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Rotavirus (RV) is the main cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in young children. The San Luis province of Argentina introduced RV vaccination in May 2013. We estimate vaccine impact (RVI) using real-world data. Data on all-cause AGE cases and AGE-related hospitalisations for San Luis and the adjacent Mendoza province (control group) were obtained and analysed by interrupted time-series methods. Regardless of the model used for counterfactual predictions, we estimated a reduction in the number of all-cause AGE cases of 20–25% and a reduction in AGE-related hospitalisations of 55–60%. The vaccine impact was similar for each age group considered (<1 year, <2 years and <5 years). RV vaccination was estimated to have reduced direct medical costs in the province by about 4.5 million pesos from May 2013 to December 2014. Similar to previous studies, we found a higher impact of RV vaccination in preventing severe all-cause AGE cases requiring hospitalisation than in preventing all-cases AGE cases presenting for medical care. An assessment of the economic value of RV vaccination could take other benefits into account in addition to the avoided medical costs and the costs of vaccination.
A commercial drinkable yogurt with and without 4% of added trehalose (as cell protectant) was spray-dried obtaining a powder with low water activity (aw). Total bacterial count in the powder was between 8.48–8.90 log cfu/g. The dried yogurt was stored: (i) at 38 °C and aw = 0.33; (ii) at 38 °C in hermetically sealed flasks (aw = 0.21/0.22); (iii) in a cyclic temperature chamber (10–20 °C) in hermetically sealed flasks (aw = 0.21/0.22). Whole milk was then fermented by adding an inoculum of spray-dried yogurt after storage under these different conditions. The kinetics of acidification showed the presence of a lag time which was strongly dependent on storage conditions. The data was fitted with a logistic type equation from which the lag time was calculated. To evaluate structural differences among samples, Fourier Transform Infrared spectra (FTIR) were recorded. Partial Least Squares (PLS) models enabled a good correlation between lag time of fermentation and FTIR spectra. The lag time for yogurt powder stored at aw about 0.21/0.22 and cyclic temperature 10–20 °C remained approximately constant over the 12 weeks of storage, while all the other conditions resulted in a dramatic increase. The addition of trehalose had a small influence on lag time and, therefore, as a protectant of lactobacilli.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) share certain traits: they are parasitic infections, prevailing in tropical environments and affecting marginalized sectors of the population. Six NTDs – ascariasis, cysticercosis, echinococcosis, hookworm infection, onchocerciasis and trichuriasis – all of them endemic in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), are analysed in this work. This review aims to discuss key information on the function of excretory/secretory (E/S) proteins from these parasites in their infectivity, pathogeny and diagnosis. The modulation of the host immune system to favour the permanence and survival of the parasite is also discussed. An updated knowledge on the function of E/S molecules in endemic parasitoses in LAC may lead to new approaches for the clinical management and diagnosis of these diseases. In turn, this could allow us to optimize their treatment and make it more affordable – a relevant goal given the economic constraints that the region is facing.
The main objective of our study was to describe the epidemiological and microbiological features of an oligoclonal hospital-wide outbreak caused by OXA-48-producing Enterobacteriaceae (OXA-48-PE). OXA-48 is a carbapenemase belonging to Ambler class D beta-lactamases, identified frequently in the Mediterranean and Southern European countries, and associated with several Enterobacteriaceae species. An outbreak of OXA-48-PE with a complex epidemic pattern was detected in January 2011. Initial control measures included contact precautions and the reinforcement of infection control practices, but despite all efforts made, the epidemiological situation hardly changed and new measures were implemented during 2013. An observational retrospective study was performed to describe the main features of the outbreak and to analyse the cumulative incidence (CI) trends. Eight hundred and 16 patients colonised or infected by OXA-48-PE were identified during the 2-year period (January 2013–December 2014), female 46%, mean age (s.d.), 71.6 (15.2). The samples isolated in the incident cases were rectal swabs (80%), urine samples (10.7%), blood samples (2.8%) and other clinical samples (6.6%). The most frequent OXA-48-PE was Klebsiella pneumoniae. Eleven different clones were identified, but K. pneumoniae sequence types 11 and 405 were predominant: ST11 (64.2%) and ST405 (29.3%). OXA-48-PE CI trend suffered a statistically significant change in August 2013, which continued the following months. Though we could not eradicate the outbreak, we observed a statistically significant drop in CI after an intervention for OXA-48-PE control, based on patient cohort, active surveillance, electronic alerts and reinforcement of infection control measures in a tertiary hospital.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
Nearly 300 species of landbirds, whose populations total billions, migrate between the Neotropics and North America. Many migratory populations are in steep decline, and migration is often identified as the greatest source of annual mortality. Identifying birds’ needs on migration is therefore central to designing conservation actions for Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds; yet migration through the Neotropics is a significant knowledge gap in our understanding of the full annual cycle. Here, we synthesise current knowledge of Neotropical stopover regions and migratory bottlenecks, focusing on long-distance, migratory landbirds that spend the boreal winter in South America. We make the important distinction between “true” stopover—involving multi-day refuelling stops—and rest-roost stops lasting < 24 hours, citing a growing number of studies that show individual landbirds making long stopovers in just a few strategic areas, to accumulate large energy reserves for long-distance flights. Based on an exhaustive literature search, we found few published stopover studies from the Neotropics, but combined with recent tracking studies, they describe prolonged stopovers for multiple species in the Orinoco grasslands (Llanos), the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia), and the Yucatan Peninsula. Bottlenecks for diurnal migrants are well described, with the narrowing Central American geography concentrating millions of migrating raptors at several points in SE Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and the Darién. However, diurnally migrating aerial insectivores remain understudied, and determining stopover/roost sites for this steeply declining group is a priority. Despite advances in our knowledge of migration in the Neotropics, we conclude that major knowledge gaps persist. To identify stopover sites and habitats and the threats they face, we propose a targeted and collaborative research agenda at an expanded network of Neotropical sites, within the context of regional conservation planning strategies.
We present observations of massive star-forming regions selected from the IRAS Point Source Catalog. The observations were made with the Very Large Array and the Large Millimeter Telescope to search for Class I methanol masers. We made interferometric observations of 125 massive star-forming regions in the 44 GHz methanol maser transition; 53 of the 125 fields showed emission. The data allow us to demonstrate associations, at arcsecond precision, of the Class I maser emission with outflows, HII regions and shocks traced by 4.5 μm emission. We made single-dish observations toward 38 of the 53 regions with 44 GHz masers detected to search for the methanol transitions at 84.5, 95.1, 96.7, 107.0, and 108.8 GHz. We find detection rates of 74, 55, 100, 3, and 45%, respectively. We used a wide-band receiver which revealed many other spectral lines that are common in star-forming regions.
Astrobiology seeks to understand the limits of life and to determine the physiology of organisms in order to better assess the habitability of other worlds. To successfully achieve these goals we require microorganisms from environments on Earth that approximate to extraterrestrial environments in terms of physical and/or chemical conditions. The most challenging of these environments with respect to sample collection, isolation and cultivation of microorganisms are anoxic environments. In this paper, an approach to this challenge was implemented within the European Union's MASE (Mars Analogues for Space Exploration) project. In this review paper, we aim to provide a set of methods for future field work and sampling campaigns. A number of anoxic environment based on characteristics that make them analogous to past and present locations on Mars were selected. They included anoxic sulphur-rich springs (Germany), the salt-rich Boulby Mine (UK), a lake in a basaltic context (Iceland), acidic sediments in the Rio Tinto (Spain), glacier samples (Austria) and permafrost samples (Russia and Canada). Samples were collected under strict anoxic conditions to be used for cultivation and genomic community analysis. Using the samples, a culturing approach was implemented to enrich anaerobic organisms using a defined medium that would allow for organisms to be grown under identical conditions in future physiological comparisons. Anaerobic microorganisms were isolated and deposited with the DSMZ (Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH) culture collection to make them available to other scientists. In MASE, the selected organisms are studied with respect to survival and growth under Mars relevant stresses. They are artificially fossilized and the resulting biosignatures studied and used to investigate the efficacy of life detection instrumentation for planetary missions. Some of the organisms belong to genera with medical and environmental importance such as Yersinia spp., illustrating how astrobiology field research can be used to increase the availability of microbial isolates for applied terrestrial purposes.
Air pollution in Mexico City, which has more than 22 million inhabitants, continues to be one of the main environmental issues. Aerosol samples (PM10) collected in Mexico City and the city of Cuernavaca (a clean reference site) have been characterized using different techniques. This multifaceted approach addresses the source apportionment of the carbonaceous matter in PM10, as well as the airborne elements and ions. Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon analysis of total carbon, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and ion chromatography were performed on aerosols collected at three sites in Mexico City and one site in Cuernavaca, during 2 months of the cold-dry season (November–December) in 2012. New results obtained for Mexico City are compared with previous reports. Average levels of PM10 were higher in Mexico City sites (43.3–60.8 μg/m3) than in Cuernavaca (32.2 μg/m3). According to the material balance, PM10 collected in Mexico City had a lower contribution of crustal material (31.2–36.8%) than Cuernavaca (46.9%). Average contributions of particulate carbonaceous matter to PM10 were similar in both cities, but much higher contributions of mineral salts, trace elements, and ions were observed in Mexico City in comparison to Cuernavaca. Total organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) contents were higher in aerosols from Mexico City than those from Cuernavaca. The temporal variation results showed that within all locations studied the OC concentration was high compared to the EC. Results from a theoretical calculation of fossil carbon (FC) and biogenic carbon (BC) concentrations showed that FC and BC levels depend on the site: at Mexico City sites, FC was equal or higher than BC. At Cuernavaca, BC was always higher than FC.
Supernova (SN) 1987A has provided a unique opportunity to study how SN ejecta evolve in 30 years time scale. We report our ALMA spectral observations of SN 1987A, taken in 2014, 2015 and 2016, with detections of CO, 28SiO, HCO+ and SO, with weaker lines of 29SiO.
We find a dip in the SiO line profiles, suggesting that the ejecta morphology is likely elongated. The difference of the CO and SiO line profiles is consistent with hydrodynamic simulations, which show that Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities causes mixing of gas, with heavier elements much more disturbed, making more elongated structure.
Using 28SiO and its isotopologues, Si isotope ratios were estimated for the first time in SN 1987A. The estimated ratios appear to be consistent with theoretical predictions of inefficient formation of neutron rich atoms at lower metallicity, such as observed in the Large Magellanic Cloud (about half a solar metallicity).
The deduced large HCO+ mass and small SiS mass, which are inconsistent to the predictions of chemical model, might be explained by some mixing of elements immediately after the explosion. The mixing might have made some hydrogen from the envelope to sink into carbon and oxygen-rich zone during early days after the explosion, enabling the formation of a substantial mass of HCO+. Oxygen atoms may penetrate into silicon and sulphur zone, suppressing formation of SiS.
Our ALMA observations open up a new window to investigate chemistry, dynamics and explosive-nucleosynthesis in supernovae.
Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition, body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies. It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent, participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected. This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for research collaborations in Africa.
The Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), which is the total radiation arriving at Earth's atmosphere from the Sun, is one of the most important forcing of the Earths climate. Measurements of the TSI have been made employing instruments on board several space-based platforms during the last four solar cycles. However, combining these measurements is still challenging due to the degradation of the sensor elements and the long-term stability of the electronics. Here we describe the preliminary efforts to design an absolute radiometer based on the principle of electrical substitution that is under development at Brazilian's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
First results from the 4-6 months observations of the VIRGO experiment (Variability of solar IRradiance and Gravity Oscillations) on the ESA/NASA Mission SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) are reported. The time series are evaluated in terms of solar irradiance variability, solar background noise characteristics and p-mode oscillations. The solar irradiance is modulated by the passage of active regions across the disk, but not all of the modulation is straightforwardly explained in terms of sunspot flux blocking and facular enhancement. The observed p-mode frequencies are more-or-less in agreement with earlier measurements, but it is interesting to note that systematic differences seem to exist between the observations in different colours. There is also evidence that magnetic activity plays a significant role in the dynamics of the oscillations beyond its modulation of the resonant frequencies. Moreover, by comparing the amplitudes of different components of p-mode multiplets, each of which are influenced differently by spatial inhomogeneity, we have found that activity enhances excitation.
We have mapped the CO J=2-l and J=l-0 emission with high angular resolution (about 10” and 20”, respectively) from the young planetary nebulae NGC2346, M2-9 and NGC6720 (the Ring nebula in Lyra). The observations were carried out by using the IRAM 30-m dish at Pico Veleta (near Granada, Spain).
We have used the IRAM 30-m telescope to make high angular resolution observations of the silicon-bearing molecule, SiO and SiS in region of massive star formation. We have mapped the J=2-l and the J=5-4 lines of SiO with angular resolutions of 26 and 12” respectively. For all the sources mapped, the SiO emission is more extended that the beam. The extreme cases are found toward NGC7538 and W49N where the SiO emission has sizes of 1x0.5 pc and 2.8x1 pc respectively. This result is in contrast with the size of the SiO region in Orion-IRc2 which is of the order 0.03 pc. The maxima of the SiO emission are found at the position of the H2O masers. This indicates, as previously thought, that SiO emission probes the high temperature regions and/or the shocked gas and dust surrounding young stars. In the DR21(OH) region we have found the unique SiO source which is not associated to H20 maser emission. This SiO condensation is 40” south of DR21(OH) and it was first detected as a source of 350µm emission. The SiO emission is elongated in the east-west direction. From an analysis of the FIR continuum emission this object appears to be cool (Tk < 30) and it has been proposed that this source represents a pre-stellar condensation which may be evolving toward the star formation stage. The detection of SiO, howevwer, casts some doubts about the evolutionary stage of this source. Futher high angular resolution observations are necessary to establish the nature of this source.
Using Hipparcos parallaxes and proper motions together with radial velocity data and individual ages estimated from isochones, the velocity ellipsoid has been determined as a function of age. On the basis of the available kinematic data two different samples were considered: a first one (7789 stars) for which only tangential velocities were calculated and a second one containing 3104 stars with available U, V and W velocity components and total velocities ≤ 65 km.s-1.
The main conclusions are: -Mixing is not complete at about 0.8-1 Gyr. -The shape of the velocity ellipsoid changes with time getting rounder from σu/σv/σ-w = 1/0.63/0.42 ± 0.04 at about 1 Gyr to1/0.7/0.62 ±0.04 at 4-5 Gyr. -The age-velocity-dispersion relation (from the sample with kinematical selection) rises to a maximum, thereafter remaining roughly constant; there is no dynamically significant evolution of the disk after about 4-5 Gyr. -Among the stars with solar metallicities and log(age) > 9.8 two groups are identified: one has typical thin disk characteristics, the other is older than 10 Gyr and lags the LSR at about 40 km.s-1 . -The variation of the tangential velocity with age(without selection on the tangential velocity) shows a discontinuity at about 10 Gyr, which may be attributed to stars typically of the thick disk populations for ages > 10 Gyr.
The analysis of stellar kinematics of the local system of young stars from Hipparcos data offers an excellent opportunity to revise models accounting for the origin of the observed deviations from circular motions, and to give new hints on the history of star formation and the dynamical processes
involved in the evolution of our Galaxy. We have complemented the astrometric Hipparcos data with a careful compilation of available radial velocitiesand Strömgren photometry, information which enables us to obtain reliable space velocities and individual ages for a large number of stars. Thevelocity field has been studied by means of the classical first order approach, interpreting the trends observed in the Oort’s contants in terms of the local expansion of the Gould’s Belt (stars with ages less than 30-50 Myr, at heliocentric distances ρ < 400 — 600 pc). The fundamental geometric parameters of such structure have been determined. Several statistical methods have been applied to identify moving groups in the 4-dimensional space of (U,V,W, age). Our results definitively confirm their existence with mean velocity dispersions of the order of 5-7 km/s. The
obtained results will be published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.