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We compared the virulence profile and REP-PCR genotypes of Escherichia coli strains isolated from subclinical and clinical mastitis cases and dairy farm environments in Minas Gerais State, Brazil, to determine virulence factors and genotypes potentially associated with subclinical persistence in the udder. The virulence profile was obtained by the search for three virulence genes: lpfA (long polar fimbriae), fliC (flagella), and escN (type III secretion system). Subclinical isolates exhibited mainly the fliC gene (33.33%) and fliC + escN genes (30.30%). Clinical isolates exhibited mainly fliC + escN genes (50%) and environmental isolates the lpfA + escN genes (58.04%). Strains isolated from subclinical mastitis showed 6.75 times more positivity to fliC than environmental isolates. Thirty-four genotypes were observed in the REP-PCR analysis, and clinical mastitis isolates indicated more genetic proximity to dairy farm environment isolates than subclinical mastitis isolates. In conclusion, the results suggested that flagella may be an important virulence factor for mammary persistent E. coli infection in cattle, however, none of the E. coli REP-PCR genotypes were associated with subclinical infection.
Over the years, the practice of medicine has evolved from authority-based to experience-based to evidence-based with the introduction of the scientific process, clinical trials, and outcomes-based data analysis (Tebala GD. Int J Med Sci. 2018;15(12):1397-1405). The time required to perform the necessary randomized controlled trials, a systematic literature review, and meta-analysis of these trials to then create, accept, promulgate, and educate the practicing clinicians to use the evidence-based clinical guidelines is typically measured in years. When the severe acute respiratory syndrome novel coronavirus-2 (SARS-nCoV-2) pandemic commenced in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, there were few available clinical guidelines to deploy, let alone adapt and adopt to treat the surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. The aim of this study is to first explain how clinical guidelines, on which bedside clinicians have grown accustomed, can be created in the midst of a pandemic, with an evolving scientific understanding of the pathophysiology of the hypercoagulable state. The second is to adapt and adopt current venous thromboembolism diagnostic and treatment guidelines, while relying on the limited available observational reporting of COVID-19 patients to create a comprehensive clinical guideline to treat COVID-19 patients.
Low-resource environments, such as those found in humanitarian crises, pose significant challenges to the provision of proper medical treatment. While the lack of training of health providers to such settings has been well-acknowledged in literature, there has yet to be any scientific evidence for this phenomenon.
This pilot study utilized a randomized crossover experimental design to examine the effects of high- versus low-resource simulated scenarios of a resuscitation of a critically ill obstetric patient on a medical doctors’ performance and inter-personal skills. Ten senior residents (fifth-year post-graduate) of the Maggiore Hospital School of Medicine (Novara, NO, Italy) were included in the study.
Overall performance score for the high-resource setting was 5.2, as opposed to only 2.3 for the low-resource setting. The mean effect size for the overall score was 2.9 (95% CI, 1.7–4.0; P <.001). The results suggest a significant decrease in both technical (medical) and non-technical skills, such as leadership, problem solving, situation awareness, resource utilization, and communication in the low-resource environment setting. The latter finding is of special important since it was yet to be reported.
This pilot study suggests that untrained physicians in low-resource environments may experience a considerable setback not only to their professional performance, but also to their interpersonal skills, when deployed ill-prepared to humanitarian missions. Consequently, this may endanger the health of local populations.
Schistosomiasis and malnutrition are often overlapped in poor communities, resulting in disproportionately high mortality rates. Currently, fragmented data make it difficult to define the relationship between diet and schistosomiasis. Thus, we systematically review the preclinical evidence on the impact of diet in Schistosoma mansoni infection. From a structured search, we recovered 27 original articles. All studies used mice and most of them investigated hypoproteic (70.37%), hyperlipidic (22.22%) or vitamin-deficient (7.41%) diets. Diets based on carbohydrate, zinc or milk supplementation were investigated at a reduced frequency (3.70% each). Hypoproteic diets attenuated parasitic load and granulomatous inflammation, but also reduced host resistance to S. mansoni infection, determining higher mortality rates. By stimulating steatohepatitis, parasitic load and granulomatous inflammation, hyperlipidic diets increase organ damage and mortality in infected animals. Although a high-sugar diet and vitamin restriction potentiate and zinc supplementation attenuates S. mansoni infection, the current evidence for these diets remains inconclusive. Analysis of methodological quality indicated that the current evidence is at high risk of bias due to incomplete characterization of the experimental design, diet composition and treatment protocols. From the bias analysis, we report methodological limitations that should be considered to avoid systematic reproduction of inconsistent and poorly reproducible experimental designs.
The VIALACTEA project brings to a common forum the major new-generation surveys of the Milky Way Galactic Plane from 1μm to the radio, both in thermal continuum and in atomic and molecular lines, to attack in a systematic way the characterization of the Milky Way as a star formation engine. Images, catalogues, spectroscopic datacubes and radiative transfer models of the Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) of sites of star formation have been incorporated and indexed in the VIALACTEA Knowledge Base (VLKB). The VLKB consists of a combination of a relational database where the VIALACTEA data and metadata are homogenised and stored, and a filesystem-based stored information. This infrastructure allowed, among others, the generation of extensive catalogue for compact sources and extended structures in the Galactic Plane, the implementation of data-mining algorithms for the band-merging of multiwavelength data and expert systems for the automated analysis of molecular line surveys to extract critical kinematical information and derive distances using Galaxy rotation curves and new 3D extinction maps. A new VIALACTEA 3D Visual Analytics interface has been developed that provides integrated access and analysis of continuum and spectroscopic images together with catalogue data directly interfacing with the VLKB.
The spreading of transmissible infectious diseases is inevitably entangled with the dynamics of human population. Humans are the carrier of the pathogen, and the large-scale travel and commuting patterns that govern the mobility of modern societies are defining how epidemics and pandemics travel across the world. For a long time, the development of quantitative spatially explicit models able to shed light on the global dynamics of pandemic has been limited by the lack of detailed data on human mobility. In the last 10 years, however, these limits have been lifted by the increasing availability of data generated by new information technologies, thus triggering the development of computational (microsimulation) models working at a level of single individuals in spatially extended regions of the world. Microsimulations can provide information at very detailed spatial resolutions and down to the level of single individuals. In addition, computational implementations explicitly account for stochasticity, allowing the study of multiple realizations of epidemics with the same parameters' distribution. While on the one hand these capabilities represent the richness of microsimulation methods, on the other hand they face us with a huge amount of information that requires the use of specific data reduction methods and visual analytics.
A microcompressor is a precision mechanical device that flattens and immobilizes living cells and small organisms for optical microscopy, allowing enhanced visualization of sub-cellular structures and organelles. We have developed an easily fabricated device, which can be equipped with microfluidics, permitting the addition of media or chemicals during observation. This device can be used on both upright and inverted microscopes. The apparatus permits micrometer precision flattening for nondestructive immobilization of specimens as small as a bacterium, while also accommodating larger specimens, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, for long-term observations. The compressor mount is removable and allows easy specimen addition and recovery for later observation. Several customized specimen beds can be incorporated into the base. To demonstrate the capabilities of the device, we have imaged numerous cellular events in several protozoan species, in yeast cells, and in Drosophila melanogaster embryos. We have been able to document previously unreported events, and also perform photobleaching experiments, in conjugating Tetrahymena thermophila.
In this paper a light-activated multiplexer/demultiplexer silicon-carbon device is analysed. An electrical model for the device operation is presented and used to compare output signals with experimental data. An algorithm that takes into accounts the voltage and the optical bias controlled sensitivities is developed. The device is a double pi'n/pin a-SiC:H heterostructure with two optical gate connections for light triggering in different spectral regions. Multiple monochromatic pulsed communication channels were transmitted together, each one with a specific bit sequence. The combined optical signal was analyzed by reading out, under different applied voltages and optical bias, the generated photocurrent across the device. Experimental and simulated results show that the output multiplexed signal has a strong nonlinear dependence on the light absorption profile, i.e. on the incident light wavelength, bit rate and intensity under unbalanced light generation of carriers. By switching between positive and negative voltages the input channels can be recovered or removed from the output signal.
In this paper a double pi'n/pin a-SiC:H voltage and optical bias controlled device is presented and it behavior as image and color sensor, optical amplifier and multiplex/demultiplex device discussed. The sensing element structure (single or tandem) and the light source properties (wavelength, intensity and frequency) are correlated with the sensor output characteristics (light-to-dark sensivity, resolution, linearity, bit rate and S/N ratio). Depending on the application, different readout techniques are used. When a low power monochromatic scanner readout the generated carriers the transducer recognize a color pattern projected on it acting as a color and image sensor. Scan speeds up to 104 lines per second are achieved without degradation in the resolution. If the photocurrent generated by different monochromatic pulsed channels is readout directly, the information is multiplexed or demultiplexed. It is possible to decode the information from three simultaneous color channels without bit errors at bit rates per channel higher than 4000bps. Finally, when triggered by appropriated light, it can amplify or suppress the generated photocurrent working as an optical amplifier. An electrical model is presented to support the sensing methodologies. Experimental and simulated results show that the tandem devices act as charge transfer systems. They filter, store, amplify and transport the photogenerated carriers, keeping its memory (color, intensity and frequency) without adding any optical pre-amplifier or optical filter as in the standard p-i-n cells.
In this paper we present results on the use of a multilayered a-SiC:H heterostructure as a wavelength-division demultiplexing device (WDM) for the visible light spectrum. The WDM device is a glass/ITO/a-SiC:H (p-i-n)/ a-SiC:H(-p) /Si:H(-i)/SiC:H (-n)/ITO heterostructure in which the generated photocurrent at different values of the applied bias can be assigned to the different optical signals.
The device was characterized through spectral response measurements, under different electrical bias. Demonstration of the device functionality for WDM applications was done with three different input channels covering wavelengths within the visible range. The recovery of the input channels is explained using the photocurrent spectral dependence on the applied voltage. The influence of the optical power density was also analysed.
An electrical model, supported by a numerical simulation explains the device operation. Short range optical communications constitute the major application field, however other applications are also foreseen.
We present VisIVO a software for the visualisation and analysis of astrophysical data which can be retrieved from the Virtual Observatory framework and for cosmological simulations. VisIVO is VO standards compliant and supports the most important astronomical data formats such as FITS, HDF5 and VOTables. Data can be retrieved directly connecting to an available VO service (i.e., VizieR WS), loaded in the local computer memory where they can be further selected, visualised and manipulated.
This paper reports findings from a European Commission funded study of future long-term care expenditure in Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and presents projections of future long-term care expenditure in the four countries under a number of assumptions about the future. Macro-simulation (or cell-based) models were used to make comparable projections based on a set of common assumptions. A central base-case served as a point of comparison by which to explore the sensitivity of the models to alternative scenarios for the key determinants. The sensitivity of the models to variant assumptions about the future numbers of older people, the prevalence of functional dependency and informal care, patterns of long-term provision, and macroeconomic conditions are examined. It was found that, under the base-case, the proportion of gross domestic product spent on long-term care is projected to more than double between 2000 and 2050 in each country. The projected future demand for long-term care services for older people is sensitive to assumptions about the future number of older people, the prevalence of dependency and the availability of informal care, and projected expenditure is sensitive to assumptions about rises in the real unit-costs of services and the structure of the models. It is important, for planning purposes, to recognise the considerable uncertainty about future levels of long-term care expenditure.
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