Small Planetary Linear Impulse Tool, Ultrasonic drill and handheld X-ray diffraction (XRD). We present science results from the analog research and show that these instruments can be used to investigate in situ the geological context and mineralogical variations of a deep subsurface environment, and thus habitability, from millimetre to metre scales. We also show that these instruments are complementary. For example, the identification of primary evaporite minerals such as NaCl and KCl, which are difficult to detect by portable Raman spectrometers, can be accomplished with XRD. By contrast, Raman is highly effective at locating and detecting mineral inclusions in primary evaporite minerals. MINAR demonstrates the effective use of a deep subsurface environment for planetary instrument development, understanding the habitability of extreme deep subsurface environments on Earth and other planetary bodies, and advancing the use of space technology in economic mining.
Since the publication of “A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals” in 2008, prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) has become a national priority. Despite improvements, preventable HAIs continue to occur. The 2014 updates to the Compendium were created to provide acute care hospitals with up-to-date, practical, expert guidance to assist in prioritizing and implementing their HAI prevention efforts. They are the product of a highly collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM), and the Surgical Infection Society (SIS).
Since the publication of “A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals” in 2008, prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) has become a national priority. Despite improvements, preventable HAIs continue to occur. The 2014 updates to the Compendium were created to provide acute care hospitals with up-to-date, practical, expert guidance to assist in prioritizing and implementing their HAI prevention efforts. They are the product of a highly collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM), and the Surgical Infection Society (SIS).
Prenatal alcohol exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) result in behavioral issues related to poor executive function (EF). This overlap may hinder clinical identification of alcohol-exposed children. This study examined the relation between parent and neuropsychological measures of EF and whether parent ratings aid in differential diagnosis. Neuropsychological measures of EF, including the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), were administered to four groups of children (8–16 years): alcohol-exposed with ADHD (AE+, n=80), alcohol-exposed without ADHD (AE−, n=36), non-exposed with ADHD (ADHD, n=93), and controls (CON, n=167). Primary caregivers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). For parent ratings, multivariate analyses of variance revealed main effects of Exposure and ADHD and an interaction between these factors, with significant differences between all groups on nearly all BRIEF scales. For neuropsychological measures, results indicated main effects of Exposure and ADHD, but no interaction. Discriminant function analysis indicated the BRIEF accurately classifies groups. These findings confirm compounded behavioral, but not neuropsychological, effects in the AE+ group over the other clinical groups. Parent-report was not correlated with neuropsychological performance in the clinical groups and may provide unique information about neurobehavior. Parent-report measures are clinically useful in predicting alcohol exposure regardless of ADHD. Results contribute to a neurobehavioral profile of prenatal alcohol exposure. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–13)
Biomechanical investigation into locomotor pathology in commercial pigs is lacking despite this being a major concern for the industry. Different floor types are used in modern, intensive pig production systems at different stages of the pigs’ production cycle. The general perception holds that slatted and/or hard solid concrete surfaces are inferior to soft straw-covered floors regarding healthy musculoskeletal development. Previous studies have compared pigs housed on different floor types using clinical, subjective assessment of leg weakness and lameness. However, reliability studies generally report a low repeatability of clinical lameness scoring. The objective of this study was to quantitatively assess the long-term effect of pen floors, reflected in the biomechanical gait characteristics and associated welfare of the pigs. A cohort of 24 pigs housed on one of three different floor types was followed from 37 to 90 kg average liveweight, with gait analysis (motion capture) starting at 63 kg. The three floor types were fully slatted concrete, partly slatted concrete and deep straw-bedded surfaces, all located within the same building. Pigs underwent five repeated camera-based motion captures, 7 to 10 days apart, during which 3D coordinate data of reflective skin markers attached to leg anatomical landmarks were collected. Pigs walked on the same solid concrete walkway during captures. One-way ANOVA and repeated measures ANOVA were used to analyse the gait data. Results revealed changes over time in the spatiotemporal gait pattern which were similar in magnitude and direction for the pigs from different floor types. Significant increases in elbow joint flexion with age were observed in all pigs (P⩽0.050; +6°). There were few differences between floor groups, except for the step-to-stride ratio in the hind legs being more irregular in pigs housed on partly slatted floors (P=0.012; 3.6 times higher s.d.) compared with those on 5 to 10 cm straw-bedding in all pen areas. As the level of clinical problems was generally low in this cohort, it may be that floors elicit problems only when there is a primary predisposing factor increasing weakness in susceptible tissues.
To document the introduction of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) USA300 clone into a children's hospital. Current molecular epidemiology of infections due to the USA300 strain of MRSA in the pediatric healthcare setting remains obscure.
Retrospective study of patients with hospital-acquired S. aureus infection during the period from August 1, 2001, through July 31, 2007, at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
Patients with hospital-acquired S. aureus infection from whom an isolate was available for molecular analysis were included. Clinical information was obtained from patient medical records and the electronic hospital information system. S. aureus isolates underwent antimicrobial susceptibility testing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and polymerase chain reaction testing for staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) mec, agr, the diamine N-acetyltransferase gene, and the Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes (pvl).
Of 242 patients with hospital-acquired S. aureus infection, 147 (61%) had methicillin-susceptible S. aureus infection. Of the 95 MRSA isolates causing hospital-acquired infection, 69 (73%) were USA300 isolates, and that rate did not increase over time. Skin and soft tissue infection (P < .001), onset of infection less than 10 days after admission (P = .007), and lack of comorbidities (P < .001) were associated with hospital-acquired MRSA infection caused by the USA300 strain, compared with other isolates (hereafter referred to as non-USA300 isolates). Nine of 10 patients with a S. aureus infection at the time of death were infected with a non-USA300 strain. USA300 carried SCCmec IV, agr I, the diamine N-acetyl transferase gene, and pvl. USA300 isolates were more susceptible to clindamycin, gentamicin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole than were other non-USA300 isolates (P < .01).
In our patient population, the annual numbers of observed cases of hospital-acquired S. aureus infection have remained constant. USA300 was the most common clone and, compared with other non-USA300 MRSA isolates, was associated with skin and soft tissue infection, early onset of infection after admission, and greater susceptibility to antimicrobial agents.
A serological survey for leptospiral agglutinins was undertaken between 1980 and 1983 in over 500 Barbadian and 500 Trinidadian school-children aged 7–14 years. The children were selected randomly from urban and rural schools, and examined three times at approximately annual intervals. A total of 12·5% of the Barbadian children and 9·5% of the Trinidadian children were seropositive at a titre of 50 using the microscopic agglutination test. On both islands, seroprevalence was higher in males than females, the difference being significant in rural schools. There was no evidence of a difference in prevalence between urban and rural schools, or between junior and secondary age-ranges. Analysis of the association of serology with socio-economic and behavioural factors showed a significant association in Trinidad with father's occupation, but most other variables on both islands showed only weak non-significant associations. Fourteen children in Trinidad and three in Barbados seroconverted. Seroconversion in Trinidad occurred at a rate of 1·6% per annum and was significantly associated with livestock contact and with absence of a tapped water supply. In Trinidad, Autumnalis was the most commonly recorded serogroup, but this accounted for less than a quarter of seropositives. In Barbados, Panama accounted for over half the seropositives and was about four times more common than the next most common serogroup, Autumnalis. In Barbados, 39 persons aged 19 or less were hospitalized with leptospirosis between November 1979 and December 1986. Average annual incidence rates were 2·2, 4·9 and 13·3 per 100000 in the 5·9, 10·14 and 15·19 age-groups, respectively.
The Supernova Working Group was re-established at the IAU XXV General Assembly in Sydney, 21 July 2003, sponsored by Commissions 28 (Galaxies) and 47 (Cosmology). Here we report on some of its activities since 2005.