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The British Society for Parasitology (BSP) holds a biannual symposium devoted to the kinetoplastids, and seeks to cover the full gamut of research into these important organisms, and alternates with the Woods Hole Kinetoplastid Molecular Cell Biology meeting that serves a similar community. While normally embedded within the main BSP Spring meeting, on several occasions the symposium has enjoyed the opportunity of being hosted on mainland Europe. In 2020, the BSP was fortunate to spend some time in Granada in Spain, where a superb meeting with excellent science in a spectacular setting was overshadowed by news of an emerging novel coronavirus. In this editorial, we hope to have captured some of that excellent science and to highlight aspects of the many great papers and reviews in this special issue, as well as provide a few images from the meeting, which we hope for this who attended will bring back some fond memories.
Background: Since January 1, 2016 2358 people have died from opioid poisoning in Alberta. Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is the recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) and this treatment can be initiated in emergency departments and urgent care centres (EDs). Aim Statement: This project aims to spread a quality improvement intervention to all 107 adult EDs in Alberta by March 31, 2020. The intervention supports clinicians to initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals and provide rapid referrals to OUD treatment clinics. Measures & Design: Local ED teams were identified (administrators, clinical nurse educators, physicians and, where available, pharmacists and social workers). Local teams were supported by a provincial project team (project manager, consultant, and five physician leads) through a multi-faceted implementation process using provincial order sets, clinician education products, and patient-facing information. We used administrative ED and pharmacy data to track the number of visits where bup/nal was given in ED, and whether discharged patients continued to fill any opioid agonist treatment (OAT) prescription 30 days after their index ED visit. OUD clinics reported the number of referrals received from EDs and the number attending their first appointment. Patient safety event reports were tracked to identify any unintended negative impacts. Evaluation/Results: We report data from May 15, 2018 (program start) to September 31, 2019. Forty-nine EDs (46% of 107) implemented the program and 22 (45% of 49) reported evaluation data. There were 5385 opioid-related visits to reporting ED sites after program adoption. Bup/nal was given during 832 ED visits (663 unique patients): 7 visits in the 1st quarter the program operated, 55 in the 2nd, 74 in the 3rd, 143 in the 4th, 294 in the 5th, and 255 in the 6th. Among 505 unique discharged patients with 30 day follow up data available 319 (63%) continued to fill any OAT prescription after receiving bup/nal in ED. 16 (70%) of 23 community clinics provided data. EDs referred patients to these clinics 440 times, and 236 referrals (54%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Available data may under-report program impact. 5 patient safety events have been reported, with no harm or minimal harm to the patient. Discussion/Impact: Results demonstrate effective spread and uptake of a standardized provincial ED based early medical intervention program for patients who live with OUD.
Although researchers have described numerous risk factors for salmonellosis and for infection with specific common serotypes, the drivers of Salmonella serotype diversity among human populations remain poorly understood. In this retrospective observational study, we partition records of serotyped non-typhoidal Salmonella isolates from human clinical specimens reported to CDC national surveillance by demographic, geographic and seasonal characteristics and adapt sample-based rarefaction methods from the field of community ecology to study how Salmonella serotype diversity varied within and among these populations in the USA during 1996–2016. We observed substantially higher serotype richness in children <2 years old than in older children and adults and steadily increasing richness with age among older adults. Whereas seasonal and regional variation in serotype diversity was highest among infants and young children, variation by specimen source was highest in adults. Our findings suggest that the risk for infection from uncommon serotypes is associated with host and environmental factors, particularly among infants, young children and older adults. These populations may have a higher proportion of illness acquired through environmental transmission pathways than published source attribution models estimate.
Background: Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist and recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Emergency departments (EDs) are a key point of contact with the healthcare system for patients living with OUD. Aim Statement: We implemented a multi-disciplinary quality improvement project to screen patients for OUD, initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals, and provide rapid next business day walk-in referrals to addiction clinics in the community. Measures & Design: From May to September 2018, our team worked with three ED sites and three addiction clinics to pilot the program. Implementation involved alignment with regulatory requirements, physician education, coordination with pharmacy to ensure in-ED medication access, and nurse education. The project is supported by a full-time project manager, data analyst, operations leaders, physician champions, provincial pharmacy, and the Emergency Strategic Clinical Network leadership team. For our pilot, our evaluation objective was to determine the degree to which our initiation and referral pathway was being utilized. We used administrative data to track the number of patients given bup/nal in ED, their demographics and whether they continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their ED visit. Addiction clinics reported both the number of patients referred to them and the number of patients attending their referral. Evaluation/Results: Administrative data shows 568 opioid-related visits to ED pilot sites during the pilot phase. Bup/nal was given to 60 unique patients in the ED during 66 unique visits. There were 32 (53%) male patients and 28 (47%) female patients. Median patient age was 34 (range: 21 to 79). ED visits where bup/nal was given had a median length of stay of 6 hours 57 minutes (IQR: 6 hours 20 minutes) and Canadian Triage Acuity Scores as follows: Level 1 – 1 (2%), Level 2 – 21 (32%), Level 3 – 32 (48%), Level 4 – 11 (17%), Level 5 – 1 (2%). 51 (77%) of these visits led to discharge. 24 (47%) discharged patients given bup/nal in ED continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their index ED visit. EDs also referred 37 patients with OUD to the 3 community clinics, and 16 of those individuals (43%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Discussion/Impact: Our pilot project demonstrates that with dedicated resources and broad institutional support, ED patients with OUD can be appropriately initiated on bup/nal and referred to community care.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), usually a self-limiting illness for young children, could cause a significant burden for parents because it can take up to 1–2 weeks for a sick child to recover. We conducted a two-wave longitudinal study over one summer peak season (May–July 2014) of HFMD to examine parents’ HFMD-related risk perceptions and protective responses. In total, 618 parents with at least one child aged ⩽12 years, recruited using randomly-dialled household telephone calls completed the baseline survey interview, 452 of whom subsequently completed the follow-up survey. Around two-thirds of participants perceived the chance of their child being infected by HFMD was ‘zero/very small/small’ but the likelihood of being hospitalized once infected was ‘somewhat likely/likely/very likely’. At follow-up, 82% reported washing child's hands frequently (Hygiene), 16% would keep their child away from school if HFMD cases were identified in school (Distancing) and 23% were ‘very likely/certainly’ to take the child for HFMD vaccination if available (Vaccination). Anticipated regret was consistently the strongest predictor for Hygiene (OR 3.34), and intention of Distancing (OR 2.58) and Vaccination (OR 3.16). Interventions focusing on anticipated regret may be effective to promote protective behaviour against HFMD among parents for their children.
A variety of applications from insulation to catalytic supports can benefit from lightweight, high surface area, mesoporous materials, which maintain their mesoporous structure to temperatures of 900–1200 °C. Silica aerogels begin to densify by 700 °C. Alumina aerogels are capable of higher temperature exposure than their silica counterparts, but undergo successive phase transformations to form transitional aluminas prior densifying to α-alumina. The present study characterizes the phase transitions of aluminosilicate aerogels derived from Boehmite powders to elucidate the role of time and temperature on phase transitions, surface area, and morphology. Aerogel compositions stable to 1200 °C for periods of 24 h have been demonstrated.
Secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) plays a critical role in gut mucosal immune defense. Initially provided by breastmilk, IgA production by the infant gut is gradually stimulated by developing gut microbiota. This study reports associations between infant fecal IgA concentrations 4 months after birth, breastfeeding status and other pre/postnatal exposures in 47 infants in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development cohort. Breastfed infants and first-born infants had higher median fecal IgA concentrations (23.11 v. 9.34 µg/g protein, P<0.01 and 22.19 v. 8.23 µg/g protein, P=0.04). IgA levels increased successively with exclusivity of breastfeeding (β-coefficient, 0.37, P<0.05). This statistical association was independent of maternal parity and household pets. In the absence of breastfeeding, female sex and pet exposure elevated fecal IgA to levels found in breastfed infants. In addition to breastfeeding, infant fecal IgA associations with pre/postnatal exposures may affect gut immunity and risk of allergic disease.
Eating disorder behaviours begin in adolescence. Few longitudinal studies
have investigated childhood risk and protective factors.
To investigate the prevalence of eating disorder behaviours and
cognitions and associated childhood psychological, physical and parental
risk factors among a cohort of 14-year-old children.
Data were collected from 6140 boys and girls aged 14 years.
Gender-stratified models were used to estimate prospective associations
between childhood body dissatisfaction, body mass index (BMI),
self-esteem, maternal eating disorder and family economic disadvantage on
adolescent eating disorder behaviours and cognitions.
Childhood body dissatisfaction strongly predicted eating disorder
cognitions in girls, but only in interaction with BMI in boys. Higher
self-esteem had a protective effect, particularly in boys. Maternal
eating disorder predicted body dissatisfaction and weight/shape concern
in adolescent girls and dieting in boys.
Risk factors for eating disorder behaviours and cognitions vary according
to gender. Prevention strategies should be gender-specific and target
modifiable predictors in childhood and early adolescence.
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that can cause bacteraemia, meningitis, and complications during pregnancy. In July 2012, molecular subtyping identified indistinguishable L. monocytogenes isolates from six patients and two samples of different cut and repackaged cheeses. A multistate outbreak investigation was initiated. Initial analyses identified an association between eating soft cheese and outbreak-related illness (odds ratio 17·3, 95% confidence interval 2·0–825·7) but no common brand. Cheese inventory data from locations where patients bought cheese and an additional location where repackaged cheese yielded the outbreak strain were compared to identify cheeses for microbiological sampling. Intact packages of imported ricotta salata yielded the outbreak strain. Fourteen jurisdictions reported 22 cases from March–October 2012, including four deaths and a fetal loss. Six patients ultimately reported eating ricotta salata; another reported eating cheese likely cut with equipment also used for contaminated ricotta salata, and nine more reported eating other cheeses that might also have been cross-contaminated. An FDA import alert and US and international recalls followed. Epidemiology-directed microbiological testing of suspect cheeses helped identify the outbreak source. Cross-contamination of cheese highlights the importance of using validated disinfectant protocols and routine cleaning and sanitizing after cutting each block or wheel.
The 2013 multistate outbreaks contributed to the largest annual number of reported US cases of cyclosporiasis since 1997. In this paper we focus on investigations in Texas. We defined an outbreak-associated case as laboratory-confirmed cyclosporiasis in a person with illness onset between 1 June and 31 August 2013, with no history of international travel in the previous 14 days. Epidemiological, environmental, and traceback investigations were conducted. Of the 631 cases reported in the multistate outbreaks, Texas reported the greatest number of cases, 270 (43%). More than 70 clusters were identified in Texas, four of which were further investigated. One restaurant-associated cluster of 25 case-patients was selected for a case-control study. Consumption of cilantro was most strongly associated with illness on meal date-matched analysis (matched odds ratio 19·8, 95% confidence interval 4·0–∞). All case-patients in the other three clusters investigated also ate cilantro. Traceback investigations converged on three suppliers in Puebla, Mexico. Cilantro was the vehicle of infection in the four clusters investigated; the temporal association of these clusters with the large overall increase in cyclosporiasis cases in Texas suggests cilantro was the vehicle of infection for many other cases. However, the paucity of epidemiological and traceback information does not allow for a conclusive determination; moreover, molecular epidemiological tools for cyclosporiasis that could provide more definitive linkage between case clusters are needed.
We describe measurements aimed at tracking the subsurface energy deposition of ionic radiation by encapsulating an irradiated oxide target within multiple, spatially separated metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) capacitors. In particular, we look at incident kinetic energy and potential energy effects in the low keV regime for alkali ions (Na+) and multicharged ions (MCIs) of ArQ+ (Q = 1, 4, 8, and 11) incident on the as-grown layers of SiO2 on Si. With the irradiated oxide encapsulated under Al top contacts, we record an electronic signature of the incident ionic radiation through capacitance–voltage (C–V) measurements. Both kinetic and potential energy depositions give rise to shifted C–V signatures that can be directly related to internal electron–hole pair excitations. The MCI data reveal an apparent power law dependence on charge state, which is at odds with some prior thin foil studies obtained at higher incident energies.