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We implemented a cross-sectional study in Tana River County, Kenya, a Rift Valley fever (RVF)-endemic area, to quantify the strength of association between RVF virus (RVFv) seroprevalences in livestock and humans, and their respective intra-cluster correlation coefficients (ICCs). The study involved 1932 livestock from 152 households and 552 humans from 170 households. Serum samples were collected and screened for anti-RVFv immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies using inhibition IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data collected were analysed using generalised linear mixed effects models, with herd/household and village being fitted as random variables. The overall RVFv seroprevalences in livestock and humans were 25.41% (95% confidence interval (CI) 23.49–27.42%) and 21.20% (17.86–24.85%), respectively. The presence of at least one seropositive animal in a household was associated with an increased odds of exposure in people of 2.23 (95% CI 1.03–4.84). The ICCs associated with RVF virus seroprevalence in livestock were 0.30 (95% CI 0.19–0.44) and 0.22 (95% CI 0.12–0.38) within and between herds, respectively. These findings suggest that there is a greater variability of RVF virus exposure between than within herds. We discuss ways of using these ICC estimates in observational surveys for RVF in endemic areas and postulate that the design of the sentinel herd surveillance should consider patterns of RVF clustering to enhance its effectiveness as an early warning system for RVF epidemics.
Based on biophysical ice-core data collected in the landfast ice off Barrow, Alaska, USA, in 2002 and 2003, a one-dimensional ice–ocean ecosystem model was developed to determine the factors controlling the bottom-ice algal community. The data and model results revealed a three-stage ice-algal bloom: (1) onset and early slow growth stage before mid-March, when growth is limited by light; (2) fast growth stage with increased light and sufficient nutrients; and (3) decline stage after late May as ice algae are flushed out of the ice bottom. Stages 2 and 3 are either separated by a transition period as in 2002 or directly connected by ice melting as in 2003, when in situ light and nutrient enrichment experiments showed only light limitations. The modeled net primary production of ice algae (NPPAi) from March to June is 1.2 and 1.7 g Cm–2 for 2002 and 2003, respectively, within the range of previous observations. Model sensitivity studies found that overall NPPAi increased almost proportionally to the initial nutrient concentrations in the water column. A phytoplankton bloom (if it occurs as in 2002) would compete with ice algae for nutrients and lead to reduced NPPAi. About 45% of the NPPAi was exported to the shallow benthos.
The interactions of strong-field few-cycle laser pulses with metastable states of noble gas atoms are examined. Metastable noble gas atoms offer a combination of low ionization potential and a relatively simple atomic structure, making them excellent targets for examining ionization dynamics in varying experimental conditions. A review of the current work performed on metastable noble gas atoms is presented.
MEMS vibration energy harvesting has been investigated to provide energy to low-power micro-electronic systems and potentially to enable batteryless autonomous systems. While enjoying the small footprint hence the ability to be embedded in other systems, MEMS vibration energy harvesters are working at much higher frequencies and input vibration amplitudes. The mechanical resonator based energy harvesters seem inherently have such high frequency due to the scaling of the device dimension. Lower the working frequency range and input vibration amplitude are possible by optimizing the dimensions of the device. However, we are viewing the problem from a different perspective and proposing a solution based on employing the common material property of the micro-fabricated thin film – residual stress. We found that by taking advantage of the compressive residual stress, a bi-stable mechanical resonator could be built and a new spectrum of dynamics can be brought into energy harvesting, which could lower the working frequency range and input g value. The concepts have been analytically simulated and experimentally verified by a meso-scale model.
Orthobunyaviruses, tri-segmented, negative-sense RNA viruses, have long been associated with mild to severe human disease in Africa, but not haemorrhagic fever. However, during a Rift Valley fever outbreak in East Africa in 1997–1998, Ngari virus was isolated from two patients and antibody detected in several others with haemorrhagic fever. The isolates were used to identify Ngari virus as a natural Orthobunyavirus reassortant. Despite their potential to reassort and cause severe human disease, characterization of orthobunyaviruses is hampered by paucity of genetic sequences. Our objective was to obtain complete gene sequences of two Bunyamwera virus and three Ngari virus isolates from recent surveys in Kenya and to determine their phylogenetic positioning within the Bunyamwera serogroup. Newly sequenced Kenyan Bunyamwera virus isolates clustered closest to a Bunyamwera virus isolate from the same locality and a Central African Republic isolate indicating that similar strains may be circulating regionally. Recent Kenyan Ngari isolates were closest to the Ngari isolates associated with the 1997–1998 haemorrhagic fever outbreak. We observed a temporal/geographical relationship among Ngari isolates in all three gene segments suggesting a geographical/temporal association with genetic diversity. These sequences in addition to earlier sequences can be used for future analyses of this neglected but potentially deadly group of viruses.
The solid-state reaction of yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG, Y3Al5O12) during the heat treatment of Y2O3 and Al2O3 powder mixtures, differing in particle size and size ratio, was quantified using in situ high-temperature x-ray analysis and Rietveld refinement. Y2O3 particle size has the most profound effect on YAG formation. When the Y2O3 particle size was decreased from 5000 to 30 nm (on reaction with 270 nm Al2O3), the YAG formation rate increased from 20 to 48 vol% min−1 over the temperature range of 1350–1450 °C. In this case, the final YAG content increased from 75 to 91 vol%. A simple model that includes the reactant particle coordination number, and thus particle size ratio, shows that when the size ratio (dA/dY) is >1 diffusion through the alumina powder is rate controlling whereas when the ratio is <1, diffusion through the yttria, intermediate phases, and YAG is rate controlling.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.