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The preconception, pregnancy and immediate postpartum and newborn periods are times for mothers and their offspring when they are especially vulnerable to major stressors – those that are sudden and unexpected and those that are chronic. Their adverse effects can transcend generations. Stressors can include natural disasters or political stressors such as conflict and/or migration. Considerable evidence has accumulated demonstrating the adverse effects of natural disasters on pregnancy outcomes and developmental trajectories. However, beyond tracking outcomes, the time has arrived for gathering more information related to identifying mechanisms, predicting risk and developing stress-reducing and resilience-building interventions to improve outcomes. Further, we need to learn how to encapsulate both the quantitative and qualitative information available and share it with communities and authorities to mitigate the adverse developmental effects of future disasters, conflicts and migrations. This article briefly reviews prenatal maternal stress and identifies three contemporary situations (wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada; hurricane Harvey in Houston, USA and transgenerational and migrant stress in Pforzheim, Germany) where current studies are being established by Canadian investigators to test an intervention. The experiences from these efforts are related along with attempts to involve communities in the studies and share the new knowledge to plan for future disasters or tragedies.
Antibodies at gastrointestinal mucosal membranes play a vital role in immunological protection against a range of pathogens, including helminths. Gastrointestinal health is central to efficient livestock production, and such infections cause significant losses. Fecal samples were taken from 114 cattle, across three beef farms, with matched blood samples taken from 22 of those animals. To achieve fecal antibody detection, a novel fecal supernatant was extracted. Fecal supernatant and serum samples were then analysed, using adapted enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay protocols, for levels of total immunoglobulin (Ig)A, IgG, IgM, and Teladorsagia circumcincta-specific IgA, IgG, IgM and IgE (in the absence of reagents for cattle-specific nematode species). Fecal nematode egg counts were conducted on all fecal samples. Assays performed successfully and showed that IgA was the predominant antibody in fecal samples, whereas IgG was predominant in serum. Total IgA in feces and serum correlated within individuals (0.581, P = 0.005), but other Ig types did not. Results support the hypothesis that the tested protocols are an effective method for the non-invasive assessment of cattle immunology. The method could be used as part of animal health assessments, although further work is required to interpret the relationship between results and levels of infection and immunity.
Introduction: NSAIDS offer more effective analgesia than opioids, require less rescue medication, and decrease the incidence of nausea and vomiting in renal colic patients. Alpha blockers and Opioids are also prescribed frequently, but doses used and treatment durations are not well described. Our objective was to investigate ED prescribing decisions and medication compliance by patients with acute renal colic. Methods: In this prospective two-city cohort study, we invited patients with a first ED visit for image-confirmed 2-10 mm ureteric stones to consent to a telephone survey 10 days after their ED visit. During follow-up interviews, patients were asked what drugs they were prescribed and how many doses they required. This study was REB approved. Results: A convenience sample of 224 patients, including 152 males (67.9%) and 72 females (median age= 52.4 years) completed 10-day surveys. NSAIDS were prescribed for 48.7%, tamsulosin for 65.2% and opioids for 81.7%. One-third received a tamsulosin-NSAID combination, 40% an opioid-NSAID combination and 28% a tamsulosin-NSAID-opioid combination. Of 109 patients prescribed an NSAID, only 70 (64.2%) took 1 dose/day; however an additional 28 who were not prescribed NSAIDs took 1 NSAID dose/day. Mean (sd) NSAID intake in the overall study group was 1.1 (1.5) doses/day from day 1-5 and 0.6 (1.1) doses/day on days 6-10, with 90%ile values of 3.0 and 2.0 doses/day. NSAID compliance was more common in patients who stated they received high quality discharge instructions (63.8% vs. 32.6%; RR=1.95; 95% CI 1.47-2.60). Mean opioid intake in the overall study group was 1.2 (1.7) doses/day from day 1-5 and 0.5 (1.3) doses/day on days 6-10, with 90%ile values of 4.0 and 2.0 doses/day. Among patients prescribed tamsulosin, the average was 4.0 days of compliance (sd=4.3), with a 90%ile value of 10 days. Conclusion: This study provides estimates for the amount of drug actually used by renal colic patients during the 10-days after their ED visit. Patients used fewer opioid doses than expected, and NSAID and tamsulosin compliance appears relatively poor. NSAID compliance was better in patients who perceived high quality discharge instructions. This study suggests there is room for improvement in medication prescribing and discharge instructions for ED patients with an acute episode of ureteral colic.
Lebanon has a need for innovative approaches to increase access to mental health care to meet the country's current high demand. E-mental health has been included in its national mental health strategy while in parallel the World Health Organization has produced an online intervention called ‘Step-by-Step’ to treat symptoms of depression that is being tested in Lebanon over the coming years.
The primary aim of this study is to conduct bottom-up, community-driven qualitative cognitive interviewing from a multi-stakeholder perspective to inform the cultural adaptation of an Internet-delivered mental health intervention based on behavioural activation in Lebanon.
National Mental Health Programme staff conducted a total of 11 key informant interviews with three mental health professionals, six front-line workers in primary health care centres (PHCCs) and two community members. Also, eight focus group discussions, one with seven front-line workers and seven others with a total of 66 community members (Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians) were conducted in several PHCCs to inform the adaptation of Step-by-Step. Results were transcribed and analysed thematically by the project coordinator and two research assistants.
Feedback generated from the cognitive interviewing mainly revolved around amending the story, illustrations and the delivery methods to ensure relevance and sensitivity to the local context. The results obtained have informed major edits to the content of Step-by-Step and also to the model of provision. Notably, the intervention was made approximately 30% shorter; it includes additional videos of content alongside the originally proposed comic book-style delivery; there is less emphasis on total inactivity as a symptom of low mood and more focus on enjoyable activities to lift mood; the story and ways to contact participants to provide support were updated in line with local gender norms; and many of the suggested or featured activities have been revised in line with suggestions from community members.
These findings promote and advocate the use of community-driven adaptation of evidence-based psychological interventions. Some of the phenomena recorded mirror findings from other research about barriers to care seeking in the region and so changes made to the intervention should be useful in improving utility and uptake of ‘Step-by-Step’.
Objectives: This study examines the selective, sustained, and executive attention abilities of very preterm (VPT) born children in relation to concurrent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of regional gray matter development at age 12 years. Methods: A regional cohort of 110 VPT (≤32 weeks gestation) and 113 full term (FT) born children were assessed at corrected age 12 years on the Test of Everyday Attention-Children. They also had a structural MRI scan that was subsequently analyzed using voxel-based morphometry to quantify regional between-group differences in cerebral gray matter development, which were then related to attention measures using multivariate methods. Results: VPT children obtained similar selective (p=.85), but poorer sustained (p=.02) and executive attention (p=.01) scores than FT children. VPT children were also characterized by reduced gray matter in the bilateral parietal, temporal, prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices, bilateral thalami, and left hippocampus; and increased gray matter in the occipital and anterior cingulate cortices (family-wise error–corrected p<.05). Poorer sustained auditory attention was associated with increased gray matter in the anterior cingulate cortex (p=.04). Poor executive shifting attention was associated with reduced gray matter in the right superior temporal cortex (p=.04) and bilateral thalami (p=.05). Poorer executive divided attention was associated with reduced gray matter in the occipital (p=.001), posterior cingulate (p=.02), and left temporal (p=.01) cortices; and increased gray matter in the anterior cingulate cortex (p=.001). Conclusions: Disturbances in regional gray matter development appear to contribute, at least in part, to the poorer attentional performance of VPT children at school age. (JINS, 2017, 23, 539–550)
The University of Tasmania balloon-borne large area X-ray telescope was flown from Alice Springs on 20 November 1978. A number of known X-ray sources were observed and a transient increase believed to be a gamma ray burst was detected.
A complete orbital light-curve of V2051 Oph in the IR H band is presented, together with a second eclipse in the J band. Simultaneous Rc band data were obtained. Eclipse depths in Rc, J and H are 1.8 mag, 1.0 mag and 0.8 mag respectively. No evidence for ellipsoidal variations due to the secondary was seen and constraints on the secondary are discussed.
An epitaxial shell of cadmium sulphide is grown on lead sulphide quantum dots in order to reduce the concentration of surface defects. Thin solid films of these core/shell materials are found to have low carrier concentrations due to effective surface passivation which reduces the number of dangling bonds. In this paper PbS/CdS is used as a quasi-intrinsic layer in p-i-n photovoltaic devices where PbS acts as the p-layer and ZnO the n-layer. By studying different permutations of these layers and the degree of PbS p-type doping by annealing we optimise fill factor and open-circuit voltage.
Coronal Multi-channel Polarimeter (CoMP-S), developed by HAO/NCAR, has been introduced to regular operation at the Lomnicky Peak Observatory (High Tatras in northern Slovakia, 2633 m a.s.l.) of the Astronomical Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences. We present here the technical parameters of the current version of the instrument and its potential for observations of prominences in the visual and near-IR spectral regions. The first results derived from observations of prominences in the Hα emission line taken during a coordinated observing campaign of several instruments in October 2012 are shown here.
This study aims to assess current practices of Canadian physicians providing botulinum toxin-A (BoNT-A) treatments for children with hypertonia and to contrast these with international “best practice” recommendations, in order to identify practice variability and opportunities for knowledge translation.
Thirteen Canadian physicians assembled to develop and analyze results of a cross-sectional electronic survey, sent to 50 physicians across Canada.
Seventy-eight percent (39/50) of physicians completed the survey. The most frequently identified assessment tools were Gross Motor Function Classification System, Modified Tardieu Scale and neurological examination. Goal-setting tools were infrequently utilized. Common indications for BoNT-A injections and the muscles injected were identified. Significant variability was identified in using BoNT-A for hip displacement associated with hypertonia. The most frequent adverse event reported was localized weakness; 54% reporting this “occasionally“ and 15% “frequently”. Generalized weakness, fatigue, ptosis, diplopia, dysphagia, aspiration, respiratory distress, dysphonia and urinary incontinence were reported rarely or never. For dosage, 52% identified 16 Units/kg body weight of Botox® as maximum. A majority (64%) reported a maximum 400 Units for injection at one time. For localization, electrical stimulation and ultrasound were used infrequently (38% and 19% respectively). Distraction was the most frequently used pain-management technique (64%).
Canadian physicians generally adhere to international best practices when using BoNT-A to treat paediatric hypertonia. Two knowledge-translation opportunities were identified: use of individualized goal setting prior to BoNT-A and enhancing localization techniques. Physicians reported a good safety profile of BoNT-A in children.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) but existing diagnostic tools have limited sensitivity and specificity. We enrolled adults undergoing chest radiography at three Indian Health Service clinics in the Southwestern United States and collected acute and convalescent serum for measurement of PsaA and PspA titres and urine for pneumococcal antigen detection. Blood and sputum cultures were obtained at the discretion of treating physicians. We compared findings in clinical and radiographic CAP patients to those in controls without CAP. Urine antigen testing showed the largest differential between CAP patients and controls (clinical CAP 13%, radiographic CAP 17%, control groups 2%). Serological results were mixed, with significant differences between CAP patients and controls for some, but not all changes in titre. Based on urine antigen and blood culture results, we estimated that 11% of clinical and 15% of radiographic CAP cases were due to pneumococcus in this population.
Few population-based studies have investigated the epidemiology of adult community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). We aimed to determine the incidence of CAP in a population at high-risk for pneumococcal disease and to evaluate a standardized method for interpreting chest radiographs adapted from the World Health Organization paediatric chest radiograph interpretation guidelines. We reviewed radiology records at the two healthcare facilities serving the White Mountain Apache tribe to identify possible pneumonia cases ⩾40 years of age. We categorized patients with clinical criteria and a physician diagnosis of pneumonia as clinical CAP and those with clinical criteria and an acute infiltrate as radiographic CAP. We identified 100 (27/1000 person-years) and 60 (16/1000 person-years) episodes of clinical and radiographic CAP, respectively. The incidence of CAP increased with age. Both radiographic and clinical CAP were serious illnesses with more than half of patients hospitalized. Our case definitions and methods may be useful for comparing data across studies and conducting vaccine trials.
Many vector-borne pathogens whose primary vectors are generalists, such as Ixodid ticks, can infect a wide range of host species and are often zoonotic. Understanding their transmission dynamics is important for the development of disease management programmes. Models exist to describe the transmission dynamics of such diseases, but are necessarily simplistic and generally limited by knowledge of vector population dynamics. They are typically deterministic SIR-type models, which predict disease dynamics in a single, non-spatial, closed patch. Here we explore the limitations of such a model of louping-ill virus dynamics by challenging it with novel field data. The model was only partially successful in predicting Ixodes ricinus density and louping-ill virus prevalence at 6 Scottish sites. We extend the existing multi-host model by forming a two-patch model, incorporating the impact of roaming hosts. This demonstrates that host movement may account for some of the discrepancies between the original model and empirical data. We conclude that insights into the dynamics of multi-host vector-borne pathogens can be gained by using a simple two-patch model. Potential improvements to the model, incorporating aspects of spatial and temporal heterogeneity, are outlined.
When a standard sample of a simulated exudate containing known numbers of anaerobic bacteria was taken up on a swab and plated on solid medium, the number of colonies subsequently cultured represented a very small proportion of the original sample. Evidence is produced that the apparent loss is not primarily attributable to inactivation on the swab but rather to retention of organisms on the swab. This was demonstrable with Clostridium welchii and with Bacteroides species that have hitherto been regarded as relatively oxygen-sensitive.
When stock strains of Bacteroides species were held for some hours on swabs, some progressive loss of viability was demonstrable. A measure of protection was afforded when these organisms were held aerobically on blood agar medium, but a very exacting anaerobe and some wild strains of faecal anaerobes showed gradual inactivation under these conditions.
These findings may have important implications in relation to currently employed bacteriological sampling procedures with swabs in clinical practice.
In August 1988 an increase was noted in the number of cases of cryptosporidiosis identified by the microbiology laboratory at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. By 31 October, 67 cases had been reported. Preliminary investigations implicated the use of one of two swimming pools at a local sports centre and oocysts were identified in the pool water. Inspection of the pool revealed significant plumbing defects which had allowed ingress of sewage from the main sewer into the circulating pool water. Epidemiological investigation confirmed an association between head immersion and illness. The pools were closed when oocysts were identified in the water and extensive cleaning and repair work was undertaken. The pool water was retested for cryptosporidial oocysts and found to be negative before the pool re-opened.
The prevalence of antibodies to human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1) was determined in high-risk groups and normal adults in Egypt. Among 647 individuals tested, 6 (0·9%) were confirmed positive by western blot analysis. These included 2 (0·7%) of 279 drug addicts, 1 (3·3%) of 30 patients with sexually transmitted diseases, and 3 (2·2%) of 133 healthy individuals. Antibody was not detected in 47 blood recipients or 158 prostitutes. There was no correlation between sex or geographical location and HTLV-I infection. Fifty-three of the 647 sera (8%) were initially reactive by ELISA, but only 12 sera were repeatedly reactive. Since only 4 of these repeatedly reactive sera were confirmed by the western blot, the frequency of false positives using the DuPont screening ELISA was 1·2% (8/643). Two additional sera, confirmed positive by western blot, had been reactive, but not repeatedly, by ELISA. In comparison to the prevalence of HTLV-I antibody among risk groups in many parts of the world, the prevalence in Egypt was low.