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Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
Previous research suggests that persistence, an individual difference characteristic representing the ability and willingness to maintain engagement in challenging or aversive contexts, may relate to smoking relapse. Improving understanding of the persistence-relapse risk association could guide improvements in behavioural interventions. We explored whether persistence and gender related to change in smoking urges across multiple cue exposure trials (an analogue of extinction learning and relapse risk). Participants included abstinent smokers who completed 12 massed, 5-minute smoking cue exposure trials using guided imagery as well as olfactory, tactile, visual and motor cues associated with smoking. We used multilevel logistic growth curve modelling to explore predictor associations with change in urge. Results suggested that gender related to urge whereby males showed greater initial and sustained reactivity than females. Persistence was not associated with female urge trajectories. However, compared to males with high persistence, males with low persistence evidenced sustained urge reactivity over time. Results suggest that greater persistence relates to reduction of conditioned responding (e.g., urges) among abstinent male smokers when exposure trials include complex cues most closely related to nicotine self-administration. Because persistence is modifiable, males with low persistence may benefit from interventions that include elements designed to increase persistence in urge eliciting situations.
For livestock production systems to play a positive role in global food security, the balance between their benefits and disbenefits to society must be appropriately managed. Based on the evidence provided by field-scale randomised controlled trials around the world, this debate has traditionally centred on the concept of economic-environmental trade-offs, of which existence is theoretically assured when resource allocation is perfect on the farm. Recent research conducted on commercial farms indicates, however, that the economic-environmental nexus is not nearly as straightforward in the real world, with environmental performances of enterprises often positively correlated with their economic profitability. Using high-resolution primary data from the North Wyke Farm Platform, an intensively instrumented farm-scale ruminant research facility located in southwest United Kingdom, this paper proposes a novel, information-driven approach to carry out comprehensive assessments of economic-environmental trade-offs inherent within pasture-based cattle and sheep production systems. The results of a data-mining exercise suggest that a potentially systematic interaction exists between ‘soil health’, ecological surroundings and livestock grazing, whereby a higher level of soil organic carbon (SOC) stock is associated with a better animal performance and less nutrient losses into watercourses, and a higher stocking density with greater botanical diversity and elevated SOC. We contend that a combination of farming system-wide trials and environmental instrumentation provides an ideal setting for enrolling scientifically sound and biologically informative metrics for agricultural sustainability, through which agricultural producers could obtain guidance to manage soils, water, pasture and livestock in an economically and environmentally acceptable manner. Priority areas for future farm-scale research to ensure long-term sustainability are also discussed.
The moisture content of keratinous materials such as hoof horn is important as the presence of moisture has an inverse relationship on the mechanical properties of hoof horn and may have a subsequent effect on the function of the hoof. Methods previously used to dehydrate samples to calculate the moisture content of hoof horn vary considerably (Hopegood, 2002). Subsequent comparison of results is therefore unreliable. A comparison of different methods of dehydrating hoof horn was therefore carried out to establish a standardised protocol for dehydrating hoof horn to assess its moisture content. The moisture content of donkey hoof horn from normal animals and those with laminitis has not been reported. Maclean (1971) established that the moisture content of cattle suffering from laminitis was significantly higher than normal hooves. The resultant standardised protocol from the first part of this study was then used to compare the moisture content of hoof horn samples taken from horses, donkeys and those donkeys that had suffered from laminitis.
Public Health England conducts enhanced national surveillance of tetanus, a potentially life-threatening vaccine-preventable disease. A standardized questionnaire was used to ascertain clinical and demographic details of individuals reported with clinically suspected tetanus. The 96 cases identified between 2001 and 2014 were analysed. The average annual incidence was 0·13/million (95% confidence interval 0·10–0·16) of which 50·0% were male. Where reported, 70·3% of injuries occurred in the home/garden (45/64). Overall, 40·3% (31/77) cases were in people who inject drugs (PWID), including a cluster of 22 cases during 2003–2004. Where known (n = 68), only 8·8% were age-appropriately immunized. The overall case-fatality rate was 11·0% (9/82). All tetanus-associated deaths occurred in adults aged >45 years, none of whom were fully immunized. Due to the success of the childhood immunization programme, tetanus remains a rare disease in England with the majority of cases occurring in older unimmunized or partially immunized adults. Minor injuries in the home/garden were the most commonly reported likely sources of infection, although cases in PWID increased during this period. It is essential that high routine vaccine coverage is maintained and that susceptible individuals, particularly older adults, are protected through vaccination and are offered timely post-exposure management following a tetanus-prone wound.
In June 2014 Public Health England confirmed a case of Legionnaires' disease (LD) in a neonate following birth at home in a hired birthing pool incorporating a heater and a recirculation pump which had been filled in advance of labour. The case triggered a public health investigation and a microbiological survey of an additional ten heated birthing pools hired or recently hired to the general public across England. The birthing pool used by the parent of the confirmed case was identified as the source of the neonate's infection following detection of Legionella pneumophila ST48 in both patient and environmental samples. Legionella species were detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction but not culture in a further three pools together with other opportunistic pathogens identified by culture and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight (MALDI–ToF) mass spectrometry. A Patient Safety Alert from NHS England and Public Health England was issued stating that heated birthing pools filled in advance of labour should not be used for home births. This recommendation remains in place. This investigation in conjunction with other recent reports has highlighted a lack of awareness regarding the microbiological safety of heated birthing pools and their potential to be a source of LD and other opportunistic infections. Furthermore, the investigation raised important considerations with regards to microbiological sampling and testing in such incidents. Public health authorities and clinicians should consider LD in the differential diagnosis of severe respiratory infection in neonates within 14 days of a water birth.
Evidence suggests some overlap between the pathological use of food and drugs, yet how impulsivity compares across these different clinical disorders remains unclear. Substance use disorders are commonly characterized by elevated impulsivity, and impulsivity subtypes may show commonalities and differences in various conditions. We hypothesized that obese subjects with binge-eating disorder (BED) and abstinent alcohol-dependent cohorts would have relatively more impulsive profiles compared to obese subjects without BED. We also predicted decision impulsivity impairment in obesity with and without BED.
Thirty obese subjects with BED, 30 without BED and 30 abstinent alcohol-dependent subjects and age- and gender-matched controls were tested on delay discounting (preference for a smaller immediate reward over a larger delayed reward), reflection impulsivity (rapid decision making prior to evidence accumulation) and motor response inhibition (action cancellation of a prepotent response).
All three groups had greater delay discounting relative to healthy volunteers. Both obese subjects without BED and alcohol-dependent subjects had impaired motor response inhibition. Only obese subjects without BED had impaired integration of available information to optimize outcomes over later trials with a cost condition.
Delay discounting appears to be a common core impairment across disorders of food and drug intake. Unexpectedly, obese subjects without BED showed greater impulsivity than obese subjects with BED. We highlight the dissociability and heterogeneity of impulsivity subtypes and add to the understanding of neurocognitive profiles across disorders involving food and drugs. Our results have therapeutic implications suggesting that disorder-specific patterns of impulsivity could be targeted.
Selection programs have enabled broiler chickens to gain muscle mass without similar enlargement of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems that are essential for thermoregulatory efficiency. Meat-type chickens cope with high ambient temperature by reducing feed intake and growth during chronic and moderate heat exposure. In case of acute heat exposure, a dramatic increase in morbidity and mortality can occur. In order to alleviate heat stress in the long term, research has recently focused on early thermal manipulation. Aimed at stimulation of long-term thermotolerance, the thermal manipulation of embryos is a method based on fine tuning of incubation conditions, taking into account the level and duration of increases in temperature and relative humidity during a critical period of embryogenesis. The consequences of thermal manipulation on the performance and meat quality of broiler chickens have been explored to ensure the potential application of this strategy. The physiological basis of the method is the induction of epigenetic and metabolic mechanisms that control body temperature in the long term. Early thermal manipulation can enhance poultry resistance to environmental changes without much effect on growth performance. This review presents the main strategies of early heat exposure and the physiological concepts on which these methods were based. The cellular mechanisms potentially underlying the adaptive response are discussed as well as the potential interest of thermal manipulation of embryos for poultry production.
We study hydrogenated amorphous silicon germanium (a-SiGe:H) deposited by HWCVD for the use as low band gap absorber in multijunction junction solar cells. We deposited layers with Tauc optical band gaps of 1.21 to 1.56 eV and studied the hydrogen bonding with FTIR for layers that were deposited at several reaction pressures. For our reaction conditions, we found an optimal reaction pressure of 38 µbar. The material that is obtained under these conditions does not meet all device quality requirements for a-SiGe:H, which is, as we hypothesize, caused by the presence of He that is used to dilute the GeH4 source gas. We present an initial single junction n-i-p solar cell with a Tauc optical band gap of 1.45 eV and a short circuit current density of 18.7 mA/cm2.
When a Mach number dependent parameter σ ≠ 0 is accounted forin an expansive free interaction analogous to that of Stewartson , the solution terminates in a singularity with a finite pressure, but with a pressure gradient varying as the inverse three-fifths power of the distance from the singularity, apart from a subtle logarithmic modification.
The passive film stability of several Fe-based amorphous metal formulations have been found to be comparable to that of high-performance Ni-based alloys, and superior to that of stainless steels, based on electrochemical measurements of the passive film breakdown potential and general corrosion rates. Chromium (Cr), molybdenum (Mo) and tungsten (W) provide corrosion resistance; boron (B) enables glass formation; and rare earths such as yttrium (Y) lower critical cooling rate (CCR). The high boron content of this particular amorphous metal also makes it an effective neutron absorber, and suitable for criticality control applications, as discussed in companion publications. Corrosion data for SAM2X5 (Fe49.7Cr17.7Mn1.9Mo7.4W1.6B15.2C3.8Si2.4) is discussed here.
Protein metabolism is considered to be regulated by amino acids, with major consequences on tissue development. There is evidence that lysine greatly affects carcass composition and muscle growth. In particular, a drastic effect of dietary provision of lysine has been observed on breast muscle development in chickens. Other essential amino acids, such as threonine and valine, do not have as pronounced an effect as lysine on body composition. Increasing lysine can also improve chicken breast muscle quality by increasing its ultimate pH and water holding capacity, but the underlying mechanisms are still unknown. Studies conducted over the last ten years indicate that, in addition to being substrates for protein synthesis, amino acids act as modulators of signal transduction pathways that control metabolism and cell functions. For instance, certain amino acids can modulate the activity of the intracellular protein kinases involved in the control of mRNA translation. Interestingly, enhanced responses to amino acids have been reported during the neonatal period, suggesting that early protein nutrition impacts on the development of broiler chicks. Methionine and cysteine have a very significant place among amino acids because they have several additional roles: they are precursors of essential molecules, for example cysteine is used for the synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione, and thus participates in the control of oxidative status, methionine is a source of the methyl groups needed for all biological methylation reactions, including methylation of DNA and histones, etc. These findings together indicate the importance of optimizing amino acid nutrition and providing a rationale for nutritional advice.
Proton-29Si double resonance NMR measurements on high quality plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition a-Si:H deposited from SiH4 show that more than one third of the contained hydrogen is present as H2 molecules residing in the amorphous equivalent of T sites. The NMR signal from these trapped H2 appears in the narrow 4 kHz proton line, which arises from the less clustered hydrogen population. Very little of the molecular component is in the broad ~24 kHz line, which arises mostly from clustered hydrogen tightly bonded to silicon.