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Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
To determine the level of vitamin D and to identify the association between vitamin D and depressive symptoms in apparently healthy Korean male adults.
A retrospective study design. Among 43 513 participants between 1 March and 30 November 2018, after eliminating participants with a history of depression or vitamin D deficiency, 9058 were included. To determine the level of vitamin D, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was measured. To assess the level of depression, the Korean version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was used.
Male adults who underwent routine health check-ups.
The average vitamin D level was 22·31 ± 7·09 ng/ml as 25(OH)D, while the number of subjects in the vitamin D insufficiency group with a finding of <20 ng/ml was 3783 (41·8 %). The mean CES-D score in all subjects was 8·31 ± 5·97 points, and the proportion of the depressive symptoms group with a score of ≥16 was 8·71 %. The OR of patients in the depressive symptoms group also being in the insufficiency group was found to be 1·49 (95 % CI 1·12, 2·00).
A total of 41·8 % of apparently healthy male adults had vitamin D levels <20 ng/ml. We identified an association between vitamin D insufficiency and depressive symptoms in apparently healthy Korean male adults.
The experiments reported in this research paper aimed to determine the effect of supplementing different forms of L-methionine (L-Met) and acetate on protein synthesis in immortalized bovine mammary epithelial cell line (MAC-T cells). Treatments were Control, L-Met, conjugated L-Met and acetate (CMA), and non-conjugated L-Met and Acetate (NMA). Protein synthesis mechanism was determined by omics method. NMA group had the highest protein content in the media and CSN2 mRNA expression levels (P < 0.05). The number of upregulated and downregulated proteins observed were 39 and 77 in L-Met group, 62 and 80 in CMA group and 50 and 81 in NMA group from 448 proteins, respectively (P < 0.05). L-Met, NMA and CMA treatments stimulated pathways related to protein and energy metabolism (P < 0.05). Metabolomic analysis also revealed that L-Met, CMA and NMA treatments resulted in increases of several metabolites (P < 0.05). In conclusion, NMA treatment increased protein concentration and expression level of CSN2 mRNA in MAC-T cells compared to control as well as L-Met and CMA treatments through increased expression of milk protein synthesis-related genes and production of the proteins and metabolites involved in energy and protein synthesis pathways.
Given that only a subgroup of patients with schizophrenia responds to first-line antipsychotic drugs, a key clinical question is what underlies treatment response. Observations that prefrontal activity correlates with striatal dopaminergic function, have led to the hypothesis that disrupted frontostriatal functional connectivity (FC) could be associated with altered dopaminergic function. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between frontostriatal FC and striatal dopamine synthesis capacity in patients with schizophrenia who had responded to first-line antipsychotic drug compared with those who had failed but responded to clozapine.
Twenty-four symptomatically stable patients with schizophrenia were recruited from Seoul National University Hospital, 12 of which responded to first-line antipsychotic drugs (first-line AP group) and 12 under clozapine (clozapine group), along with 12 matched healthy controls. All participants underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and [18F]DOPA PET scans.
No significant difference was found in the total PANSS score between the patient groups. Voxel-based analysis showed a significant correlation between frontal FC to the associative striatum and the influx rate constant of [18F]DOPA in the corresponding region in the first-line AP group. Region-of-interest analysis confirmed the result (control group: R2 = 0.019, p = 0.665; first-line AP group: R2 = 0.675, p < 0.001; clozapine group: R2 = 0.324, p = 0.054) and the correlation coefficients were significantly different between the groups.
The relationship between striatal dopamine synthesis capacity and frontostriatal FC is different between responders to first-line treatment and clozapine treatment in schizophrenia, indicating that a different pathophysiology could underlie schizophrenia in patients who respond to first-line treatments relative to those who do not.
We examined whether hypotension in very low birth weight infants aged⩽1 week was associated with hospital morbidities and overall mortality. Further, we studied whether hypotension was associated with poor neurodevelopmental outcomes in these patients at the corrected age of 18 months. A total of 166 very low birth weight infants were studied during this period. Hospital outcomes and neurodevelopmental outcomes at the corrected age of 18 months were evaluated. Among the 166 very low birth weight infants, 95 patients (57.2%) experienced hypotension at⩽1 week and were associated with an increased incidence of morbidities and mortality. At the corrected age of 18 months, hypotension of the⩽1 week group had significantly lower scores in all three – cognitive, language, and motor – composites of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (Bayley-III) screening tests. In addition, a multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that longer mechanical ventilation and periventricular leukomalacia were additionally associated with worse cognitive and language neurodevelopmental outcomes. Hypotension in very low birth weight infants within 1 week of life was associated with increased morbidities and overall mortality. It was also associated with an increased risk of cognitive and language outcomes.
We trace Sn nanoparticles (NPs) produced from SnO2 nanotubes (NTs) during lithiation initialized by high energy e-beam irradiation. The growth dynamics of Sn NPs is visualized in liquid electrolytes by graphene liquid cell transmission electron microscopy. The observation reveals that Sn NPs grow on the surface of SnO2 NTs via coalescence and the final shape of agglomerated NPs is governed by surface energy of the Sn NPs and the interfacial energy between Sn NPs and SnO2 NTs. Our result will likely benefit more rational material design of the ideal interface for facile ion insertion.
To determine the influence of caregiver personality and other factors on the burden of family caregivers of terminally ill cancer patients.
We investigated a wide range of factors related to the patient–family caregiver dyad in a palliative care setting using a cross-sectional design. Caregiver burden was assessed using the seven-item short version of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI–7). Caregiver personality was assessed using the 10-item short version of the Big Five Inventory (BFI–10), which measures the following five personality dimensions: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. Patient- and caregiver-related sociodemographic and psychological factors were included in the analysis because of their potential association with caregiver burden. Clinical patient data were obtained from medical charts or by using other measures. Multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to identify the independent factors associated with caregiver burden.
We analyzed 227 patient–family caregiver dyads. The multivariate analysis revealed that caregiver extroversion was protective against caregiver burden, whereas depressive symptoms in caregivers were related to increased burden. Neuroticism was positively correlated with caregiver burden, but this relationship was nonsignificant following adjustment for depressive symptoms. Patient-related factors were not significantly associated with caregiver burden.
Significance of Results:
Evaluating caregiver personality traits could facilitate identification of individuals at greater risk of high burden. Furthermore, depression screening and treatment programs for caregivers in palliative care settings are required to decrease caregiver burden.
Liposomal drug delivery products have been already commercialized in tumor therapeutics, which can realize passive tumor targeting via enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect resulting from the leaky tumor vasculature. To control drug release out of the liposomes, thermo-sensitive liposomes (TSLs) have been developed so that an abrupt exposure of highly concentrated drugs to tumor tissues was enabled by locally treated thermal stimuli. As interests upon TSL have increased along with ongoing clinical trials, some types of TSLs with different physical properties in pharmacokinetics and the mechanism of drug release have been formulated. However, there are few protocols established with a desirable heat source to maximize the efficacy of different TSLs as treating tumors. In this study, we examined different protocols for the most effective application of different TSLs to tumor therapy. First, we examined if enhancing the accumulation of TSLs within tumor tissues prior to bursting drugs out of TSLs could lead to increasing anti-tumor efficacy. Second, we compared the efficiency of two different heat sources on the use of TSL, a warm water bath (42°C) and high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Our study suggests that the specified protocol be setup for TSLs with different physical properties to optimally function in tumor therapies.
The in vitro corrosion mechanism of the biodegradable cast Mg–10% Ca binary alloy in Hanks' solution was evaluated through transmission electron microscopy observations. The corrosion behavior depends strongly on the microstructural peculiarity of Mg2Ca phase surrounding the island-like primary Mg phase and the fast corrosion induced by the interdiffusion of O and Ca via the Mg2Ca phase of lamellar structure. At the corrosion front, we found that a nanosized crack-like pathway was formed along the interface between the Mg2Ca phase and the primary Mg phase. Through the crack-like pathway, O and Ca are atomically exchanged each other and then the corroded Mg2Ca phase was transformed to Mg oxides. The in vitro corrosion by the exchange of Ca and O at the nanosized pathway led to the rapid bulk corrosion in the Mg–Ca alloys.
Pathological gambling (PG) is a severe and persistent pattern of problem gambling that has been aligned with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, no study has compared the neurocognitive profiles of individuals with PG and OCD.
We compared neurocognitive functioning, including executive function, verbal learning and memory, and visual–spatial organization and memory among 16 pathological gamblers, 31 drug-naïve OCD subjects, and 52 healthy controls.
The only neurocognitive marker common to both groups was increased fragmentation errors on the Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF). The PG subjects showed increased nonperseverative error on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and organization difficulties in the ROCF, whereas the OCD subjects revealed longer response times on the Stroop test and retention difficulties on the immediate recall scale of the ROCF.
A more careful approach is required in considering whether PG is a part of the OCD spectrum, as little evidence of neurocognitive overlap between PG and OCD has been reported.
The direct integration of Ge nanowires with silicon is of interest in multiple applications. In this work, we describe the growth of high-quality, vertically oriented Ge nanowires on Si (111) substrates utilizing a completely sub-Au–Si-eutectic annealing and growth procedure. With all other conditions remaining identical, annealing below the Au–Si eutectic results in successful heteroepitaxial nucleation and growth of Ge nanowires on Si substrate while annealing above the Au–Si eutectic leads to randomly oriented growth. A model is presented to elucidate the effect of the annealing temperature, in which we hypothesized that sub-Au–Si-eutectic annealing leads to the formation of a single and well-oriented interface, essential to template heteroepitaxial nucleation. These results are critically dependent on substrate preparation and lead to the creation of integrated nanowire systems with a low thermal budget process.
We investigated the pressure dependence of the inductive coupled plasma (ICP) oxidation on the electrical characteristics of the thin oxide films. Activation energies and electron temperatures with different pressures were estimated. To demonstrate the pressure effect on the plasma oxide quality, simple N type metal-oxide-semiconductor (NMOS) transistors were fabricated and investigated in a few electrical properties. At higher pressure than 200mTorr, plasma oxide has a slightly higher on-current and a lower interfacial trap density. The on-current gain seems to be related to the field mobility increase and the lower defective interface to the electron temperature during oxidation.
Licorice extracts are known to exhibit anti-carcinogenic activities. However, chronic licorice consumption can lead to serious side effects due to the presence of considerable quantities of glycyrrhizin, which causes severe hypokalaemia and hypertension. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of a hexane–ethanol extract of Glycyrrhiza uralensis (HEGU), which lacks glycyrrhizin, on the metastatic characteristics of DU145 prostate cancer cells. HEGU inhibited basal and epidermal growth factor-induced cell migration, invasion and adhesion in a dose-dependent fashion. HEGU significantly suppressed the secretion and activation of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9. The secretion of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 was reduced, but that of TIMP-2 was increased in HEGU-treated cells. HEGU reduced the protein levels of integrin-α2, the intercellular adhesion molecule, and the vascular cell adhesion molecule. An active fraction of HEGU was separated via column chromatography, and the structure of the active component, licoricidin, was identified via 1H NMR and 13C NMR. The treatment of DU145 cells with licoricidin induced a reduction in cell migration and the secretion of MMP-9, TIMP-1, urokinase-type plasminogen activator and vascular endothelial growth factor, as well as in the expression of adhesion molecules. These results indicate that HEGU, which contains licoricidin, is a potent anti-metastatic agent, which can markedly inhibit the metastatic and invasive capacity of malignant prostate cancer cells. The observed reductions in the activation of proteases and the levels of adhesion molecules may constitute a component of the mechanisms by which HEGU inhibits the migration and adhesion of prostate cancer cells.
A 1MV AMS was installed in KIGAM (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources). After 4 months of installation, the AMS started normal operation from January 2008. This multi-element AMS was developed by HVEE to measure 14C, 10Be, and 26Al. The results of an acceptance test demonstrate that this machine is capable of routine 14C age dating and of measurements of other radioisotopes in terms of accuracy and precision as well as the background level. After installation, an investigation aimed at determining the stable operating conditions was conducted, and background levels were determined to be as low as 10–15 for 14C and 10–14 for 10Be and 26Al.
To investigate the annual rate of tuberculosis (TB) infection among newly employed nurses using both tuberculin skin test (TST) and QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT-G; Cellestis Limited) assay.
A prospective cohort study involving newly employed nurses.
A tertiary care university hospital in South Korea.
All participants (n = 196) were tested with the TST and QFT-G assay at baseline. After 1 year, the TST and QFT-G assay were reperformed for subjects who had negative TST results at baseline and for all subjects, respectively.
The baseline TST and QFT-G assays were positive for 101 subjects (51.5%) and 28 subjects (14.3%), respectively; 22 subjects (11.2%) had positive results of both tests. Although the overall between-test agreement was 54.9% (κ = 0.151 [95% confidence interval, 0.047–0.245]), agreement improved to 78.5% (κ = 0.462 [95% confidence interval, 0.007–0.917]) for subjects who had not received bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination. After 1 year, the TST yielded positive results for 16 (21.3%) of 75 nurses with negative baseline results, and the QFT-G assay yielded positive results for 21 (14.4%) of 146 subjects with negative baseline Results. Collectively, 5 subjects (3.0%) experienced conversion to positive results with both tests, and 32 subjects (18.9%) experienced conversion to positive results with one of the tests. Neither the employing hospital department nor exposure to patients with TB affected test conversion status.
The poor overall agreement between TST and QFT-G results may have been caused by the confounding effect of bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination. The annual risk of TB infection among newly employed nurses was at least 3% on the basis of results of both the TST and QFT-G test. Stricter preventive strategies against TB spread should be implemented in our hospital.
To describe the incidence of recovery of both vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from culture of a single clinical specimen, to describe the clinical characteristics of patients from whom these specimens were recovered, and to identify the risk factors of these patients.
A retrospective cohort and case-control study.
A tertiary care university hospital and referral center in Seoul, Korea.
We identified 61 case patients for whom a single clinical specimen yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and 122 control patients for whom any clinical specimen yielded only VRE on culture. The control patients were selected by matching 2 :1 with the case patients for age, sex, and first date of sampling that led to isolation of VRE or both VRE and MRSA among 1,536 VRE-colonized patients from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2006. To identify patient risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen, we performed univariate comparisons between the 2 groups and then multivariate logistic regression analysis.
The incidence of recovery of both VRE and MRSA from culture of a single clinical specimen was 3.97% (for 61 of 1,536 VRE-colonized patients) over 4 years. Among these 82 single clinical specimens, the most common type was wound specimens (26.8%), followed by lower respiratory tract specimens (18.3%), urine specimens (17.1%), and catheter tips (15.9%). Of the 61 case patients, 14 (23.0%) had 2 or more single clinical specimens that yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and the longest interval from the first sampling that yielded both organisms to the last sampling that yielded both was 174 days. Independent patient risk factors for the presence of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen were chronic renal disease (odds ratio [OR], 7.00; P = .012), urinary catheterization (OR, 3.36; P = .026), and longer total cumulative duration of hospital stay within the previous year (OR, 1.03; P < .001).
We confirmed that the recovery of VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen occurs continually. Because prolonged cell-to-cell contact can facilitate transfer of vanA, close observation and surveillance for vancomycin-resistant S. aureus, especially among patients with risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen, should be continued.