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The aim was to analyse invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) serotypes in children aged ⩽17 years according to clinical presentation and antimicrobial susceptibility. We conducted a prospective study (January 2012–June 2016). IPD cases were diagnosed by culture and/or real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Demographic, microbiological and clinical data were analysed. Associations were assessed using the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Of the 253 cases, 34.4% were aged <2 years, 38.7% 2–4 years and 26.9% 5–17 years. Over 64% were 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) serotypes. 48% of the cases were diagnosed only by real-time PCR. Serotypes 3 and 1 were associated with complicated pneumonia (P < 0.05) and non-PCV13 serotypes with meningitis (OR 7.32, 95% CI 2.33–22.99) and occult bacteraemia (OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.56–8.76). Serotype 19A was more frequent in children aged <2 years and serotypes 3 and 1 in children aged 2–4 years and 5–17 years, respectively. 36.1% of cases were not susceptible to penicillin and 16.4% were also non-susceptible to cefotaxime. Serotypes 14, 24F and 23B were associated with non-susceptibility to penicillin (P < 0.05) and serotypes 11, 14 and 19A to cefotaxime (P < 0.05). Serotype 19A showed resistance to penicillin (P = 0.002). In conclusion, PCV13 serotypes were most frequent in children aged ⩽17 years, mainly serotypes 3, 1 and 19A. Non-PCV13 serotypes were associated with meningitis and occult bacteraemia and PCV13 serotypes with pneumonia. Non-susceptibility to antibiotics of non-PCV13 serotypes should be monitored.
This paper proposes a differential sensor based on a pair of open split ring resonators (OSRR) operating in reflection. The output signal is thus the differential reflection coefficient of both resonators, intimately related to their dielectric loading. Thus, for identical loads in both sensing resonators, the individual reflection coefficients are equal, thereby providing an ideally null output signal. By contrast, when unequal dielectric loads truncate the symmetry, the reflection coefficients are different, resulting in a differential output signal related to the level of asymmetry. In order to ease the measurement of the output signal, a rat-race hybrid coupler is used. The OSRR sensing loads are connected to the coupled ports of the hybrid coupler, whereas the input signal is injected to the Δ-port, and the output signal is collected at the isolated port (Σ-port). By this means, the output signal, i.e. the differential reflection coefficient between both sensing loads, is obtained from the transmission coefficient of a simple two-port structure. For experimental validation purposes, the sensor is applied to the measurement of isopropanol content in aqueous solutions, and for that purpose, the sensitive regions are equipped with microfluidic channels.
In this paper, a differential microfluidic sensor and comparator based on a pair of microstrip lines loaded with dumbbell-shaped defected ground structure resonators is applied to the characterization of electrolyte concentration in samples of horse urine. Since variations in the total electrolyte content in urine may be indicative of certain pathologies, the interest is to use the device as a comparator, in order to determine changes in the electrolyte concentration as compared to a reference level. To validate the approach, we have made differential measurements of a set of urine samples with different electrolyte concentrations (which have been previously obtained by means of electrochemical methods). The obtained results correlate with the nominal electrolyte concentrations of the samples, thereby pointing out the potential of the approach as a low-cost pre-screening method (or complementary diagnosis system) to detect potential pathologies or diseases in horses and other animals.
To describe the relation of psychosocial factors of care (phase illness, years of care, free time, extra help and symptoms of depression) influence the care burden of dementia family caregivers. To measure the relation of the level of depressive symptoms on an intense level of burden of the dementia family caregivers.
Is selected a sample of 102 primary caregivers by criteria of inclusion to which a surveys do to those that the following information gathered: sociodemographic dates of the caregivers and of the dementia patients, care burden (Zarit Interview) and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory) of the family caregivers.
Most of the sample experiences an intense burden level (74%) opposite to a light level (26%). Psychosocial characteristics are as per statistics significant in increasing the care burden there were free time, extra help and presence of symptoms of depression. Presence of serious symptoms of depression on the intense burden level are differently front or those who had a minor burden, 22% and 5% respectively.
There are most of the daughter-father/mother and spouse-spouse caregiver couples with a high percentage of caregivers of feminine sex (as in most of the studies realized on caregiver of dependent persons at European and international level). The need for free time and psychic self-care are cost-effective strategies to prevent the depressive disorders, as well as, to improve their caregiver's work. The psychoeducation programs that have being realized at European level directed to family caregiver are necessary in our country.
Known by many different names-culture broker, community interpreter, medical interpreter, and communication facilitator-the intercultural mediator has as a primary task the facilitation of communication and the therapeutic relationship in the presence of linguistic and/or cultural difference. The Immigration Plan of “la Caixa” Social and Cultural Outreach Projects has undertaken an ambitious project to train all of the cultural mediators in Spain, including both those currently working and those newly entering the field, to meet existing needs. In the first phase of the project, the training was developed in Catalunya, in collaboration with the the Catalan Department of Health, executed by the Psychiatry Department of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital (Autonomous University of Barcelona) and certified by the Health Studies Institute of the Department of Health. Drawing from the four years experience of the NGO SURT and the Department of Psychiatry of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, the program provides 200 hours of theoretical and 1200 hours of practical training. 50 currently employed intercultural mediators and 30 novices are being trained. In subsequent phases the training will be adapted to needs of other autonomous regions of Spain. Modules include medical anthropology, Western biomedicine, community health, linguistic interpretation, cultural competence, professional identity, and ethics. Small group supervision provides a supportive environment to facilitate the application of theory to practice. Finally, high quality training materials were developed specifically for the course. Preliminary evaluations of the project are positive despite some unanticipated complications.
Two common approaches to identify subgroups of patients with bipolar disorder are clustering methodology (mixture analysis) based on the age of onset, and a birth cohort analysis. This study investigates if a birth cohort effect will influence the results of clustering on the age of onset, using a large, international database.
The database includes 4037 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, previously collected at 36 collection sites in 23 countries. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to adjust the data for country median age, and in some models, birth cohort. Model-based clustering (mixture analysis) was then performed on the age of onset data using the residuals. Clinical variables in subgroups were compared.
There was a strong birth cohort effect. Without adjusting for the birth cohort, three subgroups were found by clustering. After adjusting for the birth cohort or when considering only those born after 1959, two subgroups were found. With results of either two or three subgroups, the youngest subgroup was more likely to have a family history of mood disorders and a first episode with depressed polarity. However, without adjusting for birth cohort (three subgroups), family history and polarity of the first episode could not be distinguished between the middle and oldest subgroups.
These results using international data confirm prior findings using single country data, that there are subgroups of bipolar I disorder based on the age of onset, and that there is a birth cohort effect. Including the birth cohort adjustment altered the number and characteristics of subgroups detected when clustering by age of onset. Further investigation is needed to determine if combining both approaches will identify subgroups that are more useful for research.
We describe a new extinct spiny rat, Proclinodontomys dondasi n. gen. n. sp. (Rodentia, Caviomorpha, Echimyidae), represented by a noteworthy preserved skull and mandible from the early-middle Pleistocene outcrops at the coastal cliffs of SE Buenos Aires Province (Central Argentina). Phylogenetic analyses allow us to propose that the new species described here and the already known Eurzygomatomys mordax (Winge) represent a new genus closely related to the living Euryzygomatomys spinosus and Clyomys laticeps. The new genus differs from Euryzygomatomys and Clyomys by having much more procumbent upper incisors, a more developed fossa for the M. temporalis, more flared and laterally expanded zygomatic arches, frontal less markedly expanded posteriorly, jugals much deeper anteriorly than posteriorly, with the dorsal border descending more abruptly posteriorly, smaller orbital cavity, and external auditory meatus relatively smaller and slanted upward and backward. Several features of the new species reflect a higher degree of adaptation to semifossorial habits than those of E. spinosus. The origin of the semifossorial ecomorphotype within echimyids may have been triggered by the expansion of relatively open and arid environments that arose near the Miocene-Pliocene boundary. The record of this new echimyid in Central Argentina indicates that during the early-middle Pleistocene, the southern limit of the geographic range of extinct representatives of the Brazilian lineage of semifossorial echimyids extended farther south than that of their living members.
Weaning is a critical transition phase in swine production in which piglets must cope with different stressors that may affect their health. During this period, the prophylactic use of antibiotics is still frequent to limit piglet morbidity, which raises both economic and public health concerns such as the appearance of antimicrobial-resistant microbes. With the interest of developing tools for assisting health and management decisions around weaning, it is key to provide robustness indexes that inform on the animals’ capacity to endure the challenges associated with weaning. This work aimed at developing a modelling approach for facilitating the quantification of piglet resilience to weaning. A total of 325 Large White pigs weaned at 28 days of age were monitored and further housed and fed conventionally during the post-weaning period without antibiotic administration. Body weight and diarrhoea scores were recorded before and after weaning, and blood was sampled at weaning and 1 week later for collecting haematological data. A dynamic model was constructed based on the Gompertz–Makeham law to describe live weight trajectories during the first 75 days after weaning, following the rationale that the animal response is partitioned in two time windows (a perturbation and a recovery window). Model calibration was performed for each animal. Our results show that the transition time between the two time windows, as well as the weight trajectories are characteristic for each individual. The model captured the weight dynamics of animals at different degrees of perturbation, with an average coefficient of determination of 0.99, and a concordance correlation coefficient of 0.99. The utility of the model is that it provides biologically meaningful parameters that inform on the amplitude and length of perturbation, and the rate of animal recovery. Our rationale is that the dynamics of weight inform on the capability of the animal to cope with the weaning disturbance. Indeed, there were significant correlations between model parameters and individual diarrhoea scores and haematological traits. Overall, the parameters of our model can be useful for constructing weaning robustness indexes by using exclusively the growth curves. We foresee that this modelling approach will provide a step forward in the quantitative characterisation of robustness.
Large efforts have been deployed in developing methods to estimate methane emissions from cattle. For large scale applications, accurate and inexpensive methane predictors are required. Within a livestock precision farming context, the objective of this work was to integrate real-time data on animal feeding behaviour with an in silico model for predicting the individual dynamic pattern of methane emission in cattle. The integration of real-time data with a mathematical model to predict variables that are not directly measured constitutes a software sensor. We developed a dynamic parsimonious grey-box model that uses as predictor variables either dry matter intake (DMI) or the intake time (IT). The model is described by ordinary differential equations.
Model building was supported by experimental data of methane emissions from respiration chambers. The data set comes from a study with finishing beef steers (cross-bred Charolais and purebred Luing finishing). Dry matter intake and IT were recorded using feed bins. For research purposes, in this work, our software sensor operated off-line. That is, the predictor variables (DMI, IT) were extracted from the recorded data (rather than from an on-line sensor). A total of 37 individual dynamic patterns of methane production were analyzed. Model performance was assessed by concordance analysis between the predicted methane output and the methane measured in respiration chambers. The model predictors DMI and IT performed similarly with a Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) of 0.78 on average. When predicting the daily methane production, the CCC was 0.99 for both DMI and IT predictors. Consequently, on the basis of concordance analysis, our model performs very well compared with reported literature results for methane proxies and predictive models. As IT measurements are easier to obtain than DMI measurements, this study suggests that a software sensor that integrates our in silico model with a real-time sensor providing accurate IT measurements is a viable solution for predicting methane output in a large scale context.
Slaughter is a crucial step in the meat production chain that could induce psychological stress on each animal, resulting in a physiological response that can differ among individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between an animal’s emotional state, the subsequent psychological stress at slaughter and the cellular damage as an effect. In all, 36 entire male pigs were reared at an experimental farm and a cognitive bias test was used to classify them into positive bias (PB) or negative bias (NB) groups depending on their decision-making capabilities. Half of the animals, slaughtered in the same batch, were used for a complete study of biomarkers of stress, including brain neurotransmitters and some muscle biomarkers of oxidative stress. After slaughter, specific brain areas were excised and the levels of catecholamines (noradrenaline (NA) and dopamine (DA)) and indoleamines (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and serotonin (5HT)) were analyzed. In addition, muscle proteasome activity (20S), antioxidant defence (total antioxidant activity (TAA)), oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation (LPO)) and autophagy biomarkers (Beclin-1, microtubule-associated protein I light chain 3 (LC3-I) and LC3-II) were monitored during early postmortem maturation (0 to 24 h). Compared with PB animals, NB pigs were more susceptible to stress, showing higher 5HT levels (P<0.01) in the hippocampus and lower DA (P<0.001) in the pre-frontal cortex. Furthermore, NB pigs had more intense proteolytic processes and triggered primary muscle cell survival mechanisms immediately after slaughter (0 h postmortem), thus showing higher TAA (P<0.001) and earlier proteasome activity (P<0.001) and autophagy (Beclin-1, P<0.05; LC3-II/LC3-I, P<0.001) than PB pigs, in order to counteract the induced increase in oxidative stress, that was significantly higher in the muscle of NB pigs at 0 h postmortem (LPO, P<0.001). Our study is the first to demonstrate that pig’s cognitive bias influences the animal’s susceptibility to stress and has important effects on the postmortem muscle metabolism, particularly on the cell antioxidant defences and the autophagy onset. These results expand the current knowledge regarding biomarkers of animal welfare and highlight the potential use of biomarkers of the proteasome, the autophagy (Beclin-1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and the muscle antioxidant defence (TAA, LPO) for detection of peri-slaughter stress.
Two metal fillers with TiC nanoparticles (TiC NPs) of less than 100 nm for the overlay process is an alternative to hardfacing for treating surfaces subjected to severe wear. In this work, the effect of tribological behavior for TiC NPs addition on two Co-based filler materials, as well as the dilutions, was studied. Mixtures of Co-based filler metals without and with 0.5% and 2% TiC NPs were deposited onto D2 steel plates using PTA (Plasma Transferred Arc). The BET surface area was 0.17 m2 g-1 and 0.31 m2 g-1, respectively, for Stellite 6 and 12. The distribution of ca 23% macroporous for Stellite 6 was sufficient to get inside the TiC NPs, as well as in the case of Stellite 12, with a pore distribution of ca 13%. Stellite 12 has an increase in the dilutions (70%) and enthalpies showed endothermic reactions. Stellite 6 with NPs was determined to be most effective in increasing the wear resistance.
I deficiency is still a worldwide public health problem, with children being especially vulnerable. No nationwide study had been conducted to assess the I status of Spanish children, and thus an observational, multicentre and cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to assess the I status and thyroid function in schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The median urinary I (UI) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in whole blood were used to assess the I status and thyroid function, respectively. A FFQ was used to determine the consumption of I-rich foods. A total of 1981 schoolchildren (52 % male) were included. The median UI was 173 μg/l, and 17·9 % of children showed UI<100 μg/l. The median UI was higher in males (180·8 v. 153·6 μg/l; P<0·001). Iodised salt (IS) intake at home was 69·8 %. IS consumption and intakes of ≥2 glasses of milk or 1 cup of yogurt/d were associated with significantly higher median UI. Median TSH was 0·90 mU/l and was higher in females (0·98 v. 0·83; P<0·001). In total, 0·5 % of children had known hypothyroidism (derived from the questionnaire) and 7·6 % had TSH levels above reference values. Median TSH was higher in schoolchildren with family history of hypothyroidism. I intake was adequate in Spanish schoolchildren. However, no correlation was found between TSH and median UI in any geographical area. The prevalence of TSH above reference values was high and its association with thyroid autoimmunity should be determined. Further assessment of thyroid autoimmunity in Spanish schoolchildren is desirable.
Use of cooled and frozen semen is becoming increasingly prevalent in the equine industry. However, these procedures cause harmful effects in the sperm cell resulting in reduced cell lifespan and fertility rates. Apoptosis and necrosis-related events are increased during semen cryopreservation. However, a third type of cell death, named autophagy, has not been studied during equine semen storage. Light chain (LC)3 protein is a key component of the autophagy pathway. Under autophagy activation, LC3-I is lipidated and converted to LC3-II. The ratio of LC3-II/LC3-I is widely used as a marker of autophagy activation. The main objective of this study was to investigate whether LC3 is processed during cooling, freezing and the stressful conditions associated with these technologies. A secondary objective was to determine if LC3 processing can be modulated and if that may improve the quality of cryopreserved semen. LC3 processing was studied by Western blot with a specific antibody that recognized both LC3-I and LC3-II. Viability was assessed by flow cytometry. Modulation of LC3-I to LC3-II was studied with known autophagy activators (STF-62247 and rapamycin) or inhibitors (chloroquine and 3-MA) used in somatic cells. The results showed that conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II increased significantly during cooling at 4°C, freezing/thawing and each of the stressful conditions tested (UV radiation, oxidative stress, osmotic stress and changes in temperature). STF-62247 and rapamycin increased the LC3-II/LC3-I ratio and decreased the viability of equine sperm, whereas chloroquine and 3-MA inhibited LC3 processing and maintained the percentage of viable cells after 2 h of incubation at 37°C. Finally, refrigeration at 4°C for 96 h and freezing at −196°C in the presence of chloroquine and 3-MA resulted in higher percentages of viable cells. In conclusion, results showed that an ‘autophagy-like’ mechanism may be involved in the regulation of sperm viability during equine semen cryopreservation. Modulation of autophagy during these reproductive technologies may result in an improvement of semen quality and therefore in higher fertility rates.
The incidence of Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) in Catalonia (Spain) has decreased in the last two decades. The prevalence of antibodies to Rickettsia conorii in human beings and dogs in the region of Vallès Occidental (Catalonia) was assessed by indirect immunofluorescence, and the results compared with those obtained in a similar study from 1987. Nineteen (5·0%) out of 383 human serum samples had antibodies to R. conorii. This seroprevalence was significantly lower (11·5%) (P = 0·003) than that recorded in the 1987 survey. Forty-two out (42·0%) of 100 canine serum samples had antibodies to R. conorii. A high proportion of the studied dogs (91·0%) were receiving anti-tick treatment, mainly with permethrin-imidacloprid spot-on (Advantix, Bayer, Germany). The current canine seroprevalence was not significantly different from that recorded in the 1987 survey (36.9%). In conclusion, this study shows a significant decrease in the prevalence of antibodies to R. conorii in the human population of Catalonia in the last 20 years, which corresponds with a decrease in the number of cases of MSF. We suggest that the widespread use of anti-tick treatment in dogs could limit the introduction of ticks to humans due to a reduction of infestation duration in dogs, thus contributing to the decrease in MSF incidence.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were synthesized by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) from diethyl ether, butanol, hexane and ethyl acetate. A quartz tube with a stainless steel tube catalyst core with 0.019 m diameter and 0.6 m large formed the reactor. To avoid combustion, argon was used as the carrier gas. Time process ranged 30 to 60 min. The range of CNTs synthesis temperature was 680-850 °C for different precursors. Scanning Electron Microscopy micrographs have demonstrated tangled CNTs growth in all samples, thus presenting difficult length measurement. The CNTs diameters from diethyl ether are 45-200 nm, butanol diameter range from 55-230 nm, hexane diameter range is 50-130 nm and ethyl acetate range from 100 to 300 nm. Carbon content for all samples was higher than 93 %, CNTs from butanol showed carbon concentration up to 99%. FTIR, Raman and X-Ray Spectroscopies spectra for all samples demonstrated the characteristics signals present in carbon nanotubes. This research proposes a simple, effective and innovative method to synthesize CNTs by CVD on iron stainless steel catalyst in combination with diethyl ether, ethyl acetate, butanol and hexane as precursors by applying the principles of green chemistry, sustainability and its ease to be scaled.
Gold nanoparticles can be used as ultimate electrical materials for storing electrons or controlling their flow for the next generation nano-electronic devices. These particles are the core element of assemblies where the electrical current is reduced to the smallest possible since electrons are controlled one by one by using the Coulomb blockade phenomenon. We prepared colloidal gold nanoparticles beteween 4 and 15 nm and grafted them on a grafted organic monolayer (GOM) on silicon. GOM are highly ordered monolayers prepared by hydrosilylation of alkene molecules and subsequently modified with an amine group so that gold nanoparticles can be firmly immobilized on top of the layer. We discuss several electrical properties at a single electron level. Using the conductive tip of KPFM, we were also able to reveal the spontaneous charging behavior of the gold nanoparticles so that the local work function of a 10 nm gold nanoparticle is only 3.7 eV. By placing an STM tip above a nanoparticle, Coulomb blockade allows controlling the number of electrons simultaneously injected in the nanoparticle. This opens the way for new kinds of single electron memories or single electron transistors.
Many studies have reported that cannabis use increases the risk of a first episode of psychosis (FEP). However, only a few studies have investigated the nature of cannabis-related experiences in FEP patients, and none has examined whether these experiences are similar in FEP and general populations. The aim of this study was to explore differences in self-reported cannabis experiences between FEP and non-psychotic populations.
A total of 252 subjects, who met International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria for FEP, and 217 controls who reported cannabis use were selected from the Genetics and Psychosis (GAP) study. The Medical Research Council Social Schedule and the Cannabis Experience Questionnaire were used to collect sociodemographic data and cannabis use information, respectively.
Both ‘bad’ and ‘enjoyable’ experiences were more commonly reported by FEP subjects than controls. Principal components factor analysis identified four components which explained 62.3% of the variance. Linear regression analysis on the whole sample showed that the type of cannabis used and beliefs about the effect of cannabis on health all contributed to determining the intensity and frequency of experiences. Linear regression analysis on FEP subjects showed that the duration of cannabis use and amount of money spent on cannabis were strongly related to the intensity and frequency of enjoyable experiences in this population.
These results suggest a higher sensitivity to cannabis effects among people who have suffered their first psychotic episode; this hypersensitivity results in them reporting both more ‘bad’ and ‘enjoyable’ experiences. The greater enjoyment experienced may provide an explanation of why FEP patients are more likely to use cannabis and to continue to use it despite experiencing an exacerbation of their psychotic symptoms.
Structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) traits share part of their genetic variance with cognitive traits. Here, we use genetic association results from large meta-analytic studies of genome-wide association (GWA) for brain infarcts (BI), white matter hyperintensities, intracranial, hippocampal, and total brain volumes to estimate polygenic scores for these traits in three Scottish samples: Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS:SFHS), and the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1936 (LBC1936) and 1921 (LBC1921). These five brain MRI trait polygenic scores were then used to: (1) predict corresponding MRI traits in the LBC1936 (numbers ranged 573 to 630 across traits), and (2) predict cognitive traits in all three cohorts (in 8,115–8,250 persons). In the LBC1936, all MRI phenotypic traits were correlated with at least one cognitive measure, and polygenic prediction of MRI traits was observed for intracranial volume. Meta-analysis of the correlations between MRI polygenic scores and cognitive traits revealed a significant negative correlation (maximal r = 0.08) between the HV polygenic score and measures of global cognitive ability collected in childhood and in old age in the Lothian Birth Cohorts. The lack of association to a related general cognitive measure when including the GS:SFHS points to either type 1 error or the importance of using prediction samples that closely match the demographics of the GWA samples from which prediction is based. Ideally, these analyses should be repeated in larger samples with data on both MRI and cognition, and using MRI GWA results from even larger meta-analysis studies.
We present the optical/infrared counterpart to GT0106+613, a transient gamma-ray source believed to be a blazar. Long-term differential photometry and satellite information was used to confirm the variability in optical/infrared wavelengths, correlated with gamma-ray flares from the source. An intense optical flare with no counterpart in gamma-rays is also remarkable.