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Several studies have reported evidence of interference between respiratory viruses: respiratory viruses rarely reach their epidemic peak concurrently and there appears to be a negative association between infection with one respiratory virus and co-infection with another. We used results spanning 16 years (2002–2017) of a routine diagnostic multiplex panel that tests for nine respiratory viruses to further investigate these interactions in Victoria, Australia. Time series analyses were used to plot the proportion positive for each virus. The seasonality of all viruses included was compared with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza A virus using cross-correlations. Logistic regression was used to explore the likelihood of co-infection with one virus given infection with another. Seasonal peaks were observed each year for influenza A and RSV and less frequently for influenza B, coronavirus and parainfluenza virus. RSV circulated an average of 6 weeks before influenza A. Co-infection with another respiratory virus was less common with picornavirus, RSV or influenza A infection. Our findings provide further evidence of a temporal relationship in the circulation of respiratory viruses. A greater understanding of the interaction between respiratory viruses may enable better prediction of the timing and magnitude of respiratory virus epidemics.
The epidemiology of H5N1 and H7N9 avian viruses of humans infected in China differs despite both viruses being avian reassortants that have inherited six internal genes from a common ancestor, H9N2. The median age of infected populations is substantially younger for H5N1 virus (26 years) compared with H7N9 virus (63 years). Population susceptibility to infection with seasonal influenza is understood to be influenced by cross-reactive CD8+ T cells directed towards immunogenic peptides derived from internal viral proteins which may provide some level of protection against further influenza infection. Prior exposure to seasonal influenza peptides may influence the age-related infection patterns observed for H5N1 and H7N9 viruses. A comparison of relatedness of immunogenic peptides between historical human strains and the two avian emerged viruses was undertaken for a possible explanation in the differences in age incidence observed. There appeared to be some relationship between past exposure to related peptides and the lower number of H5N1 virus cases in older populations, however the relationship between prior exposure and older populations among H7N9 virus patients was less clear.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
Family history is a long-standing and readily obtainable risk factor for schizophrenia (SCZ). Low-cost genotyping technologies have enabled large genetic studies of SCZ, and the results suggest the utility of genetic risk scores (GRS, direct assessments of inherited common variant risk). Few studies have evaluated family history and GRS simultaneously to ask whether one can explain away the other.
We studied 5959 SCZ cases and 8717 controls from four Nordic countries. All subjects had family history data from national registers and genome-wide genotypes that were processed through the quality control procedures used by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Using external training data, GRS were estimated for SCZ, bipolar disorder (BIP), major depression, autism, educational attainment, and body mass index. Multivariable modeling was used to estimate effect sizes.
Using harmonized genomic and national register data from Denmark, Estonia, Norway, and Sweden, we confirmed that family history of SCZ and GRS for SCZ and BIP were risk factors for SCZ. In a joint model, the effects of GRS for SCZ and BIP were essentially unchanged, and the effect of family history was attenuated but remained significant. The predictive capacity of a model including GRS and family history neared the minimum for clinical utility.
Combining national register data with measured genetic risk factors represents an important investigative approach for psychotic disorders. Our findings suggest the potential clinical utility of combining GRS and family history for early prediction and diagnostic improvements.
Seasonal influenza can cause significant morbidity in pregnant women. Much of the existing epidemiological evidence on influenza during pregnancy has focused on the 2009 A/H1N1 pandemic. To measure the epidemiological characteristics of seasonal influenza infection among pregnant women and the impact on infant health, a cohort of 86 779 pregnancies during the influenza season (2012–2014) was established using probabilistic linkage of notifiable infectious disease, hospital admission, and birth information. A total of 192 laboratory-confirmed influenza infections were identified (2·2 per 1000 pregnancies), 14·6% of which were admitted to hospital. There was no difference in the proportion of infections admitted to hospital by trimester or subtype of infection. Influenza B infections were more likely to occur in second trimester compared with influenza A/H3N2 and influenza A/H1N1 infections (41·3%, 23·6%, and 33·3%, respectively), and on average, infants born to women with influenza B during pregnancy had 4·0% (95% CI 0·3–7·6%) lower birth weight relative to optimal compared with infants born to uninfected women (P = 0·03). Results from this linked population-based study suggest that there are differences in maternal infection by virus type and subtype and support the provision of seasonal influenza vaccine to pregnant women.
We present techniques developed to calibrate and correct Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency (72–300 MHz) radio observations for polarimetry. The extremely wide field-of-view, excellent instantaneous (u, v)-coverage and sensitivity to degree-scale structure that the Murchison Widefield Array provides enable instrumental calibration, removal of instrumental artefacts, and correction for ionospheric Faraday rotation through imaging techniques. With the demonstrated polarimetric capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array, we discuss future directions for polarimetric science at low frequencies to answer outstanding questions relating to polarised source counts, source depolarisation, pulsar science, low-mass stars, exoplanets, the nature of the interstellar and intergalactic media, and the solar environment.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
Data were pooled from three Australian sentinel general practice influenza surveillance networks to estimate Australia-wide influenza vaccine coverage and effectiveness against community presentations for laboratory-confirmed influenza for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons. Patients presenting with influenza-like illness at participating GP practices were swabbed and tested for influenza. The vaccination odds of patients testing positive were compared with patients testing negative to estimate influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) by logistic regression, adjusting for age group, week of presentation and network. Pooling of data across Australia increased the sample size for estimation from a minimum of 684 to 3,683 in 2012, from 314 to 2,042 in 2013 and from 497 to 3,074 in 2014. Overall VE was 38% [95% confidence interval (CI) 24–49] in 2012, 60% (95% CI 45–70) in 2013 and 44% (95% CI 31–55) in 2014. For A(H1N1)pdm09 VE was 54% (95% CI–28 to 83) in 2012, 59% (95% CI 33–74) in 2013 and 55% (95% CI 39–67) in 2014. For A(H3N2), VE was 30% (95% CI 14–44) in 2012, 67% (95% CI 39–82) in 2013 and 26% (95% CI 1–45) in 2014. For influenza B, VE was stable across years at 56% (95% CI 37–70) in 2012, 57% (95% CI 30–73) in 2013 and 54% (95% CI 21–73) in 2014. Overall VE against influenza was low in 2012 and 2014 when A(H3N2) was the dominant strain and the vaccine was poorly matched. In contrast, overall VE was higher in 2013 when A(H1N1)pdm09 dominated and the vaccine was a better match. Pooling data can increase the sample available and enable more precise subtype- and age group-specific estimates, but limitations remain.
The variability of CD-24 7599 (V=11.48 mag) was discovered by JCC during observing run XCOV7 of the Whole Earth Telescope (WET, Nather et al. 1990) network in February, 1992. The star was observed as an additional target and 117 hours of high-quality temporal spectroscopic observations were obtained.
Our analysis of these data revealed the presence of 7 independent pulsation modes between 27.0 and 38.1 cycles per day (313 – 441 μHz) with semiamplitudes of 2.1 – 10.2 milli-modulation amplitudes (mma). We showed that peaks at linear combination frequencies detected in the power spectra were not due to eigenmodes excited to visible amplitude by resonant mode coupling.
A review of the MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) project is presented. MOA is a collaboration of approximately 30 astronomers from New Zealand and Japan established with the aim of finding and detecting microlensing events towards the Magellanic Clouds and the Galactic bulge, which may be indicative of either dark matter or of planetary companions. The observing program commenced in 1995, using very wide band blue and red filters and a nine-chip mosaic CCD camera.
As a by-product of these observations a large database of CCD photometry for 1.4 million stars towards both LMC and SMC has been established. In one preliminary analysis 576 bright variable stars were confirmed, nearly half of them being Cepheids. Another analysis has identified large numbers of blue variables, and 205 eclipsing binaries are included in this sample. In addition 351 red variables (AGB stars) have been found. Light curves have been obtained for all these stars. The observations are carried out on a 61-cm f/6.25 telescope at Mt John University Observatory where a new larger CCD camera was installed in 1998 July. From this latitude (44° S) the Magellanic Clouds can be monitored throughout the year.
Influenza vaccination is the most practical means available for preventing influenza virus infection and is widely used in many countries. Because vaccine components and circulating strains frequently change, it is important to continually monitor vaccine effectiveness (VE). The test-negative design is frequently used to estimate VE. In this design, patients meeting the same clinical case definition are recruited and tested for influenza; those who test positive are the cases and those who test negative form the comparison group. When determining VE in these studies, the typical approach has been to use logistic regression, adjusting for potential confounders. Because vaccine coverage and influenza incidence change throughout the season, time is included among these confounders. While most studies use unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for time, an alternative approach is to use conditional logistic regression, matching on time. Here, we used simulation data to examine the potential for both regression approaches to permit accurate and robust estimates of VE. In situations where vaccine coverage changed during the influenza season, the conditional model and unconditional models adjusting for categorical week and using a spline function for week provided more accurate estimates. We illustrated the two approaches on data from a test-negative study of influenza VE against hospitalization in children in Hong Kong which resulted in the conditional logistic regression model providing the best fit to the data.
Childhood emotional maltreatment (CEM) increases the likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder in adulthood, but the neural processes underlying conferment of this risk have not been established. Here, we test the potential for neuroimaging the adult brain to inform understanding of the mechanism linking CEM to adult anxiety symptoms.
One hundred eighty-two adults (148 females, 34 males) with a normal-to-clinical range of anxiety symptoms underwent structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging while completing an emotion-processing paradigm with facial expressions of fear, anger, and happiness. Participants completed self-report measures of CEM and current anxiety symptoms. Voxelwise mediation analyses on gray-matter volumes and activation to each emotion condition were used to identify candidate brain mechanisms relating CEM to anxiety in adulthood.
During processing of fear and anger faces, greater amygdala and less right dorsolateral prefrontal (dlPFC) activation partially mediated the positive relationship between CEM and anxiety symptoms. Greater right posterior insula activation to fear also partially mediated this relationship, as did greater ventral anterior cingulate (ACC) and less dorsal ACC activation to anger. Responses to happy faces in these regions did not mediate the CEM-anxiety relationship. Smaller right dlPFC gray-matter volumes also partially mediated the CEM-anxiety relationship.
Activation patterns of the adult brain demonstrate the potential to inform mechanistic accounts of the CEM conferment of anxiety symptoms. Results support the hypothesis that exaggerated limbic activation to negative valence facial emotions links CEM to anxiety symptoms, which may be consequent to a breakdown of cortical regulatory processes.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a new low-frequency interferometric radio telescope built in Western Australia at one of the locations of the future Square Kilometre Array. We describe the automated radio-frequency interference detection strategy implemented for the Murchison Widefield Array, which is based on the aoflagger platform, and present 72–231 MHz radio-frequency interference statistics from 10 observing nights. Radio-frequency interference detection removes 1.1% of the data. Radio-frequency interference from digital TV is observed 3% of the time due to occasional ionospheric or atmospheric propagation. After radio-frequency interference detection and excision, almost all data can be calibrated and imaged without further radio-frequency interference mitigation efforts, including observations within the FM and digital TV bands. The results are compared to a previously published Low-Frequency Array radio-frequency interference survey. The remote location of the Murchison Widefield Array results in a substantially cleaner radio-frequency interference environment compared to Low-Frequency Array’s radio environment, but adequate detection of radio-frequency interference is still required before data can be analysed. We include specific recommendations designed to make the Square Kilometre Array more robust to radio-frequency interference, including: the availability of sufficient computing power for radio-frequency interference detection; accounting for radio-frequency interference in the receiver design; a smooth band-pass response; and the capability of radio-frequency interference detection at high time and frequency resolution (second and kHz-scale respectively).
Psychotic phenomena are common in the general population but are excluded from diagnostic criteria for mild to moderate depression and anxiety despite their co-occurrence and shared risk factors. We used item response theory modelling to examine whether the co-occurrence of depressive, anxiety and psychotic phenomena is best explained by: (1) a single underlying factor; (2) two separate, uncorrelated factors; (3) two separate yet linked factors; or (4) two separate domains along with an underlying ‘common mental distress’ (CMD) factor. We defined where, along any latent continuum, the psychopathological items contributed most information.
We performed a secondary analysis of cross-sectional, item-level information from measures of depression, anxiety and psychotic experiences in 6617 participants aged 13 years from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort and 977 participants aged 18 years from the ROOTS schools-based sample. We replicated results from one sample in the other and validated the latent factors against an earlier parental measure of mental state.
In both cohorts depression, anxiety and psychotic items were best represented as a bi-factor model with a single, unitary CMD factor on which psychotic items conveyed information about the more severe end (model 4); residual variation remained for psychotic items. The CMD factor was significantly associated with the prior parental measure.
Psychotic phenomena co-occur with depression and anxiety in teenagers and may be a marker of severity in a single, unitary dimension of CMD. Psychotic phenomena should be routinely included in epidemiological assessments of psychiatric morbidity, otherwise the most severe symptomatology remains unmeasured.
In this paper, we discuss the issue of fabricating reliable and reproducible ohmic contacts on AlGaN HFET structures. During the course of our investigation of fabricating contacts to HFETs, we found that the contact properties could vary significantly from one sample to another, even though they were nominally the same. This problem was prominently manifested in the ohmic contact behavior. The origin of this problem was traced back to the variation of the HFET structure during growth. In this paper, we report an attempt to fabricate reproducible ohmic contacts of these structures.
To examine the association between overweight and obesity and serum ferritin among women of reproductive age (15–49 years) in Nicaragua, considering the effect of α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), a marker of inflammation.
We analysed data from the 2004–05 Nicaraguan Integrated Surveillance System for Nutrition Interventions. Three logistic regression models were analysed with low serum ferritin (<15 μg/l) as the dependent variable: (i) overweight or obese status and covariates; (ii) model 1 plus AGP; and (iii) model 1 restricted to only women with normal AGP levels (≤1·0 g/l).
Included in this analysis were 832 non-pregnant mother/caregivers (15–49 years) surveyed in 2004–2005.
In the sample, prevalence of overweight and obesity was 31·8 % and 19·2 %, respectively, and 27·6 % had low serum ferritin. In model 1, the adjusted OR of low serum ferritin was 0·74 (95 % CI 0·52, 1·05) for overweight women and 0·42 (95 % CI 0·26, 0·65) for obese women. In model 2, AGP was significantly independently associated with low serum ferritin (adjusted OR=0·56, 95 % CI 0·34, 0·92) while the adjusted OR for overweight and obesity were largely unchanged. Excluding women with elevated AGP did not appreciably affect the relationship between overweight or obesity and low serum ferritin (model 3).
Overall, in this population of reproductive-age women, obese women were less likely to have low serum ferritin levels, and this was independent of inflammation as measured by AGP.
An argument often used to support the view that psychotic experiences (PEs) in general population samples are a valid phenotype for studying the aetiology of schizophrenia is that risk factors for schizophrenia show similar patterns of association with PEs. However, PEs often co-occur with depression, and no study has explicitly tested whether risk factors for schizophrenia are shared between PEs and depression, or are psychopathology specific, while jointly modelling both outcomes.
We used data from 7030 subjects from a birth cohort study. Depression and PEs at age 18 years were assessed using self-report questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. We compared the extent to which risk factors for schizophrenia across sociodemographic, familial, neurodevelopmental, stress–adversity, emotional–behavioural and substance use domains showed different associations with PEs and depression within bivariate models that allowed for their correlation.
Most of the exposures examined were associated, to a similar degree, with an increased risk of both outcomes. However, whereas female sex and family history of depression showed some discrimination as potential risk factors for depression and PEs, with stronger associations in the former, markers of abnormal neurodevelopment showed stronger associations with PEs.
The argument that PEs are valid markers for studying the aetiology of schizophrenia, made simply on the basis that they share risk factors in common, is not well supported. PEs seem to be a weak index of genetic and environmental risk for schizophrenia; however, studies disentangling aetiological pathways to PEs from those impacting upon co-morbid psychopathology might provide important insights into the aetiology of psychotic disorders.