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To assess the utility of an automated, statistically-based outbreak detection system to identify clusters of hospital-acquired microorganisms.
Multicenter retrospective cohort study.
The study included 43 hospitals using a common infection prevention surveillance system.
A space–time permutation scan statistic was applied to hospital microbiology, admission, discharge, and transfer data to identify clustering of microorganisms within hospital locations and services. Infection preventionists were asked to rate the importance of each cluster. A convenience sample of 10 hospitals also provided information about clusters previously identified through their usual surveillance methods.
We identified 230 clusters in 43 hospitals involving Gram-positive and -negative bacteria and fungi. Half of the clusters progressed after initial detection, suggesting that early detection could trigger interventions to curtail further spread. Infection preventionists reported that they would have wanted to be alerted about 81% of these clusters. Factors associated with clusters judged to be moderately or highly concerning included high statistical significance, large size, and clusters involving Clostridioides difficile or multidrug-resistant organisms. Based on comparison data provided by the convenience sample of hospitals, only 9 (18%) of 51 clusters detected by usual surveillance met statistical significance, and of the 70 clusters not previously detected, 58 (83%) involved organisms not routinely targeted by the hospitals’ surveillance programs. All infection prevention programs felt that an automated outbreak detection tool would improve their ability to detect outbreaks and streamline their work.
Automated, statistically-based outbreak detection can increase the consistency, scope, and comprehensiveness of detecting hospital-associated transmission.
We evaluated the efficacy of eszopiclone (ESZ) and concurrent escitalopram oxalate (EO) in patients with insomnia and co-morbid GAD.
Patients meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for GAD and insomnia received 10 weeks of EO 10mg and co-therapy with ESZ 3mg or placebo (PBO) for 8 weeks. For the last 2 weeks, ESZ was replaced with single-blind PBO to evaluate discontinuation effects. Sleep, daytime functioning and anxiety measures were captured during the study.
ESZ+EO improved sleep and daytime functioning at each week and the double-blind period average (p<0.05). At Week 8, significantly more ESZ+EO patients had no clinically meaningful insomnia based on ISI</=7. Significant improvements with ESZ+EO (relative to PBO+EO) were observed in HAM-A total scores each week, and Weeks 4-10 excluding the insomnia item. ESZ+EO was significantly better at every timepoint on CGI-I (p<0.02); CGI-S was not different between treatments after Week 1. Median time to anxiolytic response was reduced with ESZ+EO based on HAM-A and CGI-I. HAM-A response and remission rates at Week 8 were higher with ESZ+EO, and HAM-D17 scores were improved at all timepoints (p<0.004). After eszopiclone discontinuation, there was no evidence of rebound insomnia, and no treatment differences in sleep or daytime function. Significant treatment differences in anxiety and mood were maintained after discontinuation.
In this study, ESZ+EO was well tolerated and associated with improved sleep and daytime function without evidence of tolerance. Improvements in anxiety and mood were observed with ESZ+EO.
Support for this study provided by Sepracor Inc., Marlborough, MA.
The presence of comorbid anxiety disorders (AD) and bipolar II disorders (BP-II) compounds disability complicates treatment, worsens prognosis, and has been understudied. The genes involved in metabolizing dopamine and encoding dopamine receptors, such as aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) and dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) genes, may be important to the pathogenesis of BP-II comorbid with AD. We aimed to clarify ALDH2 and DRD2 genes for predisposition to BP-II comorbid with and without AD. The sample consisted of 335 subjects BP-II without AD, 127 subjects BP-II with AD and 348 healthy subjects as normal control. The genotypes of the ALDH2 and DRD2 Taq-IA polymorphisms were determined using polymerase chain reactions plus restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Logistic regression analysis showed a statistically significant association between DRD2 Taq-I A1/A2 genotype and BP-II with AD (OR = 2.231, P = 0.021). Moreover, a significant interaction of the DRD2 Taq-I A1/A1 and the ALDH2*1*1 genotypes in BP-II without AD was revealed (OR = 5.623, P = 0.001) compared with normal control. Our findings support the hypothesis that a unique genetic distinction between BP-II with and without AD, and suggest a novel association between DRD2 Taq-I A1/A2 genotype and BP-II with AD. Our study also provides further evidence that the ALDH2 and DRD2 genes interact in BP-II, particularly BP-II without AD.
The Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), initiated in 2001, has now become the largest twin registry in Asia. From 2015 to 2018, the CNTR continued to receive Chinese government funding and had recruited 61,566 twin-pairs by 2019 to study twins discordant for specific exposures such as environmental factors, and twins discordant for disease outcomes or measures of morbidity. Omic data, including genetics, genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics, and gut microbiome will be tested. The integration of omics and digital technologies in public health will advance our understanding of precision public health. This review introduces the updates of the CNTR, including study design, sample size, biobank, zygosity assessment, advances in research and future systems epidemiologic research.
Guangxi, a province in southwestern China, has the second highest reported number of HIV/AIDS cases in China. This study aimed to develop an accurate and effective model to describe the tendency of HIV and to predict its incidence in Guangxi. HIV incidence data of Guangxi from 2005 to 2016 were obtained from the database of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network models, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, generalised regression neural network (GRNN) models and exponential smoothing (ES) were used to fit the incidence data. Data from 2015 and 2016 were used to validate the most suitable models. The model performances were evaluated by evaluating metrics, including mean square error (MSE), root mean square error, mean absolute error and mean absolute percentage error. The LSTM model had the lowest MSE when the N value (time step) was 12. The most appropriate ARIMA models for incidence in 2015 and 2016 were ARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 2)12 and ARIMA (2, 1, 0) (1, 1, 2)12, respectively. The accuracy of GRNN and ES models in forecasting HIV incidence in Guangxi was relatively poor. Four performance metrics of the LSTM model were all lower than the ARIMA, GRNN and ES models. The LSTM model was more effective than other time-series models and is important for the monitoring and control of local HIV epidemics.
Copy number variations (CNVs), as an important source of genetic variation, can affect a wide range of phenotypes by diverse mechanisms. The somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) gene plays important roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Recently, this gene was mapped to a CNV region, which encompasses quantitative trait loci of cattle economic traits including body weight, marbling score, etc. Therefore, SSTR2 CNV may exhibit phenotypic effects on cattle growth traits. In the current study, distribution of SSTR2 gene CNVs was investigated in six Chinese cattle breeds (XN, QC, NY, JA, LX and PN), and the results showed higher CNV polymorphisms in XN, QC and NY cattle. Next, association analysis between growth traits and SSTR2 CNV was performed for XN, QC and NY cattle. In NY, individuals with fewer copies showed better performance than those with more copies. Further, the effects of SSTR2 CNV on the SSTR2 mRNA level were also investigated, but revealed no significant correlation in either muscle or adipose tissue of adult NY cattle. The results suggested the potential for use of SSTR2 CNV as a marker for the molecular breeding of NY cattle.
Rhizoctonia solani Kühn and Pythium aphanidermatum Edson cause cabbage seedling damping-off, resulting in severe yield losses. The current study demonstrates the production of toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by two strains of Bacillus mycoides and the evaluation of a potential use of B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent to control cabbage damping-off. Two VOCs, dimethyl disulphide and ammonia, were found to reduce radial growth, cause hyphal deformation and result in organelle degeneration in both R. solani and P. aphanidermatum. Pathogen hyphae, after being exposed to VOCs, showed poor rigidity, shrinkage, curling and swelling. The amount of VOCs produced by B. mycoides and the antagonistic activity against plant pathogens varied, depending on the type of medium used to culture bacteria. Application of B. mycoides cell suspensions to cultivation medium promotes growth of five different plant species tested. Experiments conducted in greenhouses revealed that B. mycoides did not reduce damping-off incidence caused by R. solani. However, B. mycoides reduced damping-off incidence induced by P. aphanidermatum by as much as 45% on cabbage seedlings. The results provide valuable information on the feasibility of utilizing B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent in controlling cabbage damping-off.
We report on a novel processing route to prepare La0.8Ce0.2(Fe0.95Co0.05)11.8Si1.2/Cu bulk composites by low-temperature hot pressing. With increasing copper content, the compressive strength of the composites first decrease and then increase owing to the buffering effect of copper, but the magnetocaloric effect reduces to some extent. Copper addition improves the thermal conductivity of the composites, which compensates for the decrease in thermal conductivity due to porosity. A relatively large entropy change of 5.75–7.19 J/(kg K) at 2 T near the Curie temperature (249 K), good thermal conductivity of 7.51–15.55 W/(m·K), and improved compressive strength of 151.1–248.0 MPa make these composites attractive magnetic refrigeration materials.
Introduction: With the increasing volume of medical literature published each year, it is difficult for clinicians to translate the latest research into practice. Awareness is the first step of knowledge translation and journals have begun using social media to increase the dissemination and awareness of their publications. Infographics can describe research findings visually, are shared broadly on social media, and may be a more effective way to convey information. We hypothesized that infographic abstracts would increase the social media dissemination and online readership of research articles relative to traditional abstracts. Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 24 original research articles were chosen from the six issues of the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) published between July 2016 and May 2017 (4 articles per issue). Half were randomized to the infographic and control groups within each issue. Infographic articles were promoted using a visual infographic outlining the findings of the article. Control articles were promoted using a screen capture image of each articles abstract. Both were disseminated through the journals social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook) along with the link to the selected article. Infographics were also published on CanadiEM.org. Abstract views, full text views, and the change in Altmetric score were tracked for 30 days and compared between groups. Unpaired two-tailed t-tests were used to detect significant differences. Results: Abstract views (mean, SD) were significantly higher for infographic articles (378.9, 162.0) than control articles (175.5, 69.2, p<0.001). Mean Altmetric scores were significantly higher for infographic articles (26.4, 13.8) than control articles (3.4, 1.7, p<0.0001). There was no statistically significant difference in full-text views between infographic (49.7, 90.4) and control articles (25.3, 12.3). Conclusion: CJEM articles promoted on social media using infographics had higher abstract viewership and Altmetric scores than those promoted with traditional abstracts. Although there was no difference in full-text readership, our results suggest that infographic abstracts may have a role in increasing the dissemination of medical literature.
Litter size has a great impact on the profit of swine producers. Uterine development is an important determinant of reproduction efficiency and could hence affect litter size. Chinese Erhualian pig is one of the most prolific breeds in the world, even though large phenotypic variation in litter size was observed within Erhualian sows. To dissect the genetic basis of the phenotypic variation, we herein conducted genome-wide association studies for total number born and number born alive (NBA) of Erhualian sows. In total, one significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (P<1.78e−06) and 11 suggestive SNPs (P<3.57e−05) were identified on 10 chromosomes, confirming seven previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) and uncovering six QTL for litter size or uterus length. One locus on Sus scrofa chromosome (SSC) 13 (79.28 to 90.43 Mb) harbored a cluster of suggestive SNPs associated with multiparous NBA. The SNP (rs81447100) within this region was confirmed to be significantly (P<0.05) associated with litter size in Erhualian (n=313), Sutai (n=173) and Yorkshire (n=488) populations. Retinol binding protein 2 and retinol binding protein 1 functionally related to the development of uterus were located in a region of 2 Mb around rs81447100. Moreover, four genes related to embryo implantation and development were also detected around other significant SNPs. Taken together, our findings provide a potential marker (rs81447100) for the genetic improvement of litter size not only in Chinese Erhualian pigs but also in European commercial pig breeds like Yorkshire, and would facilitate the final identification of causative variant(s) underlying the effect of SSC13 QTL on litter size.
A substantial proportion of persons with mental disorders seek treatment from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professionals. However, data on how CAM contacts vary across countries, mental disorders and their severity, and health care settings is largely lacking. The aim was therefore to investigate the prevalence of contacts with CAM providers in a large cross-national sample of persons with 12-month mental disorders.
In the World Mental Health Surveys, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was administered to determine the presence of past 12 month mental disorders in 138 801 participants aged 18–100 derived from representative general population samples. Participants were recruited between 2001 and 2012. Rates of self-reported CAM contacts for each of the 28 surveys across 25 countries and 12 mental disorder groups were calculated for all persons with past 12-month mental disorders. Mental disorders were grouped into mood disorders, anxiety disorders or behavioural disorders, and further divided by severity levels. Satisfaction with conventional care was also compared with CAM contact satisfaction.
An estimated 3.6% (standard error 0.2%) of persons with a past 12-month mental disorder reported a CAM contact, which was two times higher in high-income countries (4.6%; standard error 0.3%) than in low- and middle-income countries (2.3%; standard error 0.2%). CAM contacts were largely comparable for different disorder types, but particularly high in persons receiving conventional care (8.6–17.8%). CAM contacts increased with increasing mental disorder severity. Among persons receiving specialist mental health care, CAM contacts were reported by 14.0% for severe mood disorders, 16.2% for severe anxiety disorders and 22.5% for severe behavioural disorders. Satisfaction with care was comparable with respect to CAM contacts (78.3%) and conventional care (75.6%) in persons that received both.
CAM contacts are common in persons with severe mental disorders, in high-income countries, and in persons receiving conventional care. Our findings support the notion of CAM as largely complementary but are in contrast to suggestions that this concerns person with only mild, transient complaints. There was no indication that persons were less satisfied by CAM visits than by receiving conventional care. We encourage health care professionals in conventional settings to openly discuss the care patients are receiving, whether conventional or not, and their reasons for doing so.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity associated with liver disease. Risk factors identified for the transmission of HCV include contaminated blood products, intravenous drug use, body piercing, an infected mother at birth, sexual activity, and dental therapy, among others. However, the exact diversity of the HCV genotype and genetic variation among patients with low-risk factors is still unknown. In this study, we briefly described and analysed the genotype distribution and genetic variation of HCV infections with low-risk factors using molecular biology techniques. The results suggested that genotype 1b was predominant, followed by genotypes 2a and 1a. Genetic variations in the 5′ UTR sequences of HCV were identified, including point mutations, deletions, and insertions. The frequency of genetic variations in 1b was higher than in 2a. This study provides considerable value for the prevention and treatment of liver disease caused by HCV among patients with low-risk factors and for the development of HCV diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of using Multiplex 3, a hand-held canopy fluorescence sensor, to determine rice nitrogen (N) status at different growth stages. In 2013, a paddy rice field experiment with five N fertilizer treatments and two varieties was conducted in Northeast China. Field samples and fluorescence data were collected simultaneously at the panicle initiation (PI), stem elongation (SE), and heading (HE) stages. Four N status indicators, leaf N concentration (LNC), plant N concentration (PNC), plant N uptake (PNU) and N nutrition index (NNI), were determined. The preliminary results indicated that different N application rates significantly affected most of the fluorescence variables, especially the simple fluorescence ratios (SFR_G, SFR_R), flavonoid (FLAV), and N balance indices (NBI_G, NBI_R). These variables were highly correlated with N status indicators. More studies are needed to further evaluate the accuracy of rice N status diagnosis using fluorescence sensing at different growth stages.
This paper presents a framework for the implementation of a decision support system that considers spatial, temporal and managerial factors in assessing the potential impact of crop amendments on the cost of a given production scenario. The proposed system includes a database and a numeric simulation model. The database is linked to previously recorded crop responses for a given agricultural input under different conditions while the numeric simulation model determines the probability of different levels of profit for each decision option. This system then determines the optimal uniform rate of application of an amendment to maximize profits, or to define the range of such rates for a case of variable rate application. Uncertainty-based treatment of each model input allows for a balance between the potential results of under-application or over-application.
Introduction: The CJEM Social Media Team was created in 2014 to assist the journal with the dissemination of its research online. It consists of two Social Media Editors (Junior and Senior) and a team of volunteer medical students and residents to assist their work. Collaborative promotional agreements were developed to promote CJEM articles on the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine (SGEM) podcast through the ‘Hot off the Press’ (HOP) series and the CanadiEM blog through an infographic series. Methods:CJEM papers were selected for promotion by the Team based on their perceived interest to the online community of emergency physicians. Altmetric scores, which are a measure of online dissemination derived from a weighted algorithm of social media metrics, were collated for articles promoted using the SGEM HOP or CanadiEM blogs. A control group was created using the articles with the top two Altmetric scores in each CJEM issue in 2015 and 2016. Erratum, Letters, and articles written by the social media editors were excluded from the control groups. The success of the social media promotion was quantified through the measurement of Altmetric scores as of January 1, 2017. Unpaired two-tailed t-tests with unequal variance were used to test for significant differences. Results: 106 and 82 eligible articles were published in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Four articles in 2015 and two articles in 2016 were excluded from the control groups because they were written by the social media editors. SGEM HOP podcasts promoted one article in 2015 and five articles in 2016. CanadiEM infographics promoted three articles in 2015 and eight articles in 2016. No articles were promoted in both series. The average Altmetric score was higher for SGEM HOP (61.0) than CanadiEM Infographics (31.5, p<0.04), 2015 controls (15.8, p<0.01), and 2016 controls (13.6, p<0.01). The average Altmetric score for CanadiEM Infographics was higher than 2015 controls (p<0.04) and 2016 controls (p<0.02). There was no significant difference between the control groups. Conclusion: The results suggest that collaborating with established social media websites to promote CJEM articles using podcasts and infographics increases their social media dissemination. Given the nonrandomized design of these results, causative conclusions cannot be drawn. A randomized study of the impact of social media promotion on readership is underway.
Introduction: Medical conditions that impair perception, cognition or motor skills may make people unfit to drive. Reporting unfit drivers to licensing authorities is seen by many as a public health obligation. This study investigates physician knowledge, attitudes and practice around the management of medically unfit drivers. Methods: We used an online survey to explore physician knowledge of fitness to drive issues and their attitudes and practice with regard to counselling and reporting unfit drivers. Email invitations to participate in the survey were sent to all physicians in BC through DoctorsofBC and to all emergency physicians (EPs) in the UBC Department of Emergency Medicine. Results: We received responses from 242 physicians (47% EPs, 40% GPs, 13% others). The majority (78%) reported little/no knowledge on determining driver fitness and 94% had little/no training around guidelines, reporting, and laws involving fitness to drive. Most (88%) agreed that physicians should be obligated to advise medically unfit patients not to drive, and 74% reported that they often warn patients not to drive. The majority of physicians also chart their opinion of patients’ fitness to drive (67% do so more than twice per year). Most respondents (70%) indicated that it is “always appropriate” to report definitely unfit drivers whereas only 25% indicated that it is “always appropriate” to report potentially unfit drivers. However, in practice physicians see far more unfit drivers than they report to licensing authority: 67% of physicians encounter definitely unfit drivers more than twice per year but only 19% report definitely unfit drivers more than twice per year and 34% never report definitely unfit drivers. Compared to other physicians, EPs reported less knowledge and training about criteria for determining fitness to drive, were more likely to feel that reporting unfit drivers was not their responsibility, and were less likely to report unfit drivers to licensing authorities. Conclusion: Our findings indicate a need for more education and information resources to help physicians, particularly EPs, identify and manage medically unfit drivers. Although most physicians warn unfit drivers not to drive and document this in medical records, many medically unfit drivers are not reported to licensing authorities, a potential public health problem that should be further investigated.
Introduction: Most medically unfit drivers are not reported to licensing authorities. In BC, physicians are only obligated to report unfit drivers who continue to drive after being warned to stop. This study investigates barriers to and incentives for physician reporting of medically unfit drivers. Methods: We used an online survey to study physician-reported barriers to reporting medically unfit drivers and their idea of incentives that would improve reporting. Email invitations to participate in the survey were sent to all physicians in BC through DoctorsofBC and to all emergency physicians (EPs) in the UBC Department of Emergency Medicine. Results: We received responses from 242 physicians (47% EPs, 40% GPs, 13% others). The most common barrier to reporting was not knowing which unfit drivers continue to drive (79% of respondents). Other barriers included lack of time (51%), lack of knowledge of the process, guidelines, or legal requirement for reporting (51%, 50%, 45% respectively), fearing loss of rapport with patients (48%), pressure from patients not to report (34%), lack of remuneration (27%), and pressure from family members not to report (25%).EPs were significantly less likely than other physicians to cite loss of rapport, pressure from patients, or pressure from family as barriers, but more likely to cite not being aware of drivers who continue to drive after being warned, lack of knowledge (regarding legal requirements to report, guidelines for determining fitness, and the reporting process), and lack of time. Factors that would increase reporting unfit drivers included better understanding of criteria for fitness to drive (70%), more information regarding how to report (67%), more information on when to report (65%), and compensation (43%).Free text comments from respondents identified other barriers/incentives. Reporting might be simplified by telephone hotlines or allowing physician designates to report. Physicians feared legal liability and suggested the need for better medico-legal protection. Loss of patient rapport might be minimized by public education. Failure of response from licensing authorities to a report (long wait times, lack of feedback to physician) was seen as a barrier to reporting. Conclusion: We identified barriers to physician reporting of medically unfit drivers and incentives that might increase reporting. This information could inform programs aiming to improve reporting of unfit drivers.
The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII)TM, which was developed to characterize the inflammatory potential of a person’s diet, has been shown to be associated with inflammatory conditions such as cancer. The present study aimed to investigate the association between DII scores and colorectal adenoma (CRA), a pre-cancerous condition.
Responses to baseline dietary questionnaires were used calculate DII scores. In a cross-sectional study design, the association between DII scores and CRA prevalence was determined in men and women separately using logistic regression models.
Ten cancer screening centres across the USA.
Participants were those included in the screening arm of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial.
Among the 44 278 individuals included in these analyses, men with diets in the most inflammatory quartile of DII scores had higher odds of all types of CRA (advanced, non-advanced and multiple (>1)) compared with those with diets in the least inflammatory quartile of DII scores. In fully adjusted models, compared with those with DII scores in quartile 1 (least inflammatory), males with DII scores in quartile 3 (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=1·28; 95 % CI 1·12, 1·47) and quartile 4 (aOR=1·41; 95 % CI 1·23, 1·62) were more likely to have prevalent distal CRA. Higher DII scores, representing a more inflammatory diet, also were weakly associated with a higher prevalence of CRA in women.
Implementing an anti-inflammatory diet may be an effective means of primary prevention of CRA, especially in men.
Although specific phobia is highly prevalent, associated with impairment, and an important risk factor for the development of other mental disorders, cross-national epidemiological data are scarce, especially from low- and middle-income countries. This paper presents epidemiological data from 22 low-, lower-middle-, upper-middle- and high-income countries.
Data came from 25 representative population-based surveys conducted in 22 countries (2001–2011) as part of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys initiative (n = 124 902). The presence of specific phobia as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition was evaluated using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
The cross-national lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of specific phobia were, respectively, 7.4% and 5.5%, being higher in females (9.8 and 7.7%) than in males (4.9% and 3.3%) and higher in high- and higher-middle-income countries than in low-/lower-middle-income countries. The median age of onset was young (8 years). Of the 12-month patients, 18.7% reported severe role impairment (13.3–21.9% across income groups) and 23.1% reported any treatment (9.6–30.1% across income groups). Lifetime co-morbidity was observed in 60.5% of those with lifetime specific phobia, with the onset of specific phobia preceding the other disorder in most cases (72.6%). Interestingly, rates of impairment, treatment use and co-morbidity increased with the number of fear subtypes.
Specific phobia is common and associated with impairment in a considerable percentage of cases. Importantly, specific phobia often precedes the onset of other mental disorders, making it a possible early-life indicator of psychopathology vulnerability.