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Wildlife species are often host to a diversity of parasites, but our knowledge of their diversity and ecology is extremely limited, especially for reptiles. Little is known about the host-parasite ecology of the Australian lizard, the King's skink (Egernia kingii). In spring of 2015, we carried out a field-based study of a population of King's skinks on Penguin Island (Western Australia). We documented five species of parasites, including two ectoparasitic mites (an undescribed laelapid mite and Mesolaelaps australiensis), an undescribed coccidia species, and two nematode species (Pharyngodon tiliquae and Capillaria sp.). The laelapid mite was the most abundant parasite, infesting 46.9% of the 113 captured lizards. This mite species increased in prevalence and abundance over the course of the study. Infection patterns of both mites varied with lizard life-stage; sub-adults were more commonly infested with laelapid mites than adults or juveniles, and sub-adults and adults were infested by more laelapid mites than juveniles. By contrast, adults had a higher prevalence of M. australiensis than juveniles or sub-adults. Among the gastrointestinal parasites, P. tiliquae was relatively common among the sampled lizards (35.3%). These results give new important information about reptiles as parasite hosts and what factors influence infection patterns.
During the last decades we have seen a new focus on early treatment of psychosis. Several reviews have shown that duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is correlated to better outcome. However, it is still unknown whether early treatment will lead to a better long term outcome. This study reports the effects of reducing DUP on 5-year course and outcome.
During 1997-2000 a total of 281 consecutive patients aged > 17 years with first episode non-affective psychosis were recruited of which 192 participated in the 5-year follow-up. A comprehensive early detection (ED) program with public information campaigns and low-threshold psychosis detection teams was established in one health-care area (ED-area), but not in a comparable area (No-ED area). Both areas ran equivalent treatment programs during the first 2 years and need-adapted treatment thereafter.
At the start of treatment ED-patients had shorter DUP and less symptoms than No-ED-patients. There were no significant differences in treatment (psychotherapy and medication) for the 5 years. Mixed-effects modeling showed better scores for the ED-group on PANSS negative, depressive and cognitive factors and for GAF social functioning at 5 year follow-up. The ED-group also had more contacts with friends. Regression analysis did not find that these differences could be explained by confounders.
Early treatment had positive effects on clinical and functional status at 5 year follow-up in first episode psychosis.
Quality of life (QoL) measures are increasingly recognized as necessary parts of outcome assessments in psychosis. The present paper is a comprehensive study of patients with first-episode psychosis where QoL is measured by the commonly used Lehman Quality of Life Interview (L-QoLI). The aim is to examine if the L-QoLI maintain its original structure when used in a group of patients with first-episode psychosis, and to investigate what determines global subjective QoL with a specific emphasis on premorbid adjustment, duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and clinical symptoms. The study indicates that the psychometric properties of the L-QoLI do not change significantly when used in first-episode samples. The patients report subjective and objective QoL in the fair to good range, with only a moderate association between the objective and subjective measures. Poor global satisfaction is predicted by being single, abusing drugs, being depressed, having a diagnosis of psychotic affective disorder, having poor premorbid social adjustment and DUP over 10 weeks. The study supports the notion that patients with first-episode psychosis construct QoL in the same way as other groups, and that longer durations of compromised function at this stage produces poor satisfaction with life rather than a downward readjustment of expectations.
Two common approaches to identify subgroups of patients with bipolar disorder are clustering methodology (mixture analysis) based on the age of onset, and a birth cohort analysis. This study investigates if a birth cohort effect will influence the results of clustering on the age of onset, using a large, international database.
The database includes 4037 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, previously collected at 36 collection sites in 23 countries. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to adjust the data for country median age, and in some models, birth cohort. Model-based clustering (mixture analysis) was then performed on the age of onset data using the residuals. Clinical variables in subgroups were compared.
There was a strong birth cohort effect. Without adjusting for the birth cohort, three subgroups were found by clustering. After adjusting for the birth cohort or when considering only those born after 1959, two subgroups were found. With results of either two or three subgroups, the youngest subgroup was more likely to have a family history of mood disorders and a first episode with depressed polarity. However, without adjusting for birth cohort (three subgroups), family history and polarity of the first episode could not be distinguished between the middle and oldest subgroups.
These results using international data confirm prior findings using single country data, that there are subgroups of bipolar I disorder based on the age of onset, and that there is a birth cohort effect. Including the birth cohort adjustment altered the number and characteristics of subgroups detected when clustering by age of onset. Further investigation is needed to determine if combining both approaches will identify subgroups that are more useful for research.
This contribution gives an update on on-going efforts to characterise the detailed chemical abundances of Local Group globular clusters (GCs) from integrated-light spectroscopy. Observations of a sample of 20 GCs so far, located primarily within dwarf galaxies, show that at low metallicities the [α/Fe] ratios are generally indistinguishable from those in Milky Way GCs. However, the “knee” above which [α/Fe] decreases towards Solar-scaled values occurs at lower metallicities in the dwarfs, implying that GCs follow the same trends seen in field stars. Efforts are underway to establish NLTE corrections for integrated-light abundance measurements, and preliminary results for Mn are discussed.
To assess variability in antimicrobial use and associations with infection testing in pediatric ventilator-associated events (VAEs).
Descriptive retrospective cohort with nested case-control study.
Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), cardiac intensive care units (CICUs), and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in 6 US hospitals.
Children≤18 years ventilated for≥1 calendar day.
We identified patients with pediatric ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), pediatric VACs with antimicrobial use for≥4 days (AVACs), and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP, defined as pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test) according to previously proposed criteria.
Among 9,025 ventilated children, we identified 192 VAC cases, 43 in CICUs, 70 in PICUs, and 79 in NICUs. AVAC criteria were met in 79 VAC cases (41%) (58% CICU; 51% PICU; and 23% NICU), and varied by hospital (CICU, 20–67%; PICU, 0–70%; and NICU, 0–43%). Type and duration of AVAC antimicrobials varied by ICU type. AVAC cases in CICUs and PICUs received broad-spectrum antimicrobials more often than those in NICUs. Among AVAC cases, 39% had respiratory infection diagnostic testing performed; PVAP was identified in 15 VAC cases. Also, among AVAC cases, 73% had no associated positive respiratory or nonrespiratory diagnostic test.
Antimicrobial use is common in pediatric VAC, with variability in spectrum and duration of antimicrobials within hospitals and across ICU types, while PVAP is uncommon. Prolonged antimicrobial use despite low rates of PVAP or positive laboratory testing for infection suggests that AVAC may provide a lever for antimicrobial stewardship programs to improve utilization.
For a closed subgroup of a locally compact group the Rieffel induction process gives rise to a C*-correspondence over the C*-algebra of the subgroup. We study the associated Cuntz–Pimsner algebra and show that, by varying the subgroup to be open, compact, or discrete, there are connections with the Exel–Pardo correspondence arising from a cocycle, and also with graph algebras.
Archaeological fieldwork at Hjarnø Sund in Horsens Fjord (eastern Jutland, Denmark) has explored an eroding Mesolithic shell midden. Its stratigraphy is characterized by two layers, containing marine mollusk taxa typically collected by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers for food. In the field, the lower layer appeared to be dominated by oysters (Ostrea edulis), while the upper one by cockles (Cerastoderma edule), which was confirmed by our zooarchaeological study. Accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dating on shells and paired charcoal samples from the two layers indicate that these are chronologically consecutive (separated by as little as 0–163 yr [95.4%]) and that the oyster-to-cockle shift dated between ~5500–5300 and ~5300–5200 cal BC (around or just after the Kongemose/Ertebølle transition). The shell midden at Hjarnø Sund is, thus, one of the oldest-known in Denmark, demonstrating that intensive shellfish exploitation was a hallmark of the Ertebølle culture from its inception. Oyster-to-cockle shifts, thus, also occurred at times other than the Mesolithic–Neolithic Transition and may have been ultimately caused by local shoreline displacements, resulting from changes in sedimentation, possibly induced by drops in relative sea level.
Laying hens housed in free-range systems have access to an outdoor range, and individual hens within a flock differ in their ranging behaviour. Whether there is a link between ranging and laying hen welfare remains unclear. We analysed the relationships between ranging by individual hens on a commercial free-range layer farm and behavioural, physiological and health measures of animal welfare. We hypothesised that hens that access the range more will be (1) less fearful in general and in response to novelty and humans, (2) have better health in terms of physical body condition and (3) have a reduced physiological stress response to behavioural tests of fear and health assessments than hens that use the range less. Using radio frequency identification tracking across two flocks, we recorded individual hens’ frequency, duration and consistency of ranging. We also assessed how far hens ventured into the range based on three zones: 0 to 2.4, 2.4 to 11.4 or >11.4 m from the shed. We assessed hen welfare using a variety of measures including: tonic immobility, open field, novel object, human approach, and human avoidance (HAV) behavioural tests; stress-induced plasma corticosterone response and faecal glucocorticoid metabolites; live weight, comb colour, and beak, plumage, footpad, and keel bone condition. Range use was positively correlated with plasma corticosterone response, faecal glucocorticoid metabolites, and greater flight distance during HAV. Hens that used the range more, moved towards rather than away from the novel object more often than hens that ranged less. Distance ranged from the shed was significantly associated with comb colour and beak condition, in that hens with darker combs and more intact beaks ranged further. Overall the findings suggest that there is no strong link between outdoor range usage and laying hen welfare. Alternatively, it may be that hens that differed in their ranging behaviour showed few differences in measures of welfare because free-range systems provide hens with adequate choice to cope with their environment. Further research into the relationship between individual range access and welfare is needed to test this possibility.
Avian influenza virus (AIV) subtypes H5 and H7 can infect poultry causing low pathogenicity (LP) AI, but these LPAIVs may mutate to highly pathogenic AIV in chickens or turkeys causing high mortality, hence H5/H7 subtypes demand statutory intervention. Serological surveillance in the European Union provides evidence of H5/H7 AIV exposure in apparently healthy poultry. To identify the most sensitive screening method as the first step in an algorithm to provide evidence of H5/H7 AIV infection, the standard approach of H5/H7 antibody testing by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) was compared with an ELISA, which detects antibodies to all subtypes. Sera (n = 1055) from 74 commercial chicken flocks were tested by both methods. A Bayesian approach served to estimate diagnostic test sensitivities and specificities, without assuming any ‘gold standard’. Sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA was 97% and 99.8%, and for H5/H7 HI 43% and 99.8%, respectively, although H5/H7 HI sensitivity varied considerably between infected flocks. ELISA therefore provides superior sensitivity for the screening of chicken flocks as part of an algorithm, which subsequently utilises H5/H7 HI to identify infection by these two subtypes. With the calculated sensitivity and specificity, testing nine sera per flock is sufficient to detect a flock seroprevalence of 30% with 95% probability.
A unique class of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells in mammalian retinae has been recently discovered and characterized. These neurons can generate visual signals in the absence of inputs from rods and cones, the conventional photoreceptors in the visual system. These light sensitive ganglion cells (mRGCs) express the non-rod, non-cone photopigment melanopsin and play well documented roles in modulating pupil responses to light, photoentrainment of circadian rhythms, mood, sleep and other adaptive light functions. While most research efforts in mammals have focused on mRGCs in retina, recent studies reveal that melanopsin is expressed in non-retinal tissues. For example, light-evoked melanopsin activation in extra retinal tissue regulates pupil constriction in the iris and vasodilation in the vasculature of the heart and tail. As another example of nonretinal melanopsin expression we report here the previously unrecognized localization of this photopigment in nerve fibers within the cornea. Surprisingly, we were unable to detect light responses in the melanopsin-expressing corneal fibers in spite of our histological evidence based on genetically driven markers and antibody staining. We tested further for melanopsin localization in cell bodies of the trigeminal ganglia (TG), the principal nuclei of the peripheral nervous system that project sensory fibers to the cornea, and found expression of melanopsin mRNA in a subset of TG neurons. However, neither electrophysiological recordings nor calcium imaging revealed any light responsiveness in the melanopsin positive TG neurons. Given that we found no light-evoked activation of melanopsin-expressing fibers in cornea or in cell bodies in the TG, we propose that melanopsin protein might serve other sensory functions in the cornea. One justification for this idea is that melanopsin expressed in Drosophila photoreceptors can serve as a temperature sensor.
Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that occurs along waterways, highways, abandoned agricultural land, and other disturbed areas. It reduces plant diversity and can increase shoreline erosion. An experiment was conducted in Bible Hill and Antigonish, NS, Canada to evaluate early POST aminopyralid at 120 g ae ha−1 and POST imazapyr applications at 720 g ae ha−1 at maximum shoot height, flowering, senescence, maximum height+flowering, maximum height+senescence, flowering+senescence, and maximum height+flowering+senescence. Early POST aminopyralid only provided 10% to 15% control at 52 wk after treatment (WAT) whereas 83% to 100% control occurred following imazapyr applications at all application timings. Percent control at 2, 4, and 8 WAT tended to be higher where imazapyr followed aminopyralid. By 52 WAT, equivalent damage ratings and reductions in stem density occurred at both sites in all plots where imazapyr was applied. The use of aminopyralid or multiple imazapyr applications provided no additional benefit over a single imazapyr application. We conclude that early POST aminopyralid suppresses knotweed growth, which should facilitate late-season imazapyr applications, especially in large stands.
The spread of African swine fever virus (ASFV) threatens to reach further parts of Europe. In countries with a large swine production, an outbreak of ASF may result in devastating economic consequences for the swine industry. Simulation models can assist decision makers setting up contingency plans. This creates a need for estimation of parameters. This study presents a new analysis of a previously published study. A full likelihood framework is presented including the impact of model assumptions on the estimated transmission parameters. As animals were only tested every other day, an interpretation was introduced to cover the weighted infectiousness on unobserved days for the individual animals (WIU). Based on our model and the set of assumptions, the within- and between-pen transmission parameters were estimated to βw = 1·05 (95% CI 0·62–1·72), βb = 0·46 (95% CI 0·17–1·00), respectively, and the WIU = 1·00 (95% CI 0–1). Furthermore, we simulated the spread of ASFV within a pig house using a modified SEIR-model to establish the time from infection of one animal until ASFV is detected in the herd. Based on a chosen detection limit of 2·55% equivalent to 10 dead pigs out of 360, the disease would be detected 13–19 days after introduction.
The conceptualization of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the upcoming International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-11 differs in many respects from the diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5). The consequences of these differences for individuals and for estimation of prevalence rates are largely unknown. This study investigated the concordance of the two diagnostic systems in two separate samples at two separate waves.
Young survivors of the 2011 Norway attacks (n = 325) and their parents (n = 451) were interviewed at 4–6 months (wave 1) and 15–18 months (wave 2) after the shooting. PTSD was assessed with the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index for DSM-IV adapted for DSM-5, and a subset was used as diagnostic criteria for ICD-11.
In survivors, PTSD prevalence did not differ significantly at any time point, but in parents, the DSM-5 algorithm produced significantly higher prevalence rates than the ICD-11 criteria. The overlap was fair for survivors, but amongst parents a large proportion of individuals met the criteria for only one of the diagnostic systems. No systematic differences were found between ICD-11 and DSM-5 in predictive validity.
The proposed ICD-11 criteria and the DSM-5 criteria performed equally well when identifying individuals in distress. Nevertheless, the overlap between those meeting the PTSD diagnosis for both ICD-11 and DSM-5 was disturbingly low, with the ICD-11 criteria identifying fewer people than the DSM-5. This represents a major challenge in identifying individuals suffering from PTSD worldwide, possibly resulting in overtreatment or unmet needs for trauma-specific treatment, depending on the area of the world in which patients are being diagnosed.
The world is full of educational materials created by faculty but there has been insufficient progress in disseminating even the best of these and without broad dissemination there is little penetration of open materials into higher education. Dissemination of open educational materials cannot be limited to textbooks but systems must be created to support students and faculty as are provided by commercial publishers. LibreTexts addresses this across a broad range of science and technology fields with a new reach into social science and liberal arts. LibreTexts design makes it simple for instructors to build their own courseware, either by mapping components created by others or writing their own. LibreTexts is working towards implementing a complete learning management system including testing software, homework systems guided by artificial intelligence, classroom response software and more to provide an open, online educational system suited to the students and faculty of today.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a public health issue worldwide. Injecting drug use remains the major mode of transmission in developed countries. Monitoring the HCV transmission dynamic over time is crucial, especially to assess the effect of harm reduction measures in drug users (DU). Our objective was to estimate the prevalence and incidence of HCV infection in DU in France using data from a repeated cross-sectional survey conducted in 2004 and 2011. Age- and time-dependent HCV prevalence was estimated through logistic regression models adjusted for HIV serostatus or injecting practices. HCV incidence was estimated from a mathematical model linking prevalence and incidence. HCV prevalence decreased from 58·2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 49·7–66·8] in 2004 to 43·2% (95% CI 38·8–47·7) in 2011. HCV incidence decreased from 7·9/100 person-years (95% CI 6·4–9·4) in 2004 to 4·4/100 person-years (95% CI 3·3–5·9) in 2011. HCV prevalence and incidence were significantly associated with age, calendar time, HIV serostatus and injecting practices. In 2011, the highest estimated incidence was in active injecting DU (11·2/100 person-years). Given the forthcoming objective of generalizing access to new direct antiviral agents for HCV infection, our results contribute to decision-making and policy development regarding treatment scale-up and disease prevention in the DU population.
Angiopoietin-like protein 4 (ANGPTL4) is a lipoprotein lipase inhibitor that is involved in lipid metabolism and angiogenesis. Animal studies have suggested that the ANGPTL4 protein is modulated by the gut microbiota, possibly through increased concentrations of SCFA, such as C4, found in whole-fat milk or as a result of fermentation of inulin. This study investigated whether a standardised diet either high in fat content or supplemented with inulin powder would increase plasma ANGPTL4 in overweight men and whether this increase was mediated through a compositional change of the gut microbiota. The study had a crossover design with three arms, where participants were given a standardised isoenergetic diet supplemented with inulin powder, whole-fat milk or water (control). Plasma and urine samples were collected before and after each intervention period. Faecal samples and adipose tissue biopsies were collected after each intervention period. The study included twenty-one participants of whom eighteen completed the study. The dietary interventions did not change ANGPTL4 plasma concentration, nor was plasma ANGPTL4 associated with plasma lipids, TAG or NEFA concentration. The relative abundance of bifidobacteria following the inulin diet was higher, compared with the control diet. However, the changes in microbiota were not associated with plasma ANGPTL4 and the overall composition of the microbiota did not change between the dietary periods. Although weight was maintained throughout the dietary periods, weight was negatively associated with plasma ANGPTL4 concentration. In the adipose tissue, ANGPTL4 expression was correlated with leptin expression, but not with hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) expression.