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In most of the world Toxoplasma gondii is comprised of archetypal types (types I, II and III); however, South America displays several non-archetypal strains. This study used an experimental mouse model to characterize the immune response and parasite kinetics following infection with different parasite genotypes. An oral inoculation of 50 oocysts per mouse from T. gondii M4 type II (archetypal, avirulent), BrI or BrIII (non-archetypal, virulent and intermediate virulent, respectively) for groups (G)2, G3 and G4, respectively was used. The levels of mRNA expression of cytokines, immune compounds, cell surface markers and receptor adapters [interferon gamma (IFNγ), interleukin (IL)-12, CD8, CD4, CD25, CXCR3 and MyD88] were quantified by SYBR green reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Lesions were characterized by histology and detection by immunohistochemistry established distribution of parasites. Infection in G2 mice was mild and characterized by an early MyD88-dependent pathway. In G3, there were high levels of expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IFNγ and IL-12 in the mice showing severe clinical symptoms at 8–11 days post infection (dpi), combined with the upregulation of CD25, abundant tachyzoites and tissue lesions in livers, lungs and intestines. Significant longer expression of IFNγ and IL-12 genes, with other Th1-balanced immune responses, such as increased levels of CXCR3 and MyD88 in G4, resulted in survival of mice and chronic toxoplasmosis, with the occurrence of tissue cysts in brain and lungs, at 14 and 21 dpi. Different immune responses and kinetics of gene expression appear to be elicited by the different strains and non-archetypal parasites demonstrated higher virulence.
To assess influenza symptoms, adherence to mask use recommendations, absenteesm and presenteeism in acute care healthcare workers (HCWs) during influenza epidemics.
The TransFLUas influenza transmission study in acute healthcare prospectively followed HCWs prospectively over 2 consecutive influenza seasons. Symptom diaries asking for respiratory symptoms and adherence with mask use recommendations were recorded on a daily basis, and study participants provided midturbinate nasal swabs for influenza testing.
In total, 152 HCWs (65.8% nurses and 13.2% physicians) were included: 89.1% of study participants reported at least 1 influenza symptom during their study season and 77.8% suffered from respiratory symptoms. Also, 28.3% of HCW missed at least 1 working day during the study period: 82.6% of these days were missed because of symptoms of influenza illness. Of all participating HCWs, 67.9% worked with symptoms of influenza infection on 8.8% of study days. On 0.3% of study days, symptomatic HCWs were shedding influenza virus while at work. Among HCWs with respiratory symptoms, 74.1% adhered to the policy to wear a mask at work on 59.1% of days with respiratory symptoms.
Respiratory disease is frequent among HCWs and imposes a significant economic burden on hospitals due to the number of working days lost. Presenteesm with respiratory illness, including influenza, is also frequent and poses a risk for patients and staff.
Predictors of new-onset bipolar disorder (BD) or psychotic disorder (PD) have been proposed on the basis of retrospective or prospective studies of ‘at-risk’ cohorts. Few studies have compared concurrently or longitudinally factors associated with the onset of BD or PDs in youth presenting to early intervention services. We aimed to identify clinical predictors of the onset of full-threshold (FT) BD or PD in this population.
Multi-state Markov modelling was used to assess the relationships between baseline characteristics and the likelihood of the onset of FT BD or PD in youth (aged 12–30) presenting to mental health services.
Of 2330 individuals assessed longitudinally, 4.3% (n = 100) met criteria for new-onset FT BD and 2.2% (n = 51) met criteria for a new-onset FT PD. The emergence of FT BD was associated with older age, lower social and occupational functioning, mania-like experiences (MLE), suicide attempts, reduced incidence of physical illness, childhood-onset depression, and childhood-onset anxiety. The emergence of a PD was associated with older age, male sex, psychosis-like experiences (PLE), suicide attempts, stimulant use, and childhood-onset depression.
Identifying risk factors for the onset of either BD or PDs in young people presenting to early intervention services is assisted not only by the increased focus on MLE and PLE, but also by recognising the predictive significance of poorer social function, childhood-onset anxiety and mood disorders, and suicide attempts prior to the time of entry to services. Secondary prevention may be enhanced by greater attention to those risk factors that are modifiable or shared by both illness trajectories.
Background: Transmission of carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPO) threatens patient safety in healthcare facilities. As a result of a 2011 outbreak of blaKPC+ Klebsiella pneumoniae, the NIH Clinical Center (NIHCC) has prioritized early detection and isolation of CPO carriers, using point-prevalence surveys and targeted high-risk ward surveillance since 2011 and admission surveillance since 2013. We describe our experience over 6 years of admission surveillance. Methods: The NIHCC is a 200-bed research hospital that provides care for a highly immunocompromised patient population. From September 2013 to September 2019, perirectal swabs were ordered automatically for all patients on admission to nonbehavioral health wards. Swabs were ordered twice weekly for ICU patients, weekly in other high-risk wards, and monthly for hospital-wide point prevalence (excluding behavioral health). Patients hospitalized in the United States in the previous week or abroad in the previous 6 months were considered high risk for carriage and isolated pending results from 2 swabs. Most swabs (n = 37,526) were cultured onto HardyCHROM CRE. If gram-negative bacilli (GNB) were present, a molecular screen for carbapenemases was performed on a sweep of cultured material (day 1) pending organism isolation. GNB were identified by MALDI-TOF MS. Prior to June 2019, isolates were screened by blaKPC/blaNDM PCR. Starting in June 2019, Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were screened using the phenotypic modified carbapenem inactivation method (mCIM), reflexing to the GeneXpert CARBA-R molecular assay if positive; other GNB were tested directly with CARBA-R. Selected GNB underwent susceptibility testing (Sensititre). Whole-genome sequencing was used to assess relatedness among CPO isolates. Swabs from high-risk patients were tested directly by blaKPC PCR (n = 699) until August 2019 (most in parallel with culture) and thereafter by CARBA-R (n = 13). Results: Among 54,188 orders for perirectal swabs, 38,238 were collected from 14,497 patients (compliance 71%). Among 33 CPO-colonized patients identified from September 2013 through September 2019, 15 were identified on admission, 6 were identified in point-prevalence surveys, 8 were identified from high-risk ward surveillance, and 4 were identified from clinical cultures. Sequencing demonstrated no relatedness among CPO isolates. Although only 1.4% of patients sampled on admission were colonized with CPO, those meeting high-risk criteria were 21 times as likely to be colonized. Conclusion: Admission surveillance for CPO identified a low rate of colonization, but it detected nearly half of known CPO-colonized NIHCC patients over the past 6 years. Modest compliance with swab collection leaves room for improvement and likely results in missed instances of colonization. Although we cannot determine its effectiveness, we view our strategy as one of several key safety measures for our highly vulnerable patient population.
Cereals and cereal products have a long history of use by humans. Recently, there have been some discussions regarding level of processing as a descriptor to define food products, including cereal-based foods. This has led to a somewhat emotional debate on food processing. Given the widespread inclusion of cereals in the diet, this review highlights the history of cereal processing as well as their consumption by humans. It provides an evidence-based discussion on their production, contribution to human nutrition, benefits and disadvantages. The present review illustrates the impact of processing on nutrients, as well as non-nutrients specifically in bread and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals (RTEC), two cereal-based foods which are widely consumed and integral parts of food-based dietary guidelines globally. As a category, most cereals must be processed in some way to enable consumption by humans as we are not equipped to survive exclusively on raw grains. Even thousands of years ago, the processing of cereals was a common practice by humans, turning raw grains into palatable, safe and nutritious foods. Modern processes for cereal-based products are efficient in providing safe and good-quality products to satisfy population needs, as well as helping to meet consumer expectations by providing a range of foods that allows for a varied and balanced diet. Today, RTEC and bread make significant contributions to dietary energy and nutrient requirements and underpin food-based dietary guidance globally. They have been positively linked with intake of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, especially when consumed as whole grain.
Evidence that racial minorities are targeted for searches during police traffic stops is widespread, but observed differences in outcomes following a traffic stop between white drivers and people of color could potentially be due to factors correlated with driver race. Using a unique dataset recording over 5 million traffic stops from 90 municipal police departments, we control for and evaluate alternative explanations for why a driver may be searched. These include: (1) the context of the stop itself, (2) the characteristics of the police department including the race of the police chief, and (3) demographic and racial composition of the municipality within which the stop occurs. We find that the driver's race remains a robust predictor: black male drivers are consistently subjected to more intensive police scrutiny than white drivers. Additionally, we find that all drivers are less likely to be subject to highly discretionary searches if the police chief is black. Together, these findings indicate that race matters in multiple and varied ways for policing outcomes.
Little is known about how the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) residency programs are selecting their residents. This creates uncertainty regarding alignment between current selection processes and known best practices. We seek to describe the current selection processes of Canadian RCEM programs.
An online survey was distributed to all RCEM program directors and assistant directors. The survey instrument included 22 questions and sought both qualitative and quantitative data from the following six domains: application file, letters of reference, elective selection, interview, rank order, and selection process evaluation.
We received responses from 13 of 14 programs for an aggregate response rate of 92.9%. A candidate's letters of reference were identified as the most important criterion from the paper application (38.5%). Having a high level of familiarity with the applicant was the most important characteristic of a reference letter author (46.2%). In determining rank order, 53.8% of programs weighed the interview more heavily than the paper application. Once final candidate scores are established following the interview stage, all program respondents indicated that further adjustment is made to the final rank order list. Only 1 of 13 program respondents reported ever having completed a formal evaluation of their selection process.
We have identified elements of the selection process that will inform recommendations for programs, students, and referees. We encourage programs to conduct regular reviews of their selection process going forward to be in alignment with best practices.
Brain imaging studies have shown altered amygdala activity during emotion processing in children and adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) compared to typically developing children and adolescents (TD). Here we aimed to assess whether aggression-related subtypes (reactive and proactive aggression) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits predicted variation in amygdala activity and skin conductance (SC) response during emotion processing.
We included 177 participants (n = 108 cases with disruptive behaviour and/or ODD/CD and n = 69 TD), aged 8–18 years, across nine sites in Europe, as part of the EU Aggressotype and MATRICS projects. All participants performed an emotional face-matching functional magnetic resonance imaging task.
Differences between cases and TD in affective processing, as well as specificity of activation patterns for aggression subtypes and CU traits, were assessed. Simultaneous SC recordings were acquired in a subsample (n = 63). Cases compared to TDs showed higher amygdala activity in response to negative faces (fearful and angry) v. shapes. Subtyping cases according to aggression-related subtypes did not significantly influence on amygdala activity; while stratification based on CU traits was more sensitive and revealed decreased amygdala activity in the high CU group. SC responses were significantly lower in cases and negatively correlated with CU traits, reactive and proactive aggression.
Our results showed differences in amygdala activity and SC responses to emotional faces between cases with ODD/CD and TD, while CU traits moderate both central (amygdala) and peripheral (SC) responses. Our insights regarding subtypes and trait-specific aggression could be used for improved diagnostics and personalized treatment.
There is often a need to locate the same cellular structure of interest in light and electron microscopy, which can be a difficult task. Here we present a method that uses only commercially available reagents and standard epi-fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) technology to make correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) available to a large group of researchers without specialized CLEM hardware. This was achieved by seeding cells on photo-etched gridded cover slips and staining the protein to be localized with a secondary antibody coupled to both a fluorophore and 10 nm gold. The presence of the grid allowed for the alignment of light microscopy images with TEM images and the double-labeled antibody revealed co-localization of the fluorophore with gold particles.
In the early 1200s the chronicler Ibn al-Athir, surveying the events of the past century, stated that the Norman conquest of southern Italy was part of a coordinated counter-offensive against Islam. In al-Athir's telling, what became the First Crusade was initially meant to help Roger of Sicily pursue further conquests, preferably an invasion of Ifriqiya, modern-day Tunisia. But Roger found that plan ridiculous, supposedly indicating his opinion through loud flatulence. “If you are determined to wage holy war on the Muslims,” he said, “then the best way is to conquer Jerusalem. You will free it from their hands and have glory.” The genesis of the First Crusade, in this telling, lay in the Norman conquest of Sicily and southern Italy. Whether this anecdote has any grounding in historical reality or not, it represents a widely held belief, dating to the medieval period, that the Norman conquest of southern Italy was integral to the First Crusade. Whether in terms of military strategy, personnel, geopolitical objectives, the movement of peoples, or the ideology of holy war, the activities of the Normans in Italy between 1000 and 1091 and in the eastern Mediterranean between 1196 and 1119 are assumed to have some kind of connection.
Historians have long puzzled over these issues, and their answers have reflected the state of the scholarship at any given moment. Generations of historians, such as David Douglas and Matthew Bennett, have tended to see the southern Norman contingents of the First Crusade as part of a larger “Normanitas” that sought to conquer the world, or large parts of it. Charles Homer Haskins, surveying the history of the Normans of the South, stated that their story “would be conclusive proof of the creative power of the Norman genius for conquest and administration”. Other specialists such as Graham Loud, Elisabeth Van Houts, David Bates, and Kenneth Baxter Wolf have de-emphasised such abstract organising principles and, instead, focused on the evolving and complex relationship of the southern Normans with the Reform movement in the Catholic Church and Normans’ own sense of identity.
Acute change in mental status (ACMS), defined by the Confusion Assessment Method, is used to identify infections in nursing home residents. A medical record review revealed that none of 15,276 residents had an ACMS documented. Using the revised McGeer criteria with a possible ACMS definition, we identified 296 residents and 21 additional infections. The use of a possible ACMS definition should be considered for retrospective nursing home infection surveillance.
Employees who possess cross-cultural capabilities are increasingly sought after due to unparalleled numbers of cross-cultural interactions. Previous research has primarily focused on the bright side of these capabilities, including important individual and work outcomes. In contrast, the purpose of this study is to demonstrate that the cross-cultural capability of cultural intelligence (CQ) can lead to both positive and negative outcomes. Applying the general theory of confluence, we propose that expatriates high in CQ excel in customer relationship performance, while simultaneously behaving opportunistically. We also suggest that ethical relativism moderates these relationships. Using mixed methods, four separate studies generally support our predictions while also deepening our understanding of various forms of opportunism and the mechanism behind two seemingly opposing effects. Conceptual and managerial implications of CQ for opportunism, customer relationship performance, and ethics are discussed.
Perinatal exposure to alcohol (PEA) induces general developmental and specific neuropsychiatric disturbances in association with disturbed synaptic plasticity and functions of the amino acid neurotransmitter glutamate.
We were interested in effects of ethanol during the terminal neurodevelopmental differentiation on glutamatergic neurotransmission.
To establish an animal model based on vapor chamber exposure and to assess the expression of vGluT1, EAAT1 to 4, NMDA receptor (NR) subunits 1, 2A to D and NR binding with 3H-labeled MK 801.
After delivery, female Wistar Han outbred rats (N = 4) and their pups were exposed until postnatal day 8 (P8). At the age of 5 months, the animals were behaviorally characterized. Both, at P8 and after the testing we performed in situ-hybridizations receptor binding assays.
PEA-pubs showed a pronounced and highly significant retardation of body weight and length. Behavioral testing revealed no differences in locomotion and anxiety (open field and elevated plus maze) as well as T-maze-learning, but significantly impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial learning (MWM). We observed significant inductions of vGluT1, EAAT1, EAAT3, NR2A, 2B, 2C and 2D, as well as trends of increased NR1 mRNA. NR binding was found increased in hippocampus (P8) and parietal cortex (P8 and 5M).
The observed inductions of glial glutamate transporters validate previous in vitro data. Altered glutamatergic neurotransmission in general might be considered a molecular correlate of the learning deficit in our PEA model. This further supports the glutamatergic theory of PEA and suggests new targets for therapeutic interventions.
A large body of literature has accumulated within the last decade concerning the fragile X syndrome, the most common cause of X-linked mental retardation. The first article of this review summarizes the peculiar genetic mechanisms and molecular biology properties (eg, unstable DNA triplet repeats), which have been characterized since the detection of the FMR-1 gene in 1991. However, the most important question concerning the function of the FMR-1 gene is still an unresolved issue and is in need of future research. The second article of this review addresses the clinical picture, neuropsychological functioning and psychopathological characteristics of pre- and full mutation carriers.