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To describe an outbreak of bacteremia caused by vancomycin-sensitive Enterococcus faecalis (VSEfe).
An investigation by retrospective case control and molecular typing by whole-genome sequencing (WGS).
A tertiary-care neonatal unit in Melbourne, Australia.
Risk factors for 30 consecutive neonates with VSEfe bacteremia from June 2011 to December 2014 were analyzed using a case control study. Controls were neonates matched for gestational age, birth weight, and year of birth. Isolates were typed using WGS, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was determined.
Bacteremia for case patients occurred at a median time after delivery of 23.5 days (interquartile range, 14.9–35.8). Previous described risk factors for nosocomial bacteremia did not contribute to excess risk for VSEfe. WGS typing results designated 43% ST179 as well as 14 other sequence types, indicating a polyclonal outbreak. A multimodal intervention that included education, insertion checklists, guidelines on maintenance and access of central lines, adjustments to the late onset sepsis antibiotic treatment, and the introduction of diaper bags for disposal of soiled diapers after being handled inside the bed, led to termination of the outbreak.
Typing using WGS identified this outbreak as predominately nonclonal and therefore not due to cross transmission. A multimodal approach was then sought to reduce the incidence of VSEfe bacteremia.
The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
Recent studies indicate that early postnatal period is a critical window for gut microbiota manipulation to optimise the immunity and body growth. This study investigated the effects of maternal faecal microbiota orally administered to neonatal piglets after birth on growth performance, selected microbial populations, intestinal permeability and the development of intestinal mucosal immune system. In total, 12 litters of crossbred newborn piglets were selected in this study. Litter size was standardised to 10 piglets. On day 1, 10 piglets in each litter were randomly allotted to the faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and control groups. Piglets in the FMT group were orally administrated with 2ml faecal suspension of their nursing sow per day from the age of 1 to 3 days; piglets in the control group were treated with the same dose of a placebo (0.1M potassium phosphate buffer containing 10% glycerol (vol/vol)) inoculant. The experiment lasted 21 days. On days 7, 14 and 21, plasma and faecal samples were collected for the analysis of growth-related hormones and cytokines in plasma and lipocalin-2, secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), selected microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in faeces. Faecal microbiota transplantation increased the average daily gain of piglets during week 3 and the whole experiment period. Compared with the control group, the FMT group had increased concentrations of plasma growth hormone and IGF-1 on days 14 and 21. Faecal microbiota transplantation also reduced the incidence of diarrhoea during weeks 1 and 3 and plasma concentrations of zonulin, endotoxin and diamine oxidase activities in piglets on days 7 and 14. The populations of Lactobacillus spp. and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and the concentrations of faecal and plasma acetate, butyrate and total SCFAs in FMT group were higher than those in the control group on day 21. Moreover, the FMT piglets have higher concentrations of plasma transforming growth factor-β and immunoglobulin G, and faecal sIgA than the control piglets on day 21. These findings indicate that early intervention with maternal faecal microbiota improves growth performance, decreases intestinal permeability, stimulates sIgA secretion, and modulates gut microbiota composition and metabolism in suckling piglets.
Introduction: Survival from cardiac arrest has been linked to the quality of resuscitation care. Unfortunately, healthcare providers frequently underperform in these critical scenarios, with a well-documented deterioration in skills weeks to months following advanced life support courses. Improving initial training and preventing decay in knowledge and skills are a priority in resuscitation education. The spacing effect has repeatedly been shown to have an impact on learning and retention. Despite its potential advantages, the spacing effect has seldom been applied to organized education training or complex motor skill learning where it has the potential to make a significant impact. The purpose of this study was to determine if a resuscitation course taught in a spaced format compared to the usual massed instruction results in improved retention of procedural skills. Methods: EMS providers (Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT)) were block randomized to receive a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course in either a spaced format (four 210-minute weekly sessions) or a massed format (two sequential 7-hour days). Blinded observers used expert-developed 4-point global rating scales to assess video recordings of each learner performing various resuscitation skills before, after and 3-months following course completion. Primary outcomes were performance on infant bag-valve-mask ventilation (BVMV), intraosseous (IO) insertion, infant intubation, infant and adult chest compressions. Results: Forty-eight of 50 participants completed the study protocol (26 spaced and 22 massed). There was no significant difference between the two groups on testing before and immediately after the course. 3-months following course completion participants in the spaced cohort scored higher overall for BVMV (2.2 ± 0.13 versus 1.8 ± 0.14, p=0.012) without statistically significant difference in scores for IO insertion (3.0 ± 0.13 versus 2.7± 0.13, p= 0.052), intubation (2.7± 0.13 versus 2.5 ± 0.14, p=0.249), infant compressions (2.5± 0.28 versus 2.5± 0.31, p=0.831) and adult compressions (2.3± 0.24 versus 2.2± 0.26, p=0.728) Conclusion: Procedural skills taught in a spaced format result in at least as good learning as the traditional massed format; more complex skills taught in a spaced format may result in better long term retention when compared to traditional massed training as there was a clear difference in BVMV and trend toward a difference in IO insertion.
This paper investigates the rupture problem of a thin micropolar liquid film under a magnetic field on a horizontal plate, using long-wave perturbation to resolve nonlinear evolution equations with a free film interface. The governing equation is resolved using a finite difference method as part of an initial value problem for spatial periodic boundary conditions. The effect of a micropolar liquid under a magnetic field on the nonlinear rupture mechanism is studied in terms of the micropolar parameter, R, the Hartmann constant, m and the initial disturbance amplitude, H0. Modeling results indicate that the R, m and H0 parameters strongly affect the film flow. Enhancing the micropolar and magnetic effects is found to delay the rupture time. In addition, the results show that the film rupture time increases as the values of initial disturbance magnitude decrease. The micropolar and magnetic parameters indeed play a significant role in the film flow on a horizontal plate. Moreover, the optimum conditions can be found to alter stability of the film flow by controlling the applied magnetic field.
Overwhelming post-splenectomy infection (OPSI) is a serious complication of asplenia and is associated with encapsulated organisms, most commonly Streptococcus pneumoniae, but also Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis. We aimed to estimate the risk of infection in this patient group. We reviewed data collected by the Victorian Spleen Registry in Australia. On registration, all patients are asked about significant infections requiring admission to hospital for intravenous antibiotics; those requiring admission to ICU were defined as OPSI. In the 3274 asplenic patients registered 492 patients reported at least one episode of infection. There were 47 episodes of OPSI requiring intensive care (incidence rate 1·11/1000 patient-years). The risk of OPSI was highest in older patients, and there were no statistically significant differences in incidence by reason for splenectomy except for a higher rate in patients with medical hyposplenia. This study reinforces that post-splenectomy infection is a clinically significant but uncommon complication, and that fulminant infection requiring intensive care is a minority of all infections.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
The purpose of this paper is to study the flow field of the combustion chamber in a simulated rotary engine by using a computational approach. A dynamic mesh technique is employed to overcome the moving and shape varying computational domain inside the combustion chambers as the rotor is spinning. The key parameters include spark plug timing, leading side spark plug location and intake port location, which are used to investigate their influences on flow field and combustion performance of a rotary engine. It was discovered, with a dual spark plug configuration, that better flame propagation could be obtained through the change of ignition timing. In addition, to change the leading side spark plug location, it was also found that combustion efficiency is improved by shortening the distance from the top dead center (TDC) center line, which is consistent with available experimental results. This research also discovered that the intake port should be properly located in order to prevent pressure loss in the combustion chamber during the compression stroke.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) with diverse multilocus sequence typing emerged among our nursing home residents (6.5%) with a high background rate of MRSA (32.2%). Rectal swabs yielded a higher rate of CRAB detection than axillary or nasal swabs. Bed-bound status, use of adult diapers, and nasogastric tube were risk factors for CRAB colonization.
The Cosmic Background Explorer, launched November 18, 1989, has nearly completed its first full mapping of the sky with all three of its instruments: a Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) covering 0.1 to 10 mm, a set of Differential Microwave Radiometers (DMR) operating at 3.3, 5.7, and 9.6 mm, and a Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) spanning 1 to 300 µm in ten bands. A preliminary map of the sky derived from DIRBE data is presented. Initial cosmological implications include: a limit on the Comptonization y parameter of 10−3, on the chemical potential μ parameter of 10−2, a strong limit on the existence of a hot smooth intergalactic medium, and a confirmation that the dipole anisotropy has the spectrum expected from a Doppler shift of a blackbody. There are no significant anisotropies in the microwave sky detected, other than from our own galaxy and a cosθ dipole anisotropy whose amplitude and direction agree with previous data. At shorter wavelengths, the sky spectrum and anisotropies are dominated by emission from ‘local’ sources of emission within our Galaxy and Solar System. Preliminary comparison of IRAS and DIRBE sky brightnesses toward the ecliptic poles shows the IRAS values to be significantly higher than found by DIRBE at 100 μm. We suggest the presence of gain and zero-point errors in the IRAS total brightness data. The spacecraft, instrument designs, and data reduction methods are described.
The genetic influences in human brain structure and function and impaired functional connectivities are the hallmarks of the schizophrenic brain. To explore how common genetic variants affect the connectivities in schizophrenia, we applied genome-wide association studies assaying the abnormal neural connectivities in schizophrenia as quantitative traits.
We recruited 161 first-onset and treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia and 150 healthy controls. All the participants underwent scanning with a 3 T-magnetic resonance imaging scanner to acquire structural and functional imaging data and genotyping using the HumanOmniZhongHua-8 BeadChip. The brain-wide association study approach was employed to account for the inherent modular nature of brain connectivities.
We found differences in four abnormal functional connectivities [left rectus to left thalamus (REC.L–THA.L), left rectus to right thalamus (REC.L–THA.R), left superior orbital cortex to left thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.L) and left superior orbital cortex to right thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.R)] between the two groups. Univariate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based association revealed that the SNP rs6800381, located nearest to the CHRM3 (cholinergic receptor, muscarinic 3) gene, reached genomic significance (p = 1.768 × 10−8) using REC.L–THA.R as the phenotype. Multivariate gene-based association revealed that the FAM12A (family with sequence similarity 12, member A) gene nearly reached genomic significance (nominal p = 2.22 × 10–6, corrected p = 0.05).
Overall, we identified the first evidence that the CHRM3 gene plays a role in abnormal thalamo-orbital frontal cortex functional connectivity in first-episode treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia. Identification of these genetic variants using neuroimaging genetics provides insights into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help us determine the mechanisms of dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Floral organ development influences plant reproduction and crop yield. The mechanism of floral organ specification is generally conserved in angiosperms as demonstrated by the ‘ABC’ model. However, mechanisms underlying the development of floral organs in specific groups of species such as grasses remain unclear. In the genus Oryza (rice), a spikelet consists of a fertile floret sub-tended by a lemma, a palea, two sterile lemmas and rudimentary glumes. To understand how the lemma is formed, a curve-shaped lemma-distortion1 (ld1) mutant was identified. Genetic analysis confirmed that the ld1 mutant phenotype was due to a single recessive gene mutation. Using a large F2 population, the LD1 gene was mapped between markers Indel-7-15 and Indel-7-18, which encompassed a region of 15·6 kilo base pairs (kbp). According to rice genome annotations, two putative genes, LOC_Os07g32510 and LOC_Os07g32520, were located in this candidate region. However, DNA sequencing results indicated only 1 base pair (bp) substitution (T⇨C) was found in LOC_Os07g32510 between the wild-type and the ld1 mutant. Thus LOC_Os07g32510, encoding a DNA binding with one zinc finger (DoF) containing protein, was the candidate gene for LD1. Further analysis showed that mutation of the amino acid cysteine (C) to arginine (R) was likely to lead to zinc finger protein deactivation. Phylogenetic and conservation analysis of the gene from different species revealed that cysteine was critical to LD1 function. As a new gene controlling lemma development, the study of LD1 could provide insights into rice floral organ formation mechanisms.
Indoor transmission of respiratory droplets bearing influenza within humans poses high risks to respiratory function deterioration and death. Therefore, we aimed to develop a framework for quantifying the influenza infection risk based on the relationships between inhaled/exhaled respiratory droplets and airborne transmission dynamics in a ventilated airspace. An experiment was conducted to measure the size distribution of influenza-containing droplets produced by coughing for a better understanding of potential influenza spread. Here we integrated influenza population transmission dynamics, a human respiratory tract model, and a control measure approach to examine the indoor environment–virus–host interactions. A probabilistic risk model was implemented to assess size-specific infection risk for potentially transmissible influenza droplets indoors. Our results found that there was a 50% probability of the basic reproduction number (R0) exceeding 1 for small-size influenza droplets of 0·3–0·4 µm, implicating a potentially high indoor infection risk to humans. However, a combination of public health interventions with enhanced ventilation could substantially contain indoor influenza infection. Moreover, the present dynamic simulation and control measure assessment provide insights into why indoor transmissible influenza droplet-induced infection is occurring not only in upper lung regions but also in the lower respiratory tract, not normally considered at infection risk.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.
To assess the effectiveness of infection control preparedness for human infection with influenza A H7N9 in Hong Kong.
A descriptive study of responses to the emergence of influenza A H7N9.
A university-affiliated teaching hospital.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) with unprotected exposure (not wearing N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedure) to a patient with influenza A H7N9.
A bundle approach including active and enhanced surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and extensive contact tracing for HCWs with unprotected exposure was implemented. Seventy HCWs with unprotected exposure to an index case were interviewed especially regarding their patient care activities.
From April 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014, a total of 126 (0.08%) of 163,456 admitted patients were tested for the H7 gene by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction per protocol. Two confirmed cases were identified. Seventy (53.8%) of 130 HCWs had unprotected exposure to an index case, whereas 41 (58.6%) and 58 (82.9%) of 70 HCWs wore surgical masks and practiced hand hygiene after patient care, respectively. Sixteen (22.9%) of 70 HCWs were involved in high-risk patient contacts. More HCWs with high-risk patient contacts received oseltamivir prophylaxis (P=0.088) and significantly more had paired sera collected for H7 antibody testing (P<0.001). Ten (14.3%) of 70 HCWs developed influenza-like illness during medical surveillance, but none had positive results by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Paired sera was available from 33 of 70 HCWs with unprotected exposure, and none showed seroconversion against H7N9.
Despite the delay in airborne precautions implementation, no patient-to-HCW transmission of influenza A H7N9 was demonstrated.
An epitaxial shell of cadmium sulphide is grown on lead sulphide quantum dots in order to reduce the concentration of surface defects. Thin solid films of these core/shell materials are found to have low carrier concentrations due to effective surface passivation which reduces the number of dangling bonds. In this paper PbS/CdS is used as a quasi-intrinsic layer in p-i-n photovoltaic devices where PbS acts as the p-layer and ZnO the n-layer. By studying different permutations of these layers and the degree of PbS p-type doping by annealing we optimise fill factor and open-circuit voltage.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Two Cloisonné enamel architectural components from Fuwangge in the Forbidden City that were produced from Yangzhou (one production center) in Qing Dynasty (1616-1911 A.D.) were chosen and analyzed. A combination of Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and micro-Raman spectroscopy was successfully used to analyze eight colors in enamel glazes (yellow, white, pink, turquoise, yellow green, deep blue, red and deep green). Chemical composition results reveal that the enamel glaze matrix belongs to lead-potash-lime glass (PbO-K2O-CaO-SiO2). Based on Raman spectroscopy, lead-tin yellow types II, cassiterite, lead arsenate, fluorite and hematite were found as opacifiers and/or colorants. In addition, a detailed discussion of raw materials, such as fluorite and borax, might provide valuable information to trace manufacturing technology and provenance.