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This paper describes the epidemiology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Northern Ireland (NI) between 26 February 2020 and 26 April 2020, and analyses enhanced surveillance and contact tracing data collected between 26 February 2020 and 13 March 2020 to estimate secondary attack rates (SAR) and relative risk of infection among different categories of contacts of individuals with laboratory confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Our results show that during the study period COVID-19 cumulative incidence and mortality was lower in NI than the rest of the UK. Incidence and mortality were also lower than in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), although these observed differences are difficult to interpret given considerable differences in testing and surveillance between the two nations. SAR among household contacts was 15.9% (95% CI 6.6%–30.1%), over 6 times higher than the SAR among ‘high-risk’ contacts at 2.5% (95% CI 0.9%–5.4%). The results from logistic regression analysis of testing data on contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases show that household contacts had 11.0 times higher odds (aOR: 11.0, 95% CI 1.7–70.03, P-value: 0.011) of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared to other categories of contacts. These results demonstrate the importance of the household as a locus of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and the urgency of identifying effective interventions to reduce household transmission.
Our previous study (Salokangas et al., 2009) suggested that the subjective experience of negative attitude of others (NAO) towards oneself is an early indicator of psychotic development. The aim of this prospective follow-up study was to test this hypothesis.
A total of 55 young psychiatric outpatients assessed as being at current risk of psychosis (CROP) were followed for up to 60 months and rates of transition to psychosis (TTP) identified. CROP was assessed employing the Bonn Scale for assessment of basic symptoms (Schultze-Lutter and Klosterkötter, 2002) and the Structured Interview for prodromal symptoms (Miller et al., 2002). TTP was defined by a psychotic episode lasting for more than one week. Associations between NAO at baseline and TTP were analyzed by a Cox regression survival analysis.
Eight (14.5%) TTP were identified: four (57.1%) within seven NAO patients and four (8.7%) within forty-six non-NAO patients. In the multivariate Cox regression analysis, NAO at baseline significantly (P = 0.007) predicted TTP.
The prospective follow-up results support our hypothesis that subjective experience of NAO is an early indicator of psychotic in development.
The association between parental severe mental illness (SMI) and depression in offspring may be due to genetic liability or adverse environments. We investigated the effect of parental SMI, SES, and adversity on depression in a sample of youth enriched for familial risk of mental illness.
We assessed 217 youth (mean age 11.95, SD 4.14, range 6–24), including 167 (77%) offspring of parents with SMI. We measured exposure to childhood maltreatment and bullying with the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ) and Childhood Experiences of Care and Abuse (CECA) interview.
In total, 13.36% participants reported significant bullying and 40.76% had a history of childhood maltreatment. Rates of bullying and maltreatment were similar in offspring of parents with and without SMI. Maltreatment likelihood increased with decreasing socioeconomic status. Exposure to bullying (OR = 3.11, 95%CI 1.08–8.88, P = 0.03) predicted depression in offspring more strongly than family history of SMI in parents.
Adversity, such as maltreatment and bullying, has a stronger impact on the risk of developing depression than family history of mental illness in parents. These adverse experiences are associated with socioeconomic status rather than parental mental illness.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
A waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) J. D. Sauer] biotype (designated as “NER”) collected from a soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] production field in eastern Nebraska survived the POST application of fomesafen at the labeled rate. The objectives of this study were to (1) quantify the level of resistance to protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors (acifluorfen, fomesafen, and lactofen) applied POST, (2) determine the mechanism of PPO-inhibitor resistance in the NER biotype, (3) determine whether NER possessed multiple resistance to acetolactate synthase (ALS)-, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS)-, and photosystem II (PSII)-inhibiting herbicides, and (4) control NER with POST soybean herbicides. A whole-plant dose–response bioassay revealed that the NER biotype was 4- to 6-fold resistant to PPO-inhibiting herbicides depending on the known susceptible biotype (S1 or S2) used for comparison. A Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (KASP™) assay was developed and performed for rapid and robust detection of the ΔG210 mutation (deletion of a codon) in the PPX2L gene. All samples of the NER biotype tested positive for the ΔG210 mutation. Dose–response bioassays confirmed that the NER biotype was resistant to three additional herbicide sites of action. Chlorimuron and imazethapyr, both ALS inhibitors, applied at 32X the labeled rate resulted in <80% reduction in the aboveground biomass of the NER biotype. The same biotype was 3- and 7-fold resistant to glyphosate (EPSPS inhibitor) and atrazine (PSII inhibitor), respectively. Glufosinate, 2,4-D choline plus glyphosate, and dicamba were the only soybean POST herbicides that controlled NER effectively (≥92% aboveground biomass reduction). Amaranthus tuberculatus is the first confirmed weed species in Nebraska to evolve resistance to four distinct herbicide sites of action, leaving no POST herbicide choice for effective control in glyphosate-resistant and conventional (non-transgenic) soybean.
Children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders are at elevated risk for a range of behavioral and emotional problems. However, as the usual reporter of psychopathology in children is the parent, reports of early problems in children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders may be biased by the parents' own experience of mental illness and their mental state.
Independent observers rated psychopathology using the Test Observation Form in 378 children and youth between the ages of 4 and 24 (mean = 11.01, s.d. = 4.40) who had a parent with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or no history of mood and psychotic disorders.
Observed attentional problems were elevated in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (effect sizes ranging between 0.31 and 0.56). Oppositional behavior and language/thought problems showed variable degrees of elevation (effect sizes 0.17 to 0.57) across the three high-risk groups, with the greatest difficulties observed in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder. Observed anxiety was increased in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder (effect sizes 0.19 and 0.25 respectively) but not in offspring of parents with schizophrenia.
Our results suggest that externalizing problems and cognitive and language difficulties may represent a general manifestation of familial risk for mood and psychotic disorders, while anxiety may be a specific marker of liability for mood disorders. Observer assessment may improve early identification of risk and selection of youth who may benefit from targeted prevention.
We aimed to quantify the proportion of people receiving care for HIV-infection that are 50 years or older (older HIV patients) in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2000 and 2015 and to estimate the contribution to the growth of this population of people enrolled before (<50yo) and after 50 years old (yo) (⩾50yo). We used a series of repeated, cross-sectional measurements over time in the Caribbean, Central and South American network (CCASAnet) cohort. We estimated the percentage of patients retained in care each year that were older HIV patients. For every calendar year, we divided patients into two groups: those who enrolled before age 50 and after age 50. We used logistic regression models to estimate the change in the proportion of older HIV patients between 2000 and 2015. The percentage of CCASAnet HIV patients over 50 years had a threefold increase (8% to 24%) between 2000 and 2015. Most of the growth of this population can be explained by the increasing proportion of people that enrolled before 50 years and aged in care. These changes will impact needs of care for people living with HIV, due to multiple comorbidities and high risk of disability associated with aging.
To examine the potential links between activity spaces, the food retail environment and food shopping behaviours for the population of young, urban adults.
Participants took part in the Canada Food Study, which collected information on demographics, food behaviour, diet and health, as well as an additional smartphone study that included a seven-day period of logging GPS (global positioning system) location and food purchases. Using a time-weighted, continuous representation of participant activity spaces generated from GPS trajectory data, the locations of food purchases and a geocoded food retail data set, negative binomial regression models were used to explore what types of food retailers participants were exposed to and where food purchases were made.
Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax, Canada.
Young adults aged 16–30 years (n 496). These participants were a subset of the larger Canada Food Study.
Demographics, household food shopper status and city of residence were significantly associated with different levels of exposure to various types of food retailers. Food shopping behaviours were also statistically significantly associated with demographics, the activity space-based food environment, self-reported health and city of residence.
The study confirms that food behaviours are related to activity space-based food environment measures, which provide a more comprehensive accounting of food retail exposure than home-based measures. In addition, exposure to food retail and food purchasing behaviours of an understudied population are described.
Fruit and vegetable (FV) intake is associated with reduced risk of a number of non-communicable diseases. Research tends to focus on antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols contained in FV as the main beneficial components to health; however, increasing FV may also alter overall diet profile. Extra FV may be substituted for foods thought to be less healthy, therefore altering the overall macronutrient and/or micronutrient content in the diet. This analysis merged dietary data from four intervention studies in participants with varying health conditions and examined the effect of increased FV consumption on diet profile. Dietary intake was assessed by either diet diaries or diet histories used in four FV randomised intervention studies. All food and drink intake recorded was analysed using WISP version 3.0, and FV portions were manually counted using household measures. Regression analysis revealed significant increases in intakes of energy (172 kJ (+41 kcal)), carbohydrate (+3·9 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)), total sugars (+6·0 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)) and fibre (+0·8 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)) and significant decreases in intakes of total fat (−1·4 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)), SFA (−0·6 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)), MUFA (−0·6 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)), PUFA (−0·1 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)) and starch (−2·1 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)) per one portion increase in FV. Significant percentage increases were also observed in vitamin C (+24 %) and -carotene (+20 %) intake, per one portion increase in FV. In conclusion, pooled analysis of four FV intervention studies, that used similar approaches to achieving dietary change, in participants with varying health conditions, demonstrated an increase in energy, total carbohydrate, sugars and fibre intake, and a decrease in fat intake alongside an expected increase in micronutrient intake.
Palmer amaranth is native to the United States, but was discovered in 2015 in Brazil. Palmer amaranth populations in Brazil were very difficult to control using glyphosate, which resulted in many changes to standard weed management practices. A genotyping assay was used to confirm that the population detected in Mato Grosso State, Brazil, was correctly identified as Palmer amaranth and that it was not tall waterhemp. Greenhouse dose–response curves and shikimate accumulation assays showed that the Brazilian population was highly resistant to glyphosate, with an LD50 value (3,982 g glyphosate ha−1) more than twice the typical use rates and very little shikimate accumulation at 1 mM glyphosate concentrations in a leaf-disk assay. The Brazilian population was also resistant to sulfonylurea and imidazolinone acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitor herbicides. The resistance mechanisms in the Brazilian population were identified as increased EPSPS gene copy number for glyphosate resistance (between 50- and 179-fold relative EPSPS gene copy number increase) and two different alleles for target-site mutations in the ALS gene (W574L and S653N). These results confirm the introduction of Palmer amaranth to Brazil using a genetic marker for species identification, as well as resistance to glyphosate and ALS inhibitors.
Cortisol is the primary output of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and is central to the biological stress response, with wide-ranging effects on psychiatric health. Despite well-studied biological pathways of glucocorticoid function, little attention has been paid to the role of genetic variation. Conventional salivary, urinary and serum measures are strongly influenced by diurnal variation and transient reactivity. Recently developed technology can be used to measure cortisol accumulation over several months in hair, thus indexing chronic HPA function.
In a socio-economically diverse sample of 1070 twins/multiples (ages 7.80–19.47 years) from the Texas Twin Project, we estimated effects of sex, age and socio-economic status (SES) on hair concentrations of cortisol and its inactive metabolite, cortisone, along with their interactions with genetic and environmental factors. This is the first genetic study of hair neuroendocrine concentrations and the largest twin study of neuroendocrine concentrations in any tissue type.
Glucocorticoid concentrations increased with age for females, but not males. Genetic factors accounted for approximately half of the variation in cortisol and cortisone. Shared environmental effects dissipated over adolescence. Higher SES was related to shallower increases in cortisol with age. SES was unrelated to cortisone, and did not significantly moderate genetic effects on either cortisol or cortisone.
Genetic factors account for sizable proportions of glucocorticoid variation across the entire age range examined, whereas shared environmental influences are modest, and only apparent at earlier ages. Chronic glucocorticoid output appears to be more consistently related to biological sex, age and genotype than to experiential factors that cluster within nuclear families.
The Buckland Park air shower array is being developed particularly for use as an ultra-high-energy gamma ray astronomy telescope. The properties of this instrument are described with an emphasis on improvements being made to its angular resolution. Some early data are presented to illustrate the way in which the data obtained will be used.
The design and construction of the 30 m2 Bicentennial Gamma Ray Telescope at Woomera South Australia is described. This novel instrument is now completed and commissioning is underway. It is designed to observe astronomical sources at energies greater than ∼ 500 GeV by means of atmospheric Cerenkov light. It contains 55 spherical, glass mirrors of focal length 2.66 m arranged in three groups of 10 m2, to focus the light onto three sets of detectors operated in fast co-incidence. The recording electronics includes a rubidium clock to enable pulsars to be studied.
A search has been made using the Buckland Park air shower array for evidence of any excess of events from the direction of the recent supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Upper limits resulting from this search and their significance are discussed in this paper.
Effects of a marine oil-based n-3 LCPUFA supplement (mLCPUFA) fed from weaning until the end of the next lactation to sows with a predicted low litter birth weight (LBW) phenotype on growth performance and carcass quality of litters born to these sows were studied, based on the hypothesis that LBW litters would benefit most from mLCPUFA supplementation. Sows were allocated to be fed either standard corn/soybean meal-based gestation and lactation diets (CON), or the same diets enriched with 0.5% of the mLCPUFA supplement at the expense of corn. The growth performance from birth until slaughter of the litters with the lowest average birth weight in each treatment (n=24 per treatment) is reported in this paper. At weaning, each litter was split between two nursery pens with three to six pigs per pen. At the end of the 5-week nursery period, two barrows and two gilts from each litter that had individual birth weights closest to their litter average birth weight, were moved to experimental grow–finish pens (barn A), where they were housed as two pigs per pen, sorted by sex within litter. Remaining pigs in each litter were moved to another grow–finish barn (barn B) and kept in mixed-sex pens of up to 10 littermates. After 8 weeks, one of the two pigs in each pen in barn A was relocated to the pens holding their respective littermates in barn B. The remaining barrows and gilts were individually housed in the pens in barn A until slaughter. Maternal mLCPUFA supplementation increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentration in the brain, liver and Semitendinosus muscle of stillborn pigs (P<0.01), did not affect eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA concentrations in sow serum at the end of lactation, and did not affect average daily gain, average daily feed intake or feed utilization efficiency of the offspring. BW was higher (P<0.01) in the second half of the grow–finish phase in pigs from mLCPUFA sows compared with controls in barn A, where space and competition for feed was minimal, but not barn B. Carcass quality was not affected by treatment for pigs from barn A, but maternal mLCPUFA supplementation negatively affected carcass quality in pigs from barn B. Collectively, these results suggest that nutritional supplementation of sows can have lasting effects on litter development, but that feeding mLCPUFA to sows during gestation and lactation was not effective in improving growth rates or carcass quality of LBW litters.