To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The value of the nosological distinction between non-affective and affective psychosis has frequently been challenged. We aimed to investigate the transdiagnostic dimensional structure and associated characteristics of psychopathology at First Episode Psychosis (FEP). Regardless of diagnostic categories, we expected that positive symptoms occurred more frequently in ethnic minority groups and in more densely populated environments, and that negative symptoms were associated with indices of neurodevelopmental impairment.
This study included 2182 FEP individuals recruited across six countries, as part of the EUropean network of national schizophrenia networks studying Gene–Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study. Symptom ratings were analysed using multidimensional item response modelling in Mplus to estimate five theory-based models of psychosis. We used multiple regression models to examine demographic and context factors associated with symptom dimensions.
A bifactor model, composed of one general factor and five specific dimensions of positive, negative, disorganization, manic and depressive symptoms, best-represented associations among ratings of psychotic symptoms. Positive symptoms were more common in ethnic minority groups. Urbanicity was associated with a higher score on the general factor. Men presented with more negative and less depressive symptoms than women. Early age-at-first-contact with psychiatric services was associated with higher scores on negative, disorganized, and manic symptom dimensions.
Our results suggest that the bifactor model of psychopathology holds across diagnostic categories of non-affective and affective psychosis at FEP, and demographic and context determinants map onto general and specific symptom dimensions. These findings have implications for tailoring symptom-specific treatments and inform research into the mood-psychosis spectrum.
The illegal wildlife trade is driving declines in populations of a number of large, charismatic animal species but also many lesser known and restricted-range species, some of which are now facing extinction as a result. The ploughshare tortoise Astrochelys yniphora, endemic to the Baly Bay National Park of north-western Madagascar, is affected by poaching for the international illegal pet trade. To quantify this, we estimated population trends during 2006–2015, using distance sampling surveys along line transects, and recorded national and international confiscations of trafficked tortoises for 2002–2016. The results suggest the ploughshare tortoise population declined > 50% during this period, to c. 500 adults and subadults in 2014–2015. Prior to 2006 very few tortoises were seized either in Madagascar or internationally but confiscations increased sharply from 2010. Since 2015 poaching has intensified, with field reports suggesting that two of the four subpopulations are extinct, leaving an unknown but almost certainly perilously low number of adult tortoises in the wild. This study has produced the first reliable population estimate of the ploughshare tortoise and shows that the species has declined rapidly because of poaching for the international pet trade. There is an urgent need for increased action both in Madagascar and along international trade routes if the extinction of the ploughshare tortoise in the wild is to be prevented.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and an increasingly common infection in children in both hospital and community settings. Between 20% and 30% of pediatric patients will have a recurrence of symptoms in the days to weeks following an initial infection. Multiple recurrences have been successfully treated with fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), though the body of evidence in pediatric patients is limited primarily to case reports and case series. The goal of our study was to better understand practices, success, and safety of FMT in children as well as identify risk factors associated with a failed FMT in our pediatric patients. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: This multicenter retrospective analysis included 373 patients who underwent FMT for CDI between January 1, 2006 and January 1, 2017 from 18 pediatric centers. Demographics, baseline characteristics, FMT practices, C. difficile outcomes, and post-FMT complications were collected through chart abstraction. Successful FMT was defined as no recurrence of CDI within 60 days after FMT. Of the 373 patients in the cohort, 342 had known outcome data at two months post-FMT and were included in the primary analysis evaluating risk factors for recurrence post-FMT. An additional six patients who underwent FMT for refractory CDI were excluded from the primary analysis. Unadjusted analysis was performed using Wilcoxon rank-sum test, Pearson χ2 test, or Fisher exact test where appropriate. Stepwise logistic regression was utilized to determine independent predictors of success. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The median age of included patients was 10 years (IQR; 3.0, 15.0) and 50% of patients were female. The majority of the cohort was White (89.0%). Comorbidities included 120 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and 14 patients who had undergone a solid organ or stem cell transplantation. Of the 336 patients with known outcomes at two months, 272 (81%) had a successful outcome. In the 64 (19%) patients that did have a recurrence, 35 underwent repeat FMT which was successful in 20 of the 35 (57%). The overall success rate of FMT in preventing further episodes of CDI in the cohort with known outcome data was 87%. Unadjusted predictors of a primary FMT response are summarized. Based on stepwise logistic regression modeling, the use of fresh stool, FMT delivery via colonoscopy, the lack of a feeding tube, and a lower number of CDI episodes before undergoing FMT were independently associated with a successful outcome. There were 20 adverse events in the cohort assessed to be related to FMT, 6 of which were felt to be severe. There were no deaths assessed to be related to FMT in the cohort. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: The overall success of FMT in pediatric patients with recurrent or severe CDI is 81% after a single FMT. Children without a feeding tube, who receive an early FMT, FMT with fresh stool, or FMT via colonoscopy are less likely to have a recurrence of CDI in the 2 months following FMT. This is the first large study of FMT for CDI in a pediatric cohort. These findings, if confirmed by additional prospective studies, will support alterations in the practice of FMT in children.
Little is known about the current views and practices of healthcare professionals (HCPs) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) regarding delivery of hospital palliative care. The present qualitative study explored the views of nursing staff and medical professionals on providing palliative and end-of-life care (EoLC) to hospital inpatients in Tanzania.
Focus group discussions were conducted with a purposive sample of HCPs working on the medical and pediatric wards of the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, a tertiary referral hospital in northern Tanzania. Transcriptions were coded using a thematic approach.
In total, 32 healthcare workers were interviewed via 7 focus group discussions and 1 semistructured interview. Four major themes were identified. First, HCPs held strong views on what factors were important to enable individuals with a life-limiting diagnosis to live and die well. Arriving at a state of “acceptance” was the ultimate goal; however, they acknowledged that they often fell short of achieving this for inpatients. Thus, the second theme involved identifying the “barriers” to delivering palliative care in hospital. Another important factor identified was difficulty with complex communications, particularly “breaking bad news,” the third theme. Fourth, participants were divided about their personal preferences for “place of EoLC,” but all emphasized the benefits of the hospital setting so as to enable better symptom control.
Significance of results:
Despite the fact that all the HCPs interviewed were regularly involved in providing palliative and EoLC, they had received limited formal training in its provision, although they identified such training as a universal requirement. This training gap is likely to be present across much of SSA. Palliative care training, particularly in terms of communication skills, should be comprehensively integrated within undergraduate and postgraduate education. Research is needed to develop culturally appropriate curricula to equip HCPs to manage the complex communication challenges that occur in caring for a diverse inpatient group with palliative care needs.
The development of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging systems has been extended for the entire radiotherapy process. However, MR images provide voxel values that are not directly related to electron densities, thus MR images cannot be used directly for dose calculation. The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of dose calculations to be performed on MR images and evaluate the necessity of re-planning.
A prostate cancer patient was imaged using both MR and computed tomography (CT). The multilevel threshold (MLT) algorithm was used to categorise voxel values in the MR images into three segments (air, water and bone) with homogeneous Hounsfield units (HU). An intensity-modulated radiation therapy plan was generated from CT images of the patient. The plan was then copied to the segmented MR datasets and the doses were recalculated using pencil beam (PB) and collapsed cone (CC) algorithms and Monte Carlo (MC) modelling.
γ Evaluation showed that the percentage of points in regions of interest with γ<1 (3%/3 mm) were more than 94% in the segmented MR. Compared with the planning CT plan, the segmented MR plan resulted in a dose difference of –0·3, 0·8 and –1·3% when using PB, CC and MC algorithms, respectively.
The segmentation and conversion of MR images into HU data using the MLT algorithm, used in this feasibility study, can be used for dose calculation. This method can be used as a dosimetric assessment tool and can be easily implemented in the clinic.
The nutrient choline is necessary for membrane synthesis and methyl donation, with increased requirements during lactation. The majority of immune development occurs postnatally, but the importance of choline supply for immune development during this critical period is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the importance of maternal supply of choline during suckling on immune function in their offspring among rodents. At parturition, Sprague–Dawley dams were randomised to either a choline-devoid (ChD; n 7) or choline-sufficient (ChS, 1 g/kg choline; n 10) diet with their offspring euthanised at 3 weeks of age. In a second experiment, offspring were weaned to a ChS diet until 10 weeks of age (ChD-ChS, n 5 and ChS-ChS, n 9). Splenocytes were isolated, and parameters of immune function were measured. The ChD offspring received less choline in breast milk and had lower final body and organ weight compared with ChS offspring (P<0·05), but this effect disappeared by week 10 with choline supplementation from weaning. ChD offspring had a higher proportion of T cells expressing activation markers (CD71 or CD28) and a lower proportion of total B cells (CD45RA+) and responded less to T cell stimulation (lower stimulation index and less IFN-γ production) ex vivo (P<0·05). ChD-ChS offspring had a lower proportion of total and activated CD4+ T cells, and produced less IL-6 after mitogen stimulation compared with cells from ChS-ChS (P<0·05). Our study suggests that choline is required in the suckling diet to facilitate immune development, and choline deprivation during this critical period has lasting effects on T cell function later in life.
It is uncertain whether antipsychotic long-acting injection (LAI) medication in schizophrenia is associated with better clinical outcomes than oral preparations.
To examine the impact of prior treatment delivery route on treatment outcomes and whether any differences are moderated by adherence.
Analysis of data from two pragmatic 1-year clinical trials in which patients with schizophrenia were randomised to either an oral first-generation antipsychotic (FGA), or a non-clozapine second-generation antipsychotic (SGA, CUtLASS 1 study), or a non-clozapine SGA or clozapine (CUtLASS 2 study).
Across both trials, 43% (n = 155) of participants were prescribed an FGA-LAI before randomisation. At 1-year follow-up they showed less improvement in quality of life, symptoms and global functioning than those randomised from oral medication. This difference was confined to patients rated as less than consistently adherent pre-randomisation. The relatively poor improvement in the patients prescribed an LAI pre-randomisation was ameliorated if they had been randomised to clozapine rather than another SGA. There was no advantage to being randomly assigned from an LAI at baseline to a non-clozapine oral SGA rather than an oral FGA.
A switch at randomisation from an LAI to an oral antipsychotic was associated with poorer clinical and functional outcomes at 1-year follow-up compared with switching from one oral antipsychotic to another. This effect appears to be moderated by adherence, and may not extend to switching to clozapine. This has implications for clinical trial design: the drug from which a participant is randomised may have a greater effect than the drug to which they are randomised.
The Endangered Madagascar giant jumping rat, Hypogeomys antimena, has suffered a major decline in distribution and is now restricted to two seemingly unconnected sub-populations in the largest remaining fragment of deciduous, seasonally dry forest in Menabe, western Madagascar. In a previous study a rapid decrease in numbers of H. antimena was observed in relatively intact forest, suggesting a factor of population decline additional to habitat loss, and provoking fears of a negative trend occurring across its remaining range. In the current study we conducted extensive line transect surveys to estimate active H. antimena burrow density in 2004 and 2005 as an index of population size, and trapping to estimate mean group size, as a multiplier for population size estimation. Within the surveyed areas we estimated the combined size of the two H. antimena sub-populations in 2005 to be c. 36,000, considerably larger than previously assumed. There was no evidence that active burrow density across the species’ known range changed between 2000 and 2005. H. antimena was not uniformly distributed, with higher densities of active burrows found in forest with the highest canopy in areas furthest from forest edges. These core forest areas are vital for the species’ conservation and the recent declaration that the Menabe forest will receive statutory protection provides hope that H. antimena may be safeguarded. However, given its restricted range and low reproductive output, among other factors, H. antimena remains threatened and requires close future monitoring.
The Madagascar flat-tailed tortoise Pyxis planicauda is threatened with extinction through loss of its deciduous, dry forest habitat and illegal collection for the pet trade. Little is known of the population status of this species as no systematic survey across its range has previously been conducted. Surveying P. planicauda is problematic as it has cryptic colouration, is only active during the wet season, and spends periods of time hidden under leaf litter. In this study we designed a line transect survey, which incorporated an approximation of the amount of time tortoises were available for sampling, to produce an unbiased estimate of population size. We estimated density of P. planicauda in the main forest block in central Menabe, which represents the majority of its range, to be 0.40 ha-1 with a total population size of nearly 28,000 individuals (95% confidence interval 16,323-47,669). This estimate is substantially higher than previous predictions of <10,000 individuals. Nevertheless, the species faces ongoing threats from deforestation and probably from illegal collection, although the recent designation of the Menabe forest as a protected area will probably help reduce these threats. This study provides a baseline density estimate of P. planicauda and a survey protocol for monitoring future population trends.
Background: Various organizations and universities have developed competencies for health professionals and other emergency responders. Little effort has been devoted to the integration of these competencies across health specialties and professions. The American Medical Association Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response convened an expert working group (EWG) to review extant competencies and achieve consensus on an educational framework and competency set from which educators could devise learning objectives and curricula tailored to fit the needs of all health professionals in a disaster.
Methods: The EWG conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed and non–peer reviewed published literature. In addition, after-action reports from Hurricane Katrina and relevant publications recommended by EWG members and other subject matter experts were reviewed for congruencies and gaps. Consensus was ensured through a 3-stage Delphi process.
Results: The EWG process developed a new educational framework for disaster medicine and public health preparedness based on consensus identification of 7 core learning domains, 19 core competencies, and 73 specific competencies targeted at 3 broad health personnel categories.
Conclusions: The competencies can be applied to a wide range of health professionals who are expected to perform at different levels (informed worker/student, practitioner, leader) according to experience, professional role, level of education, or job function. Although these competencies strongly reflect lessons learned following the health system response to Hurricane Katrina, it must be understood that preparedness is a process, and that these competencies must be reviewed continually and refined over time. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2008;2:57–68)
To evaluate the prevalence and transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal colonization, as well as risk factors associated with MRSA carriage, among residents of a long-term care facility (LTCF).
Prospective, longitudinal cohort study.
A 100-bed Veterans Administration LTCF
All current and newly admitted residents of the LTCF during an 8-week study period.
Nasal swab samples were obtained weekly and cultured on MRSA-selective media, and the cultures were graded for growth on a semiquantitative scale from 0 (no growth) to 6 (heavy growth). Epidemiologic data for the periods before and during the study were collected to assess risk factors for MRSA carriage.
Of 83 LTCF residents, 49 (59%) had 1 or more nasal swab cultures that were positive for MRSA; 34 (41%) were consistently culture-negative (designated “noncarriers”). Of the 49 culture-positive residents, 30 (36% of the total of 83 residents) had all cultures positive for MRSA (designated “persistent carriers”), and 19 (23% of the 83 residents) had at least 1 culture, but not all cultures, positive for MRSA (designated “intermittent carriers”). Multivariate analysis showed that participants with at least 1 nasal swab culture positive for MRSA were likely to have had previous hospitalization (odds ratio, 3.9) or wounds (odds ratio, 8.2). Persistent carriers and intermittent carriers did not differ in epidemiologic characteristics but did differ in mean MRSA growth score (3.7 vs 0.7; P < .001).
Epidemiologic characteristics differed between noncarriers and subjects with at least 1 nasal swab culture positive for MRSA. However, in this LTCF population, only the degree of bacterial colonization (as reflected by mean MRSA growth score) distinguished persistent carriers from intermittent carriers. Understanding the burden of colonization may be important when determining future surveillance and control strategies.
Society for Health Care Epidemiology guidelines recommend decreasing the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in institutions where methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is endemic. We evaluated whether an intervention to limit fluoroquinolone use was associated with a lower rate of nosocomial MRSA infection and summarized changes in antibiotic use, changes in other variables potentially correlated with a lower rate of MRSA infection, and rates of nosocomial infections due to other pathogens.
Single-center quasi-experimental design. A time series of nosocomial MRSA infections was measured at monthly intervals from July 2001 through June of 2004; there were 80 MRSA infections recorded. Segmented regression analysis (ie, quasi-Poisson generalized linear models) was used to evaluate variables possibly associated with the nosocomial MRSA infection rate.
An 87-bed Veterans Affairs teaching hospital with an extended-care facility.
A physician-directed computer-generated intervention designed to limit the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics was initiated, and institutional changes in antibiotic use and nosocomial MRSA infection rates were tracked.
After the intervention, fluoroquinolone use decreased by approximately 34%, and levofloxacin use decreased by approximately 50%. Decreased fluoroquinolone use was offset by increased cephalosporin, piperacillin-tazobactam, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole use. The nosocomial MRSA infection rate decreased from 1.37 to 0.63 episodes per 1,000 patient-days after the study intervention (P = .02). Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus and Enterococcus infection rates also decreased. However, the rate of infection with gram-negative organisms increased. The rate of MRSA infection was positively correlated with levofloxacin use (P = .01) and azithromycin use (P = .08), whereas it was negatively correlated with summer season (P = .05). In a subsequent model, the rate of MRSA infection was negatively correlated with the study intervention (P = .04).
Reduction in the institutional use of fluoroquinolones may be associated with a lower nosocomial MRSA infection rate.