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Presenteeism, or working while ill, by healthcare personnel (HCP) experiencing influenza-like illness (ILI) puts patients and coworkers at risk. However, hospital policies and practices may not consistently facilitate HCP staying home when ill.
Objective and methods:
We conducted a mixed-methods survey in March 2018 of Emerging Infections Network infectious diseases physicians, describing institutional experiences with and policies for HCP working with ILI.
Of 715 physicians, 367 (51%) responded. Of 367, 135 (37%) were unaware of institutional policies. Of the remaining 232 respondents, 206 (89%) reported institutional policies regarding work restrictions for HCP with influenza or ILI, but only 145 (63%) said these were communicated at least annually. More than half of respondents (124, 53%) reported that adherence to work restrictions was not monitored or enforced. Work restrictions were most often not perceived to be enforced for physicians-in-training and attending physicians. Nearly all (223, 96%) reported that their facility tracked laboratory-confirmed influenza (LCI) in patients; 85 (37%) reported tracking ILI. For employees, 109 (47%) reported tracking of LCI and 53 (23%) reported tracking ILI. For independent physicians, not employed by the facility, 30 (13%) reported tracking LCI and 11 (5%) ILI.
More than one-third of respondents were unaware of whether their institutions had policies to prevent HCP with ILI from working; among those with knowledge of institutional policies, dissemination, monitoring, and enforcement of these policies was highly variable. Improving communication about work-restriction policies, as well as monitoring and enforcement, may help prevent the spread of infections from HCP to patients.
Postgraduate researchers (PGRs), both collectively and individually, represent one of the most important cohorts in English Studies. It takes a considerable investment of time and intellectual energy to produce research commensurate with a PhD, and that work supports the future of English Studies. The award of the PhD is a remarkable individual achievement that we rarely celebrate collectively as a discipline. As a cohort, postgraduate researchers are supported by their supervisors, academic departments and institutions; they are offered training that is both discipline-specific and that cultivates professional development and wider skills necessary for their future careers. Yet, postgraduates are also precarious. Funding for research is highly competitive and increasingly rare; opportunities to teach, if available, are often provided via shortterm contracts with few benefits and little or no support for research or professional development. That those who represent one significant future for English Studies in its broadest sense experience such precarity is increasingly recognised. The most recent example, perhaps, is the free membership extended by the University and College Union (UCU) to postgraduates on teaching contracts or working within teaching and support (see https://www.ucu.org.uk/free). Research councils such as the AHRC commit funding to postgraduates through a variety of routes such as Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and also provide opportunities, policy and support for career development. And subject organisations such as the EA and UE consider postgraduate support and development central to our work.
What of postgraduates themselves, however? In what sense are their voices heard whether as individuals or as a cohort similar to that of the ECA? English: Shared Futures (E:SF) provided an opportunity for postgraduates to present their work and for participants to engage with it. Aside from conference participation, however, the voice of the postgraduate researcher is most often heard within professional settings such as the department meeting, the Graduate Centre, College or School, or the research council. Listening to those who represent the various futures of our discipline outside these formal settings, however, is also vital. For this chapter, I invited three researchers, postgraduates or post-PhDs themselves, who had attended the E:SF conference to reflect on their experience in ways that they felt appropriate. I'm grateful to Emily Ennis, Lewi Mondal and Helen Saunders for their willingness to take up my invitation: their voices follow.
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.
This study examined whether L1-Mandarin learners of L2-English use verb bias and complementizer cues to process temporarily ambiguous English sentences the same way native speakers do. SVO word order places verbs early in sentences in both languages, allowing the use of verb-based knowledge to anticipate what could follow. The two languages differ, however, in whether an optional complementizer signals embedded clauses. In a self-paced reading experiment, native English speakers and L1-Mandarin learners of L2-English read sentences containing temporary ambiguity about whether a noun was the direct object of the verb preceding it or the subject of an embedded clause. Native speakers replicated previous work showing an optimally efficient interactive pattern of cue use, while non-native learners showed additive effects of the two cues, consistent with predictions of the Competition Model about learning how to use multiple cues in a second language that sometimes agree and sometimes do not.
While previous work showed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention toolkit for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) can reduce spread regionally, these interventions are costly, and decisions makers want to know whether and when economic benefits occur.
Orange County, California
Using our Regional Healthcare Ecosystem Analyst (RHEA)-generated agent-based model of all inpatient healthcare facilities, we simulated the implementation of the CRE toolkit (active screening of interfacility transfers) in different ways and estimated their economic impacts under various circumstances.
Compared to routine control measures, screening generated cost savings by year 1 when hospitals implemented screening after identifying ≤20 CRE cases (saving $2,000–$9,000) and by year 7 if all hospitals implemented in a regional coordinated manner after 1 hospital identified a CRE case (hospital perspective). Cost savings was achieved only if hospitals independently screened after identifying 10 cases (year 1, third-party payer perspective). Cost savings was achieved by year 1 if hospitals independently screened after identifying 1 CRE case and by year 3 if all hospitals coordinated and screened after 1 hospital identified 1 case (societal perspective). After a few years, all strategies cost less and have positive health effects compared to routine control measures; most strategies generate a positive cost-benefit each year.
Active screening of interfacility transfers garnered cost savings in year 1 of implementation when hospitals acted independently and by year 3 if all hospitals collectively implemented the toolkit in a coordinated manner. Despite taking longer to manifest, coordinated regional control resulted in greater savings over time.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of computer-assisted “drill-and-strategy” cognitive remediation (CR) for community-dwelling individuals with schizophrenia on cognition, everyday self-efficacy, and independent living skills. Methods: Fifty-six people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were randomized into CR or computer game (CG) playing (control), and offered twenty 1-hr individual sessions in a group setting over 10 weeks. Measures of cognition, psychopathology, self-efficacy, quality of life, and independent living skills were conducted at baseline, end-group and 3 months following intervention completion. Results: Forty-three participants completed at least 10 sessions and the end-group assessment. Linear mixed-effect analyses among completers demonstrated a significant interaction effect for global cognition favoring CR (p=.028). CR-related cognitive improvement was sustained at 3-months follow-up. At end-group, 17 (77%) CR completers showed a reliable improvement in at least one cognitive domain. A significant time effect was evident for self-efficacy (p=.028) with both groups improving over time, but no significant interaction effect was observed. No significant effects were found for other study outcomes, including the functional measure. Conclusions: Computer-assisted drill-and-strategy CR in schizophrenia improved cognitive test performance, while participation in both CR and CG playing promoted enhancements in everyday self-efficacy. Changes in independent living skills did not appear to result from CR, however. Adjunctive psychosocial rehabilitation is likely necessary for improvements in real-world community functioning to be achieved. (JINS, 2018, 24, 549–562)
Objectives: Military deployment is associated with increased risk of adverse emotional and cognitive outcomes. Longitudinal associations involving posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), relatively mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), and neurocognitive compromise are poorly understood, especially with regard to long-term outcomes, and rigorous research is necessary to better understand the corresponding relationships. The objective of this study was to examine short-term and long-term (>5 years) longitudinal associations among PTSD, neurocognitive performance, and TBI following military deployment. Methods: In this prospective study, N=315 U.S. Army soldiers were assessed at military installations before (2003–2005) and after (2004–2006) an index deployment to the Iraq War, and again an average of 7.6 years later (2010–2014) as a nationally dispersed cohort of active duty soldiers, reservists, and veterans. Thus, the study design allowed for two measurement intervals over which to examine changes. All assessments included the PTSD Checklist, civilian version, and individually-administered performance-based neurocognitive tests. TBI history was derived from clinical interview. Results: Autoregressive analyses indicated that visual reproduction scores were inversely related to subsequent PTSD symptom severity at subsequent assessments. Conversely, increases in PTSD symptom severity over each measurement interval were associated with poorer verbal and/or visual recall at the end of each interval, and less efficient reaction time at post-deployment. TBI, primarily mild in this sample, was associated with adverse PTSD symptom outcomes at both post-deployment and long-term follow-up. Conclusions: These results suggest longitudinal relationships among PTSD symptoms, TBI, and neurocognitive decrements may contribute to sustained emotional and neurocognitive symptoms over time. (JINS, 2018, 24, 311–323)
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Psoriasis is one of the most common inflammatory diseases of the skin, affecting about 2%–3% of the US population. Despite its high prevalence, its pathogenesis remains poorly understood. The ability of the microbiome to modify host immunity and metabolism suggests that it may contribute to the development of psoriasis and its cardiometabolic comorbidities. This study aims to characterize the psoriatic skin microbiome and understand the functional role that these bacteria may play. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: 16s rRNA sequencing of site-matched skin swabs from 8 psoriasis patients and 8 healthy controls was used to identify bacteria and determine their relative abundance and microbial community diversity in the sample. PICRUSt was used to infer the functional roles of the bacteria from 16s rRNA amplicon data. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Lesional psoriasis skin had lower α diversity (p=0.04), less Actinobacteria (p=0.0001), but higher Firmicutes (p=0.009) compared with controls. At the genus level, lesional skin had more Alloiococcus (p=0.01) and Aerococcus (p=0.01) and demonstrated a trend towards lower Propionibacterium (p=0.08) and higher Gallicola (p=0.09) compared to controls. Interestingly, Alloiococcus (p=0.003) and Gallicola (p=0.04) were also higher in nonlesional skin compared with controls. Furthermore, lesional and nonlesional skin shared an increased abundance of Acinetobacter sp., Staphylococcus pettenkoferi, and Streptococcus sp., relative to controls. Lesional and nonlesional psoriasis skin did not differ significantly in microbiome composition. Predictive functional analysis revealed that both the healthy and psoriatic skin microbiome were enriched with bacteria capable of amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism suggest these functions might have a general role in host-microbe interaction. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: These data reveal intriguing differences in the cutaneous microbiome of psoriatic individuals and healthy controls and suggest that bacterial metabolism may play an important role in host-microbe interaction.
We report an epidemiological investigation of a cluster of Brevundimonas diminuta isolates cultured from sterile sites. Inoculation of supplement medium yielded growth of B. diminuta. Molecular typing indicated likely contamination of the lot. No B. diminuta was further isolated after replacement of the supplement with a new lot number.
A significant minority of people presenting with a major depressive episode (MDE) experience co-occurring subsyndromal hypo/manic symptoms. As this presentation may have important prognostic and treatment implications, the DSM–5 codified a new nosological entity, the “mixed features specifier,” referring to individuals meeting threshold criteria for an MDE and subthreshold symptoms of (hypo)mania or to individuals with syndromal mania and subthreshold depressive symptoms. The mixed features specifier adds to a growing list of monikers that have been put forward to describe phenotypes characterized by the admixture of depressive and hypomanic symptoms (e.g., mixed depression, depression with mixed features, or depressive mixed states [DMX]). Current treatment guidelines, regulatory approvals, as well the current evidentiary base provide insufficient decision support to practitioners who provide care to individuals presenting with an MDE with mixed features. In addition, all existing psychotropic agents evaluated in mixed patients have largely been confined to patient populations meeting the DSM–IV definition of “mixed states” wherein the co-occurrence of threshold-level mania and threshold-level MDE was required. Toward the aim of assisting clinicians providing care to adults with MDE and mixed features, we have assembled a panel of experts on mood disorders to develop these guidelines on the recognition and treatment of mixed depression, based on the few studies that have focused specifically on DMX as well as decades of cumulated clinical experience.
Adult ventilator-associated event (VAE) definitions include ventilator-associated conditions (VAC) and subcategories for infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVAC) and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP). We explored these definitions for children.
Pediatric, cardiac, or neonatal intensive care units (ICUs) in 6 US hospitals
Patients ≤18 years old ventilated for ≥1 day
We identified patients with pediatric VAC based on previously proposed criteria. We applied adult temperature, white blood cell count, antibiotic, and culture criteria for IVAC and PVAP to these patients. We matched pediatric VAC patients with controls and evaluated associations with adverse outcomes using Cox proportional hazards models.
In total, 233 pediatric VACs (12,167 ventilation episodes) were identified. In the cardiac ICU (CICU), 62.5% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; in the pediatric ICU (PICU), 54.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; and in the neonatal ICU (NICU), 20.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria. Most patients had abnormal white blood cell counts and temperatures; we therefore recommend simplifying surveillance by focusing on “pediatric VAC with antimicrobial use” (pediatric AVAC). Pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test (“pediatric PVAP”) occurred in 8.9% of VACs in the CICU, 13.3% of VACs in the PICU, and 4.3% of VACs in the NICU. Hospital mortality was increased, and hospital and ICU length of stay and duration of ventilation were prolonged among all pediatric VAE subsets compared with controls.
We propose pediatric AVAC for surveillance related to antimicrobial use, with pediatric PVAP as a subset of AVAC. Studies on generalizability and responsiveness of these metrics to quality improvement initiatives are needed, as are studies to determine whether lower pediatric VAE rates are associated with improvements in other outcomes.
This article reports on qualitative research conducted to evaluate parents’ perspectives of their experiences of Talking Matters Bendigo (TMB), a screening programme initiated between health and educational professionals in regional Victoria to improve access to speech pathologists for parents of preschool-aged children with speech, language and communication concerns. Drop-in clinics are conducted in three Bendigo schools monthly. The programme is a collaborative partnership between the Victorian Department of Education and Training, Maternal and Child Health and ‘Off to an Early Start’ (City of Greater Bendigo), Bendigo Health and the disciplines of Speech Pathology and Education at La Trobe University, Bendigo. La Trobe Education (Honours) student researchers interviewed a group of 10 parents attending TMB using face to face interviews and collected data using an online survey after parents attended a session. Thematic analysis of the data was completed and inter-reliability checks were completed by two external La Trobe PhD students to increase reliability and validity. Results indicated parents were satisfied with the information provided by the speech pathologists and they reported that they intended to utilise this new knowledge at home with their children. This study provides preliminary evidence that novel service delivery options such as TMB can be successful in engaging parents early in health literacy so that speech, language and communication problems in preschool-aged children can be identified, managed and even prevented.
The quantity and quality of collagen fibrils in the extracellular matrix (ECM) have a pivotal role in dictating biological processes. Several collagen-binding proteins (CBPs) are known to modulate collagen deposition and fibril diameter. However, limited studies exist on alterations in the fibril ultrastructure by CBPs. In this study, we elucidate how the collagen receptor, discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) regulates the collagen content and ultrastructure in the adventitia of DDR1 knock-out (KO) mice. DDR1 KO mice exhibit increased collagen deposition as observed using Masson’s trichrome. Collagen ultrastructure was evaluated in situ using transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Although the mean fibril diameter was not significantly different, DDR1 KO mice had a higher percentage of fibrils with larger diameter compared with their wild-type littermates. No significant differences were observed in the length of D-periods. In addition, collagen fibrils from DDR1 KO mice exhibited a small, but statistically significant, increase in the depth of the fibril D-periods. Consistent with these observations, a reduction in the depth of D-periods was observed in collagen fibrils reconstituted with recombinant DDR1-Fc. Our results elucidate how DDR1 modulates collagen fibril ultrastructure in vivo, which may have important consequences in the functional role(s) of the underlying ECM.
Numerous studies have examined relationships between disease biomarkers (such as blood lipids) and levels of circulating or cellular fatty acids. In such association studies, fatty acids have typically been expressed as the percentage of a particular fatty acid relative to the total fatty acids in a sample. Using two human cohorts, this study examined relationships between blood lipids (TAG, and LDL, HDL or total cholesterol) and circulating fatty acids expressed either as a percentage of total or as concentration in serum. The direction of the correlation between stearic acid, linoleic acid, dihomo-γ-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid and DHA and circulating TAG reversed when fatty acids were expressed as concentrations v. a percentage of total. Similar reversals were observed for these fatty acids when examining their associations with the ratio of total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol. This reversal pattern was replicated in serum samples from both human cohorts. The correlations between blood lipids and fatty acids expressed as a percentage of total could be mathematically modelled from the concentration data. These data reveal that the different methods of expressing fatty acids lead to dissimilar correlations between blood lipids and certain fatty acids. This study raises important questions about how such reversals in association patterns impact the interpretation of numerous association studies evaluating fatty acids and their relationships with disease biomarkers or risk.
Reports of bloodstream infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among chronic hemodialysis patients to 2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance systems (National Healthcare Safety Network Dialysis Event and Emerging Infections Program) were compared to evaluate completeness of reporting. Many methicillin-resistant S. aureus bloodstream infections identified in hospitals were not reported to National Healthcare Safety Network Dialysis Event.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):205–207
Prostate cancer is the most common non-cutaneous cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality among men in the USA. Growing evidence suggests that oxidative stress is involved in the development and progression of prostate cancer. In this study, the association between antioxidants from diet and supplements and biomarkers of oxidative stress in blood (n 278), urine (n 298) and prostate tissue (n 55) were determined among men from the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project. The association between antioxidant intake and oxidative stress biomarkers in blood and urine was determined using linear regression, adjusting for age, race, prostate cancer aggressiveness and smoking status. Greater antioxidant intake was found to be associated with lower urinary 8-isoprostane concentrations, with a 10 % increase in antioxidant intake corresponding to an unadjusted 1·1 % decrease in urinary 8-isoprostane levels (95 % CI −1·7, −0·3 %; P value<0·01) and an adjusted 0·6 % decrease (95 % CI −1·4, 0·2 %; P value=0·16). In benign prostate tissue, thioredoxin 1 was inversely associated with antioxidant intake (P=0·02). No significant associations were found for other blood or urinary biomarkers or for malignant prostate tissue. These results indicate that antioxidant intake may be associated with less oxidative stress among men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
A patient with no risk factors for malaria was hospitalized in New York City with Plasmodium falciparum infection. After investigating all potential sources of infection, we concluded the patient had been exposed to malaria while hospitalized less than 3 weeks earlier. Molecular genotyping implicated patient-to-patient transmission in a hospital setting.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;37(1):113–115