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Gut cell losses contribute to overall feed efficiency due to the energy requirement for cell replenishment. Intestinal epithelial cells are sloughed into the intestinal lumen as digesta passes through the gastrointestinal tract, where cells are degraded by endonucleases. This leads to fragmented DNA being present in faeces, which may be an indicator of gut cell loss. Therefore, measuring host faecal DNA content could have potential as a non-invasive marker of gut cell loss and result in a novel technique for the assessment of how different feed ingredients impact upon gut health. Faecal calprotectin (CALP) is a marker of intestinal inflammation. This was a pilot study designed to test a methodology for extracting and quantifying DNA from pig faeces, and to assess whether any differences in host faecal DNA and CALP could be detected. An additional aim was to determine whether any differences in the above measures were related to the pig performance response to dietary yeast-enriched protein concentrate (YPC). Newly weaned (∼26.5 days of age) Large White × Landrace × Pietrain piglets (8.37 kg ±1.10, n = 180) were assigned to one of four treatment groups (nine replicates of five pigs), differing in dietary YPC content: 0% (control), 2.5%, 5% and 7.5% (w/w). Pooled faecal samples were collected on days 14 and 28 of the 36-day trial. Deoxyribonucleic acid was extracted and quantitative PCR was used to assess DNA composition. Pig genomic DNA was detected using primers specific for the pig cytochrome b (CYTB) gene, and bacterial DNA was detected using universal 16S primers. A pig CALP ELISA was used to assess gut inflammation. Dietary YPC significantly reduced feed conversion ratio (FCR) from weaning to day 14 (P<0.001), but not from day 14 to day 28 (P = 0.220). Pig faecal CYTB DNA content was significantly (P = 0.008) reduced in YPC-treated pigs, with no effect of time, whereas total faecal bacterial DNA content was unaffected by diet or time (P>0.05). Faecal CALP levels were significantly higher at day 14 compared with day 28, but there was no effect of YPC inclusion and no relationship with FCR. In conclusion, YPC reduced faecal CYTB DNA content and this correlated positively with FCR, but was unrelated to gut inflammation, suggesting that it could be a non-invasive marker of gut cell loss. However, further validation experiments by an independent method are required to verify the origin of pig faecal CYTB DNA as being from sloughed intestinal epithelial cells.
To date, there are no recent studies identifying the prevalence of parasites of human and veterinary importance in dogs and cats in Ireland. The interaction between pets and wildlife species in the environment is an important source of parasite exposure to canids and felines, and one likely to be heightened in the stray animal population. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of endoparasites in unowned dogs and cats in County Dublin, Ireland. Feces from stray dogs (n = 627) and cats (n = 289) entering a rehoming centre were collected immediately after defecation. The main parasitic agents detected were ascarids (15.52 and 30.26%), Cystoisospora (3.27 and 3.69%), Giardia spp. (6.02 and 1.84%) and lungworms (0.64 and 2.08%), in dogs and cats respectively. Animals younger than 3 months of age were more likely to be infected with ascarids (P < 0.001) and Cystoisospora spp. (P = 0.008 and P = 0.014) than older animals. All lungworms were morphologically identified and dogs were infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum (0.48%) and Crenosoma vulpis (0.16%) whereas cats were only infected with Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (2.08%). This represents the first prevalence study of stray animals in Ireland. Data collected will inform the treatment and in addition, the future monitoring and control studies of parasite populations.
Each year, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel respond to over 30 million calls for assistance in the United States alone. These EMS personnel have a rate of occupational fatality comparable to firefighters and police, and a rate of non-fatal injuries that is higher than the rates for police and firefighters and much higher than the national average for all workers. In Australia, no occupational group has a higher injury or fatality rate than EMS personnel. Emergency Medical Services personnel in the US have a rate of occupational violence injuries that is about 22-times higher than the average for all workers. On average, more than one EMS provider in the US is killed every year in an act of violence.
The objective of this epidemiological study was to identify the risks and factors associated with work-related physical violence against EMS personnel internationally.
An online survey, based on a tool developed by the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland), collected responses from April through November 2016.
There were 1,778 EMS personnel respondents from 13 countries; 69% were male and 54% were married. Around 55% described their primary EMS work location as “urban.” Approximately 68% described their employer as a “public provider.” The majority of respondents were from the US.
When asked “Have you ever been physically attacked while on-duty?” 761 (65%) of the 1,172 who answered the question answered “Yes.” In almost 10% (67) of those incidents, the perpetrator used a weapon. Approximately 90% of the perpetrators were patients and around five percent were patient family members. The influence of alcohol and drugs was prevalent. Overall, men experienced more assaults than women, and younger workers experienced more assaults than older workers.
In order to develop and implement measures to increase safety, EMS personnel must be involved with the research and implementation process. Furthermore, EMS agencies must work with university researchers to quantify agency-level risks and to develop, test, and implement interventions in such a way that they can be reliably evaluated and the results published in peer-reviewed journals.
MaguireBJ, BrowneM, O’NeillBJ, DealyMT, ClareD, O’MearaP. International Survey of Violence Against EMS Personnel: Physical Violence Report. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(5):526–531.
Background: The NIH Toolbox - Cognition Battery (NIHTB-CB) is a computerized cognitive assessment designed for clinical research that is administered in-person. Here, we explored the feasibility and validity of a novel video-conference protocol for administering the NIHTB-CB. Since our protocol required repeated assessments, we further explored the NIHTB-CB’s practice effect. Methods: Twenty-five healthy participants completed the NIHTB-CB under two separate conditions four weeks apart. The standard condition followed the recommended administration protocol, whereas the video-conference condition had the examiner and participant in separate rooms but able to communicate over video-conference. A linear mixed-model analysis was performed to explore the fixed effect of testing condition and time on NIHTB-CB performance. Results: Across all three NIHTB-CB composite scores (total, fluid and crystallized cognition) no significant fixed effect of administration condition was found. A significant practice effect was observed for the fluid and total cognition composite scores over a 29.0 (± 2.1) day test-retest interval. Conclusions: Our novel video-conference protocol for the NIHTB-CB is equivalent to the standard protocol in healthy participants, and may provide a solution for researchers seeking to engage study participants at remote sites. If the NIHTB-CB is used longitudinally to monitor patients, corrections for repeated measures may be required.
The objective of the trial was to determine the impact of corn source and xylanase on broiler performance, digestibility, and volatile fatty acid (VFA) profiles. Six corn samples were obtained from different regions of the US. Twelve treatments were derived using corn source, with each corn diet being fed with or without xylanase. Three dietary phases were used throughout the trial, starter (d 1–18), grower (d 19–31), and finisher (d 32–41). On d 18 and 41, ileal and excreta contents were collected for the determination of ileal digestible energy (IDE), ileal energy and nitrogen digestibility coefficients (IEDC and INDC), apparent metabolisable energy (AME), and caecal VFA profiles. Day 18 body weight (BW) was affected by corn source and varied between 724 and 764g (P = 0.001). For d 31 BW, there was an interaction of corn source with xylanase (P = 0.001), with the effect of xylanase being inconsistent. The effect of xylanase on feed conversion ratio (FCR) during the grower phase depended on corn source (interactive term, P = 0.021). Xylanase reduced (P = 0.026) FCR during the finisher phase (1.943 vs. 1.992). Variation of corn source influenced digestibility on all evaluated parameters. A range of 152 and 213 kcal/kg for IDE was observed on d 18 and 41, respectively (P = 0.005 and 0.001). The range of AME was 176 kcal/kg on d 18 of age which increased to 194 kcal/kg on d 41. Nitrogen digestibility was influenced by corn source, with an observed range of 4.4 and 6.1% for d 18 and 41, respectively, amongst all corn sources (P = 0.001). Xylanase increased (P = 0.031) the concentration of butyrate in the caecum on d 18. On d 41, an interaction between corn source and xylanase was observed with isovalerate in the caecal contents (P = 0.038). These data demonstrate the impact of varying corn nutrient profiles on nutrient utilisation and growth performance.
The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) is an 18000 m2 radio telescope located 40 km from Canberra, Australia. Its operating band (820–851 MHz) is partly allocated to telecommunications, making radio astronomy challenging. We describe how the deployment of new digital receivers, Field Programmable Gate Array-based filterbanks, and server-class computers equipped with 43 Graphics Processing Units, has transformed the telescope into a versatile new instrument (UTMOST) for studying the radio sky on millisecond timescales. UTMOST has 10 times the bandwidth and double the field of view compared to the MOST, and voltage record and playback capability has facilitated rapid implementaton of many new observing modes, most of which operate commensally. UTMOST can simultaneously excise interference, make maps, coherently dedisperse pulsars, and perform real-time searches of coherent fan-beams for dispersed single pulses. UTMOST operates as a robotic facility, deciding how to efficiently target pulsars and how long to stay on source via real-time pulsar folding, while searching for single pulse events. Regular timing of over 300 pulsars has yielded seven pulsar glitches and three Fast Radio Bursts during commissioning. UTMOST demonstrates that if sufficient signal processing is applied to voltage streams, innovative science remains possible even in hostile radio frequency environments.
This is a status report on a continuing program using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide–Field Camera (WFC) to probe the stellar population of the Galactic bulge to fainter magnitudes. We seek the mean age of the stars and the initial mass function (IMF). Galactic bulge stars offer the only opportunity to investigate the IMF of a super metal–rich population. They are 100 times closer than the next nearest sample.
Thyroglossal duct cyst recurrence following resection is attributed to anatomical variability and residual thyroglossal ducts. In adults, thyroglossal duct cyst recurrence is extremely rare and a surgical solution is yet to be well explored. This paper describes our approach to the management of recurrent thyroglossal duct cysts and sinuses in adults using a wide anterior neck dissection.
A retrospective review was performed to identify adults who underwent a wide anterior neck dissection for recurrent thyroglossal duct cyst management between 1 January 2009 and 1 January 2015.
Six males and one female were included in the series (mean age, 26.4 ± 10.9 years). Recurrence occurred at a mean of 18 ± 9.8 months following primary surgical management (3 patients underwent cystectomy and 4 had a Sistrunk procedure). All patients subsequently underwent wide anterior neck dissection; there was no further recurrence over the 12-month average follow-up period.
This paper describes a wide anterior neck dissection technique for the management of recurrent thyroglossal duct cysts or sinuses in adults; this approach addresses the variable anatomy of the thyroglossal duct and is associated with minimal morbidity.
Healthcare provider hands are an important source of intraoperative bacterial transmission events associated with postoperative infection development.
To explore the efficacy of a novel hand hygiene improvement system leveraging provider proximity and individual and group performance feedback in reducing 30-day postoperative healthcare-associated infections via increased provider hourly hand decontamination events.
Randomized, prospective study.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and UMass Memorial Medical Center in Massachusetts.
Patients undergoing surgery.
Operating room environments were randomly assigned to usual intraoperative hand hygiene or to a personalized, body-worn hand hygiene system. Anesthesia and circulating nurse provider hourly hand decontamination events were continuously monitored and reported. All patients were followed prospectively for the development of 30-day postoperative healthcare-associated infections.
A total of 3,256 operating room environments and patients (1,620 control and 1,636 treatment) were enrolled. The mean (SD) provider hand decontamination event rate achieved was 4.3 (2.9) events per hour, an approximate 8-fold increase in hand decontamination events above that of conventional wall-mounted devices (0.57 events/hour); P<.001. Use of the hand hygiene system was not associated with a reduction in healthcare-associated infections (odds ratio, 1.07 [95% CI, 0.82–1.40], P=.626).
The hand hygiene system evaluated in this study increased the frequency of hand decontamination events without reducing 30-day postoperative healthcare-associated infections. Future work is indicated to optimize the efficacy of this hand hygiene improvement strategy.
Direct solar flare neutrons are a valuable diagnostic of high-energy ion acceleration in these events, and COMPTEL improves over all previous cosmic neutron detectors in its capacity for neutron energy measurement. Previous studies of COMPTEL neutron data have worked with an incomplete model of the instrumental response, applying energy-by-energy detection efficiencies. Here we employ statistical regularisation techniques with the full (Monte Carlo simulation derived) response matrix to produce improved estimates of neutron numbers and energy distribution. These techniques are applied to data from the well-observed 15 June 1991 flare. Our improved treatment of the instrumental response results in a reduction of 73% in total neutron numbers, compared with previously deduced values. Implications for the picture of primary ion acceleration in this flare are briefly discussed.
We report results of an experimental investigation into the effects of small-scale (mm–cm) heterogeneities on solute spreading and mixing in a Berea sandstone core. Pulse-tracer tests have been carried out in the Péclet number regime
and are supplemented by a unique combination of two imaging techniques. X-ray computed tomography (CT) is used to quantify subcore-scale heterogeneities in terms of permeability contrasts at a spatial resolution of approximately
, while [11C] positron emission tomography (PET) is applied to image the spatial and temporal evolution of the full tracer plume non-invasively. To account for both advective spreading and local (Fickian) mixing as driving mechanisms for solute transport, a streamtube model is applied that is based on the one-dimensional advection–dispersion equation. We refer to our modelling approach as semideterministic, because the spatial arrangement of the streamtubes and the corresponding solute travel times are known from the measured rock’s permeability map, which required only small adjustments to match the measured tracer breakthrough curve. The model reproduces the three-dimensional PET measurements accurately by capturing the larger-scale tracer plume deformation as well as subcore-scale mixing, while confirming negligible transverse dispersion over the scale of the experiment. We suggest that the obtained longitudinal dispersivity (
cm) is rock rather than sample specific, because of the ability of the model to decouple subcore-scale permeability heterogeneity effects from those of local dispersion. As such, the approach presented here proves to be very valuable, if not necessary, in the context of reservoir core analyses, because rock samples can rarely be regarded as ‘uniformly heterogeneous’.
The reported incidence of the metastrongylid nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum, that infects dogs and other canids, is increasing worldwide outside recognized endemic foci. This apparent expansion of the parasite's range is causing concern to veterinary clinicians as the disease caused in dogs can be life threatening and its treatment is not straightforward. The red fox is thought to be a reservoir host for dogs. To investigate the spatial distribution of infection in foxes in Ireland, the hearts and lungs of 542 foxes from all over Ireland were examined. The incidence of infection was found to be 39·9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 35·7–44·1] with positive samples occurring in each of the country's 26 counties. This report confirms that the parasite is endemic in Ireland and the overall prevalence is the second highest in Europe. This is the first survey of A. vasorum infection in Irish foxes and highlights the potential exposure of the Irish dog population to high risk of cross-infection. Additionally, Crenosoma vulpis was found in seven of the foxes, a parasite not previously reported in the Irish fox.
To identify the predictors of psychotropic medication use and to determine rates and patterns of use in Northern Ireland (NI) among the general population and various subgroups.
Analysis of data from the NI Study of Health and Stress, a representative household survey undertaken between 2004 and 2008 with 4340 individuals. Respondents were asked about prescribed psychotropic medication use in the previous 12 months along with a series of demographic questions and items regarding experience of traumatic life events. Mental health disorders were assessed using the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
Females, individuals aged 50–64 years old, those who were previously married, and those who had experienced a traumatic lifetime event were more likely to have taken any psychotropic medication. Use of any psychotropic medication in the population in the previous 12 months was 14.9%. Use among individuals who met the criteria for a 12-month mental health disorder was 38.5%. Almost one in ten individuals (9.4%) had taken an antidepressant.
Compared with other countries, NI has high proportions of individuals using psychotropic medication in both the general population and those who met the criteria for a 12-month mental disorder. However, these results still suggest possible under treatment of mental disorders in the country. In addition, rates of use in those with no disorder are relatively high. The predictors of medication use are similar to findings in other countries. Possible research and policy implications are discussed.
This study assessed both executive function (EF) and prospective memory (PM) in a group of current smokers (CS) to observe whether deficits in both sets of memory processes co-existed in smokers, comparing this group with a group who had never smoked (NS).
An existing-groups design was used to compare smokers with the NS group on a Reserve Digit Span Task (RDST) that measured EF and the Cambridge Prospective Memory Test (CAMPROMPT) measuring PM. Age, mood, other drug use and IQ were also measured and controlled for in the study.
After omitting anyone using an illegal substance and observing no between-group differences in age, gender, anxiety, depression, alcohol use and IQ, the CS group performed significantly worse on the RDST and recalled significantly fewer time-based and event-based tasks on CAMPROMPT, compared with the NS group.
Both EF and PM deficits were evident in the same cohort of CS when compared with a NS group, a finding which is novel in the current literature. Since both EF and PM are interrelated in that they share common resources in the brain, the finding that both sets of deficits co-existed in smokers suggests that persistent cigarette smoking impedes these underlying resources.
Understanding crystal orientation at the ferroelectric domain level, using a non destructive technique, is crucial for the design and characterization of nano-scale devices. In this study, piezoresponse force spectroscopy (PFS) is used to identify ferroelectric domain orientation. The impact of crystal orientation on the switching field of ferroelectric BaTiO3 is also investigated at the domain level. The preferential domain orientations for BaTiO3 thin films prepared by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) in this study are ,  and . They have been mapped onto PFS spectra to show three corresponding switching fields of 460, 330 and 120 kV/cm respectively. In addition, the electric field at which the enhanced piezoresponse occurs was found to vary, due to a phase change. The polarization reversal occurs via a 2-step process (rotation and switching) for  and  orientations. The piezoresponse enhancement is absent for the  (pure switching) domains. The results demonstrate that an electric field induced phase change causes the  and  domains to reverse polarization at a lower field than the  domain.
The prediction of grass dry matter intake (GDMI) and milk yield (MY) are important to aid sward and grazing management decision making. Previous evaluations of the GrazeIn model identified weaknesses in the prediction of GDMI and MY for grazing dairy cows. To increase the accuracy of GDMI and MY prediction, GrazeIn was adapted, and then re-evaluated, using a data set of 3960 individual cow measurements. The adaptation process was completed in four additive steps with different components of the model reparameterised or altered. These components were: (1) intake capacity (IC) that was increased by 5% to reduce a general GDMI underprediction. This resulted in a correction of the GDMI mean and a lower relative prediction error (RPE) for the total data set, and at all stages of lactation, compared with the original model; (2) body fat reserve (BFR) deposition from 84 days in milk to next calving that was included in the model. This partitioned some energy to BFR deposition after body condition score nadir had been reached. This reduced total energy available for milk production, reducing the overprediction of MY and reducing RPE for MY in mid and late lactation, compared with the previous step. There was no effect on predicted GDMI; (3) The potential milk curve was reparameterised by optimising the rate of decrease in the theoretical hormone related to secretory cell differentiation and the basal rate of secretory cell death to achieve the lowest possible mean prediction error (MPE) for MY. This resulted in a reduction in the RPE for MY and an increase in the RPE for GDMI in all stages of lactation compared with the previous step; and (4) finally, IC was optimised, for GDMI, to achieve the lowest possible MPE. This resulted in an IC correction coefficient of 1.11. This increased the RPE for MY but decreased the RPE for GDMI compared with the previous step. Compared with the original model, modifying this combination of four model components improved the prediction accuracy of MY, particularly in late lactation with a decrease in RPE from 27.8% in the original model to 22.1% in the adapted model. However, testing of the adapted model using an independent data set would be beneficial and necessary to make definitive conclusions on improved predictions.
Due to an increased need for new antimalarial chemotherapies that show potency against Plasmodium falciparum, researchers are targeting new processes within the parasite in an effort to circumvent or delay the onset of drug resistance. One such promising area for antimalarial drug development has been the parasite mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). Efforts have been focused on targeting key processes along the parasite ETC specifically the dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHOD) enzyme, the cytochrome bc1 enzyme and the NADH type II oxidoreductase (PfNDH2) pathway. This review summarizes the most recent efforts in antimalarial drug development reported in the literature and describes the evolution of these compounds.
Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction is a prominent feature of the functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, the neurobiological and cognitive consequences of key pathophysiological features of IBS, such as stress-induced changes in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-axis functioning, is unknown. Our aim was to determine whether IBS is associated with cognitive impairment, independently of psychiatric co-morbidity, and whether cognitive performance is related to HPA-axis function.
A cross-sectional sample of 39 patients with IBS, a disease control group of 18 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) in clinical remission and 40 healthy age- and IQ-matched control participants were assessed using the Paired Associates Learning (PAL), Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shift (IED) and Spatial Working Memory (SWM) tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and a computerized Stroop test. HPA-axis function was determined by measuring the cortisol awakening response (CAR).
IBS patients exhibited a subtle visuospatial memory deficit at the PAL six- pattern stage (p = 0.03), which remained after psychiatric co-morbidity was controlled for (p = 0.04). Morning cortisol levels were lower in IBS (p = 0.04) and significantly associated with visuospatial memory performance within IBS only (p = 0.02).
For the first time, altered cognitive function on a hippocampal-mediated test of visuospatial memory, which was related to cortisol levels and independent of psychiatric co-morbidity, has been identified in IBS. Visuospatial memory impairment may be a common, but currently neglected, component of IBS. Further elucidation of the nature of this impairment may lead to a greater understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of IBS, and may provide novel therapeutic approaches.