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In April 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released its recovery plan for the jaguar Panthera onca after several decades of discussion, litigation and controversy about the status of the species in the USA. The USFWS estimated that potential habitat, south of the Interstate-10 highway in Arizona and New Mexico, had a carrying capacity of c. six jaguars, and so focused its recovery programme on areas south of the USA–Mexico border. Here we present a systematic review of the modelling and assessment efforts over the last 25 years, with a focus on areas north of Interstate-10 in Arizona and New Mexico, outside the recovery unit considered by the USFWS. Despite differences in data inputs, methods, and analytical extent, the nine previous studies found support for potential suitable jaguar habitat in the central mountain ranges of Arizona and New Mexico. Applying slightly modified versions of the USFWS model and recalculating an Arizona-focused model over both states provided additional confirmation. Extending the area of consideration also substantially raised the carrying capacity of habitats in Arizona and New Mexico, from six to 90 or 151 adult jaguars, using the modified USFWS models. This review demonstrates the crucial ways in which choosing the extent of analysis influences the conclusions of a conservation plan. More importantly, it opens a new opportunity for jaguar conservation in North America that could help address threats from habitat losses, climate change and border infrastructure.
To describe epidemiologic and genomic characteristics of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak in a large skilled-nursing facility (SNF), and the strategies that controlled transmission.
Design, setting, and participants:
This cohort study was conducted during March 22–May 4, 2020, among all staff and residents at a 780-bed SNF in San Francisco, California.
Contact tracing and symptom screening guided targeted testing of staff and residents; respiratory specimens were also collected through serial point prevalence surveys (PPSs) in units with confirmed cases. Cases were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction testing for SARS-CoV-2, and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was used to characterize viral isolate lineages and relatedness. Infection prevention and control (IPC) interventions included restricting from work any staff who had close contact with a confirmed case; restricting movement between units; implementing surgical face masking facility-wide; and the use of recommended PPE (ie, isolation gown, gloves, N95 respirator and eye protection) for clinical interactions in units with confirmed cases.
Of 725 staff and residents tested through targeted testing and serial PPSs, 21 (3%) were SARS-CoV-2 positive: 16 (76%) staff and 5 (24%) residents. Fifteen cases (71%) were linked to a single unit. Targeted testing identified 17 cases (81%), and PPSs identified 4 cases (19%). Most cases (71%) were identified before IPC interventions could be implemented. WGS was performed on SARS-CoV-2 isolates from 4 staff and 4 residents: 5 were of Santa Clara County lineage and the 3 others were distinct lineages.
Early implementation of targeted testing, serial PPSs, and multimodal IPC interventions limited SARS-CoV-2 transmission within the SNF.
Critical shortages of personal protective equipment, especially N95 respirators, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be a source of concern. Novel methods of N95 filtering face-piece respirator decontamination that can be scaled-up for in-hospital use can help address this concern and keep healthcare workers (HCWs) safe.
A multidisciplinary pragmatic study was conducted to evaluate the use of an ultrasonic room high-level disinfection system (HLDS) that generates aerosolized peracetic acid (PAA) and hydrogen peroxide for decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators. A cycle duration that consistently achieved disinfection of N95 respirators (defined as ≥6 log10 reductions in bacteriophage MS2 and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores inoculated onto respirators) was identified. The treated masks were assessed for changes to their hydrophobicity, material structure, strap elasticity, and filtration efficiency. PAA and hydrogen peroxide off-gassing from treated masks were also assessed.
The PAA room HLDS was effective for disinfection of bacteriophage MS2 and G. stearothermophilus spores on respirators in a 2,447 cubic-foot (69.6 cubic-meter) room with an aerosol deployment time of 16 minutes and a dwell time of 32 minutes. The total cycle time was 1 hour and 16 minutes. After 5 treatment cycles, no adverse effects were detected on filtration efficiency, structural integrity, or strap elasticity. There was no detectable off-gassing of PAA and hydrogen peroxide from the treated masks at 20 and 60 minutes after the disinfection cycle, respectively.
The PAA room disinfection system provides a rapidly scalable solution for in-hospital decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, nearly 10,000 World Trade Center (WTC) responders have been diagnosed with at least one type of WTC-related cancer, and over 70 types of cancer have been related to WTC occupational exposure. Due to the observed latency period for malignancies, the WTC Health Program anticipates increases in rates of new cancer diagnoses. Given the growing number of cancer diagnoses in this population, there is an urgent need to develop a novel intervention to address the psychosocial needs of WTC responders with cancer. Meaning-centered psychotherapy (MCP) is a structured psychotherapeutic intervention originally developed to help patients with advanced cancer find and sustain meaning in life despite illness-related limitations. Existential distress and loss of meaning are critical and understudied elements of psychological health that have been widely overlooked among WTC responders with cancer.
We have adapted MCP for WTC responders (MCP-WTC) for the treatment of WTC responders who have been diagnosed with WTC-certified cancers. MCP-WTC aims to target the complex crisis in meaning faced by those responders who responded to the 9/11 attacks and subsequently were diagnosed with cancer as a result of their service.
We describe the adaptation of MCP-WTC and the application of this intervention to meet the unique needs of those exposed to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), participated in the rescue, recovery, and clean-up effort at Ground Zero, and were diagnosed with WTC-related cancer. We highlight the novel aspects of this intervention which have been designed to facilitate meaning-making in the context of the patient's response to 9/11 and subsequent diagnosis of cancer.
Significance of results
This work provides a rationale for MCP-WTC and the potential for this intervention to improve the quality of life of WTC responders and help these patients navigate life after 9/11 and cancer.
Clonal Mycobacterium mucogenicum isolates (determined by molecular typing) were recovered from 19 bronchoscopic specimens from 15 patients. None of these patients had evidence of mycobacterial infection. Laboratory culture materials and bronchoscopes were negative for Mycobacteria. This pseudo-outbreak was caused by contaminated ice used to provide bronchoscopic lavage. Control was achieved by transitioning to sterile ice.
Previous research in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) suggests that visual episodic memory impairment may emerge before analogous verbal episodic memory impairment. The current study examined working memory (WM) test performance in MCI to assess whether patients present with greater visual versus verbal WM impairment. WM performance was also assessed in relation to hippocampal occupancy (HO), a ratio of hippocampal volume to ventricular dilation adjusted for demographic variables and intracranial volume.
Jak et al. (2009) (The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17, 368–375) and Edmonds, Delano-Wood, Galasko, Salmon, & Bondi (2015) (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 47(1), 231–242) criteria classify patients into four groups: little to no cognitive impairment (non-MCI); subtle cognitive impairment (SCI); amnestic MCI (aMCI); and a combined mixed/dysexecutive MCI (mixed/dys MCI). WM was assessed using co-normed Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WAIS-IV) Digit Span Backwards and Wechsler Memory Scale-IV (WMS-IV) Symbol Span Z-scores.
Between-group analyses found worse WMS-IV Symbol Span and WAIS-IV Digit Span Backwards performance for mixed/dys MCI compared to non-MCI patients. Within-group analyses found no differences for non-MCI patients; however, all other groups scored lower on WMS-IV Symbol Span than WAIS-IV Digit Span Backwards. Regression analysis with HO as the dependent variable was statistically significant for WMS-IV Symbol Span performance. WAIS-IV Digit Span Backwards performance failed to reach statistical significance.
Worse WMS-IV Symbol Span performance was observed in patient groups with measurable neuropsychological impairment and better WMS-IV Symbol Span performance was associated with higher HO ratios. These results suggest that visual WM may be particularly sensitive to emergent illness compared to analogous verbal WM tests.
Widespread adoption of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) represents a puzzle. It cannot be described as serving the interests of any state as understood in conventional theories of international relations because it commits countries to radical social change. Yet all but six UN member states have ratified it. We argue that the case can only be explained by reference to Waltz’ first image, the individual level. We invoke Giddens' notion of structuration to explain how a small group of like-minded women, many of them diplomats, were able to work within existing structures of international diplomacy to create institutions that embedded their ideals in international law. These women were critical actors, positioned simultaneously in activist organizations and government and diplomatic institutions, giving them leverage to institutionalize new norms. The case shows the importance of analysis at the individual level to explain normative change in the international system.
Nurses view patient safety as an essential component of their work and have reported a general interest in embracing an antibiotic steward role. However, antibiotic stewardship (AS) functions have not been formally integrated into nursing practice despite nurses’ daily involvement in clinical activities that impact antibiotic decisions (e.g., obtaining specimens for cultures, blood drawing for therapeutic drug monitoring). Recommendations to expand AS programs to include bedside nurses are generating support at a national level, yet a practical guidance on how nurses can be involved in AS activities is lacking. In this review, we provide a framework identifying selected practices where nurses can improve antibiotic prescribing practices through appropriate obtainment of Clostridioides difficile tests, appropriate urine culturing practices, optimal antibiotic administration, accurate and detailed documentation of penicillin allergy histories and through the prompting of antibiotic time outs. We identify reported barriers to engagement of nurses in AS and offer potential solutions that include patient safety principles and quality improvement strategies that can be used to mitigate participation barriers. This review will assist AS leaders interested in advancing the contributions of nurses into their AS programs by discussing education, communication, improvement models, and workflow integration enhancements that strengthen systems to support nurses as valued partners in AS efforts.
Identifying routes of transmission among hospitalized patients during a healthcare-associated outbreak can be tedious, particularly among patients with complex hospital stays and multiple exposures. Data mining of the electronic health record (EHR) has the potential to rapidly identify common exposures among patients suspected of being part of an outbreak.
We retrospectively analyzed 9 hospital outbreaks that occurred during 2011–2016 and that had previously been characterized both according to transmission route and by molecular characterization of the bacterial isolates. We determined (1) the ability of data mining of the EHR to identify the correct route of transmission, (2) how early the correct route was identified during the timeline of the outbreak, and (3) how many cases in the outbreaks could have been prevented had the system been running in real time.
Correct routes were identified for all outbreaks at the second patient, except for one outbreak involving >1 transmission route that was detected at the eighth patient. Up to 40 or 34 infections (78% or 66% of possible preventable infections, respectively) could have been prevented if data mining had been implemented in real time, assuming the initiation of an effective intervention within 7 or 14 days of identification of the transmission route, respectively.
Data mining of the EHR was accurate for identifying routes of transmission among patients who were part of the outbreak. Prospective validation of this approach using routine whole-genome sequencing and data mining of the EHR for both outbreak detection and route attribution is ongoing.
To investigate the association of policy, systems and environmental factors with improvement in household food security among low-income Indiana households with children after a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) direct nutrition education intervention.
Household food security scores measured by the eighteen-item US Household Food Security Survey Module in a longitudinal randomized and controlled SNAP-Ed intervention study conducted from August 2013 to April 2015 were the response variable. Metrics to quantify environmental factors including classification of urban or rural county status; the number of SNAP-authorized stores, food pantries and recreational facilities; average fair market housing rental price; and natural amenity rank were collected from government websites and data sets covering the years 2012–2016 and used as covariates in mixed multiple linear regression modelling.
Thirty-seven Indiana counties, USA, 2012–2016.
SNAP-Ed eligible adults from households with children (n 328).
None of the environmental factors investigated were significantly associated with changes in household food security in this exploratory study.
SNAP-Ed improves food security regardless of urban or rural location or the environmental factors investigated. Expansion of SNAP-Ed in rural areas may support food access among the low-income population and reduce the prevalence of food insecurity in rural compared with urban areas. Further investigation into policy, systems and environmental factors of the Social Ecological Model are warranted to better understand their relationship with direct SNAP-Ed and their impact on diet-related behaviours and food security.
Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona are protozoan parasites with terrestrial definitive hosts, and both pathogens can cause fatal disease in a wide range of marine animals. Close monitoring of threatened southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) in California allowed for the diagnosis of dual transplacental transmission of T. gondii and S. neurona in a wild female otter that was chronically infected with both parasites. Congenital infection resulted in late-term abortion due to disseminated toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma gondii and S. neurona DNA was amplified from placental tissue culture, as well as from fetal lung tissue. Molecular characterization of T. gondii revealed a Type X genotype in isolates derived from placenta and fetal brain, as well as in all tested fetal organs (brain, lung, spleen, liver and thymus). This report provides the first evidence for transplacental transmission of T. gondii in a chronically infected wild sea otter, and the first molecular and immunohistochemical confirmation of concurrent transplacental transmission of T. gondii and S. neurona in any species. Repeated fetal and/or neonatal losses in the sea otter dam also suggested that T. gondii has the potential to reduce fecundity in chronically infected marine mammals through parasite recrudescence and repeated fetal infection.
Prior research in political science and other disciplines demonstrates the pedagogical and practical benefits of active learning. Less is known, however, about the extent to which active learning is used in political science classrooms. This study assesses the prioritization of active learning in “gateway” political science courses, paying specific attention to simulations, structured debates, and the case method. Nearly five hundred individual course syllabi for introductory-level political science courses are examined. Although the level of active learning prioritization is surprisingly low, the dimensions on which it varies suggest opportunities for adoption across subfields and classes of varying size.
To assess whether use of oral vancomycin for treatment during an outbreak of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) was associated with increased rates of colonization with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)..
A retrospective analysis of hospital databases.
The Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
We collected data regarding VRE colonization and CDI from November 1, 2000, through September 30, 2007, during which policies of preferential oral metronidazole or vancomycin treatment were implemented to control an outbreak of CDI. Four periods were considered: period 1, the preoutbreak period when metronidazole was used; period 2, the CDI outbreak period when metronidazole was used; period 3, the postoutbreak period when vancomycin was used; and period 4, the postoutbreak period when metronidazole was used.
A total of 2,412 cases of CDI and 425 cases of VRE colonization were identified. The rate of CDI increased significantly during period 2 and decreased to preoutbreak levels during period 3. The rate of VRE also increased during period 2 and decreased during the first 18 months of period 3. A clonal outbreak of cases of VRE (VanA) colonization was observed toward the end of period 3 and into period 4. Excluding the period of the clonal outbreak, there was a strong correlation between the number of cases of CDI and VRE colonization (r = 0.736; P = .001) and a negative association between VRE colonization and vancomycin use (r = —0.765; P = .04).
Increased vancomycin use was not associated with an increase in VRE colonization over a 2-year period. Restriction of vancomycin use during CDI outbreaks because of the fear of increasing VRE colonization may not be warranted.