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To describe epidemiologic and genomic characteristics of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak in a large skilled nursing facility (SNF), and the strategies that controlled transmission.
Design, Setting, and Participants:
Cohort study during March 22–May 4, 2020 of all staff and residents at a 780-bed SNF in San Francisco, California.
Contact tracing and symptom screening guided targeted testing of staff and residents; respiratory specimens were also collected through serial point prevalence surveys (PPS) in units with confirmed cases. Cases were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction testing for SARS-CoV-2; whole genome sequencing (WGS) characterized viral isolate lineages and relatedness. Infection prevention and control (IPC) interventions included restricting from work any staff who had close contact to a confirmed case; restricting movements between units; implementing surgical face masking facility-wide; and recommended PPE (isolation gown, gloves, N95 respirator and eye protection) for clinical interactions in units with confirmed cases.
Of 725 staff and residents tested through targeted testing and serial PPS, twenty-one (3%) were SARS-CoV-2-positive; sixteen (76%) staff and 5 (24%) residents. Fifteen (71%) were linked to a single unit. Targeted testing identified 17 (81%) cases; PPS identified 4 (19%). Most (71%) cases were identified prior to IPC intervention. WGS was performed on SARS-CoV-2 isolates from four staff and four residents; five were of Santa Clara County lineage and the three others were distinct lineages.
Early implementation of targeted testing, serial PPS, and multimodal IPC interventions limited SARS-CoV-2 transmission within the SNF.
An innovative approach to perioperative antiseptic skin preparation is warranted because of potential adverse skin irritation, rare risk of serious allergic reaction, and perceived diminished clinical efficacy of current perioperative antiseptic agents. The results of a confirmatory US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) phase 3 efficacy analysis of a recently approved innovative perioperative surgical skin antiseptic agent are discussed.
The microbial skin flora on abdominal and groin sites in healthy volunteers were microbiologically sampled following randomization to either ZuraGard, a 2% chlorhexidine/70% isopropyl alcohol preparation (Chloraprep), or a control vehicle (alcohol-free ZuraGard). Mean log10 reduction of colony-forming units (CFU) was assessed at 30 seconds, 10 minutes, and 6 hours.
For combined groin sites (1,721 paired observations) at all time points, the mean log10 CFU reductions were significantly greater in the ZuraGard group than in the Chloraprep group (P < .02). Mean log10 CFU reductions across combined abdominal and groin sites at all time points (3,277 paired observations) were significantly greater in the ZuraGard group than in the Chloraprep group (P < .02).
A confirmatory FDA phase 3 efficacy analysis of skin antisepsis in human volunteers documented that ZuraGard was efficacious in significantly reducing the microbial burden on abdominal and groin test sites, exceeding that of Chloraprep. No significant adverse reactions were observed following the application of ZuraGard.
The Spirit Bear is a sub-species of black bear found in the British Columbia area and on a small number of islands near Alaska. It is an all-white bear known as the Kermode Bear (Ursus americanus kermodei), but for First Nations people it is the Spirit Bear. Described in 1905 by William Hornaday, the scientific name recognizes the contribution made by his co-researcher Francis Kermode. During the early decades of the 21st century sightings remain scarce, principally due to the small cryptic populations being found in rather inaccessible locations combined with the secrecy of the aboriginal peoples for whom the bear is held so dearly. This chapter aims to provide an understanding of Canada's First Nations peoples, their relationship with the Spirit Bear and their role in a dynamic conservation setting through collaborative research and ecotourism ventures. It is based on my personal experiences of living and working with the Kitasoo and Xai’xais nations between 2011 and 2016.
THE COASTAL FIRST NATIONS
To understand the sociocultural importance of the Spirit Bear, it is essential to better understand the First Nations peoples in whose traditional territories the bear resides. The presence of humans on the central and northern coast of British Columbia dates to 11,000 BC, which coincides with the glacial retreat of the last ice age, providing the beginnings of an intimate relationship humans in this region enjoy with nature, a connection that continues to flourish today. These men and women were warriors, hunters, traders and expert custodians of their lands and waters, to whom ‘conservation’, informed by rich ecological knowledge, has always been a natural way of life (Clarke and Slocombe 2009; Hallowell 1926; Turner et al 2000). For example, the harvesting traditions of the Kitasoo and Xai’xais nations demand that you must always leave the first four of anything you gather; for example, when picking berries, upon reaching a bush the first four berries you pick will be thrown over your shoulder. Coastal communities are still highly dependent on ocean and forest resources for both food and medicine. Species such as devil's club (Oplopanax horridus) and poison root (Veratrum viride) are still used medicinally on a daily basis. Elders teach that the medicinal properties of these plants increase in strength the farther from the community that they are gathered, thus providing suggestion of a conservation-oriented culture.
Persisting symptoms after treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) contribute to ongoing impairment and relapse risk. Whether cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or antidepressant medications result in different profiles of residual symptoms after treatment is largely unknown.
Three hundred fifteen adults with MDD randomized to treatment with either CBT or antidepressant medication in the Predictors of Remission in Depression to Individual and Combined Treatments (PReDICT) study were analyzed for the frequency of residual symptoms using the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) item scores at the end of the 12-week treatment period. Separate comparisons were made for treatment responders and non-responders.
Among treatment completers (n = 250) who responded to CBT or antidepressant medication, there were no significant differences in the persistence of residual MADRS symptoms. However, non-responders treated with medication were significantly less likely to endorse suicidal ideation (SI) at week 12 compared with those treated with CBT (non-responders to medication: 0/54, 0%, non-responders to CBT: 8/30, 26.7%; p = .001). Among patients who terminated the trial early (n = 65), residual MADRS item scores did not significantly differ between the CBT- and medication-treated groups.
Depressed adults who respond to CBT or antidepressant medication have similar residual symptom profiles. Antidepressant medications reduce SI, even among patients for whom the medication provides little overall benefit.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
The possible role of glutamate in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression is of intense current interest. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) enables the detection of glutamate in the living human brain and meta-analyses of previous MRS studies in depressed patients have suggested that glutamate levels are decreased in anterior brain regions. Nevertheless, at conventional magnetic field strengths [1.5–3 Tesla (T)], it is difficult to separate glutamate from its metabolite and precursor, glutamine, with the two often being measured together as Glx. In contrast, MRS at 7 T allows clear spectral resolution of glutamate and glutamine.
We studied 55 un-medicated depressed patients and 50 healthy controls who underwent MRS scanning at 7 T with voxels placed in anterior cingulate cortex, occipital cortex and putamen (PUT). Neurometabolites were calculated using the unsuppressed water signal as a reference.
Compared with controls, depressed patients showed no significant difference in glutamate in any of the three voxels studied; however, glutamine concentrations in the patients were elevated by about 12% in the PUT (p < 0.001).
The increase in glutamine in PUT is of interest in view of the postulated role of the basal ganglia in the neuropsychology of depression and is consistent with elevated activity in the descending cortical glutamatergic innervation to the PUT. The basal ganglia have rarely been the subject of MRS investigations in depressed patients and further MRS studies of these structures in depression are warranted.
Late Medieval Castles is a companion to Anglo-Norman Castles (2003), a volume that brought together a series of historiographically significant articles on castles and castle-building in the period from the Norman Conquest to the early thirteenth century. The format and themes of the present collection are broadly comparable with the earlier book, but with the focus on those castles dating to the period c.1250–1500.
In the course of bringing Anglo-Norman Castles to publication the somewhat arbitrary cut-off date of c.1225 seemed unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. On a practical level, there were highly relevant articles that could not be included because the subject matter fell outside the chronological range of the volume. A more scholarly concern was the fact that a number of issues pertinent to castle-building in the eleventh and twelfth centuries could not be satisfactorily addressed without reference to subsequent developments in the thirteenth and fourteenth. Allied to this, a focus on Anglo-Norman building (no matter how justifiable in historical terms) does perhaps contribute, albeit unwittingly, to the erroneous idea that the eleventh and twelfth centuries are the most important centuries for castle-building, a time when the ‘true’ castle is to be found, and that the period that follows, particularly after 1300, is something of an anti-climax. The present volume should therefore be seen as a continuation of the broad themes discussed in the introduction to Anglo-Norman Castles, with the aim of pursuing them in a late medieval context.
In the years since 2003 there have been a number of important publications in the field of castle studies, and castles continue to be a source of controversy and to provoke debate. Despite the fact that the availability of some secondary material has been made easier through electronic access, I have been consistently reminded by academic colleagues that a compilation such as this is worthwhile, both for the student reader and those seeking a path into the specialist secondary literature. This author at least also believes that there is value in bringing together in one place a series of important contributions that have defined the subject and which also illustrate a diversity of approaches.
The castles of the late medieval period represent some of the finest medieval monuments in Britain, with an almost infinite capacity to fascinate and draw controversy. They are also a source of considerable academic debate. The contents of this volume represent key works in castle scholarship. Topics discussed include castle warfare, fortress customs, architectural design and symbolism, spatial planning and the depiction of castles in medieval romance. The contributions also serve to highlight the diversity of approaches to the medieval castle, ranging from the study of documentary and literary sources, analysis of fragmentary architectural remains and the recording of field archaeology. The result is a survey that offers an in-depth analysis of castle building from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, and places castles within their broader social, architectural and political contexts.
Robert Liddiard is Professor of History, University of East Anglia.
Contributors: Nicola Coldstream, Charles Coulson, Philip Dixon, Graham Fairclough, P.A. Faulkner, John Goodall, Beryl Lott, Charles McKean, T.E. McNeill, Richard K. Morris, Michael Prestwich, Christopher Taylor, Muriel A. Whitaker.
Recent studies point to overlap between neuropsychiatric disorders in symptomatology and genetic aetiology.
To systematically investigate genomics overlap between childhood and adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and major depressive disorder (MDD).
Analysis of whole-genome blood gene expression and genetic risk scores of 318 individuals. Participants included individuals affected with adult ADHD (n = 93), childhood ADHD (n = 17), MDD (n = 63), ASD (n = 51), childhood dual diagnosis of ADHD–ASD (n = 16) and healthy controls (n = 78).
Weighted gene co-expression analysis results reveal disorder-specific signatures for childhood ADHD and MDD, and also highlight two immune-related gene co-expression modules correlating inversely with MDD and adult ADHD disease status. We find no significant relationship between polygenic risk scores and gene expression signatures.
Our results reveal disorder overlap and specificity at the genetic and gene expression level. They suggest new pathways contributing to distinct pathophysiology in psychiatric disorders and shed light on potential shared genomic risk factors.
Demand for organic meat is partially driven by consumer perceptions that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. However, there have been no systematic reviews comparing specifically the nutrient content of organic and conventionally produced meat. In this study, we report results of a meta-analysis based on sixty-seven published studies comparing the composition of organic and non-organic meat products. For many nutritionally relevant compounds (e.g. minerals, antioxidants and most individual fatty acids (FA)), the evidence base was too weak for meaningful meta-analyses. However, significant differences in FA profiles were detected when data from all livestock species were pooled. Concentrations of SFA and MUFA were similar or slightly lower, respectively, in organic compared with conventional meat. Larger differences were detected for total PUFA and n-3 PUFA, which were an estimated 23 (95 % CI 11, 35) % and 47 (95 % CI 10, 84) % higher in organic meat, respectively. However, for these and many other composition parameters, for which meta-analyses found significant differences, heterogeneity was high, and this could be explained by differences between animal species/meat types. Evidence from controlled experimental studies indicates that the high grazing/forage-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards may be the main reason for differences in FA profiles. Further studies are required to enable meta-analyses for a wider range of parameters (e.g. antioxidant, vitamin and mineral concentrations) and to improve both precision and consistency of results for FA profiles for all species. Potential impacts of composition differences on human health are discussed.
Demand for organic milk is partially driven by consumer perceptions that it is more nutritious. However, there is still considerable uncertainty over whether the use of organic production standards affects milk quality. Here we report results of meta-analyses based on 170 published studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and conventional bovine milk. There were no significant differences in total SFA and MUFA concentrations between organic and conventional milk. However, concentrations of total PUFA and n-3 PUFA were significantly higher in organic milk, by an estimated 7 (95 % CI −1, 15) % and 56 (95 % CI 38, 74) %, respectively. Concentrations of α-linolenic acid (ALA), very long-chain n-3 fatty acids (EPA+DPA+DHA) and conjugated linoleic acid were also significantly higher in organic milk, by an 69 (95 % CI 53, 84) %, 57 (95 % CI 27, 87) % and 41 (95 % CI 14, 68) %, respectively. As there were no significant differences in total n-6 PUFA and linoleic acid (LA) concentrations, the n-6:n-3 and LA:ALA ratios were lower in organic milk, by an estimated 71 (95 % CI −122, −20) % and 93 (95 % CI −116, −70) %. It is concluded that organic bovine milk has a more desirable fatty acid composition than conventional milk. Meta-analyses also showed that organic milk has significantly higher α-tocopherol and Fe, but lower I and Se concentrations. Redundancy analysis of data from a large cross-European milk quality survey indicates that the higher grazing/conserved forage intakes in organic systems were the main reason for milk composition differences.