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In this Research Reflection we describe a common standpoint on suitable methodology for controlled and observational studies in cow-calf contact systems in dairy production. Different methods to assess behaviour, health and production in cow-calf contact systems are outlined. Knowledge and experience from researchers working in this field supplement scientific literature whenever relevant. Specific methods including study design, early behaviour of cow and calf, social behaviour relevant to cow-calf contact systems, human-animal relationships and aspects related to management (milking, weaning and separation, health) are reviewed, and recommendations formed. We expect that this paper can contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of cow-calf contact systems and help to advance research in this area of dairy production.
Due to increasing public concern regarding separation of the dairy cow and calf within the first days after birth, alternative systems, where cows and calves stay in contact for an extended period, are receiving increasing interest from a broad array of researchers and other stakeholders. With more research in the area, there is a risk of inconsistencies emerging in the use of terminology. To create a better consensus in further discussions, the aim of this Research Reflection is to provide definitions and propose a common terminology for cow-calf contact in dairy production. We also suggest definitions for various systems allowing cow-calf contact and describe the distinct phases of cow-calf contact systems.
An understanding of the processes involved in grazing behaviour is a prerequisite for the design of efficient grassland management systems. The purpose of managing the grazing process is to identify sward structures that can maximize animal forage daily intake and optimize grazing time. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of different grazing management strategies on foraging behaviour and herbage intake by sheep grazing Italian ryegrass under rotational stocking. The experiment was carried out in 2015 in southern Brazil. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with two grazing management strategies and four replicates. The grazing management treatments were a traditional rotational stocking (RT), with pre- and post-grazing sward heights of 25 and 5 cm, respectively, and a ‘Rotatinuous’ stocking (RN) with pre- and post-grazing sward heights of 18 and 11 cm, respectively. Male sheep with an average live weight of 32 ± 2.3 kg were used. As intended, the pre- and post-grazing sward heights were according to the treatments. The pre-grazing leaf/stem ratio of the Italian ryegrass pasture did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05) (~2.87), but the post-grazing leaf/stem ratio was greater (P < 0.001) in the RN than in the RT treatment (1.59 and 0.76, respectively). The percentage of the non-grazed area was greater (P < 0.01) in post-grazing for RN compared with RT treatment, with an average of 29.7% and 3.49%, respectively. Herbage nutritive value was greater for the RN than for the RT treatment, with greater CP and lower ADF and NDF contents. The total time spent grazing, ruminating and resting did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05), with averages of 439, 167 and 85 min, respectively. The bite rate, feeding stations per min and steps per min by sheep were greater (P < 0.05) in the RN than in the RT treatment. The grazing time per hour and the bite rate were greater (P < 0.05) in the afternoon than in the morning in both treatments. The daily herbage intake by sheep grazing Italian ryegrass was greater (P < 0.05) in the RN than in the RT treatment (843.7 and 707.8 g organic matter/sheep, respectively). Our study supports the idea that even though the grazing time was not affected by the grazing management strategies when the animal behaviour responses drive management targets, such as in ‘Rotatinuous’ stocking, the sheep herbage intake is maximized, and the grazing time is optimized.
The use of coercion in emergency psychiatry is discussed controversially.
Concerning the constraint of coerced medication there were changes of the German Civil Code in 2012 (XII ZB 99/12) and the Saxon Law on Aid and Accommodation for Mental Diseases in early 2013 (2 BvR 228/12)
Against the background of the issue ’Coercive Treatment’, we aimed on monitoring the effects of these amendments on our 18-bedded closed psychiatric ward.
We performed a pre-post-comparison (pre: 2010, post: 1st half of 2013) by using descriptive and test statistics.
Socio-demographic patient data and performance data remained stable. Regarding the main diagnoses [ICD 10] F19* (pre11.0%, post 22.0%; p<0.001), F2*(pre 11.9%, post 17.6; p<0.01) and F10.* -F18.* (pre 31.2%, post 18.8%; p<0.001) there were significant changes in distribution. We measured a significant reduction of the administration of emergency medication, except for the intramuscular injection of Zuclopenthixol, Olanzapin and Diazepam, and for the oral application of benzodiazepines and antipsychotics after acute crisis. At the same time the ratios of assaults/self-injuries/property damages per patient day (pre 0.005, post 0.018; p<0.001), physically restrained (pre 22.3%, post 28.7%; p<0.05) and involuntary committed patients (pre 15.5%, post 24.1%, p<0.01) augmented significantly. The average duration of involuntary commitment (excl. outliers) remained unaltered, but the variance of average duration increased (p<0.001).
The reduction of administered benzodiazepines and antipsychotics seems to correlate with an increase of aggressive behaviour and alternative use of other coercive measures. Further research and a social discussion on this issue are required.
Regarding the patient clientele with main diagnosis (MD) F19.*[ICD 10] new needs have been seen to emerge. The increase in the number of consumers of N-methylamphetamine (by 29 % in 2011) in Saxony correlates with an impressive increase of the number of inpatients and emphasizes the need of adapted treatment offers.
In this context, in 2009 an open-door ward (8 beds) for detoxification and motivation treatment for adults at age between 18-40 years with MD F19.* was opened which pursues an integrative therapeutic concept including both addiction-specific group- and talking therapy orientation and behavioral therapy approaches.
By using a pre-post study (pre: 2008, post I: 2010, post II: 2011, post III: 2012) selected key figures such as length of stay, readmission rate and kind of discharge, trends in individual substance-related detoxification motivation and associated mental disorders (F19.5) were monitored.
A continuous growing number of patients with MD F19.* has been achieved, marked by an increase of treated cases (pre: 77, post III: 156) and planned admissions (pre: 58 %, post III: 72%). Other data (length of stay, readmissions, treatment discontinuations) showed no significant changes. Individual detoxification motivation data point to a trend in favour of N-methylamphetamine. The number of patients with MD F19.5 (psychotic disorder) increased by >100 %.
The results refer to the necessity of identifying and monitoring valid quality indicators regarding our treatment concept. Therefore, those as yet evaluated indicators may act as a preliminary basis. Further projects are planned.
Detoxification treatment of adults at younger ages suffering from polysubstance dependence on our department pursues an integrative therapeutic concept. In addition to addiction-specific, topic-centred group and talk therapy orientation also behavioural therapy elements are included: a penalty points system provides negative sign stimuli for undesirable behaviour.
Since 2010, both rate of psychotic disorders and number of N-methylamphetamine consumers (P < 0.001) have been growing impressively while the proportion of repeated admissions amounted to > 55%. Dissatisfying trends were identified by longitudinal measurement, e.g. regarding ALOS, kind of discharge, bed occupancy.
Targeted changes in treatment were established in the 2nd half of 2014. In particular, the penalty point system was adapted towards less restrictive rules, combined with slightly reduced therapeutic intensity in order to come better on the disorder-related needs of the patients. Staffing level and structure remained stable.
Key figures including quality criteria and performance data such as LOS, kind of admission and discharge, service intensity, and bed occupancy were evaluated by a pre-post study (pre: 1st half of 2014, N = 76/post: 1st half of 2015, N = 77) using descriptive and test statistics.
Socio-demographic patient data remained stable. Regarding selected key figures there were significant changes (LOS > 21 days: P < 0.05; bed occupancy: P < 0.001; therapeutic contacts < 25 min: P < 0.001) and positive trends, e.g. decreased ratio of non-regular discharges.
Our data suggest that punishment-oriented interventions impede addressing specific needs of inpatients with multiple substance use whereas more need-oriented interventions may lead to improvements. Further evaluation including patient satisfaction is indispensable.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
After legal restrictions regarding coerced medication in Saxony, we monitored significant increases in aggressive behaviour and regarding the use of physical restraints at our closed psychiatric ward. Alternative measures for managing dangerous behaviour were discussed.
There are limitations regarding the use of treatment interventions in emergency psychiatry, e.g. the use of constant observation is limited in its efficiency generally and video surveillance is prohibited by law in high-risk areas (e.g. bathroom).
To find appropriate solutions for patient safety improvement in emergency psychiatry including high-risk areas, prospects of the field of “technical assistance” entered the limelight of interest.
In 2014, a cooperation of Chemnitz University of Technology, Intenta GmbH, Eckstein Design and the affiliated partner Klinikum Chemnitz started a project*, which focuses on the development of a technical assistance system for recognizing high-risk behavioural patterns (e.g. suicide attempt) in risk areas in emergency psychiatry. The system is based on a smart-sensor technology and waives a recording and storing of sound and vision.
In the 1st half of the project technical development and the design of the system were the focus of attention. Special requirements regarding use cases, user acceptance, data protection and ethical concerns were processed by our psychiatric department. Testing and further development of the system in clinical settings are planned.
The development of the system must be seen as a big challenge in many regards. Further research is indispensable.
*Sponsored by the Central Innovation Program Mittelstand of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
To evaluate whole-genome sequencing (WGS) as a molecular typing tool for MRSA outbreak investigation.
Investigation of MRSA colonization/infection in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) over 3 years (2014–2017).
Single-center level IV NICU.
NICU infants and healthcare workers (HCWs).
Infants were screened for MRSA using a swab of the anterior nares, axilla, and groin, initially by targeted (ring) screening, and later by universal weekly screening. Clinical cultures were collected as indicated. HCWs were screened once using swabs of the anterior nares. MRSA isolates were typed using WGS with core-genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Colonized and infected infants and HCWs were decolonized. Control strategies included reinforcement of hand hygiene, use of contact precautions, cohorting, enhanced environmental cleaning, and remodeling of the NICU.
We identified 64 MRSA-positive infants: 53 (83%) by screening and 11 (17%) by clinical cultures. Of 85 screened HCWs, 5 (6%) were MRSA positive. WGS of MRSA isolates identified 2 large clusters (WGS groups 1 and 2), 1 small cluster (WGS group 3), and 8 unrelated isolates. PFGE failed to distinguish WGS group 2 and 3 isolates. WGS groups 1 and 2 were codistributed over time. HCW MRSA isolates were primarily in WGS group 1. New infant MRSA cases declined after implementation of the control interventions.
We identified 2 contemporaneous MRSA outbreaks alongside sporadic cases in a NICU. WGS was used to determine strain relatedness at a higher resolution than PFGE and was useful in guiding efforts to control MRSA transmission.
The maximum safe storage interval after endoscope reprocessing remains unknown. We assessed the association between storage interval and endoscope contamination to evaluate the need for scope reprocessing prior to use.
We conducted a study in 2 phases. In phase 1, we cultured 9 gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopes that had been stored for at least 7 days since reprocessing. Each scope was cultured in 3 places: external surfaces of hand piece, insertion tube, and internal channels. In phase 2, after reprocessing these scopes, we hung and cultured them prospectively in a similar fashion at 1-, 2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-week intervals without patient use. We defined clinically relevant contamination as >100 colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL).
In phase 1, median hang time was 69 days (range, 8–555 days). Considering the 27 total cultures, 3 of 27 GI endoscopes (11.1%) had positive cultures, all with nonpathogenic skin flora at ≤100 CFU/mL. Median hang time was not statistically different between scopes with positive and negative cultures (P=.82). In phase 2, 7 of 131 prospective cultures (5.3%) from 6 of 9 GI endoscopes at varying storage intervals were positive, all at ≤100 CFU/mL. At 56 days after reprocessing (the longest storage interval studied), 1 of 24 cultures (4.2%) was positive (100 CFU/mL of Bacillus species from external biopsy/suction ports).
No endoscopes demonstrated clinically relevant contamination at hang times ranging from 7 to 555 days, and most scopes remained uncontaminated up to 56 days after reprocessing. Our data suggest that properly cleaned and disinfected GI endoscopes could be stored safely for longer intervals than currently recommended.
To summarize the available evidence on the effectiveness of psychological interventions for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
We searched bibliographic databases and reference lists of relevant systematic reviews and meta-analyses for randomized controlled trials that compared specific psychological interventions for adults with PTSD symptoms either head-to-head or against control interventions using non-specific intervention components, or against wait-list control. Two investigators independently extracted the data and assessed trial characteristics.
The analyses included 4190 patients in 66 trials. An initial network meta-analysis showed large effect sizes (ESs) for all specific psychological interventions (ESs between −1.10 and −1.37) and moderate effects of psychological interventions that were used to control for non-specific intervention effects (ESs −0.58 and −0.62). ES differences between various types of specific psychological interventions were absent to small (ES differences between 0.00 and 0.27). Considerable between-trial heterogeneity occurred (τ2 = 0.30). Stratified analyses revealed that trials that adhered to DSM-III/IV criteria for PTSD were associated with larger ESs. However, considerable heterogeneity remained. Heterogeneity was reduced in trials with adequate concealment of allocation and in large-sized trials. We found evidence for small-study bias.
Our findings show that patients with a formal diagnosis of PTSD and those with subclinical PTSD symptoms benefit from different psychological interventions. We did not identify any intervention that was consistently superior to other specific psychological interventions. However, the robustness of evidence varies considerably between different psychological interventions for PTSD, with most robust evidence for cognitive behavioral and exposure therapies.
It is well known that the cadmium chloride annealing treatment is an essential step in the manufacture of efficient thin film cadmium telluride solar cells. It has been recognized that the combination of annealing at ∼4000C together with the addition of cadmium chloride at the surface induces re-crystallisation of the cadmium telluride layer and also affects the n-type cadmium sulfide. We have applied advanced micro-structural characterization techniques to distinguish the effect of the annealing and the cadmium chloride treatments on the properties of the cadmium telluride deposited via close space sublimation (CSS) and relate these observations to device performance. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has shown a variation in stacking fault density with annealing temperature and annealing time. Stacking faults observed within the cadmium telluride grains in TEM were partially removed post annealing; these findings show that temperature alone has a role in the reduction of stacking faults. However, since we have previously observed almost complete removal of stacking faults with annealing in combination with cadmium chloride, the cadmium chloride is essential to defect removal and high efficiency cells.
Over the last decade, Acinetobacter baumannii resistant to carbapenems has emerged in many medical centres and is commonly associated with high morbidity and mortality. We investigated potential mechanisms contributing to antimicrobial resistance of 58 clinical isolates of A. baumannii collected during a prolonged city-wide outbreak in five different hospitals in southern Brazil. The integrase gene was detected in 51 (87·9%) isolates of which 36 harboured class 2 integrons alone and 14 had both class 1 and 2 integrons; all carbapenem-resistant isolates displayed class 2 integrons. ISAba1 was found upstream of blaOXA-23-like only in isolates resistant to carbapenems; however, ISAba1 upstream of blaOXA-51-like was present in both susceptible and resistant isolates. This is the first report of a high prevalence of class 2 integrons in A. baumannii in southern Brazil. Moreover, our study suggests that ISAba1/blaOXA-51-like alone is insufficient to confer resistance to carbapenems.
The large deformations of an initially-ellipsoidal capsule in a simple shear flow are studied by coupling a boundary integral method for the internal and external flows and a finite-element method for the capsule wall motion. Oblate and prolate spheroids are considered (initial aspect ratios: 0.5 and 2) in the case where the internal and external fluids have the same viscosity and the revolution axis of the initial spheroid lies in the shear plane. The influence of the membrane mechanical properties (mechanical law and ratio of shear to area dilatation moduli) on the capsule behaviour is investigated. Two regimes are found depending on the value of a capillary number comparing viscous and elastic forces. At low capillary numbers, the capsule tumbles, behaving mostly like a solid particle. At higher capillary numbers, the capsule has a fluid-like behaviour and oscillates in the shear flow while its membrane continuously rotates around its deformed shape. During the tumbling-to-swinging transition, the capsule transits through an almost circular profile in the shear plane for which a long axis can no longer be defined. The critical transition capillary number is found to depend mainly on the initial shape of the capsule and on its shear modulus, and weakly on the area dilatation modulus. Qualitatively, oblate and prolate capsules are found to behave similarly, particularly at large capillary numbers when the influence of the initial state fades out. However, the capillary number at which the transition occurs is significantly lower for oblate spheroids.
The motion and deformation of a spherical elastic capsule freely suspended in a simple shear flow is studied numerically, focusing on the effect of the internal-to-external viscosity ratio. The three-dimensional fluid–structure interactions are modelled coupling a boundary integral method (for the internal and external fluid motion) with a finite element method (for the membrane deformation). For low viscosity ratios, the internal viscosity affect the capsule deformation. Conversely, for large viscosity ratios, the slowing effect of the internal motion lowers the overall capsule deformation; the deformation is asymptotically independent of the flow strength and membrane behaviour. An important result is that increasing the internal viscosity leads to membrane compression and possibly buckling. Above a critical value of the viscosity ratio, compression zones are found on the capsule membrane for all flow strengths. This shows that very viscous capsules tend to buckle easily.
The cerebellar hypothesis of dyslexia posits that cerebellar deficits are associated with reading disabilities and may explain why some individuals with reading disabilities fail to respond to reading interventions. We tested these hypotheses in a sample of children who participated in a grade 1 reading intervention study (n = 174) and a group of typically achieving children (n = 62). At posttest, children were classified as adequately responding to the intervention (n = 82), inadequately responding with decoding and fluency deficits (n = 36), or inadequately responding with only fluency deficits (n = 56). Based on the Bead Threading and Postural Stability subtests from the Dyslexia Screening Test-Junior, we found little evidence that assessments of cerebellar functions were associated with academic performance or responder status. In addition, we did not find evidence supporting the hypothesis that cerebellar deficits are more prominent for poor readers with “specific” reading disabilities (i.e., with discrepancies relative to IQ) than for poor readers with reading scores consistent with IQ. In contrast, measures of phonological awareness, rapid naming, and vocabulary were strongly associated with responder status and academic outcomes. These results add to accumulating evidence that fails to associate cerebellar functions with reading difficulties. (JINS, 2010, 16, 526–536.)
Background: Exposure-based therapy for anxiety disorders is believed to operate on the basis of fear extinction. Studies have shown acute administration of D-cycloserine (DCS) enhances fear extinction in animals and facilitates exposure therapy in humans, but the neural mechanisms are not completely understood. To date, no study has examined neural effects of acute DCS in anxiety-disordered populations.
Methods: Two hours prior to functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning, 23 spider-phobic and 23 non-phobic participants were randomized to receive DCS 100 mg or placebo. During scanning, participants viewed spider, butterfly, and Gaussian-blurred baseline images in a block-design paradigm. Diagnostic and treatment groups were compared regarding differential activations to spider versus butterfly stimuli.
Results: In the phobic group, DCS enhanced prefrontal (PFC), dorsal anterior cingulate (ACC), and insula activations. For controls, DCS enhanced ventral ACC and caudate activations. There was a positive correlation between lateral PFC and amygdala activation for the placebo-phobic group. Reported distress during symptom provocation was correlated with amygdala activation in the placebo-phobic group and orbitofrontal cortex activation in the DCS-phobic group.
Conclusions: Results suggest that during initial phobic symptom provocation DCS enhances activation in regions involved in cognitive control and interoceptive integration, including the PFC, ACC, and insular cortices for phobic participants.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has made it possible to identify the first samples of active galaxies with estimated black hole masses below ~ 106M⊙. We have obtained Spitzer IRS low-resolution spectra, covering 5–38 μm, of a sample of 41 Seyfert galaxies with low-mass black holes. Our sample includes SDSS-selected objects from the low-mass Seyfert 1 sample of Greene & Ho (2004) and the low-mass Seyfert 2 sample of Barth et al. (2008), as well as NGC 4395 and POX 52. The goals of this work are to examine the dust emission properties of these objects and investigate the relationship between type 1 and type 2 AGNs at low luminosities and low masses, to search for evidence of star formation, and to use emission-line diagnostics to constrain physical conditions within the narrow-line regions. Here we present preliminary results from this project.