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Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) can sometimes cause severe symptoms and lead to hospitalisation, but they often go unnoticed in the Emergency Department (ED). The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to describe the profile of patients hospitalised by TBDs; and (ii) to evaluate the data collected in the medical records from the ED in order to analyse their potential clinical consequences. A total of 84 cases that included all TBD diagnoses registered in the ED records were identified and analysed. These corresponded to all the hospitalisations by TBDs in the last 10 years (2009–2019) in two tertiary hospitals in Granada, Spain. Statistical analyses were made using RStudio. Coinciding with the absence of patient's report of exposure to ticks, 64.3% of TBDs were not suspected in the ED. Intensive care unit admission was required in 8.3% of cases, and the mortality rate was 2.4%. Non-suspected cases showed longer hospital stay (P < 0.001), treatment duration (P = 0.02) and delay in the initiation of antibiotic treatment (P < 0.001). Our findings indicate that symptoms associated with TBDs are highly non-specific. In the absence of explicit information related to potential tick exposure, TBDs are not initially suspected. As a consequence, elective treatment administration is delayed and hospitalisation time is prolonged. In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of addressing potential exposure to ticks during the ED contact with patients presenting with febrile syndrome.
A multitude of risk/protective factors for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders have been proposed. We conducted an umbrella review to summarize the evidence of the associations between risk/protective factors and each of the following disorders: specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and to assess the strength of this evidence whilst controlling for several biases.
Publication databases were searched for systematic reviews and meta-analyses examining associations between potential risk/protective factors and each of the disorders investigated. The evidence of the association between each factor and disorder was graded into convincing, highly suggestive, suggestive, weak, or non-significant according to a standardized classification based on: number of cases (>1000), random-effects p-values, 95% prediction intervals, confidence interval of the largest study, heterogeneity between studies, study effects, and excess of significance.
Nineteen systematic reviews and meta-analyses were included, corresponding to 216 individual studies covering 427 potential risk/protective factors. Only one factor association (early physical trauma as a risk factor for social anxiety disorder, OR 2.59, 95% CI 2.17–3.1) met all the criteria for convincing evidence. When excluding the requirement for more than 1000 cases, five factor associations met the other criteria for convincing evidence and 22 met the remaining criteria for highly suggestive evidence.
Although the amount and quality of the evidence for most risk/protective factors for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders is limited, a number of factors significantly increase the risk for these disorders, may have potential prognostic ability and inform prevention.
Neutron powder diffraction techniques have been used to characterize the pseudo-macro (PM) residual stresses in ZrO2(CeO2)/Al2O3 ceramic composites as a function of ZrO2(CeO2) volume fraction and fabrication procedures. The diffraction data were analyzed using the Rietveld structure refinement technique. From the refinement, we found that the CeO2 stabilized tetragonal ZrO2 particles were in tension and the Al2O3 matrix was in compression. Different sintering time had little impact on the PM stresses. On the other hand, the magnitude of the PM stresses in both ZrO2 and Al2O3 decreased linearly with the increase of their volume fractions.
The days of Debye-Scherrer film as a recording medium for X-ray powder patterns are all but gone with the development of precise, high sensitivity diffractometer systems. However, film does present some advantages over diffractometry (digital positioning and recording) for certain applications, A scanning densitometer system is described which totally automates the analysis of Debye-Scherrer film. It is much more precise and more capable than the simple line readers available in the past and can reduce the analysis time of complicated patterns from hours to minutes.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
Sugarcane growers in Florida have been reporting reduced control of fall panicum with asulam, the main herbicide used for POST grass control. Therefore, outside container experiments were conducted to determine the response of four fall panicum populations from Florida to asulam applied alone and to evaluate whether tank-mix combination with trifloxysulfuron enhances control. Asulam was applied at 230 to 7,400 g ai ha−1, corresponding to 1/16 to 2X the maximum labeled rate for a single application in sugarcane, with or without combination with trifloxysulfuron at 16 g ai ha−1. Three fall panicum populations were collected from fields in which reduced control had been reported, while one population was from a field not used for sugarcane production but adjacent to a sugarcane field. The potency of asulam based on ED50 values (the rate required to cause 50% dry weight reduction at 28 d after treatment) ranged from 2,249 to 5,412 g ha−1 for tolerant populations with reported reduced fall panicum control compared with 1,808 g ha−1 for the susceptible population from the field not used for sugarcane production, showing that the latter was most sensitive to asulam. Addition of trifloxysulfuron to asulam increased potency on fall panicum by 5- to 15-fold, indicating that the tank mix enhanced dry weight reduction for all populations. The probability of fall panicum survival (regrowth after aboveground biomass harvesting) at the labeled rate of asulam ranged from 2% to 47% compared with 0% to 6% when trifloxysulfuron was added to the tank mix. Our results show differential response of fall panicum populations in Florida to asulam, which can be overcome by tank mixing with trifloxysulfuron even for populations that are difficult to control in sugarcane, but no evolution of resistance to asulam.
The Coneybury ‘Anomaly’ is an Early Neolithic pit located just south-east of Stonehenge, Wiltshire. Excavations recovered a faunal assemblage unique in its composition, consisting of both wild and domestic species, as well as large quantities of ceramics and stone tools, including a substantial proportion of blades/bladelets. We present a suite of new isotope analyses of the faunal material, together with ancient DNA sex determination, and reconsider the published faunal data to ask: What took place at Coneybury, and who was involved? We argue on the basis of multiple lines of evidence that Coneybury represents the material remains of a gathering organised by a regional community, with participants coming from different areas. One group of attendees provided deer instead of, or in addition to, cattle. We conclude that the most likely scenario is that this group comprised local hunter-gatherers who survived alongside local farmers.
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remains a notable disease and poses a significant threat to global public health. The Arabian Peninsula is considered a major global epicentre for the disease and the virus has crossed regional and continental boundaries since 2012. In this study, we focused on exploring the temporal dynamics of MERS-CoV in human populations in the Arabian Peninsula between 2012 and 2017, using publicly available data on case counts and combining two analytical methods. Disease progression was assessed by quantifying the time-dependent reproductive number (TD-Rs), while case series temporal pattern was modelled using the AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA). We accounted for geographical variability between three major affected regions in Saudi Arabia including Eastern Province, Riyadh and Makkah. In Saudi Arabia, the epidemic size was large with TD-Rs >1, indicating significant spread until 2017. In both Makkah and Riyadh regions, the epidemic progression reached its peak in April 2014 (TD-Rs > 7), during the highest incidence period of MERS-CoV cases. In Eastern Province, one unique super-spreading event (TD-R > 10) was identified in May 2013, which comprised of the most notable cases of human-to-human transmission. Best-fitting ARIMA model inferred statistically significant biannual seasonality in Riyadh region, a region characterised by heavy seasonal camel-related activities. However, no statistical evidence of seasonality was identified in Eastern Province and Makkah. Instead, both areas were marked by an endemic pattern of cases with sporadic outbreaks. Our study suggested new insights into the epidemiology of the virus, including inferences about epidemic progression and evidence for seasonality. Despite the inherent limitations of the available data, our conclusions provide further guidance to currently implement risk-based surveillance in high-risk populations and, subsequently, improve related interventions strategies against the epidemic at country and regional levels.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
This is the first report on the development and characterization of eight monoclonal antibodies (MABs) generated against whole- and membrane-enriched tachyzoite extracts of the apicomplexan parasite Besnoitia besnoiti. Confocal laser scanning immunofluorescence microscopy was used to localize respective epitopes in B. besnoiti tachyzoites along the lytic cycle. A pattern compatible with dense granule staining was observed with MABs 2.A.12, 2.F.3 and 2.G.4, which could be confirmed by immunogold electron microscopy for MABs 2.A.12 and 2.F.3. In particular, MABs 2.F.3 and 2.G.4 were secreted during early invasion, proliferation and egress phases. MABs 3.10.8 and 5.5.11 labelled the tachyzoite surface, whilst MABs 1.17.8, 8.9.2 and 2.G.A recognized the apical tip, which is reminiscent for microneme localization. Besides, the epitopes recognized by the latter two (MABs 8.9.2 and 2.G.A) exhibited a redistribution from the anterior part across the parasite surface towards the posterior end during invasion. Most MABs developed were genus-specific. Indeed, the MABs cross-reacted neither with T. gondii nor with N. caninum tachyzoites. In summary, we have generated MABs that will be useful to study the key processes in the lytic cycle of the parasite and with additional promising diagnostic value. However, the molecular identity of the antigens recognized remains to be elucidated.
Background: In RRMS patients with inadequate response to prior therapy, 2 alemtuzumab courses (12 mg/day; baseline: 5 days; 12 months later: 3 days) significantly improved outcomes versus SC IFNB-1a over 2 years (CARE-MS II [NCT00548405]). Efficacy remained durable in a 4-year extension (NCT00930553); patients could receive as-needed alemtuzumab retreatment (≥12 months apart) for disease activity, or another disease-modifying therapy (DMT). Through Year 6, 88% remained on study; 50% received neither alemtuzumab retreatment nor another DMT; 16% received ≥4 courses; 3% received ≥5 courses. We evaluated Course 4 (C4) efficacy in patients receiving ≥4 courses. Methods: Annualized relapse rate (ARR); improved/stable Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score (versus baseline); 6-month confirmed disability improvement (CDI). 11% of patients met inclusion criteria: ≥4 courses within 60 months of baseline; no DMT. Those receiving C5 were censored at that time. Results: ARR decreased after C4 (12 months pre-C4 [-12M]: 0.75; 12 months post-C4 [+12M]: 0.19; P<0.0001), remaining low (0.23) at Year 3 post-C4. More patients had stable/improved EDSS scores +12M (67.5%) versus at C4 administration (53.5%). Percentage with CDI increased post-C4 (-12M: 10.0%; +12M: 26.7%). Conclusions: C4 reduced relapses and stabilized/improved disability in patients with disease activity after initial treatment (C1, C2) plus one additional course (C3).
Background: Surgical resection of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in eloquent areas is significantly associated with greater surgical morbidity. We describe a functional approach for surgical treatment of these lesions Methods: A total of 20 patients with AVMs in eloquent areas were surgically treated and retrospectively analyzed. Individualized functional approach, using brain mapping and/or neurophysiological monitoring was performed in each case according to every case specific features and location. Seventeen patients underwent surgery under assleep conditions and 3 -patients underwent awake intraoperative mapping Results: There was no mortality. Four patients had hemorrhagic complications (20%). Ten (50%) presented neurological immediate postoperative worsening. Eight of them achieved complete recovery in follow up and 2 showed a permanent deficit. At 6 months follow up all the patients (100%) had good clinical outcome (mRS less than 2). There were no intraoperative seizures but 5 patients (26.3%) developed postoperative seizures. Fifteen patients (75%) had total AVM resection. Language and/or motor function were identified in all but one patient (95%). Each case required changes in surgical strategy to preserve the motor and/or language functions during surgery. Conclusions: Intraoperative monitoring and brain mapping are valuable and safe for the treatment of eloquent AVMs by indentifying and protecting motor and language function during resection.
We describe the structure of the Ricci tensor on a locally homogeneous Lorentzian gradient Ricci soliton. In the non-steady case, we show that the soliton is rigid in dimensions 3 and 4. In the steady case we give a complete classification in dimension 3.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
While livestock sector is the back-bone of Ethiopian economy, production levels are low due to a variety of causes. It is characterized by low milk production, poor growth rates, extended calving or lambing intervals and a relatively late age at maturity. The major constrain for this is seasonality of feed quality and poor availability during the dry season, with nitrogen supply especially limiting. However legume forages such as cowpea offer the possibility to enhance dietary N levels and improve livestock production (Abule et al., 1995). With its quick growth, drought resistance and rapid ground cover cowpea has become an essential component of sustainable subsistence agriculture in marginal lands and drier regions of the tropics. This study was conducted to examine the ability of cowpea forages, offered as a supplement to low quality maize stover, to enhance intake and production performance in growing Ethiopian highland sheep.
IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.