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Non-tuberculous mycobacterium encephalitis is rare. Since 2013, a global outbreak of Mycobacterium chimaera infection has been attributed to point-source contamination of heater cooler units used in cardiac surgery. Disseminated M. chimaera infection has presented many unique challenges, including non-specific clinical presentations with delays in diagnosis, and a high mortality rate among predominantly immunocompetent adults. Here, we describe three patients with fatal disseminated Mycobacterium chimaera infection showing initially non-specific, progressively worsening neurocognitive decline, including confusion, delirium, depression and apathy. Autopsy revealed widespread granulomatous encephalitis of the cerebrum, brain stem and spinal cord, along with granulomatous chorioretinitis. Cerebral involvement and differentiation between mycobacterial granulomas and microangiopathic changes can be assessed best on MRI with contrast enhancement. The prognosis of M. chimaera encephalitis appears to be very poor, but might be improved by increased awareness of this new syndrome and timely antimicrobial treatment.
This presentation will enable the learner to:
1.Describe the clinical, radiological and neuropathological findings of Mycobacterium chimaera encephalitis
2.Be aware of this rare form of encephalitis, and explain its diagnosis, prognosis and management
We present a broad study of linear, clustered, noble gas puffs irradiated with the frequency doubled (527 nm) Titan laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Pure Ar, Kr, and Xe clustered gas puffs, as well as two mixed-gas puffs consisting of KrAr and XeKrAr gases, make up the targets. Characterization experiments to determine gas-puff density show that varying the experimental parameter gas-delay timing (the delay between gas puff initialization and laser-gas-puff interaction) provides a simple control over the gas-puff density. X-ray emission (>1.4 keV) is studied as a function of gas composition, density, and delay timing. Xe gas puffs produce the strongest peak radiation in the several keV spectral region. The emitted radiation was found to be anisotropic, with smaller X-ray flux observed in the direction perpendicular to both laser beam propagation and polarization directions. The degree of anisotropy is independent of gas target type but increases with photon energy. X-ray spectroscopic measurements estimate plasma parameters and highlight their difference with previous studies. Electron beams with energy in excess of 72 keV are present in the noble gas-puff plasmas and results indicate that Ar plays a key role in their production. A drastic increase in harder X-ray emissions (X-ray flash effect) and multi-MeV electron-beam generation from Xe gas-puff plasma occurred when the laser beam was focused on the front edge of the linear gas puff.
Despite considerable academic attention to the role of family caregivers within the general population, little research has been conducted with Indigenous families. This qualitative study aims to fill that gap by focusing on the experiences of Metis caregivers providing care for older Metis adults. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with Metis family caregivers (n = 79), Metis Elders (n = 11) and formal caregivers (n = 8). Although there are considerable parallels in the caregiving experiences identified in this Metis study with those already documented in the literature, there are nonetheless important differences for providing culturally responsive care to Metis seniors.
Describe the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)–producing organisms and the novel use of a cohorting unit for its control.
A 566-room academic teaching facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Solid-organ transplant recipients.
Infection control bundles were used throughout the time of observation. All KPC cases were intermittently housed in a cohorting unit with dedicated nurses and nursing aids. The rooms used in the cohorting unit had anterooms where clean supplies and linens were placed. Spread of KPC-producing organisms was determined using rectal surveillance cultures on admission and weekly thereafter among all consecutive patients admitted to the involved units. KPC-positive strains underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing.
A total of 8 KPC cases (5 identified by surveillance) were identified from April 2016 to April 2017. After the index patient, 3 patients acquired KPC-producing organisms despite implementation of an infection control bundle. This prompted the use of a cohorting unit, which immediately halted transmission, and the single remaining KPC case was transferred out of the cohorting unit. However, additional KPC cases were identified within 2 months. Once the cohorting unit was reopened, no additional KPC cases occurred. The KPC-positive species identified during this outbreak included Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae complex, and Escherichia coli. blaKPC was identified on at least 2 plasmid backbones.
A complex KPC outbreak involving both clonal and plasmid-mediated dissemination was controlled using weekly surveillances and a cohorting unit.
Cardiac surgery-associated acute kidney injury is common. In order to improve our understanding of acute kidney injury, we formed the multi-centre Neonatal and Pediatric Heart and Renal Outcomes Network. Our main goals are to describe neonatal kidney injury epidemiology, evaluate variability in diagnosis and management, identify risk factors, investigate the impact of fluid overload, and explore associations with outcomes.
The Neonatal and Pediatric Heart and Renal Outcomes Network collaborative includes representatives from paediatric cardiac critical care, cardiology, nephrology, and cardiac surgery. The collaborative sites and infrastructure are part of the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium. An acute kidney injury module was developed and merged into the existing infrastructure. A total of twenty-two participating centres provided data on 100–150 consecutive neonates who underwent cardiac surgery within the first 30 post-natal days. Additional acute kidney injury variables were abstracted by chart review and merged with the corresponding record in the quality improvement database. Exclusion criteria included >1 operation in the 7-day study period, pre-operative renal replacement therapy, pre-operative serum creatinine >1.5 mg/dl, and need for extracorporeal support in the operating room or within 24 hours after the index operation.
A total of 2240 neonatal patients were enrolled across 22 centres. The incidence of acute kidney injury was 54% (stage 1 = 31%, stage 2 = 13%, and stage 3 = 9%).
Neonatal and Pediatric Heart and Renal Outcomes Network represents the largest multi-centre study of neonatal kidney injury. This new network will enhance our understanding of kidney injury and its complications.
Solvency II came into force on 1 January 2016 and included a transitional measure on technical provisions (“TMTP”) designed to help smooth in the capital impact of Solvency II over a 16-year period. The working party’s view is that the main intention of the TMTP is to mitigate the impact of the introduction of the risk margin, which significantly increases the technical provisions of firms, relative to their Solvency I Pillar 2 liabilities.
The majority of firms who hold a TMTP have now had at least one recalculation approved by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA); or are in the process of applying for a recalculation. Despite this large number of approved recalculations, there remains significant uncertainty in the industry around the approach and triggers for recalculation.
This paper considers aspects of TMTP recalculation for regulated UK life firms, for example practicalities of the calculation, asset and liability considerations, and communications/announcements.
In this paper, we outline the need for pragmatism when considering the approach to recalculation of a measure originally intended to serve as the bridge between two regimes. We call for an allowance for doing what is sensible in a principles-based regime balancing what might be more theoretically correct with what is practical and possible to support effective management of the business.
Transient (nuclear) heating experiments were conducted with uranium carbide fuel rods to study the failure characteristics of typical rod designs. Extremely unusual changes in microstructure were observed and the electron microprobe was employed to establish the disposition of materials resulting from the meltdown experiments. The probe results indicated substantial fuel-clad interactions and permitted the resolution of several uncertainties regarding the course of fuel rod failure and material redistribution. The electron microprobe represents a unique capability in the post-test analysis of such meltdown tests.
Improving quality of life (QOL) for people with dementia is a priority. In care homes, we often rely on proxy ratings from staff and family but we do not know if, or how, they differ in care homes.
We compared 1056 pairs of staff and family DEMQOL-Proxy ratings from 86 care homes across England. We explored factors associated with ratings quantitatively using multilevel modelling and, qualitatively, through thematic analysis of 12 staff and 12 relative interviews.
Staff and family ratings were weakly correlated (ρs = 0.35). Median staff scores were higher than family's (104 v. 101; p < 0.001). Family were more likely than staff to rate resident QOL as ‘Poor’ (χ2 = 55.91, p < 0.001). Staff and family rated QOL higher when residents had fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms and severe dementia. Staff rated QOL higher in homes with lower staff:resident ratios and when staff were native English speakers. Family rated QOL higher when the resident had spent longer living in the care home and was a native English. Spouses rated residents’ QOL higher than other relatives. Qualitative results suggest differences arise because staff felt good care provided high QOL but families compared the present to the past. Family judgements centre on loss and are complicated by decisions about care home placement and their understandings of dementia.
Proxy reports differ systematically between staff and family. Reports are influenced by the rater:staff and family may conceptualise QOL differently.
The problem of pressure driven infernal type perturbations near the plasma edge is addressed analytically for a circular limited tokamak configuration which presents an edge flattened safety factor. The plasma is separated from a metallic wall, either ideally conducting or resistive, by a vacuum region. The dispersion relation for such types of instabilities is derived and discussed for two classes of equilibrium profiles for pressure and mass density.
Locomotor stereotypies such as weaving and nodding are commonly observed as pre–feeding activity in stabled horses (Cooper, McDonald and Mills, 2001), whilst oral activities such as crib–biting and woodchewing may be associated with the post–feeding period (McGreevy and Nicol, 1998) particularly in horses fed a low–fibre concentrate (Nicol et al., 2002). In this study, we investigated the effect of increasing the number of meals of concentrate whilst maintaining the same daily concentrate intake, on the behaviour of stabled horses with particular reference to stereotypic activities such as weaving and crib–biting. The study was carried out on a working equestrian yard with stables for up to 50 horses.
A pilot study was used to record incidence of stereotypic behaviour and to select subjects for the main study. In this, the behaviour of 30 warm–blooded horses was recorded during their morning (0830h) and afternoon (1630h) concentrate meals. Each meal consisted of 0.5kg of a commercial feed, mixed with 1kg of soaked sugar beet pulp and 0.5kg of chopped hay and straw mixed in a bucket.
Staff training in positive behaviour support (PBS) is a widespread treatment approach for challenging behaviour in adults with intellectual disability.
To evaluate whether such training is clinically effective in reducing challenging behaviour during routine care (trial registration: NCT01680276).
We carried out a multicentre, cluster randomised controlled trial involving 23 community intellectual disability services in England, randomly allocated to manual-assisted staff training in PBS (n = 11) or treatment as usual (TAU, n = 12). Data were collected from 246 adult participants.
No treatment effects were found for the primary outcome (challenging behaviour over 12 months, adjusted mean difference = −2.14, 95% CI: −8.79, 4.51) or secondary outcomes.
Staff training in PBS, as applied in this study, did not reduce challenging behaviour. Further research should tackle implementation issues and endeavour to identify other interventions that can reduce challenging behaviour.
Unprotected n-3 PUFA supplements fed to ruminants are subject to lipolysis and biohydrogenation in the rumen (Wachira et al. 1998). Improving the n-3 PUFA content of ruminant products therefore requires some form of protection of dietary lipid from microbial activity in the rumen. The in-vitro incubation of PUFA sources offers the opportunity of rapidly determining the level of protection offered against ruminal biohydrogenation. The objectives of the current experiment were therefore to determine the biohydrogenation of a number of sources containing a-linolenic acid using the in-vitro gas production technique.
The Square Kilometre Array will be an amazing instrument for pulsar astronomy. While the full SKA will be sensitive enough to detect all pulsars in the Galaxy visible from Earth, already with SKA1, pulsar searches will discover enough pulsars to increase the currently known population by a factor of four, no doubt including a range of amazing unknown sources. Real time processing is needed to deal with the 60 PB of pulsar search data collected per day, using a signal processing pipeline required to perform more than 10 POps. Here we present the suggested design of the pulsar search engine for the SKA and discuss challenges and solutions to the pulsar search venture.
School attendance rates in sub-Saharan Africa are among the lowest worldwide, placing children at heightened risk for poor educational and economic outcomes. One understudied risk factor for missed schooling is household water insecurity, which is linked to depression among women and may increase children's water-fetching burden at the expense of educational activities, particularly among children of depressed caregivers. In this study conducted in rural Uganda, we assessed the association between household water insecurity and child school participation and the mediating pathways behind these associations.
We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional study of female household heads (N = 257) and their children ages 5–17 (N = 551) in the rural regions surrounding the town of Mbarara, in southwestern Uganda. We used multivariable linear regressions to estimate the association between water insecurity and missed schooling. We then assessed the extent to which the association was mediated by caregiver depression.
Among children, water insecurity had a statistically significant association with the number of missed school days (a standard deviation increase in water insecurity resulted in 0.30 more missed school days in the last week). The estimated association was partially mediated by caregiver depression. When stratified by sex, this mediating pathway remained significant for boys, but not among girls.
Water insecurity is a risk factor for missed schooling among children in rural Uganda. Caregiver depression partially mediated this relationship. Also addressing caregiver mental health in water insecure families may more fully address the needs of sub-Saharan African families and promote educational participation among youth.
The care received by people presenting to hospital following self-harm varies and it is unclear how different types of treatment affect risk of further self-harm.
Observational cohort data from the Manchester Self-Harm Project, UK, included 16 456 individuals presenting to an Emergency Department with self-harm between 2003 and 2011. Individuals were followed up for 12 months. We also used data from a smaller cohort of individuals presenting to 31 hospitals in England during a 3-month period in 2010/2011, followed up for 6 months. Propensity score (PS) methods were used to address observed confounding. Missing data were imputed using multiple imputation.
Following PS stratification, those who received a psychosocial assessment had a lower risk of repeat hospital attendance for self-harm than those who were not assessed [RR 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.80–0.95]. The risk was reduced most among people less likely to be assessed. Following PS matching, we found no associations between risks of repeat self-harm and admission to a medical bed, referral to outpatient psychiatry or admission to a psychiatric bed. We did not find a relationship between psychosocial assessment and repeat self-harm in the 31 centre cohort.
This study shows the potential value of using novel statistical techniques in large mental health datasets to estimate treatment effects. We found that specialist psychosocial assessment may reduce the risk of repeat self-harm. This type of routine care should be provided for all individuals who present to hospital after self-harm, regardless of perceived risk.
New data on the thermal regime of George VI Ice Shelf have been obtained by thermistor chains installed through the use of a hot-water drill. Twenty thermistors are used at each site, spaced close together at sea-level and at the base of the ice shelf, and farther apart elsewhere in the ice shelf and in the sea beneath. Based on earlier observations (Bishop and Walton 1981, fig. 7) that the 10 m temperature warms from around −10°C in the central melt-lake area of the ice shelf (from 70°45′ to 71°45′S) to around −2°C near the northern ice front (70°00′S), the thermistor chains were deployed at three sites (70°00′, 70°15′ and 70°30′S) along a presumed flow line.
The observations show that as ice flows towards the northern ice front of George VI Ice Shelf, it becomes more temperate in character. Heat from the sea and from the percolation of melt water at the upper surface progressively warms the ice shelf. At mid-depth (the coldest level in the ice shelf) the recorded temperatures were −6°C off Moore Point (70°30′S), −4°C off Carse Point (70°15′S) and, near the northern ice front (70°00′S), between −1.6° and −1.8°C depending on the time of year.
The ice-shelf temperatures near the ice front, warmer in mid-summer than the freezing point of fully saline sea-water, are most unusual. The only explanation of the high, fluctuating temperatures found 1 year after drilling is that the hole through the ice shelf was open, allowing unimpeded water movement. This implies that the ice shelf is also warmed by the percolation of sea-water, whose presence was confirmed by ice-core drilling to below sea-level. Confirmation of the presence of brine below sea-level in the ice shelf comes from geo-electrical investigations. A Schlumberger georesistivity array modelled the ice shelf as a simple two-layer structure, with ordinary glacier overlying highly conductive ice. This is consistent with the fact that no radio echoes have been received from the bottom of George VI Ice Shelf to the north of 70°09′S.
A detailed analysis of the ice-shelf / ocean-temperature profiles was undertaken. This included an analysis of the fluctuation observed in mid-summer at the warmest site and the subsequent transition to a stable isothermal profile through the submerged part of the ice shelf.
We hypothesised that infants with ventricular dysfunction after cardiac surgery have impaired haemodynamic response to arginine–vasopressin therapy. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of neonates and infants treated with arginine–vasopressin within 48 hours of corrective or palliative cardiac surgery who underwent echocardiographic assessment of ventricular function before initiation of therapy. Patients were classified as “responders” if their systolic blood pressure increased by ⩾10% without increase in catecholamine score or if it was maintained with decreased catecholamine score. Response was assessed 1 hour after maximum upward titration of arginine–vasopressin. A total of 36 children (15 neonates) were reviewed (17 male). The median (interquartile) age was 10.4 weeks (1.1–26.9), and the median weight was 4.3 kg (3.2–5.8). Diagnoses included single ventricle (eight), arch abnormalities (five), atrioventricular septal defect (four), double-outlet right ventricle (three), tetralogy of Fallot (three), and others (13). In all, 12 patients (33%) had ventricular dysfunction. Only 15 (42%) responded favourably according to our definition 1 hour after the “target” arginine–vasopressin dose was achieved. Ventricular dysfunction was not associated with poor response. The overall mortality was 25%, but mortality in patients with ventricular dysfunction was 42%. Favourable response was associated with shorter ICU stay (9.5 days versus 19.5 days, p=0.01). We conclude that arginine–vasopressin fails to increase blood pressure in ~50% of hypotensive children after cardiac surgery. The response rate does not increase with duration of therapy. Ventricular function does not predict haemodynamic response. The mortality in this group is very high. Prospective comparison of vasopressin with other vasoactive agents and/or inotropes is warranted.