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Little is known about prescribers’ attitudes regarding clinical nurses and antimicrobial stewardship. We conducted focus groups of prescribers and inquired about attitudes regarding nurses and stewardship. During 6 focus groups, prescribers were receptive to nursing involvement in stewardship activities, but noted structural barriers and knowledge gaps that should be addressed.
As demonstrated by neuroimaging data, the human brain contains systems that control responses to threat. The revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality predicts that individual differences in the reactivity of these brain systems produce anxiety and fear-related personality traits. Here we discuss some of the challenges in testing this theory and, as an example, present a pilot study that aimed to dissociate brain activity during pursuit by threat and goal conflict. We did this by translating the Mouse Defense Test Battery for human fMRI use. In this version, dubbed the Joystick Operated Runway Task (JORT), we repeatedly exposed 24 participants to pursuit and goal conflict, with and without threat of electric shock. The runway design of JORT allowed the effect of threat distance on brain activation to be evaluated independently of context. Goal conflict plus threat of electric shock caused deactivation in a network of brain areas that included the fusiform and middle temporal gyri, as well as the default mode network core, including medial frontal regions, precuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus, and laterally the inferior parietal and angular gyri. Consistent with earlier research, we also found that imminent threat activated the midbrain and that this effect was significantly stronger during the simple pursuit condition than during goal conflict. Also consistent with earlier research, we found significantly greater hippocampal activation during goal conflict than pursuit by imminent threat. In conclusion, our results contribute knowledge to theories linking anxiety disorders to altered functioning in defensive brain systems and also highlight challenges in this research domain.
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.
For most common infections requiring hospitalization, antibiotic treatment is completed after hospital discharge. Postdischarge therapy is often unnecessarily broad spectrum and prolonged. We developed an intervention to improve antibiotic selection and shorten treatment durations.
Single center, quasi-experimental retrospective cohort study
Patients prescribed oral antibiotics at hospital discharge before (July 2012–June 2013) and after (October 2014–February 2015) an intervention consisting of (1) institutional guidance for oral step-down antibiotic selection and duration of therapy and (2) pharmacy audit of discharge prescriptions with real-time prescribing recommendations to providers. The primary outcomes measured were total prescribed duration of therapy and use of antibiotics with broad gram-negative activity (ie, fluoroquinolones or amoxicillin-clavulanate).
Overall, 300 cases from the preintervention period and 200 cases from the intervention period were included. Compared with the preintervention period, the use of antibiotics with broad gram-negative activity decreased during the intervention (51% vs 40%; P=.02), particularly fluoroquinolones (38% vs 25%; P=.002). The total duration of therapy decreased from a median of 10 days (interquartile range [IQR], 7–13 days) to 9 days (IQR, 6–13 days) but did not reach statistical significance (P=.13). However, the duration prescribed at discharge declined from 6 days (IQR, 4–10 days) to 5 days (IQR, 3–7 days) (P=.003). During the intervention, there was a nonsignificant increase in the overall appropriateness of discharge prescriptions from 52% to 66% (P=.15).
A multifaceted intervention to optimize antibiotic prescribing at hospital discharge was associated with less frequent use of antibiotics with broad gram-negative activity and shorter postdischarge treatment durations.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
The importance of chronic low-grade inflammation in the pathology of numerous age-related chronic conditions is now clear. An unresolved inflammatory response is likely to be involved from the early stages of disease development. The present position paper is the most recent in a series produced by the International Life Sciences Institute's European Branch (ILSI Europe). It is co-authored by the speakers from a 2013 workshop led by the Obesity and Diabetes Task Force entitled ‘Low-grade inflammation, a high-grade challenge: biomarkers and modulation by dietary strategies’. The latest research in the areas of acute and chronic inflammation and cardiometabolic, gut and cognitive health is presented along with the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying inflammation–health/disease associations. The evidence relating diet composition and early-life nutrition to inflammatory status is reviewed. Human epidemiological and intervention data are thus far heavily reliant on the measurement of inflammatory markers in the circulation, and in particular cytokines in the fasting state, which are recognised as an insensitive and highly variable index of tissue inflammation. Potential novel kinetic and integrated approaches to capture inflammatory status in humans are discussed. Such approaches are likely to provide a more discriminating means of quantifying inflammation–health/disease associations, and the ability of diet to positively modulate inflammation and provide the much needed evidence to develop research portfolios that will inform new product development and associated health claims.
We conducted a time-series analysis to evaluate the impact of the ASP over a 6.25-year period (July 1, 2008–September 30, 2014) while controlling for trends during a 3-year preintervention period (July 1, 2005–June 30, 2008). The primary outcome measures were total antibacterial and antipseudomonal use in days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient-days (PD). Secondary outcomes included antimicrobial costs and resistance, hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infection, and other patient-centered measures.
During the preintervention period, total antibacterial and antipseudomonal use were declining (−9.2 and −5.5 DOT/1,000 PD per quarter, respectively). During the stewardship period, both continued to decline, although at lower rates (−3.7 and −2.2 DOT/1,000 PD, respectively), resulting in a slope change of 5.5 DOT/1,000 PD per quarter for total antibacterial use (P=.10) and 3.3 DOT/1,000 PD per quarter for antipseudomonal use (P=.01). Antibiotic expenditures declined markedly during the stewardship period (−$295.42/1,000 PD per quarter, P=.002). There were variable changes in antimicrobial resistance and few apparent changes in C. difficile infection and other patient-centered outcomes.
In a hospital with low baseline antibiotic use, implementation of an ASP was associated with sustained reductions in total antibacterial and antipseudomonal use and declining antibiotic expenditures. Common ASP outcome measures have limitations.
Of 300 patients prescribed oral antibiotics at the time of hospital discharge, urinary tract infection, community-acquired pneumonia, and skin infections accounted for 181 of the treatment indications (60%). Half of the prescriptions were antibiotics with broad Gram-negative activity. Discharge prescriptions were inappropriate in 79 of 150 cases reviewed (53%).
Clinical scoring systems have been proposed for respiratory disease diagnosis in calves, including the Wisconsin (WI) system (McGuirk in 2008) which uses five clinical signs, each partitioned into four levels of severity. Recently, we developed the California (CA) bovine respiratory disease (BRD) scoring system requiring less calf handling and consisting of six clinical signs, each classified as normal or abnormal. The objective of this study was to estimate the on-farm agreement between the WI and the CA scoring systems. A total of 100 calves were enrolled on a CA dairy and assessed for BRD case status using the two scoring systems simultaneously. The Kappa coefficient of agreement between these two systems was estimated to be 0.85, which indicated excellent agreement beyond chance. The simpler design and reduced calf handling required by the CA BRD scoring system may make it advantageous for on-farm use.
The potential of various quantitative lateral flow (LF) based assays utilizing up-converting phosphor (UCP) reporters for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis is reviewed including recent developments. Active infections are demonstrated by screening for the presence of regurgitated worm antigens (genus specific polysaccharides), whereas anti-Schistosoma antibodies may indicate ongoing as well as past infections. The circulating anodic antigen (CAA) in serum or urine (and potentially also saliva) is identified as the marker that may allow detection of single-worm infections. Quantitation of antigen levels is a reliable method to study effects of drug administration, worm burden and anti-fecundity mechanisms. Moreover, the ratio of CAA and circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) is postulated to facilitate identification of either Schistosoma mansoni or Schistosoma haematobium infections. The UCP-LF assays allow simultaneous detection of multiple targets on a single strip, a valuable feature for antibody detection assays. Although antibody detection in endemic regions is not a useful tool to diagnose active infections, it gains potential when the ratio of different classes of antibody specific for the parasite/disease can be determined. The UCP-LF antibody assay format allows this type of multiplexing, including testing a linear array of up to 20 different targets. Multiple test spots would allow detection of specific antibodies, e.g. against different Schistosoma species or other pathogens as soil-transmitted helminths. Concluding, the different UCP-LF based assays for diagnosis of schistosomiasis provide a collection of tests with relatively low complexity and high sensitivity, covering the full range of diagnostics needed in control programmes for mapping, screening and monitoring.
The Sahel in West Africa is a major wintering area for many western Palearctic migrants. The breeding populations of many of these have declined over the past 50 years. However, there have been few intensive field studies on migrant ecology in the Sahel and these were generally within a very restricted area. Consequently our knowledge of the distribution of species within this extensive area and the habitat associations of these species is limited. Understanding these habitat associations is essential for the effective conservation management of populations. We brought together a group of experts and consulted a wider group by email to assess the main Sahelian habitat types used by 68 African-Eurasian migrant bird species. Those species that showed strongest declines during 1970–1990 were associated with more open habitats than those newly declining during 1990–2000, when declining species were associated with habitats with more shrubs and trees. Populations of species that winter in the Sahel are generally stable or increasing now as rainfall has increased and is now near the long-term average for the Sahel. Those which use the Sahel only as a staging area are, in many cases, in rapid decline at present.
Children in foster care have often encountered a range of adverse experiences, including neglectful and/or abusive care and multiple caregiver transitions. Prior research findings suggest that such experiences negatively affect inhibitory control and the underlying neural circuitry. In the current study, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was employed during a go/no go task that assesses inhibitory control to compare the behavioral performance and brain activation of foster children and nonmaltreated children. The sample included two groups of 9- to 12-year-old children: 11 maltreated foster children and 11 nonmaltreated children living with their biological parents. There were no significant group differences on behavioral performance on the task. In contrast, patterns of brain activation differed by group. The nonmaltreated children demonstrated stronger activation than did the foster children across several regions, including the right anterior cingulate cortex, the middle frontal gyrus, and the right lingual gyrus, during correct no go trials, whereas the foster children displayed stronger activation than the nonmaltreated children in the left inferior parietal lobule and the right superior occipital cortex, including the lingual gyrus and cuneus, during incorrect no go trials. These results provide preliminary evidence that the early adversity experienced by foster children impacts the neural substrates of inhibitory control.