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The seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG antibody was evaluated among employees of a Veterans Affairs healthcare system to assess potential risk factors for transmission and infection.
All employees were invited to participate in a questionnaire and serological survey to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 as part of a facility-wide quality improvement and infection prevention initiative regardless of clinical or nonclinical duties. The initiative was conducted from June 8 to July 8, 2020.
Of the 2,900 employees, 51% participated in the study, revealing a positive SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence of 4.9% (72 of 1,476; 95% CI, 3.8%–6.1%). There were no statistically significant differences in the presence of antibody based on gender, age, frontline worker status, job title, performance of aerosol-generating procedures, or exposure to known patients with coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) within the hospital. Employees who reported exposure to a known COVID-19 case outside work had a significantly higher seroprevalence at 14.8% (23 of 155) compared to those who did not 3.7% (48 of 1,296; OR, 4.53; 95% CI, 2.67–7.68; P < .0001). Notably, 29% of seropositive employees reported no history of symptoms for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among employees was not significantly different among those who provided direct patient care and those who did not, suggesting that facility-wide infection control measures were effective. Employees who reported direct personal contact with COVID-19–positive persons outside work were more likely to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Employee exposure to SARS-CoV-2 outside work may introduce infection into hospitals.
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
In the past few decades, developments in molecular biology and genetics have contributed a new dimension to the study of evolutionary systematics and socioecology. This has led to the creation of several new fields of research, including ‘molecular systematics’ and ‘molecular ecology.’ The study of molecular systematics applies methods of genetic analysis to such problems as: examining taxonomic relationships on a molecular level; identifying molecular phylogenies among taxa; and estimating the time of these taxa's most recent common ancestor. Molecular data can also be compared with morphological and behavioral data to gain a more comprehensive understanding of evolutionary genetics and phylogenetic relationships. The relatively new field of molecular ecology utilizes methods of DNA analysis to address questions about behavioral ecology, evolution, and conservation through direct measures of relatedness and genetic variability. Genetic analysis is now commonly used to describe social structure and dispersal patterns, to verify mating systems, and to identify and census individuals in a population (Sunnucks 2000). Similarly, behavioral ecologists can better understand aspects of social dynamics, such as the evolution of altruism through kin selection (Hamilton 1964), by combining direct observational data from the field with DNA analysis of relatedness in the laboratory.
The earliest molecular studies of chimpanzees sought to understand the degree of similarity and difference among humans and apes. Goodman (1962) examined the immunological properties of the albumin protein in apes and found that chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans showed a strong degree of similarity to the exclusion of orangutans and gibbons.
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