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To describe the cumulative seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic among employees of a large pediatric healthcare system.
Design, setting, and participants:
Prospective observational cohort study open to adult employees at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducted April 20–December 17, 2020.
Employees were recruited starting with high-risk exposure groups, utilizing e-mails, flyers, and announcements at virtual town hall meetings. At baseline, 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months, participants reported occupational and community exposures and gave a blood sample for SARS-CoV-2 antibody measurement by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). A post hoc Cox proportional hazards regression model was performed to identify factors associated with increased risk for seropositivity.
In total, 1,740 employees were enrolled. At 6 months, the cumulative seroprevalence was 5.3%, which was below estimated community point seroprevalence. Seroprevalence was 5.8% among employees who provided direct care and was 3.4% among employees who did not perform direct patient care. Most participants who were seropositive at baseline remained positive at follow-up assessments. In a post hoc analysis, direct patient care (hazard ratio [HR], 1.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03–3.68), Black race (HR, 2.70; 95% CI, 1.24–5.87), and exposure to a confirmed case in a nonhealthcare setting (HR, 4.32; 95% CI, 2.71–6.88) were associated with statistically significant increased risk for seropositivity.
Employee SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence rates remained below the point-prevalence rates of the surrounding community. Provision of direct patient care, Black race, and exposure to a confirmed case in a nonhealthcare setting conferred increased risk. These data can inform occupational protection measures to maximize protection of employees within the workplace during future COVID-19 waves or other epidemics.
The ALMA twenty-six arcmin2 survey of GOODS-S at one millimeter (ASAGAO) is a deep (1σ ∼ 61μJy/beam) and wide area (26 arcmin2) survey on a contiguous field at 1.2 mm. By combining with archival data, we obtained a deeper map in the same region (1σ ∼ 30μJy/beam−1, synthesized beam size 0.59″ × 0.53″), providing the largest sample of sources (25 sources at 5σ, 45 sources at 4.5σ) among ALMA blank-field surveys. The median redshift of the 4.5σ sources is 2.4. The number counts shows that 52% of the extragalactic background light at 1.2 mm is resolved into discrete sources. We create IR luminosity functions (LFs) at z = 1–3, and constrain the faintest luminosity of the LF at 2 < z < 3. The LFs are consistent with previous results based on other ALMA and SCUBA-2 observations, which suggests a positive luminosity evolution and negative density evolution.
The present study aimed to identify the factors that affect immediate (within 24 h after farrowing onset) postnatal piglet mortality in litters with hyperprolific sows, and investigate their associations with behaviour of postpartum sows in two different farrowing housing systems. A total of 30 sows were housed in: (1) CRATE (n=15): the farrowing crate closed (0.80×2.20 m) within a pen (2.50×1.70 m), and (2) OPEN (n=15): the farrowing crate open (0.80×2.20×1.80 m) within a pen (2.50×2.40 m) with a provision of 20 ls of hay in a rack. A total of 518 live born piglets, produced from the 30 sows, were used for data analyses during the first 24 h after the onset of parturition (T24). Behavioural observations of the sows were assessed via video analyses during T24. Total and crushed piglet mortality rates were higher in OPEN compared with CRATE (P<0.01, for both). During T24, the OPEN sows tended to show higher frequency of postural changes (P=0.07) and duration of standing (P=0.10), and showed higher frequencies of bar-biting (P<0.05) and piglet trapping (P<0.01), when compared with the CRATE sows. During T24, the mortality rates caused by crushing were correlated with the piglet trapping event (r=0.93, P<0.0001), postural changes (r=0.37, P<0.01), duration of standing (r=0.32, P<0.01) and frequency of bar-biting behaviour (r=0.51, P<0.01) of the sows (n=30). In conclusion, immediate postnatal piglet mortality, mainly due to crushing, may be associated with potential increases in frequency of postural changes, duration of standing and incidence of piglet trapping in postpartum sows in the open crate system with large litters.
The low-mass end of the initial mass function remains poorly understood. In this mass range, very low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, and massive planets are able to form through a variety of physical processes. Here, we study the long-term evolution of disk-fragmented systems around low-mass stars, for the epoch up to 10 Myr (the typical lifetime of an embedded cluster) and up to 10 Gyr (the age of the Milky Way). We carry out N-body simulations to study the decay of disk-fragmented systems and the resulting end products. Our simulations indicate rapid decay and frequent physical collisions during the first 10 Myr. We find that disk fragmentation provides a viable mechanism for explaining hierarchical triple systems, the brown dwarf desert, single and binary brown dwarfs, and very low-mass binary systems in the solar neighbourhood.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can cause serious respiratory infections, second only to influenza virus. In order to know RSV's genetic changes we examined 4028 respiratory specimens from local hospital outpatients in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea over six consecutive years by real-time one-step RT–PCR; 183 patients were positive for RSV infection. To investigate the specific distribution of RSV genotypes, we performed partial sequencing of the glycoprotein gene. Of the 131 RSV-A specimens sequenced, 61 (43·3%) belonged to the ON1 genotype, 66 (46·8%) were NA1 genotype, 3 (2·1%) were GA5 genotype, and 1 (0·7%) belonged to the GA1 genotype. Of the 31 RSV-B specimens sequenced, 29 were BA9 genotype (87·9%) and 2 were BA10 genotype (6·1%). The most common clinical symptoms were fever, cough, nasal discharge, and phlegm; multiple logistic regression analysis showed that RSV-positive infection on pediatric patients was strongly associated with cough (OR = 2·8, 95% CI 1·6–5·1) and wheezing (OR = 2·8, 95% CI 1·7–4·4). The ON1 genotype was significantly associated with phlegm (OR = 11·8, 95% CI 3·8–46·7), while the NA1 genotype was associated with the pediatric patients’ gender (males, OR = 2·4, 95% CI 1·1–5·4) and presence of chills (OR = 5·1, 95% CI 1·1–27·2). RSV subgroup B was showed association with nasal obstruction (OR = 4·6, 95% CI 1·2–20·0). The majority of respiratory virus coinfections with RSV were human rhinovirus (47·2%). This study contributes to our understanding of the molecular epidemiological characteristics of RSV, which promotes the potential for improving RSV vaccines.
Radiocarbon (14C) is a radionuclide generated mainly through neutron-induced reactions in all types of nuclear reactors. Since most of the 14C released into the environment is in the form of gaseous emissions (CO2 and hydrocarbons), terrestrial plants are the primary indicators of increased 14C levels near nuclear power plants (NPPs). In 2013–2014, we collected samples of silver grasses (including common reed) and pine needles within 3 km of four South Korean NPP centers and measured 14C activities using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at Seoul National University. The highest 14C activities were observed, respectively, in Wolsong>Hanul>Kori>Hanbit [220, 143, 127, and 123% modern carbon (pMC)].
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
The AMIGA project carries out a multiwavelength study of the largest catalogue of isolated galaxies from the Local Universe (CIG, Karachentseva 1973). Compared to any other sample —field galaxies included— and using highly strict isolation criteria (unperturbed for at least ~3 Gyr, Verdes-Montenegro et al. 2005), all the results show that these galaxies have the lowest values of the physical magnitudes expected to be enhanced by interactions. This strongly supports isolated galaxies as ideal laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. Despite CIG galaxies show the lowest HI integrated profile asymmetry level when compared to any other sample, some cases present up to 50% HI asymmetry (Espada et al. 2011b). We aim to shed light over the causes and sources of such asymmetries with our deep radiointerferometric and optical observations of CIG targets. Since major mergers are ruled out by the isolation criteria, in this work we are addressing whether minor mergers, internal processes or primordial gas accretion are responsible for such asymmetries.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
We have conducted 1.1 mm ALMA observations of a contiguous 105” × 50” or 1.5 arcmin2 window in the SXDF-UDS-CANDELS. We achieved a 5σ sensitivity of 0.28 mJy, giving a flat sensus of dusty star-forming galaxies with LIR ~6×1011L⊙ (if Tdust=40K) up to z ~ 10 thanks to the negative K-correction at this wavelength. We detected 5 brightest sources (S/N>6) and 18 low-significant sources (5>S/N>4; they may contain spurious detections, though). One of the 5 brightest ALMA sources (S1.1mm = 0.84 ± 0.09 mJy) is extremely faint in the WFC3 and VLT/HAWK-I images, demonstrating that a contiguous ALMA imaging survey uncovers a faint dust-obscured population invisible in the deep optical/near-infrared surveys. We find a possible [CII]-line emitter at z=5.955 or a low-z CO emitting galaxy within the field, allowing us to constrain the [CII] and/or CO luminosity functions across the history of the universe.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, highly heritable psychiatric disorder. Additionally, environmental factors such as perinatal stress and early adversities contribute to the occurrence and severity of ADHD. Recently, DNA methylation has emerged as a mechanism that potentially mediates gene–environmental interaction effects in the aetiology and phenomenology of psychiatric disorders. Here, we investigated whether serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) methylation patterns were associated with clinical characteristics and regional cortical thickness in children with ADHD.
In 102 children with ADHD (age 6–15 years), the methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was measured. Brain magnetic resonance imaging was obtained and ADHD symptoms were evaluated.
A higher methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was significantly associated with worse clinical presentations (more hyperactive-impulsive symptoms and more commission errors). Additionally, a negative correlation was observed between SLC6A4 methylation levels and cortical thickness values in the right occipito-temproral regions.
Our results suggest that the SLC6A4 methylation status may be associated with certain symptoms of ADHD, such as behavioural disinhibition, and related brain changes. Future studies that use a larger sample size and a control group are required to corroborate these results.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Previous studies have implicated the relationship between environmental phthalate exposure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms of childhood, but no studies have been conducted in children who have a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD obtained through meticulous diagnostic testing. We aimed to determine whether phthalate metabolites in urine would be higher in children with ADHD than in those without ADHD and would correlate with symptom severity and cortical thickness in ADHD children.
A cross-sectional examination of urine phthalate metabolite concentrations was performed; scores for ADHD symptoms, externalizing problems, and continuous performance tests were obtained from 180 children with ADHD, and brain-imaging data were obtained from 115 participants. For the control group, children without ADHD (N = 438) were recruited. Correlations between phthalate metabolite concentrations and clinical measures and brain cortical thickness were investigated.
Concentrations of phthalate metabolites, particularly the di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) metabolite, were significantly higher in boys with ADHD than in boys without ADHD. Concentrations of the di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) metabolite were significantly higher in the combined or hyperactive-impulsive subtypes compared to the inattentive subtype, and the metabolite was positively correlated with the severity of externalizing symptoms. Concentrations of the DEHP metabolite were negatively correlated with cortical thickness in the right middle and superior temporal gyri.
The results of this study suggest an association between phthalate concentrations and both the diagnosis and symptom severity of ADHD. Imaging findings suggest a negative impact of phthalates on regional cortical maturation in children with ADHD.
Functional neuroimaging studies implicate anterior cingulate and limbic dysfunction in major depressive disorder (MDD) and responsiveness to antidepressants. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) enables characterisation of white matter tracts that relate to these regions.
To examine whether DTI measures of anterior cingulate and limbic white matter are useful prognostic biomarkers for MDD.
Of the 102 MDD out-patients from the International Study to Predict Optimized Treatment for Depression (iSPOT-D) who provided baseline magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, 74 completed an 8-week course of antidepressant medication (randomised to escitalopram, sertraline or extended-release venlafaxine) and were included in the present analyses. Thirty-four matched controls also provided DTI data. Fractional anisotropy was measured for five anterior cingulate–limbic white matter tracts: cingulum cingulate and hippocampus bundle, fornix, stria terminalis and uncinate fasciculus. (Trial registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00693849.)
A cross-validated logistic regression model demonstrated that altered connectivity for the cingulum part of the cingulate and stria terminalis tracts significantly predicted remission independent of demographic and clinical measures with 62% accuracy. Prediction improved to 74% when age was added to this model.
Anterior cingulate–limbic white matter is a useful predictor of antidepressant treatment outcome in MDD.
There is a limited understanding about the ecological mechanisms that enable certain plant species to become successful invaders of natural areas. This study was conducted to determine the soil and landscape characteristics that correlate with invasion of Chinese privet (CHP), and to develop a model to predict the probability of CHP invasion in Piedmont forests. A landscape ecosystem classification (LEC) system—based on the percentage of clay in the B horizon, depth to maximum clay (cm), exposure, terrain shape, and aspect (degrees)—was used to determine the soil moisture characteristics of invaded and uninvaded plots. Additional measurements included the cover classes of CHP and other species, litter depth (cm), slope (degrees), overstory basal area (m2 ha−1), and soil chemical properties. CHP invasion was negatively correlated with overstory basal area and slope and positively with litter depth and pH. A stepwise logistic regression model containing these four variables was highly sensitive, with an overall accuracy of 78%. Given the accuracy of this model, we propose that it can be used to calculate the probability of invasion in a given area, provided that some basic, readily obtainable site characteristics are known.
It has been reported that the characteristics of a very old wood charcoal sample are different from those of modern wood charcoal according to its state of preservation (Cohen-Ofri et al. 2006; Rebollo et al. 2008). It can be assumed that these differences may lead to some difficulties when radiocarbon dating very old wood charcoal samples. To investigate this problem, we studied a carbonized trunk of Prunus pendula for. acendens tree buried in lava and found at the Hantan River lava plateau on the Korean Peninsula. The 14C date of this sample was previously measured as >30,000 BP. However, separate 14C results of its outer crust and inner wood showed a considerable difference, exceeding the estimated age differences by tree-ring counting. To study the reason for this discrepancy, optical microscopy and FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) were performed to examine the differences in the structural and chemical states of the samples. For reference data and to expand our understanding of very old wood charcoal, we applied the same analysis tools (AMS, FTIR, FE-SEM, EDS, and optical microscopy) to a variety of wood charcoals and original wood. From these analyses, we noticed considerable chemical changes in the outer crust sample, and this might explain the age discrepancy. Although it seems that the age difference might be due to the digestion of 14C-free CO2 from a volcanic environment, this explanation would not account for such a large value in the age difference.
We previously developed and validated an index of socioeconomic status (SES) termed HOUSES (housing-based index of socioeconomic status) based on real property data. In this study, we assessed whether HOUSES overcomes the absence of SES measures in medical records and is associated with risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in children. We conducted a population-based case-control study of children in Olmsted County, MN, diagnosed with IPD (1995–2005). Each case was age- and gender-matched to two controls. HOUSES was derived using a previously reported algorithm from publicly available housing attributes (the higher HOUSES, the higher the SES). HOUSES was available for 92·3% (n = 97) and maternal education level for 43% (n = 45). HOUSES was inversely associated with risk of IPD in unmatched analysis [odds ratio (OR) 0·22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·05–0·89, P = 0·034], whereas maternal education was not (OR 0·77, 95% CI 0·50–1·19, P = 0·24). HOUSES may be useful for overcoming a paucity of conventional SES measures in commonly used datasets in epidemiological research.
The effects of hydrolyzed yeast supplementation on growth performance, health and immune-physiological parameters in neonatal calves challenged with vaccine were investigated. Twelve Holstein calves were started in the experiment at 2 ± 1 days of age and were studied for 35 days. Calves were randomly assigned to each of two dietary treatments, a control (CON) and hydrolyzed yeast (HY) group. The calves in the HY group received control calf starter supplemented with 0.2% HY. All calves were given calf starter ad libitum for 5 weeks starting in week 1. Calves were also given whole milk according to a step-down milking protocol. In order to induce immune responses, all calves were challenged with Hog cholera and Erysipelothrix insidiossa live vaccines by intramuscular injection at 3 weeks of age. Growth performance and feed intake were not affected by dietary treatment throughout the experimental period, except that the HY group had significantly higher (P < 0.05) milk intake than did the CON group at 3 weeks of age. Calves in the HY group showed significantly better (P < 0.05) fecal and health scores at 3 weeks compared to those in the control group. After vaccine challenge, neutropenia, lymphophilia and thrombocytopenia were observed in the CON group, but calves in the HY group did not show significant changes of leukocytes. The average concentration of serum haptoglobin in the HY group was significantly higher (P < 0.05) at 1 and 3 days post-vaccine challenge (DPVC) than that of CON group. Feeding HY supplemented calf starter resulted in a higher (P < 0.05) relative amount of bacterial and viral – specific IgA than in the CON group at 5 DPVC. Although the percentage of CD4+ T cells was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the HY group than in the CON group at −2 DPVC, significant differences between groups after vaccine challenge was not observed during the experimental period. These results suggest that 0.2% HY supplementation in calf starter can improve the health status and immune-related serum protein production and affect blood cell composition in neonatal calves after vaccine challenge.
We present new, wide, and deep images in the AzTEC/ASTE 1.1 mm continuum and the 12 CO (J = 1–0) emission toward the northern part of the Orion-A GMC. We have found evidence for interactions between molecular clouds and the external forces that may trigger star formation. Two types of possible triggers were revealed: (1) Collisions of the diffuse gas on the cloud surface, particularly at the eastern side of the OMC-2/3 region, and (2) Irradiation of UV on the pre-existing filaments and dense molecular cloud cores. Our wide-field and high-sensitivity imaging has provided the first comprehensive view of the potential sites of triggered star formation in the Orion-A GMC.