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England has recently started a new paediatric influenza vaccine programme using a live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). There is uncertainty over how well the vaccine protects against more severe end-points. A test-negative case–control study was used to estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) in vaccine-eligible children aged 2–16 years of age in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalisation in England in the 2015–2016 season using a national sentinel laboratory surveillance system. Logistic regression was used to estimate the VE with adjustment for sex, risk-group, age group, region, ethnicity, deprivation and month of sample collection. A total of 977 individuals were included in the study (348 cases and 629 controls). The overall adjusted VE for all study ages and vaccine types was 33.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3–54.6) after adjusting for age group, sex, index of multiple deprivation, ethnicity, region, sample month and risk group. Risk group was shown to be an important confounder. The adjusted VE for all influenza types for the live-attenuated vaccine was 41.9% (95% CI 7.3–63.6) and 28.8% (95% CI −31.1 to 61.3) for the inactivated vaccine. The study provides evidence of the effectiveness of influenza vaccination in preventing hospitalisation due to laboratory-confirmed influenza in children in 2015–2016 and continues to support the rollout of the LAIV childhood programme.
Significant increases in excess all-cause mortality, particularly in the elderly, were observed during the winter of 2014/15 in England. With influenza A(H3N2) the dominant circulating influenza A subtype, this paper determines the contribution of influenza to this excess controlling for weather. A standardised multivariable Poisson regression model was employed with weekly all-cause deaths the dependent variable for the period 2008–2015. Adjusting for extreme temperature, a total of 26 542 (95% CI 25 301–27 804) deaths in 65+ and 1942 (95% CI 1834–2052) in 15–64-year-olds were associated with influenza from week 40, 2014 to week 20, 2015. This is compatible with the circulation of influenza A(H3N2). It is the largest estimated number of influenza-related deaths in England since prior to 2008/09. The findings highlight the potential health impact of influenza and the important role of the annual influenza vaccination programme that is required to protect the population including the elderly, who are vulnerable to a severe outcome.
Indigenous, foodborne transmission of hepatitis E has been increasing across industrialised countries. Public Health England has conducted enhanced surveillance in England and Wales since 2003.This report gives an account of acute infections from 2010 to 2016 and describes modification made to the methods of surveillance to account for changes in reporting behaviours and improve ascertainment.
Since 2010, human hepatitis E infections have increased in England and Wales. Most cases are locally acquired and caused by hepatitis E virus genotype 3 (HEV G3). HEV G3 is linked to the consumption of pork products. The increase is associated with the emergence of a new phylotype, HEV G3-group 2 (G3-2, also known as G3abcdhij). Sixty individuals with confirmed hepatitis E infection and no history of travel outside the UK were recruited: 19 were infected with HEV G3-group 1 (G3-1 or G3efg) and 41 with G3-2. Epidemiological data relating to usual shopping habits and consumption of ham and sausages were analysed together with typing data to identify any associations with HEV phylotype. Study participants who purchased ham and/or sausage from a major supermarket were more likely to have HEV G3-2 infection (Relative risks 1·85, P = 0·06, CI 0·97–3·53). The HEV G3-2 phylotype has not been detected in indigenous UK pigs and it is suggested that human infections could be the result of consumption of products made from pork originating outside the UK. This does not infer blame on the supermarket but the epidemiology of HEV is dynamic and reflects complex animal husbandry practices which need to be explored further.
In October 2014, Public Health England (PHE) identified cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroup O157 sharing a multiple locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) profile. We conducted a case-control study using multivariable logistic regression to calculate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) testing a range of exposures. Cases were defined as laboratory-confirmed STEC O157 with the implicated MLVA profile, were UK residents aged ⩾18 years with symptom onset between 25 September and 30 October 2014, and had no history of travel abroad within 5 days of symptom onset. One hundred and two cases were identified. Cases were mostly female (65%; median age 49, range 2–92 years). It was the second largest outbreak seen in England, to date, and a case-control study was conducted using market research panel controls and online survey methods. These methods were instrumental in the rapid data collection and analysis necessary to allow traceback investigations for short shelf-life products. This is a new method of control recruitment and this is the first in which it was a standalone recruitment method. The case-control study suggested a strong association between consumption of a ready-to-eat food and disease (aOR 28, 95% CI 5·0–157) from one retailer. No reactive microbiological testing of food items during the outbreak was possible due to the short shelf-life of the product. Collaboration with industrial bodies is needed to ensure timely traceback exercises to identify contamination events and initiate appropriate and focused microbiological testing and implement control measures.
We studied the spread of influenza in the community between 1993 and 2009 using primary-care surveillance data to investigate if the onset of influenza was age-related. Virus detections [A(H3N2), B, A(H1N1)] and clinical incidence of influenza-like illness (ILI) in 12·3 million person-years in the long-running Royal College of General Practitioners-linked clinical-virological surveillance programme in England & Wales were examined. The number of days between symptom onset and the all-age peak ILI incidence were compared by age group for each influenza type/subtype. We found that virus detection and ILI incidence increase, peak and decrease were in unison. The mean interval between symptom onset to peak ILI incidence in virus detections (all ages) was: A(H3N2) 20·5 [95% confidence interval (CI) 19·7–21·6] days; B, 18·8 (95% CI 15·8·0–21·7) days; and A(H1N1) 17·0 (95% CI 15·6–18·4) days. Differences by age group were examined using the Kruskal–Wallis test. For A(H3N2) and A(H1N1) viruses the interval was similar in each age group. For influenza B there were highly significant differences by age group (P = 0·0001). Clinical incidence rates of ILI reported in the 8 weeks preceding the period of influenza virus activity were used to estimate a baseline incidence and threshold value (upper 95% CI of estimate) which was used as a marker of epidemic progress. Differences between the age groups in the week in which the threshold was reached were small and not localized to any age group. In conclusion we found no evidence to suggest that influenza A(H3N2) and A(H1N1) occurs in the community in one age group before another. For influenza B, virus detection was earlier in children aged 5–14 years than in persons aged ⩾25 years.
Cannabis use is high amongst young people who have recently had their first episode of psychosis, and is associated with worse outcomes. To date, interventions to reduce cannabis consumption have been largely ineffective, and it has been suggested that longer treatment periods are required.
In a pragmatic single-blind randomized controlled trial 110 participants were randomly allocated to one of three conditions: a brief motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy (MI-CBT) intervention (up to 12 sessions over 4.5 months) with standard care from an early intervention service; a long MI-CBT intervention (up to 24 sessions over 9 months) with standard care; or standard care alone. The primary outcome was change in cannabis use as measured by Timeline Followback.
Neither the extended nor the brief interventions conferred benefit over standard care in terms of reductions in frequency or amount of cannabis use. Also the interventions did not result in improvements in the assessed clinical outcomes, including symptoms, functioning, hospital admissions or relapse.
Integrated MI and CBT for people with cannabis use and recent-onset psychosis does not reduce cannabis use or improve clinical outcomes. These findings are consistent with those in the published literature, and additionally demonstrate that offering a more extended intervention does not confer any advantage. Many participants were not at an action stage for change and for those not ready to reduce or quit cannabis, targeting associated problems rather than the cannabis use per se may be the best current strategy for mental health services to adopt.
To assess the hearing changes associated with sacrificing an intact ossicular chain during cholesteatoma surgery.
We reviewed the operation notes of surgical procedures performed by the senior author between October 2000 and April 2006. Thirty-three cases were identified in which cholesteatoma surgery had been performed in the presence of a mobile, intact ossicular chain. One set of case notes was missing; therefore, 32 cases were included in the analysis. The ossicular chain was preserved in 17 cases (14 males and three females) and sacrificed in 15 (eight males and seven females).
At the first post-operative assessment, a median air–bone gap deterioration of 3.3 dB was seen in patients in whom the ossicular chain had been sacrificed, while a median air–bone gap improvement of 3.3 dB was seen in those in whom the chain had been preserved. However, multivariable logistic regression analysis suggested that this difference in hearing outcomes was due to pre-operative hearing status, and that preservation of the ossicular chain did not lead to a better outcome.
In cholesteatoma surgery, there is at most a marginal benefit in preserving the ossicular chain. In the current study, the better hearing outcomes associated with preservation of the ossicular chain were accounted for by patients' better pre-operative hearing status. This study did not demonstrate a difference in residual disease rate, but was underpowered to do so.
Late-gestational serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) exposure has been
linked to adverse neonatal outcomes; however, the impact of timing and
duration of exposure is unknown.
To determine whether late-gestational exposure to an SRI is associated
with increased risk of adverse neonatal outcome relative to early
Population-based maternal and neonatal health records were linked to
prenatal maternal prescription records for an SRI medication
After controlling for maternal illness and duration of exposure, using
propensity score matching, neonatal outcomes did not differ between late
and early exposure (P IQ>0.05). After controlling for
maternal illness, longer prenatal exposure increased the risks of lower
birth weight, respiratory distress and reduced gestational age
Using population health data, length of gestational SRI exposure, rather
than timing, increased the risk for neonatal respiratory distress, lower
birth weight and reduced gestational age, even when controlling for
maternal illness and medication dose. These findings highlight the
importance of distinguishing the specific impact of medication exposure
from exposure to maternal illness itself.
The aim of this study was to establish the relative importance of various risk factors for toxoplasmosis in a United Kingdom antenatal population. Toxoplasma immune status was determined by an immunoassay and linked to a questionnaire exploring dietary and environmental exposure to toxoplasmosis. The overall seroprevalence found was 9·1% (172/1897). A significantly higher seroprevalence was associated with rural location of the childhood home, childhood home in Europe excluding the United Kingdom, feeding a dog raw meat and increased age. A non-significant higher prevalence of toxoplasmosis was observed in women who had lived with a cat or kitten as a child. In contrast to recent European studies only weak associations between diet and toxoplasmosis were found. Gardening activity was not associated with seropositivity but a non-significant lower seroprevalence was seen in gardeners who always wore gloves. This study confirms that toxoplasma prevalence in the United Kingdom has continued to decline since the 1960s. The increasing seroprevalence with age found in this study, highlights the continuing need to educate women of childbearing age about the risk factors for toxoplasmosis.
We have succeeded in generating highly charged excitons in InAs self-assembled quantum dots by embedding the dots in a field-effect heterostructure. We discover an excitonic Coulomb blockage: over large regions of gate voltage, the exciton charge remains constant. We present here a summary of the emission properties of the charged excitons.
We describe theoretically novel excitons in self-assembled quantum dots interacting with a two-dimensional (2D) electron gas in the wetting layer. In the presence of the Fermi sea, the optical lines become strongly voltage-dependent. If the electron spin is nonzero, the width of optical lines is given by kBTK, where TK is Kondo temperature. If the spin is zero, the exciton couples with the continuum due to Auger-like processes. This leads to anticrossings in a magnetic field. Such states can be called Kondo-Anderson excitons. Some of the described phenomena are observed in recent experiments.
The differential anomalous scattering technique is outlined and compared to other techniques for studying short-range order in amorphous systems, such as EXAFS. The differential distribution functions obtained for liquid GeBr4 were found to support a model for the liquid state based on the structure of the h.c.p. crystal. Application of the technique to aqueous ZnBr2 also allowed discr imination between structural models.
The following Report on the contents of 311 pheasant crops presents the results of a very laborious investigation undertaken by Miss A. F. C.-H. Evershed during 1915 under my direction. Only those who have themselves attempted it will fully appreciate the amount of time and trouble involved in identifying the fragments of insects and plants met with in such a research.
Since we published our last notes upon new species, a considerable number of specimens have reached us from various parts of the world, thanks to many gentlemen who have interested themselves in these parasites. We propose to group our descriptions of new species according to genera as we progress with the diagnoses we are preparing for the work on Ticks which we are publishing in conjunction with Messrs Cooper and Robinson. We have already described several new species of Ixodes and Haemaphysalis and in this paper shall confine our descriptions to species belonging to these genera. Although, more recently, we have received many specimens belonging to the genus Ixodes, we have, in the majority of instances, been able to refer them to established species, but sometimes with great difficulty owing to the meagre description given by many authors, and especially to the absence of figures. We consider that too much stress cannot be laid upon the necessity of illustrative figures accompanying authors' descriptions of new species for a glance at a figure frequently suffices as a means of rapidly identifying a species, and for this purpose the simplest text figures are usually amply sufficient.
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