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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Background: Axial myopathy is a rare neuromuscular disorder of variable etiology characterised by preferential involvement of the paraspinal muscles. We reviewed clinical features of patients with axial myopathies and the diagnostic yield of myositis-associated antibodies and targeted next generation sequencing panels. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients presenting with axial myopathy at the Montreal Neurological Hospital from 2011-2018. Data collection included clinical presentation, disease course, results of electromyography, imaging, laboratory and genetic testing, and histopathology on muscle biopsy. Results: Twenty-five patients were identified. Initial manifestation of axial weakness was head drop (15), camptocormia (8), and rigid spine (2). Autoimmune myositis was diagnosed in 9 patients, seropositive in 7 out of 7 tested for myositis-associated antibodies. Genetic testing was consistent with oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy in one patient and RYR-1 (ryanodine receptor 1) related core myopathy in another. Local radiotherapy or spine surgery preceded the onset of axial weakness in 1 and 6 patients, respectively. Muscle biopsies were available in 17 patients and revealed myopathic changes (16), inflammatory changes (6), and myopathy with vacuoles (3). Conclusions: Recent advancements in genetic and antibody testing, combined with paraspinal muscle biopsy, allow for more precise classification and identification of potentially treatable axial myopathies.
Although many mental health care systems provide care interventions that are not related to direct health care, little is known about the interfaces between the latter and core health care. ‘Core health care’ refers to services whose explicit aim is direct clinical treatment which is usually provided by health professionals, i.e., physicians, nurses, psychologists. ‘Other care’ is typically provided by other staff and includes accommodation, training, promotion of independence, employment support and social skills. In such a definition, ‘other care’ does not necessarily mean being funded or governed differently. The aims of the study were: (1) using a standard classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe for Long Term Care, DESDE-LTC) to identify ‘core health’ and ‘other care’ services provided to adults with mental health problems; and (2) to investigate the balance of care by analysing the types and characteristics of core health and other care services.
The study was conducted in eight selected local areas in eight European countries with different mental health systems. All publicly funded mental health services, regardless of the funding agency, for people over 18 years old were identified and coded. The availability, capacity and the workforce of the local mental health services were described using their functional main activity or ‘Main Types of Care’ (MTC) as the standard for international comparison, following the DESDE-LTC system.
In these European study areas, 822 MTCs were identified as providing core health care and 448 provided other types of care. Even though one-third of mental health services in the selected study areas provided interventions that were coded as ‘other care’, significant variation was found in the typology and characteristics of these services across the eight study areas.
The functional distinction between core health and other care overcomes the traditional division between ‘health’ and ‘social’ sectors based on governance and funding. The overall balance between core health and other care services varied significantly across the European sites. Mental health systems cannot be understood or planned without taking into account the availability and capacity of all services specifically available for this target population, including those outside the health sector.
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.
Previously known to form only under high pressure synthetic conditions, here we report that the T′-type 214-structure cuprate based on the rare earth atom Tb is stabilized for ambient pressure synthesis through partial substitution of Pd for Cu. The new material is obtained in purest form for mixtures of nominal composition Tb1.96Cu0.8Pd0.2O4. The refined formula, in orthorhombic space group Pbca, with a = 5.5117(1) Å, b = 5.5088(1) Å, and c = 11.8818(1) Å, is Tb2Cu0.83Pd0.17O4. An incommensurate structural modulation is seen along the a axis by electron diffraction and high resolution imaging. Magnetic susceptibility measurements reveal long-range antiferromagnetic ordering at 7.9 K, with a less pronounced feature at 95 K; a magnetic moment reorientation transition is observed to onset at a field of approximately 1.1 T at 3 K. The material is an n-type semiconductor.
Human bocaviruses (HBoVs) have been detected in human gastrointestinal infections worldwide. In 2005, HBoV was also discovered in infants and children with infections of the lower respiratory tract. Recently, several genotypes of this parvovirus, including HBoV genotype 2 (HBoV2), genotype 3 (HBoV3) and genotype 4 (HBoV4), were discovered and found to be closely related to HBoV. HBoV2 was first detected in stool samples from children in Pakistan, followed by detection in other countries. HBoV3 was detected in Australia and HBoV4 was identified in stool samples from Nigeria, Tunisia and the USA. Recently, HBoV infection has been on the rise throughout the world, particularly in countries neighbouring South Korea; however, there have been very few studies on Korean strains. In this study, we characterised the whole genome and determined the phylogenetic position of CUK-BC20, a new clinical HBoV strain isolated in South Korea. The CUK-BC20 genome of 5184 nucleotides (nt) contains three open-reading frames (ORFs). The genotype of CUK-BC20 is HBoV2, and 98.77% of its nt sequence is identical with those of other HBoVs, namely Rus-Nsc10-N386. Especially, the ORF3 amino acid sequences from positions 212–213 and 454 corresponding to a variable region (VR)1 and VR5, respectively, showed genotype-specific substitutions that distinguished the four HBoV genotypes. As the first whole-genome sequence analysis of HBoV in South Korea, this information will provide a valuable reference for the detection of recombination, tracking of epidemics and development of diagnosis methods for HBoV.
We examined norovirus contamination on hands of ill patients during 12 norovirus outbreaks in 12 long-term care facilities (LTCFs). The higher frequency and norovirus titers on hands of residents compared to hands of heathcare workers highlights the importance of adhering to appropriate hand hygiene practices during norovirus outbreaks in LTCFs.
This study evaluated the annual prevalence of anogenital warts (AGW) caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and analysed the trend in annual per cent changes (APC) by using national claims data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment of Korea, 2007–2015. We also estimated the socio-economic burden and co-morbidities of AGW. All analyses were performed based on data for primary A63.0, the specific diagnosis code for AGW. The socio-economic cost of AGW was calculated based on the direct medical cost, direct non-medical cost and indirect cost. The overall AGW prevalence and socio-economic burden has increased during the last 9 years. However, the prevalence of AGW differed significantly by sex. The female prevalence increased until 2012, and decreased thereafter (APC + 3·6%). It would fall after the introduction of routine HPV vaccination, principally for females, in Korea. The male prevalence increased continuously over time (APC + 11·6%), especially in those aged 20–49 years. Referring to the increasing AGW prevalence and its disease burden, active HPV infection control surveillance and prevention in males are worth consideration.
There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project.
A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (≥18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS.
The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona – Italy and Girona – Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sør-Trøndelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care.
There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
In-spiraling supermassive black holes should emit gravitational waves, which would produce characteristic distortions in the time of arrival residuals from millisecond pulsars. Multiple national and regional consortia have constructed pulsar timing arrays by precise timing of different sets of millisecond pulsars. An essential aspect of precision timing is the transfer of the times of arrival to a (quasi-)inertial frame, conventionally the solar system barycenter. The barycenter is determined from the knowledge of the planetary masses and orbits, which has been refined over the past 50 years by multiple spacecraft. Within the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), uncertainties on the solar system barycenter are emerging as an important element of the NANOGrav noise budget. We describe what is known about the solar system barycenter, touch upon how uncertainties in it affect gravitational wave studies with pulsar timing arrays, and consider future trends in spacecraft navigation.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production has been very rare in serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are well-known invasive community strains. Among 92 ESBL-producing strains identified in 218 isolates from nine Asian countries, serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains were screened. Two ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates from Singapore and Indonesia were determined to be serotype K1 and ST23. Their plasmids, which contain CTX-M-15 genes, are transferable rendering the effective transfer of ESBL resistance plasmids to other organisms.
Sparganosis is one of the top three tissue-dwelling heterologous helminthic diseases, along with cysticercosis and paragonimiasis, in Korea. Due to a lack of effective early diagnosis and treatment methods, this parasitic disease is regarded as a public health threat. This study evaluated reactivity, against sparganum extracts, of sera from inhabitants of Cheorwon-gun, Goseong-gun and Ongjin-gun in Korea. The sera from 836 subjects were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblot analysis. The sera from 18 (5.8%) and 15 (5.1%) inhabitants in Cheorwon-gun (n = 312) and Goseong-gun (n = 294), respectively, exhibited highly positive reactions to the sparganum antigen, whereas only two (0.9%) inhabitants in Ongjin-gun (n = 230) showed positivity. We sought antigenic proteins for serodiagnosis of positive sera by immunoproteomic approaches. Total sparganum lysates were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis and then subjected to immunoblot analysis with mixed sparganosis-positive sera. We found seven antigenic spots and identified paramyosin as an antigenic protein by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. By two-dimensional (2D)-based mass analysis and immunoblotting against sparganosis-positive sera, paramyosin was identified as a candidate antigen for serodiagnosis of sparganosis.
Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 became the predominant circulating strain in the United States during the 2013–2014 influenza season. Little is known about the epidemiology of severe influenza during this season.
A retrospective cohort study of severely ill patients with influenza infection in intensive care units in 33 US hospitals from September 1, 2013, through April 1, 2014, was conducted to determine risk factors for mortality present on intensive care unit admission and to describe patient characteristics, spectrum of disease, management, and outcomes.
A total of 444 adults and 63 children were admitted to an intensive care unit in a study hospital; 93 adults (20.9%) and 4 children (6.3%) died. By logistic regression analysis, the following factors were significantly associated with mortality among adult patients: older age (>65 years, odds ratio, 3.1 [95% CI, 1.4–6.9], P=.006 and 50–64 years, 2.5 [1.3–4.9], P=.007; reference age 18–49 years), male sex (1.9 [1.1–3.3], P=.031), history of malignant tumor with chemotherapy administered within the prior 6 months (12.1 [3.9–37.0], P<.001), and a higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (for each increase by 1 in score, 1.3 [1.2–1.4], P<.001).
Risk factors for death among US patients with severe influenza during the 2013–2014 season, when influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 was the predominant circulating strain type, shifted in the first postpandemic season in which it predominated toward those of a more typical epidemic influenza season.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1251–1260
An individual's risk of infection from an infectious agent can depend on both the individual's own risk and protective factors and those of individuals in the same community. We hypothesize that an individual's exposure to an infectious agent is associated with the risks of infection of those living nearby, whether their risks are modified by pharmaceutical interventions or by other factors, because of the potential for transmission from them. For example, unvaccinated individuals living in a highly vaccinated community can benefit from indirect protection, or living near more children in a typhoid-endemic region (where children are at highest risk) might result in more exposure to typhoid. We tested this hypothesis using data from a cluster-randomized typhoid vaccine trial. We first estimated each individual's relative risk of confirmed typhoid outcome using their vaccination status and age. We defined a new covariate, potential exposure, to be the sum of the relative risks of all who live within 100 m of each person. We found that potential exposure was significantly associated with an individual's typhoid outcome, and adjusting for potential exposure affected estimates of vaccine efficacy. We suggest that it is useful and feasible to adjust for spatially heterogeneous distributions of individual-level risk factors, but further work is required to develop and test such approaches.