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During the summer of 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health responded to the second-largest domestic foodborne hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in the post-vaccine era. The epidemiological investigation included case finding and investigation, sequencing of RNA positive clinical specimens, product trace-back and virologic testing and sequencing of HAV RNA from the product. Additionally, an online survey open to all Hawaii residents was conducted to estimate baseline commercial food consumption. We identified 292 confirmed HAV cases, of whom 11 (4%) were possible secondary cases. Seventy-four (25%) were hospitalised and there were two deaths. Among all cases, 94% reported eating at Oahu or Kauai Island branches of Restaurant Chain A, with 86% of those cases reporting raw scallop consumption. In contrast, a food consumption survey conducted during the outbreak indicated 25% of Oahu residents patronised Restaurant Chain A in the 7 weeks before the survey. Product trace-back revealed a single distributor that supplied scallops imported from the Philippines to Restaurant Chain A. Recovery, amplification and sequence comparison of HAV recovered from scallops revealed viral sequences matching those from case-patients. Removal of product from implicated restaurants and vaccination of those potentially exposed led to the cessation of the outbreak. This outbreak further highlights the need for improved imported food safety.
Moringa oleifera seeds are currently being used as a livestock feed across tropical regions of the world due to its availability and palatability. However, limited knowledge exists on the effects of the raw seeds on ruminant metabolism. As such, the rumen stimulation technique was used to evaluate the effects of substituting increasing concentrations of ground Moringa seeds (0, 100, 200 and 400 g/kg concentrate dry matter (DM)) in the diet on rumen fermentation and methane production. Two identical, Rusitec apparatuses, each with eight fermenters were used with the first 8 days used for adaptation and days 9 to 16 used for measurements. Fermenters were fed a total mixed ration with Urochloa brizantha as the forage. Disappearance of DM, CP, NDF and ADF linearly decreased (P<0.01) with increasing concentrations of Moringa seeds in the diet. Total volatile fatty acid production and the acetate to propionate ratio were also linearly decreased (P<0.01). However, only the 400 g/kg (concentrate DM basis) treatment differed (P<0.01) from the control. Methane production (%), total microbial incorporation of 15N and total production of microbial N linearly decreased (P<0.01) as the inclusion of Moringa seeds increased. Though the inclusion of Moringa seeds in the diet decreased CH4 production, this arose from an unfavourable decrease in diet digestibility and rumen fermentation parameters.
Introduction: The purpose of this study is to determine if the introduction of a pre-arrival and pre-departure Trauma Checklist as a cognitive aid, coupled with an educational session, will improve clinical performance in a simulated environment. The Trauma Checklist was developed in response to a quality assurance review of high-acuity trauma activations. It focuses on pre-arrival preparation and a pre-departure review prior to patient transfer to diagnostic imaging or the operating room. We conducted a pilot, randomized control trial assessing the impact of the Trauma Checklist on time to critical interventions on a simulated pediatric patient by multidisciplinary teams. Methods: Emergency department teams composed of 2 physicians, 2 nurses and 2 confederate actors were enrolled in our study. In the intervention arm, participants watched a 10-minute educational video modelling the use of the trauma checklist prior to their simulation scenario and were provided a copy of the checklist. Teams participated in a standardized simulation scenario caring for a severely injured adolescent patient with hemorrhagic shock, respiratory failure and increased intracranial pressure. Our primary outcome of interest was time measurement to initiation of key clinical interventions, including intubation, first blood product administration, massive transfusion protocol activation, initiation of hyperosmolar therapy and others. Secondary outcome measures included a Trauma Task Performance score and checklist completion scores. Results: We enrolled 14 multidisciplinary teams (n=56 participants) into our study. There was a statistically significant decrease in median time to initiation of hyperosmolar therapy by teams in the intervention arm compared to the control arm (581 seconds, [509-680] vs. 884 seconds, [588-1144], p=0.03). Time to initiation of other clinical interventions was not statistically significant. There was a trend to higher Trauma Task Performance scores in the intervention group however this did not reach statistical significant (p=0.09). Pre-arrival and pre-departure checklist scores were higher in the intervention group (9.0 [9.0-10.0] vs. 7.0 [6.0-8.0], p=0.17 and 12.0 [11.5-12.0] vs. 7.5 [6.0-8.5], p=0.01). Conclusion: Teams using the Trauma Checklist did not have decreased time to initiation of key clinical interventions except in initiating hyperosmolar therapy. Teams in the intervention arm had statistically significantly higher pre-arrival and pre-departure scores, with a trend to higher Trauma Task Performance scores. Our study was a pilot and recruitment did not achieve the anticipated sample size, thus underpowered. The impact of this checklist should be studied outside tertiary trauma centres, particularly in trainees and community emergency providers, to assess for benefit and further generalizability.
The worldwide population of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) encompasses seven subpopulations among the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It has experienced declines across parts of its distribution, with the subpopulation of the South-west Atlantic listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. The main threats to this subpopulation include its interaction with fisheries, coastal development, pollution and climate change. In this study, we sequenced mitochondrial DNA from 52 leatherback turtles in Brazil and combined these with published data from other Atlantic Ocean rookeries. The haplotype diversities of the Atlantic population rookeries ranged from 0.112 to 0.533 and are not directly proportional to current rookery sizes. The Brazilian rookery, despite recording low nest numbers per year, had the second-highest haplotype diversity among all Atlantic rookeries (h = 0.532). A mixed-stock analysis revealed that the South American pelagic aggregate is primarily composed of individuals from West Africa (84%), with contributions from the North Atlantic rookeries (14%). Leatherback turtles appear to have a complex phylogeographic pattern, showing evidence of multiple colonization events and a lack of isolation by distance. Our novel dataset, based on DNA sequences of 695 base pairs, will provide baseline data needed to understand population dynamics in the region, building comprehensive population assessments to support and develop management strategies. Having both the only known regular rookery in the South-west Atlantic, and a mixed-origin foraging area for the species along its coast, Brazil has a key role in the conservation of the leatherback turtle.
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.
We present an indentation-scope that interfaces with confocal microscopy, enabling direct observation of the three-dimensional (3D) microstructural response of coatings on substrates. Using this method, we compared microns-thick polymer coatings on glass with and without silica nanoparticle filler. Bulk force data confirmed the >30% modulus difference, while microstructural data further revealed slip at the glass-coating interface. Filled coatings slipped more and about two times faster, as reflected in 3D displacement and von Mises strain fields. Overall, these data indicate that silica-doping of coatings can dramatically alter adhesion. Moreover, this method compliments existing theoretical and modeling approaches for studying indentation in layered systems.
To determine the impact of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (RCDI) on patient behaviors following illness.
Using a computer algorithm, we searched the electronic medical records of 7 Chicago-area hospitals to identify patients with RCDI (2 episodes of CDI within 15 to 56 days of each other). RCDI was validated by medical record review. Patients were asked to complete a telephone survey. The survey included questions regarding general health, social isolation, symptom severity, emotional distress, and prevention behaviors.
In total, 119 patients completed the survey (32%). On average, respondents were 57.4 years old (standard deviation, 16.8); 57% were white, and ~50% reported hospitalization for CDI. At the time of their most recent illness, patients rated their diarrhea as high severity (58.5%) and their exhaustion as extreme (30.7%). Respondents indicated that they were very worried about getting sick again (41.5%) and about infecting others (31%). Almost 50% said that they have washed their hands more frequently (47%) and have increased their use of soap and water (45%) since their illness. Some of these patients (22%–32%) reported eating out less, avoiding certain medications and public areas, and increasing probiotic use. Most behavioral changes were unrelated to disease severity.
Having had RCDI appears to increase prevention-related behaviors in some patients. While some behaviors are appropriate (eg, handwashing), others are not supported by evidence of decreased risk and may negatively impact patient quality of life. Providers should discuss appropriate prevention behaviors with their patients and should clarify that other behaviors (eg, eating out less) will not affect their risk of future illness.
Based upon the Shliomis ferromagnetic fluid model and the Stokes microcontinuum theory incorporating with the Christensen stochastic model, a modified Reynolds equation of centrosymmetric squeeze films has been derived in this paper. The Reynolds equation includes the combined effects of non-Newtonian rheology, magnetic fluids with applied magnetic fields, rotational inertia forces, and surface roughness. To guide the use of the derived equation, the squeeze film of rotational rough-surface circular disks lubricated with non-Newtonian magnetic fluids is illustrated. According to the results obtained, the effects of rotation inertia decrease the load capacity and the squeeze film time of smooth circular disks. By the use of non-Newtonian magnetic fluids with applied magnetic fields, the rotational circular disks predict better squeeze film performances. When the influences of circumferential roughness patterns are considered, the non-Newtonian magnetic-fluid lubricated rotational rough disks with applied magnetic fields provide further higher values of the load capacity and the squeeze film time as compared to those of the smooth case.
The work presented here forms part of a larger project on Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) of aeroengine aeroacoustic interactions. In this paper, we concentrate on LES of near-field flow over an isolated NACA0012 aerofoil at zero angle-of-attack and a chord based Reynolds number of Rec = 2 × 105. A wall-resolved compressible Numerical Large Eddy Simulation (NLES) approach is employed to resolve streak-like structures in the near-wall flow regions. The calculated unsteady pressure/velocity field will be imported into an analyticallybased scheme for far-field trailing-edge noise prediction later. The boundary-layer mean and root-mean-square (rms) velocity profiles, the surface pressure fluctuation over the aerofoil, and the wake flow development are compared with experimental data and previous computational simulations in our research group. It is found that the results from the wall-resolved compressible NLES are very encouraging as they correlate well with test data. The main features of the wall-resolved compressible NLES, as well as the advantages of such compressible NLES over previous incompressible LES performed in our research group, are also discussed.
Crops often experience combined soil stresses. Root responses to soil penetration resistance (PR) and drought stress can be an important basis for crop management. In 2013/14, a 2-year experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of tillage treatment and drought stress (no irrigation for 4, 12 and 20 days during the V10–V16 growth stage) on the root length, diameter, cortex and cortical cell, and grain yield of maize (Zea mays L.) in a clayey red soil in southern China. Total root length and average root diameter were significantly correlated with soil PR and moisture. The cortical cell file number increased with soil PR and drought stress, while cortical cell size increased only with soil PR. Soil PR and moisture played different roles in maize root morphology modifications, but were both affected by tillage practices. Deep ploughing and conventional tillage increased soil moisture under severe drought stress conditions, whereas soil compaction and no-till significantly increased soil PR. The results indicate that high PR in clayey red soil was responsible for a decrease in maize root size and grain yield under drought conditions.
This paper applies the theory of the quasi-likelihood method to model-based inference for sample surveys. Currently, much of the theory related to sample surveys is based on the theory of maximum likelihood. The maximum likelihood approach is available only when the full probability structure of the survey data is known. However, this knowledge is rarely available in practice. Based on central limit theory, statisticians are often willing to accept the assumption that data have, say, a normal probability structure. However, such an assumption may not be reasonable in many situations in which sample surveys are used. We establish a framework for sample surveys which is less dependent on the exact underlying probability structure using the quasi-likelihood method.
In order to analyze the boiling and capillary limitations of two-phase heat transport devices, the existing models developed by Chi and Peterson and the existing experimental data carried out with various micro channel wick structures from literature were collected for benchmark. It was found that the dominant parameters for boiling and capillary limitations were the nucleation sites and structure geometries of the micro channels, and important parameters were considered to modify the models empirically. It was also found that for micro channel structures the inclined angle is sensitive to the capillary limitations and not to boiling limitations. By properly estimating the nucleation sites and empirical coefficients for micro channels needed by the newly modified models, the boiling and capillary limitations can be accurately predicted, and hence the applicability of the modified models is confirmed. Based on this, a numerical analysis was then carried out to investigate the trends of boiling and capillary limitations of the micro channel wick structures. Effects of the channel geometries and arrangement were taken into account, including the aspect ratio and structure size of the micro channels. Furthermore, the effects of inclined angle and contact angle were also analyzed. The present results can provide a design reference of performance trends of micro channel wick structures.
This study aimed to comprehensively evaluate factors that influence the likelihood of syphilis infection from risk-taking behaviours and medical conditions. A retrospective case-control study was conducted by enrolling 664 syphilis inpatients (excluding 11 congenital syphilis patients) and 800 sex- and age-matched controls. Medical histories, clinical data and patient interview data were collected and subjected to logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of syphilis in the study population was 3·9% (675/17 304). By univariate analysis, syphilis infection was associated with migration between cities, marital status, smoking, reproductive history, hypertension, elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) (P < 0·05). A high rate of syphilis-HBV co-infection was observed in HIV-negative patients and further research revealed an association between syphilis and specific HBV serological reactivity. Syphilis was also associated with the frequency, duration and status of tobacco use. Multivariate analysis indicated that syphilis infection was independently associated with migration between cities [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1·368, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·048–1·785], current smoking (aOR 1·607, 95% CI 1·177–2·195), elevated BUN (aOR 1·782, 95% CI 1·188–2·673) and some serological patterns of HBV infection. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases, inpatients and blood donors should be tested for HIV, syphilis, HBV and HCV simultaneously.
A modified direct-forcing immersed-boundary (IB) pressure correction method is developed to simulate the flows of a falling ellipse. The pressure correct method is used to solve the solutions of the two dimensional Navier-Stokes equations and a direct-forcing IB method is used to handle the interaction between the flow and falling ellipse. For a fixed aspect ratio of an ellipse, the types of the behavior of the falling ellipse can be classified as three pure motions: Steady falling, fluttering, tumbling, and two transition motions: Chaos, transition between steady falling and fluttering. Based on two dimensionless parameters, Reynolds number and the dimensionless moment of inertia, a Reynolds number-inertia moment phase diagram is established. The behaviors and characters of five falling regimes are described in detailed.
Prevalence of blaKPC-encoding Enterobacteriaceae (KPC) in Chicago long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) rose rapidly after the first recognition in 2007. We studied the epidemiology and transmission capacity of KPC in LTACHs and the effect of patient cohorting.
Data were available from 4 Chicago LTACHs from June 2012 to June 2013 during a period of bundled interventions. These consisted of screening for KPC rectal carriage, daily chlorhexidine bathing, medical staff education, and 3 cohort strategies: a pure cohort (all KPC-positive patients on 1 floor), single rooms for KPC-positive patients, and a mixed cohort (all KPC-positive patients on 1 floor, supplemented with KPC-negative patients). A data-augmented Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method was used to model the transmission process.
Average prevalence of KPC colonization was 29.3%. On admission, 18% of patients were colonized; the sensitivity of the screening process was 81%. The per admission reproduction number was 0.40. The number of acquisitions per 1,000 patient days was lowest in LTACHs with a pure cohort ward or single rooms for colonized patients compared with mixed-cohort wards, but 95% credible intervals overlapped.
Prevalence of KPC in LTACHs is high, primarily due to high admission prevalence and the resultant impact of high colonization pressure on cross transmission. In this setting, with an intervention in place, patient-to-patient transmission is insufficient to maintain endemicity. Inclusion of a pure cohort or single rooms for KPC-positive patients in an intervention bundle seemed to limit transmission compared to use of a mixed cohort.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2015;36(10):1148–1154
Necrophoric behaviour is critical sanitation behaviour in social insects. However, little is known about the necrophoric responses of workers towards different developmental stages in a colony as well as its underlying mechanism. Here, we show that Solenopsis invicta workers display distinct necrophoric responses to corpses of workers and pupae. Corpses of workers killed by freezing (dead for <1 h) were carried to a refuse pile, but pupal corpses would take at least 1 day to elicit workers’ necrophoric response. Metarhizium anisopliae-infected pupal corpses accelerated the necrophoric behaviour of resident workers, with 47.5% of unaffected corpses and 73.8% infected corpses discarded by 1 day post-treatment). We found that fungus-infected pupal corpses had a higher concentration of fatty acids (palmitic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid) on their surface. We experimentally confirmed that linoleic and oleic acids would elicit a necrophoric response in workers. The appearance of linoleic and oleic acids appeared to be chemical signals involved in recognition of pupal corpses, and M. anisopliae infection could promote the accumulation of fatty acids on surface of pupal corpses resulting in accelerated necrophoric responses of workers.
With prevention and treatment of mental disorders a challenge for primary care and increasing capability of electronic medical records (EMRs) to facilitate research in practice, we aim to determine the prevalence and treatment of mental disorders by using routinely collected clinical data contained in EMRs.
We reviewed EMRs of patients randomly sampled from seven general practices, by piloting a study instrument and extracting data on mental disorders and their treatment.
Data were collected on 690 patients (age range 18–95, 52% male, 52% GMS-eligible). A mental disorder (most commonly anxiety/stress, depression and problem alcohol use) was recorded in the clinical records of 139 (20%) during the 2-year study period. While most patients with the common disorders had been prescribed medication (i.e. antidepressants or benzodiazepines), a minority had been referred to other agencies or received psychological interventions. ‘Free text’ consultation notes and ‘prescriptions’ were how most patients with disorders were identified. Diagnostic coding alone would have failed to identify 92% of patients with a disorder.
Although mental disorders are common in general practice, this study suggests their formal diagnosis, disease coding and access to psychological treatments are priorities for future research efforts.
In Taiwan, avian influenza virus (AIV) subtypes H5N2, H6N1 and H7N3 have been identified in domestic poultry, and several strains of these subtypes have become endemic in poultry. To evaluate the potential of avian-to-human transmission due to occupational exposure, an exploratory analysis of AIV antibody status in poultry workers was conducted. We enrolled 670 poultry workers, including 335 live poultry vendors (LPVs), 335 poultry farmers (PFs), and 577 non-poultry workers (NPWs). Serum antibody titres against various subtypes of viruses were analysed and compared. The overall seropositivity rates in LPVs and PFs were 2·99% (10/335) and 1·79% (6/335), respectively, against H5N2; and 0·6% (2/335) and 1·19% (4/335), respectively, for H7N3 virus. Of NPWs, 0·35% (2/577) and 0·17% (1/577) were seropositive for H5N2 and H7N3, respectively. Geographical analysis revealed that poultry workers whose workplaces were near locations where H5N2 outbreaks in poultry have been reported face greater risks of being exposed to viruses that result in elevated H5N2 antibody titres. H6N1 antibodies were detected in only one PF, and no H7N9 antibodies were found in the study subjects. Subclinical infections caused by H5N2, H6N1 and H7N3 viruses were thus identified in poultry workers in Taiwan. Occupational exposure is associated with a high risk of AIV infection, and the seroprevalence of particular avian influenza strains in humans reflects the endemic strains in poultry in this region.
Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are an increasing burden among healthcare facilities. We assessed facility-level perceived importance of and responses to various MDROs.
A pilot survey to assess staffing, knowledge, and the perceived importance of and response to various multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs)
Acute care and long-term healthcare facilities
In 2012, a survey was distributed to infection preventionists at ~300 healthcare facilities. Pathogens assessed were Clostridium difficile, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, multidrug-resistant (defined as bacterial resistance to ≥3 antibiotic classes) Pseudomonas, and extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli.
A total of 74 unique facilities responded, including 44 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and 30 acute care facilities (ACFs). While ACFs consistently isolated patients with active infections or colonization due to these MDROs, SNFs had more variable responses. SNFs had more multi-occupancy rooms and reported less specialized training in infection control and prevention than did ACFs. Of all facilities with multi-occupancy rooms, 86% employed a cohorting practice for patients, compared with 50% of those without multi-occupancy rooms; 20% of ACFs and 7% of SNFs cohorted staff while caring for patients with the same MDRO. MRSA and C. difficile were identified as important pathogens in ACFs and SNFs, while CRE importance was unknown or was considered important in <50% of SNFs.
We identified stark differences in human resources, knowledge, policy, and practice between ACFs and SNFs. For regional control of emerging MDROs like CRE, there is an opportunity for public health officials to provide targeted education and interventions. Education campaigns must account for differences in audience resources and baseline knowledge.