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BACTOT, Quebec’s healthcare-associated bloodstream infection (HABSI) surveillance program has been operating since 2007. In this study, we evaluated the changes in HABSI rates across 10 years of BACTOT surveillance under a Bayesian framework.
A retrospective, cohort study of eligible hospitals having participated in BACTOT for at least 3 years, regardless of their entry date. Multilevel Poisson regressions were fitted independently for cases of HABSI, catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CA-BSIs), non–catheter-associated primary BSIs (NCA-BSIs), and BSIs secondary to urinary tract infections (BSI-UTIs) as the outcome and log of patient days as the offset. The log of the mean Poisson rate was decomposed as the sum of a surveillance year effect, period effect, and hospital effect. The main estimate of interest was the cohort-level rate in years 2–10 of surveillance relative to year 1.
Overall, 17,479 cases and 33,029,870 patient days were recorded for the cohort of 77 hospitals. The pooled 10-year HABSI rate was 5.20 per 10,000 patient days (95% CI, 5.12–5.28). For HABSI, CA-BSI, and BSI-UTI, there was no difference between the estimated posterior rates of years 2–10 compared to year 1. The posterior means of the NCA-BSI rate ratios increased from the seventh year until the tenth year, when the rate was 29% (95% confidence interval, 1%–89%) higher than the first year rate.
HABSI rates and those of the most frequent subtypes remained stable over the surveillance period. To achieve reductions in incidence, we recommend that more effort be expended in active interventions against HABSI alongside surveillance.
Field studies were conducted in 2000 and 2001 to evaluate corn yield-loss predictions generated by WeedSOFT, a computerized weed management decision aid. Conventional tillage practices were used to produce corn in 76-cm rows in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. A total of 21 site-years from these seven states were evaluated in this study. At 4 wk after planting, weed densities and size, crop-growth stage, estimated weed-free yield, and environmental conditions at the time of application were entered into WeedSOFT to generate POST treatments ranked by percent maximum yield (PMY). POST treatments were chosen with yield losses ranging from 0 to 20%. Data were subjected to linear regression analysis by state and pooled over all states to determine the relationship between actual and predicted yield loss. A slope value equal to one implies perfect agreement between actual and predicted yield loss. Slope value estimates for Illinois and Missouri were equal to one. Actual yield losses were higher than the software predicted in Kansas and lower than predicted in Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Slope value estimate from a data set containing all site years was equal to one. This research demonstrated that variability in yield-loss predictions occurred at sites that contained a high density of a single weed specie (>100/m2) regardless of its competitive index (CI); at sites with a predominant broadleaf weed with a CI greater than five, such as Palmer amaranth, giant ragweed, common sunflower, and common cocklebur; and at sites that experience moderate to severe drought stress.
To study the evolution of binary star clusters, we have imaged seven systems in the Small Magellanic Cloud with the SOAR 4m telescope using B and V filters. The sample contains pairs with well-separated components (d < 30 pc) as well as systems that apparently have merged, as evidenced by their unusual structures. By employing isochrone fitting to their color–magnitude diagrams, we have determined reddening values, ages and metallicities, and by fitting King models to their radial stellar-density profiles we estimated core radii. Disturbances of the density profiles are interpreted as evidence of interactions. Properties such as the distances between their components and their age differences are addressed in terms of the timescales involved, to assess the physical connection of the system. In two cases, the age difference is more than 50 Myr, which suggests a chance alignment, capture or sequential star formation.
Ultra-thin CoPt3 nanoparticle films have been prepared on SiO2 surfaces using a Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) deposition technique. The structural properties of the overlayers have been investigated by grazing-incidence small-angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS) and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for the first time. Self-assembly of the nanoparticles is found and with GISAXS an average particle-particle distance of (8.23 ± 0.06) nm is determined, in good agreement with the SEM results. A particle correlation length of (22.3 ± 1.2) nm was derived which is shown to be independent of the surface coverage. The latter quantity may be controlled by choice of a suitable retraction speed during the LB step.
We have used one- and two-particle microrheology, employing μm-sized beads and laser interferometric displacement detection, to study the rheological properties of entangled solutions of the filamentous fd virus. Thermal fluctuations of the embedded probes were measured and viscoelastic parameters of the embedding medium were derived. In two-particle microrheology the correlated motions of two identical particles separated by a varying distance in the medium are analyzed, which can avoid biased results due to surface-depletion effects near the probes.
Population synthesis is a powerful tool to study stellar populations where the analysis of the stellar content of a composite system is based on the results of breaking down into components (of a given base) the spectrum of the observed system. Such process constitutes an inverse problem which can have a multitude of possible or “acceptable” solutions. This degenerative character of the synthesis rises mainly from observable errors and from the base of components itself with respect to its internal consistency and its (in)capacity to fully embrace all the free parameters involved.
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