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Brexit imposed a new binary on Northern Ireland politics which has interacted with the national question in complex ways. This interaction is the focus of this chapter. It begins by reviewing the position of the five main Northern Ireland parties on Europe prior to 2016. It explains the parties’ stances during the Brexit referendum campaign and examines how the parties responded to the referendum result. The chapter argues that Brexit produced constitutional restlessness in Northern Ireland because the vote lacked legitimacy according to the standards of consent contained in the 1998 Good Friday/Belfast Agreement. The chapter then traces how the new constitutional debate became established, highlighting how, although the debate was initiated by Brexit, it was intensified by subsequent developments in British and Irish politics. The chapter also explores key dilemmas that the debate posed for the political parties. The conclusion suggests that constitutional deliberations look set to continue but possibly at a lower intensity. Their direction will be shaped by developments in 2019-20 including the Boris Johnson Brexit agreement, the new Irish government, the restoration of devolution in Northern Ireland, and the coronavirus crisis.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
In June 2018, the Ministry of Health received notification from 2 hospitals about 2 patients who presented with overwhelming Enterobacter kobei sepsis that developed within 24 hours after a dental procedure. We describe the investigation of this outbreak.
The epidemiologic investigation included site visits in 2 dental clinics and interviews with all involved healthcare workers. Chart reviews were conducted for case and control subjects. Samples were taken from medications and antiseptics, environmental surfaces, dental water systems, and from the involved healthcare professionals. Isolate similarity was assessed using repetitive element sequence-based polymerase chain reaction (REP-PCR).
The 2 procedures were conducted in different dental clinics by different surgeons and dental technicians. A single anesthesiologist administered the systemic anesthetic in both cases. Cultures from medications, fluids and healthcare workers’ hands were negative, but E. kobei was detected from the anesthesiologist’s portable medication cart. The 2 human isolates and the environmental isolate shared the same REP-PCR fingerprinting profile. None of the 21 patients treated by the anesthesiologist in a general hospital during the same period, using the hospital’s medications, developed infection following surgery.
An outbreak of post–dental-procedure sepsis was linked to a contaminated medication cart, emphasizing the importance of medication storage standards and strict aseptic technique when preparing intravenous drugs during anesthesia. Immediate reporting of sepsis following these outpatient procedures enabled early identification and termination of the outbreak.
We characterized 57 isolates from a 2-phase clonal outbreak of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase–producing Eschericha coli, involving 9 Israeli hospitals; all but 1 isolate belonged to sequence-type (ST) 410. Most isolates in the second phase harbored blaKPC-2 in addition to blaNDM-5. Genetic sequencing revealed most dual-carbapenemase–producing isolates to be monophyletically derived from a common ancestor.
Background: Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is considered a preventable healthcare-associated infection. Many local and national interventions using multimodal prevention measures have targeted CAUTI incidence as the primary outcome. Other undesirable events related to urinary catheters and infections such as overuse of urine culturing and antimicrobial prescribing for asymptomatic bacteriuria, are not captured by CAUTI surveillance, and may not be the targets of such interventions. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of expanded national surveillance targeting various aspects of urinary tract infections, culturing and treatment practices, and catheter use in internal medicine wards. Methods: The Israeli National Center for Infection Control (NCIC) issued CAUTI prevention guidelines and initiated in 2016 a urinary tract event surveillance system that targets the incidence of CAUTI, urinary catheter utilization ratio, and the proportion of urine cultures sent and patients treated in the absence of symptoms. The surveillance is conducted for 1 month 3 times per year. Hospitals are required to report all positive urine cultures (>100,000 CFU) collected in internal medicine wards, along with the following data: admission date, symptoms of infection, dates of urinary catheter use, and antibiotic treatment. These data enable the NCIC to validate hospital classifications of each event. In addition, during each surveillance month, hospitals conduct point-prevalence surveys of compliance with CAUTI prevention measures. An electronic data collection form with built-in algorithms supports the local teams during the surveillance process. Results: Between 2016 and 2019, a total of 3,028 positive urine cultures not present on admission were reported by internal medicine wards in 30 hospitals. A significant decrease was observed in the incidence of CAUTI (from 4.7 to 2.9; P < .001) and in the proportion of asymptomatic bacteriuria treated with antibiotics (from 31% to 20%; P = .02) (Table 1). The catheter utilization ratio decreased from 0.25 to 0.23 (P < .001). The rate of cultures sent from asymptomatic patients decreased from 1.5 to 1.1 (P < .01). Point-prevalence surveys in internal medicine wards detected a significant increase in the use of closed urinary drainage systems (from 79% to 97% in 2018, P < .001) and documentation of a daily nurse assessment of the need for a catheter (from 74% to 81%, P < .001). Conclusions: National surveillance of undesirable urinary tract events resulted in a significant reduction in CAUTI, antibiotic treatment for ASB, and the rate of cultures sent from asymptomatic patients. A small decrease was observed in catheter utilization ratio. CAUTI surveillance programs should include other undesirable urinary tract events.
Background: Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) have rapidly become a global health concern and are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality due to limited treatment options. Travel to endemic areas, especially healthcare exposure in these areas, is an important risk factor for acquisition. We describe the evolving epidemiology, molecular features, and outcomes of CPE in Canada through surveillance by the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP). Methods: CNISP has conducted surveillance for CPE among inpatients and outpatients of all ages since 2010. Participating acute-care facilities submit eligible specimens to the National Microbiology Laboratory for detection of carbapenemase production, and epidemiological data are collected. Incidence rates per 10,000 patient days are calculated based on inpatient data. Results: In total, 59 CNISP hospitals in 10 Canadian provinces representing 21,789 beds and 6,785,013 patient days participated in this surveillance. From 2010 to 2018, 118 (26%) CPE-infected and 547 (74%) CPE-colonized patients were identified. Few pediatric cases were identified (n = 18). Infection incidence rates remain low and stable (0.02 per 10,000 patient days in 2010 to 0.03 per 10,000 patient days in 2018), and colonization incidence rates have increased by 89% over the surveillance period. Overall, 92% of cases were acquired in a healthcare facility: 61% (n = 278) in a Canadian healthcare facility and 31% (n = 142) in a healthcare facility outside Canada. Of the 8% of cases not acquired in a healthcare facility, 50% (16 of 32) reported travel outside of Canada in the 12 months prior to positive culture. The distribution of carbapenemases varied by region; New Delhi metallo-B-lactamase (NDM) was dominant (59%) in western Canada and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) (66%) in central Canada. NDM and class D carbapenemase OXA-48 were more commonly identified among those who traveled outside of Canada, whereas KPC was more commonly identified among patients without travel. In addition, 30-day all-cause mortality was 14% (25 of 181) among CPE infected patients and 32% (14 of 44) among those with bacteremia. Conclusions: CPE rates remain low in Canada; however, national surveillance data suggest that the increase in CPE in Canada is now being driven by local nosocomial transmission as well as travel and healthcare within endemic areas. Changes in screening practices may have contributed to the increase in colonizations; however, these data are currently lacking and will be collected moving forward. These data highlight the need to intensify surveillance and coordinate infection control measures to prevent further spread of CPE in Canadian acute-care hospitals.
Susy Hota reports contracted research for Finch Therapeutics. Allison McGeer reports funds to her institution for projects for which she is the principal investigator from Pfizer and Merck, as well as consulting fees from the following companies: Sanofi-Pasteur, Sunovion, GSK, Pfizer, and Cidara.
Positive psychiatry offers an unique approach to promote brain health and well-being in aging populations. Minimal interventions through behavioral activation to promote wellness are increasingly available using self-guided apps, yet little is known about the effectiveness of app technology or the difference between clinician-supported behavioral activation versus self-guided app methodologies.
Investigate the difference in users and outcomes between two methods of the Fountain of Health (FoH) positive psychiatry intervention for behavioral activation to promote brain health and well-being: (1) clinician-assisted and (2) independent app use for behavioral self-management.
Design and setting:
As part of a larger knowledge translation intervention in positive psychiatry, two specific methods of a behavioral activation intervention were retrospectively compared.
Two subsets of patients were compared; 254 clinician-assisted patients; 333 independent app users.
A minimal positive psychiatry intervention in frontline care using the FoH health and behavior change clinical tools
Main outcomes were changes in psychological (health and resilience, well-being scores) and behavioral indices (goal attainment, items of goal SMART-ness). User profiles (age, sex and completion rates) were also compared.
Clinician-assisted patients were more likely to be male, older, and have lower health and resilience scores at baseline. Clinician-assisted patients had notably higher completion rates (99.2% vs. 10.8%). Psychological outcomes (improved health and resilience, and well-being) were similar regardless of intervention method for those who completed the intervention. Behavioral outcomes revealed clinician-assisted patients set goals that better adhered to key goal-setting items.
Clinician–patient relationships appear to be an important factor for intervention completion and behavioral outcomes, while further exploration of best practices for intervention completion using health apps in clinical practice is needed. A preliminary goal-setting methodology for effective behavioral activation, to promote brain health and wellness, is given.
To outline features of the neurologic examination that can be performed virtually through telemedicine platforms (the virtual neurological examination [VNE]), and provide guidance for rapidly pivoting in-person clinical assessments to virtual visits during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The full neurologic examination is described with attention to components that can be performed virtually.
A screening VNE is outlined that can be performed on a wide variety of patients, along with detailed descriptions of virtual examination maneuvers for specific scenarios (cognitive testing, neuromuscular and movement disorder examinations).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid adoption of virtual medicine will be critical to provide ongoing and timely neurological care. Familiarity and mastery of a VNE will be critical for neurologists, and this article outlines a practical approach to implementation.
The goal of ‘learning’ from peace processes is widely expressed in conflict resolution scholarship and practice but inadequately understood. This article investigates what kinds of knowledge can be learned from a peace process, the theoretical and methodological bases of such learning, and what impact it may have. The article begins with an interdisciplinary discussion of reasons to learn, the kinds of lessons proposed in the peace process literature and how theories of learning may be applied to a peace process. Following this is a case study of the sharing of the Northern Ireland peacemaking experience with other conflict-affected societies, especially through facilitated dialogues between decision-makers. This contributes to a comprehensive ideal model of learning from peace processes – something which, it is argued, may result in ‘transformative learning’ and a ‘policy paradigm shift’ towards de-escalatory conflict management. A definition of a peace process ‘lesson’ is offered to guide future research.
Healthcare personnel who perform invasive procedures and are living with HIV or hepatitis B have been required to self-notify the NC state health department since 1992. State coordinated review of HCP utilizes a panel of experts to evaluate transmission risk and recommend infection prevention measures. We describe how this practice balances HCP privacy and patient safety and health.
Prevention of central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) represents a complex challenge for the teams involved in device insertion and maintenance. First-tier practices for CLABSI prevention are well established.
We describe second-tier prevention practices in Israeli medical-surgical ICUs and assess their association with CLABSI rates.
In June 2017, an online survey assessing infection prevention practices in general ICUs was sent to all Israeli acute-care hospitals. The survey comprised 14 prevention measures supplementary to the established measures that are standard of care for CLABSI prevention. These measures fall into 2 domains: technology and implementation. The association between the number of prevention measures and CLABSI rate during the first 6 months of 2017 was assessed using Spearman’s correlation. We used negative binomial regression to calculate the incidence rate ratio (IRR) associated with the overall number of prevention measures and with each measure individually.
The CLABSI rates in 24 general ICUs varied between 0.0 and 17.0 per 1,000 central-line days. Greater use of preventive measures was associated with lower CLABSI rates (ρ, –0.70; P < .001). For each additional measure, the incidence of CLABSI decreased by 19% (IRR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.73–0.89). Specific measures associated with lower rates were involvement of ward champions (IRR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.31–0.71), auditing of insertions by infection control staff (IRR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.19–0.64), and simulation-based training (IRR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.22–0.64).
Implementation of second-tier preventive practices was protective against CLABSI. Use of more practices was correlated with lower rates.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Ice scallops are a small-scale (5–20 cm) quasi-periodic ripple pattern that occurs at the ice–water interface. Previous work has suggested that scallops form due to a self-reinforcing interaction between an evolving ice-surface geometry, an adjacent turbulent flow field and the resulting differential melt rates that occur along the interface. In this study, we perform a series of laboratory experiments in a refrigerated flume to quantitatively investigate the mechanisms of scallop formation and evolution in high resolution. Using particle image velocimetry, we probe an evolving ice–water boundary layer at sub-millimetre scales and 15 Hz frequency. Our data reveal three distinct regimes of ice–water interface evolution: a transition from flat to scalloped ice; an equilibrium scallop geometry; and an adjusting scallop interface. We find that scalloped-ice geometry produces a clear modification to the ice–water boundary layer, characterized by a time-mean recirculating eddy feature that forms in the scallop trough. Our primary finding is that scallops form due to a self-reinforcing feedback between the ice-interface geometry and shear production of turbulent kinetic energy in the flow interior. The length of this shear production zone is therefore hypothesized to set the scallop wavelength.
After five positive randomized controlled trials showed benefit of mechanical thrombectomy in the management of acute ischemic stroke with emergent large-vessel occlusion, a multi-society meeting was organized during the 17th Congress of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology in October 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. This multi-society meeting was dedicated to establish standards of practice in acute ischemic stroke intervention aiming for a consensus on the minimum requirements for centers providing such treatment. In an ideal situation, all patients would be treated at a center offering a full spectrum of neuroendovascular care (a level 1 center). However, for geographical reasons, some patients are unable to reach such a center in a reasonable period of time. With this in mind, the group paid special attention to define recommendations on the prerequisites of organizing stroke centers providing medical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke, but not for other neurovascular diseases (level 2 centers). Finally, some centers will have a stroke unit and offer intravenous thrombolysis, but not any endovascular stroke therapy (level 3 centers). Together, these level 1, 2, and 3 centers form a complete stroke system of care. The multi-society group provides recommendations and a framework for the development of medical thrombectomy services worldwide.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and an increasingly common infection in children in both hospital and community settings. Between 20% and 30% of pediatric patients will have a recurrence of symptoms in the days to weeks following an initial infection. Multiple recurrences have been successfully treated with fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), though the body of evidence in pediatric patients is limited primarily to case reports and case series. The goal of our study was to better understand practices, success, and safety of FMT in children as well as identify risk factors associated with a failed FMT in our pediatric patients. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: This multicenter retrospective analysis included 373 patients who underwent FMT for CDI between January 1, 2006 and January 1, 2017 from 18 pediatric centers. Demographics, baseline characteristics, FMT practices, C. difficile outcomes, and post-FMT complications were collected through chart abstraction. Successful FMT was defined as no recurrence of CDI within 60 days after FMT. Of the 373 patients in the cohort, 342 had known outcome data at two months post-FMT and were included in the primary analysis evaluating risk factors for recurrence post-FMT. An additional six patients who underwent FMT for refractory CDI were excluded from the primary analysis. Unadjusted analysis was performed using Wilcoxon rank-sum test, Pearson χ2 test, or Fisher exact test where appropriate. Stepwise logistic regression was utilized to determine independent predictors of success. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The median age of included patients was 10 years (IQR; 3.0, 15.0) and 50% of patients were female. The majority of the cohort was White (89.0%). Comorbidities included 120 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and 14 patients who had undergone a solid organ or stem cell transplantation. Of the 336 patients with known outcomes at two months, 272 (81%) had a successful outcome. In the 64 (19%) patients that did have a recurrence, 35 underwent repeat FMT which was successful in 20 of the 35 (57%). The overall success rate of FMT in preventing further episodes of CDI in the cohort with known outcome data was 87%. Unadjusted predictors of a primary FMT response are summarized. Based on stepwise logistic regression modeling, the use of fresh stool, FMT delivery via colonoscopy, the lack of a feeding tube, and a lower number of CDI episodes before undergoing FMT were independently associated with a successful outcome. There were 20 adverse events in the cohort assessed to be related to FMT, 6 of which were felt to be severe. There were no deaths assessed to be related to FMT in the cohort. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: The overall success of FMT in pediatric patients with recurrent or severe CDI is 81% after a single FMT. Children without a feeding tube, who receive an early FMT, FMT with fresh stool, or FMT via colonoscopy are less likely to have a recurrence of CDI in the 2 months following FMT. This is the first large study of FMT for CDI in a pediatric cohort. These findings, if confirmed by additional prospective studies, will support alterations in the practice of FMT in children.
To compare the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and mortality of patients with bloodstream infections (BSI) caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) versus ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) and to examine the differences in clinical characteristics and outcome between BSIs caused by isolates with CTX-M versus other ESBL genotypes
As part of the INCREMENT project, 33 tertiary hospitals in 12 countries retrospectively collected data on adult patients diagnosed with ESBL-EC BSI or ESBL-KP BSI between 2004 and 2013. Risk factors for ESBL-EC versus ESBL-KP BSI and for 30-day mortality were examined by bivariate analysis followed by multivariable logistic regression.
The study included 909 patients: 687 with ESBL-EC BSI and 222 with ESBL-KP BSI. ESBL genotype by polymerase chain reaction amplification of 286 isolates was available. ESBL-KP BSI was associated with intensive care unit admission, cardiovascular and neurological comorbidities, length of stay to bacteremia >14 days from admission, and a nonurinary source. Overall, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in patients with ESBL-KP BSI than ESBL-EC BSI (33.7% vs 17.4%; odds ratio, 1.64; P=.016). CTX-M was the most prevalent ESBL subtype identified (218 of 286 polymerase chain reaction-tested isolates, 76%). No differences in clinical characteristics or in mortality between CTX-M and non–CTX-M ESBLs were detected.
Clinical characteristics and risk of mortality differ significantly between ESBL-EC and ESBL-KP BSI. Therefore, all ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae should not be considered a homogeneous group. No differences in outcomes between genotypes were detected.
Since 2006, Israel has been confronting an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and in 2007 Israel implemented a national strategy to contain spread. The intervention was initially directed toward acute-care hospitals and later expanded to include an established reservoir of carriage in long-term-care hospitals. It included regular reporting of CRE cases to a central registry and daily oversight of management of the outbreak at the institutional level. Microbiological methodologies were standardized in clinical laboratories nationwide. Uniform requirements for carrier screening and isolation were established, and a protocol for discontinuation of carrier status was formulated. In response to the evolving epidemiology of CRE in Israel and the continued need for uniform guidelines for carrier detection and isolation, the Ministry of Health in 2016 issued a regulatory circular updating the requirements for CRE screening, laboratory diagnosis, molecular characterization, and carrier isolation, as well as reporting and discontinuation of isolation in healthcare institutions nationwide. The principal elements of the circular are contained herein.
Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are a common problem in long-term care facilities (LTC). Clinical guidelines dictate that first-line treatments for BPSD are psychosocial and behavioral interventions; if these are unsuccessful, psychotropic medications may be trialed at low doses and their effects can be monitored.
There have previously been no studies with nationally representative samples to investigate psychotropic administration in LTCs in Australia. This study determines the prevalence of psychotropic administration in a representative stratified random sample of 446 residents living with dementia from 53 Australian LTCs. Questionnaire and medical chart data in this study is drawn from a larger cross-sectional, mixed methods study on quality of life in Australian LTCs.
It was found that 257 (58%) residents were prescribed psychotropic medications including: antipsychotics (n = 160, 36%), benzodiazepines (n = 136, 31%), antidepressants (n = 117, 26%), and anti-dementia medications (n = 9, 2%). BPSD were found to be very common in the sample, with 82% (n = 364) of participants experiencing at least one BPSD. The most prevalent BPSD were depression (n = 286, 70%) and agitation (n = 299, 67%).
Although detailed background information was not collected on individual cases, the prevalence found is indicative of systematic industry-wide, over-prescription of psychotropic medications as a first-line treatment for BPSD. This study highlights a clear need for further research and interventions in this area.