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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Introduction: Wide variability exists in emergency department (ED) syncope management. The Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS) was derived and validated to predict the probability of 30-day serious outcomes after ED disposition. The objective was to identify barriers and facilitators among physicians for CSRS use to stratify risk and guide disposition decisions Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with physicians involved in ED syncope care at 8 Canadian sites. We used purposive sampling, contacting ED physicians, cardiologists, internists, and hospitalists until theme saturation was reached. Interview questions were designed to understand whether the CSRS recommendations are consistent with current practice, barriers and facilitators for application into practice, and intention for future CSRS use. Interviews were conducted via telephone or videoconference. Two independent raters coded interviews using an inductive approach to identify themes, with discrepancies resolved through consensus. Our methods were consistent with the Knowledge to Action Framework, which highlights the need to assess barriers and facilitators for knowledge use and for adapting new interventions into local contexts. Results: We interviewed 14 ED physicians, 7 cardiologists, and 10 hospitalists/internists across 8 sites. All physicians reported the use of electrocardiograms for patients with syncope, a key component in the CSRS criteria. Almost all physicians reported that the low risk recommendation (discharge without specific follow-up) was consistent with current practice, while less consistency was seen for moderate (15 days outpatient monitoring) and high risk recommendations (outpatient monitoring and/or admission). Key barriers to following the CSRS included a lack of access to outpatient monitoring and uncertainty over timely follow-up care. Other barriers included patient/family concerns, social factors, and necessary bloodwork. Facilitators included assisting with patient education, reassurance of their clinical gestalt, and optimal patient factors (e.g. reliability to return, support at home, few comorbidities). Conclusion: Physicians are receptive to using the CSRS tool for risk stratification and decision support. Implementation should address identified barriers, and adaptation to local settings may involve modifying the recommended clinical actions based on local resources and feasibility.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) syncope management is extremely variable. We developed practice recommendations based on the validated Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS) and outpatient cardiac monitoring strategy with physician input. Methods: We used a 2-step approach. Step-1: We pooled data from the derivation and validation prospective cohort studies (with adequate sample size) conducted at 11 Canadian sites (Sep 2010 to Apr 2018). Adults with syncope were enrolled excluding those with serious outcome identified during index ED evaluation. 30-day adjudicated serious outcomes were arrhythmic (arrhythmias, unknown cause of death) and non-arrhythmic (MI, structural heart disease, pulmonary embolism, hemorrhage)]. We compared the serious outcome proportion among risk categories using Cochran-Armitage test. Step-2: We conducted semi-structured interviews using observed risk to develop and refine the recommendations. We used purposive sampling of physicians involved in syncope care at 8 sites from Jun-Dec 2019 until theme saturation was reached. Two independent raters coded interviews using an inductive approach to identify themes; discrepancies were resolved by consensus. Results: Of the 8176 patients (mean age 54, 55% female), 293 (3.6%; 95%CI 3.2-4.0%) experienced 30-day serious outcomes; 0.4% deaths, 2.5% arrhythmic, 1.1% non-arrhythmic outcomes. The serious outcome proportion significantly increased from low to high-risk categories (p < 0.001; overall 0.6% to 27.7%; arrhythmic 0.2% to 17.3%; non-arrhythmic 0.4% to 5.9% respectively). C-statistic was 0.88 (95%CI0.86–0.90). Non-arrhythmia risk per day for the first 2 days was 0.5% for medium-risk, 2% for high-risk and very low thereafter. We recruited 31 physicians (14 ED, 7 cardiologists, 10 hospitalists/internists). 80% of physicians agreed that low risk patients can be discharged without specific follow-up with inconsistencies around length of ED observation. For cardiac monitoring of medium and high-risk, 64% indicated that they don't have access; 56% currently admit high-risk patients and an additional 20% agreed to this recommendation. A deeper exploration led to following refinement: discharge without specific follow-up for low-risk, a shared decision approach for medium-risk and short course of hospitalization for high-risk patients. Conclusion: The recommendations were developed (with online calculator) based on in-depth feedback from key stakeholders to improve uptake during implementation.
To reduce competition with human-edible feed resources, it is of interest to incorporate by-products from the food industry in animal feeds. The current research investigated the effect of including increasing amounts of tofu by-product (TF) in practical pig diets on animal performance, nitrogen balance and ammonia emissions from manure. Two experiments were conducted including a control diet without TF, containing 160 g/kg dietary non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) and three diets including 122, 246 and 360 g TF/kg DM (TF122, TF246 and TF360, respectively) to reach 220, 280 and 360 g/kg NSP. All diets had the same level of CP and protein digestible in the small intestine which particularly was realized by replacing rice bran with TF. Animal performance was assessed in a first experiment with 40 growing barrows with initial BW of 26.6 ± 1.80 kg (M ± SD) being allocated to the 4 treatments, during 2 growth phases (i.e. until 50 kg BW and from 50 to 80 kg BW). In the growth phase until 50 kg, feed intake and average daily gain (ADG) were linearly reduced by dietary TF inclusion, while this negative impact disappeared during the second growth phase (50 to 80 kg BW). Tofu by-product inclusion even positively affected the feed conversion ratio during this second growth phase (3.4 to 2.7 kg feed/kg ADG for 0 to 360 g/kg dietary TF). Over the entire growth period, performance and feed intake were negatively affected at the highest dietary TF level. Experiment 2 was conducted to assess digestibility, nitrogen balance and ammonia emission from manure. For this purpose, 16 pigs with BW of 62.8 ± 3.6 kg (M ± SD) were assigned to either 1 of the 4 treatments. There was no difference in total tract apparent digestibility of dietary organic matter or CP, while NDF digestibility increased with increasing TF level, suggesting increasing importance of the hindgut fermentation when digesting diets with increasing TF levels. Nevertheless, this was not reflected in increasing levels of faecal volatile fatty acids or purines, nor in reduced manure pH. As a result, ammonia emission from slurry was not reduced through dietary TF inclusion, despite the linear decrease in urinary nitrogen. In conclusion, TF can be included in pigs’ diets up to an inclusion rate of 25% without risk of impaired animal performance; however, this dietary strategy fails to mitigate ammonia emission from slurry.
Fasciola jacksoni is a significant contributor to the health and mortality of Asian elephants, particularly those in Sri Lanka. Despite the impact of fascioliasis on elephant populations, it is a neglected veterinary disease with limited taxonomic understanding. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of F. jacksoni were carried out to evaluate its suggested basal position in the Fasciolidae. Adult worms were collected during post-mortem of elephants, and eggs were collected from living elephants in National parks across Sri Lanka. Using the mitochondrial genes nicotinamide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), and a partial 28S ribosomal DNA (28S rDNA), DNA sequences were generated from the F. jacksoni adult and egg material. Maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analyses did not resolve F. jacksoni to be basal to the Fasciolidae. Furthermore, the ML analyses showed that the genus Fasciola was not monophyletic and that F. jacksoni was a sister species to the deer liver fluke Fascioloides magna. A clear framework is required to determine the taxonomic status of F. jacksoni and this current study provides the first detailed application of molecular techniques from multiple hosts across Sri Lanka with the production of reference DNA sequences for this important parasite.
This work is based on a recent theoretical study of how the hydrostatic pressure and core/shell sizes affect the optical properties associated with the transition from the ground state to first excited state (1s–1p), of an exciton confined in spherical core/shell quantum dots (SCSQDs). We have computed under an effective mass framework, linear, third-order nonlinear, and total absorption coefficients (AC) and refractive index (RI) as functions of photon energy for different sizes of SCSQDs with varying hydrostatic pressure. Our results show that the optical absorption is deeply dependent on the incident light intensity. Both AC and RI significantly influenced by the confinement and pressure effects.
To characterise subjective symptoms in patients undergoing surgical repair of superior semicircular canal dehiscence.
Questionnaires assessing symptom severity and impact on function and quality of life were administered to patients before superior semicircular canal dehiscence surgery, between June 2011 and March 2016. Questionnaire sections included general quality of life, internal amplified sounds, dizziness and tinnitus, with scores of 0–100 points.
Twenty-three patients completed the questionnaire before surgery. Section scores (mean±standard deviation) were: 38.2 ± 25.2 for general quality of life, 52.5 ± 23.9 for internal amplified sounds, 35.1 ± 28.8 for dizziness, 33.3 ± 30.7 for tinnitus, and 39.8 ± 22.2 for the composite score. Cronbach's α statistic averaged 0.93 (range, 0.84–0.97) across section scores, and 0.83 for the composite score.
The Gopen–Yang Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Questionnaire provides a holistic, patient-centred characterisation of superior semicircular canal dehiscence symptoms. Internal consistency analysis validated the questionnaire and provided a quantitative framework for further optimisation in the clinical setting.
The paper presents experimental and theoretical research data on the generation, transport, and extraction of a large cross-section (750 × 150 mm2) electron beam into the air through a thin metal foil in an accelerator with a mesh plasma cathode on the bases of a low-pressure arc and with a multi-aperture two-electrode electron-optical system. When the burning conditions of the arc discharge, responsible for the generation of the emission plasma, is changed, the characteristics of this plasma were investigated, including under the conditions of the selection of electrons from it. Our experiments show that at an accelerating voltage of 200 kV, current in the accelerating gap of up to 30 A, and full width at half maximum of up to 100 µm, the average extracted power is ≈4 kW and the extracted beam current is ≈85% from the common current into the accelerating gap. Our numerical estimates give a good correlation between the arc and emission plasma parameters depending on the electrode configuration in the discharge system and on the mechanism of electron beam generation. Analysis of the emission plasma parameters under different arc conditions and of the mechanisms responsible for the beam energy loss suggests that most of the energy in the accelerator is lost at the support grid and at the output foil due to defocusing of the beam and partial electron reflection from the foil. Other mechanisms that decrease the extracted beam energy are discussed.
We examined the association between a history of smallpox vaccination and immune activation (IA) in a population of antiretroviral therapy-naïve people living with HIV (PLHIV). A cross-sectional study was conducted in Senegal from July 2015 to March 2017. Smallpox vaccination was ascertained by the presence of smallpox vaccine scar and IA by the plasma level of β-2-microglobulin (β2m). The association was analysed using logistic regression and linear regression models. The study population comprised 101 PLHIV born before 1980 with a median age of 47 years (interquartile range (IQR) = 42–55); 57·4% were women. Smallpox vaccine scar was present in 65·3% and the median β2m level was 2·59 mg/l (IQR = 2·06–3·86). After adjustment, the presence of smallpox vaccine scar was not associated with a β2m level ⩾2·59 mg/l (adjusted odds ratio 0·94; 95% confidence interval 0·32–2·77). This result was confirmed by the linear regression model. Our study does not find any association between the presence of smallpox vaccine scar and the β2m level and does not support any association between a previous smallpox vaccination and HIV disease progression. In this study, IA is not a significant determinant of the reported non-targeted effect of smallpox vaccination in PLHIV.
Central nervous system infections (CNSI) are a leading cause of death and long-term disability in children. Using ICD-10 data from 2005 to 2015 from three central hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, we exploited generalized additive mixed models (GAMM) to examine the spatial-temporal distribution and spatial and climatic risk factors of paediatric CNSI, excluding tuberculous meningitis, in this setting. From 2005 to 2015, there were 9469 cases of paediatric CNSI; 33% were ⩽1 year old at admission and were mainly diagnosed with presumed bacterial CNSI (BI) (79%), the remainder were >1 year old and mainly diagnosed with presumed non-bacterial CNSI (non-BI) (59%). The urban districts of HCMC in proximity to the hospitals as well as some outer districts had the highest incidences of BI and non-BI; BI incidence was higher in the dry season. Monthly BI incidence exhibited a significant decreasing trend over the study. Both BI and non-BI were significantly associated with lags in monthly average temperature, rainfall, and river water level. Our findings add new insights into this important group of infections in Vietnam, and highlight where resources for the prevention and control of paediatric CNSI should be allocated.
Cellular oxidative damage is thought to be one of the key mechanisms underlying age-related cognitive impairment in dogs. Several nutritional interventions to limit cognitive decline are reported in the literature. To our knowledge, the association of grape and blueberry extracts has never been tested in aged dogs. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of a polyphenol-rich extract from grape and blueberry (PEGB) on oxidative status and cognitive performances in aged dogs. A total of thirty-five beagle dogs (aged 8·0–14·5 years) were fed a basal diet with PEGB at either 0 parts per million (ppm) (n 11; control), 240 ppm (n 12; PEGB1) or 480 ppm (n 12; PEGB2) for 75 d. To investigate the effects of PEGB supplementation on cognition and oxidative status, a delayed non-matching to position (DNMP) test and RT-PCR on genes involved in oxidative stress were evaluated. The dogs fed PEGB1 showed a higher superoxide dismutase mRNA expression compared with dogs fed PEGB2 (P = 0·042) and with the control group (P = 0·014). Moreover, the dogs fed PEGB2 showed higher nuclear factor-like 2 (Nrf2) mRNA expression compared with the dogs fed PEGB1 (P = 0·027). Concerning the DNMP test, the proportion of dogs showing cognitive improvements relative to their baseline level was significantly higher in dogs fed the PEGB, regardless of the dosage, than in dogs receiving no supplementation (P = 0·030). The results obtained in the DNMP test suggested a potential benefit of the PEGB on working memory. However, this hypothesis should be further investigated to confirm this cognitive effect.
Radiation environment of near-Earth space is one of the most important factors of space weather. Space Monitoring Data Center of Moscow State University provides operational monitor and forecast of radiation conditions both at Geostationary Orbits (GEO) and at Low Earths Orbits (LEO) of the near-Earth space using data of recent space missions (Vernov, CORONAS series) and current (Lomonosov, Meteor-M, Electro-L) ones. Internet portal of Space Monitoring Data Center of Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University (SINP MSU - [swx.sinp.msu.ru]) provides possibilities to monitor and analyze the space radiation conditions in the real time mode together with the geomagnetic and solar activity including hard X-ray and gamma-emission of solar flares.
Oxidative stress has been linked to many obesity-related conditions among children including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Exposure to environmental chemicals such as phthalates, ubiquitously found in humans, may also generate reactive oxygen species and subsequent oxidative stress. We examined longitudinal changes of 8-isoprostane urinary concentrations, a validated biomarker of oxidative stress, and associations with maternal prenatal urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites for 258 children at 5, 9 and 14 years of age participating in a birth cohort residing in an agricultural area in California. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, and in utero exposure has been also linked to altered lipid metabolism, as well as adverse birth and neurodevelopmental outcomes. We found that median creatinine-corrected 8-isoprostane concentrations remained constant across all age groups and did not differ by sex. Total cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure were positively associated with 8-isoprostane in 14-year-old children. No associations were observed between 8-isoprostane and body mass index (BMI), BMI Z-score or waist circumference at any age. Concentrations of three metabolites of high molecular weight phthalates measured at 13 weeks of gestation (monobenzyl, monocarboxyoctyl and monocarboxynonyl phthalates) were negatively associated with 8-isoprostane concentrations among 9-year olds. However, at 14 years of age, isoprostane concentrations were positively associated with two other metabolites (mono(2-ethylhexyl) and mono(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalates) measured in early pregnancy. Longitudinal data on 8-isoprostane in this pediatric population with a high prevalence of obesity provides new insight on certain potential cardiometabolic risks of prenatal exposure to phthalates.
The Vibrio cholerae O1 (VCO1) El Tor biotype appeared during the seventh cholera pandemic starting in 1961, and new variants of this biotype have been identified since the early 1990s. This pandemic has affected Vietnam, and a large outbreak was reported in southern Vietnam in 2010. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analyses (MLVA) were used to screen 34 VCO1 isolates from the southern Vietnam 2010 outbreak (23 patients, five contact persons, and six environmental isolates) to determine if it was genetically distinct from 18 isolates from outbreaks in southern Vietnam from 1999 to 2004, and two isolates from northern Vietnam (2008). Twenty-seven MLVA types and seven PFGE patterns were identified. Both analyses showed that the 2008 and 2010 isolates were distinctly clustered and separated from the 1999–2004 isolates.
This paper describes a possibility-based multidisciplinary optimisation for electric-powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) design. An in-house integrated UAV (iUAV) analysis program that uses an electric-powered motor was developed and validated by a Predator A configuration for aerodynamics, weight, and performance parameters. An electric-powered propulsion system was proposed to replace a piston engine and fuel with an electric motor, power controllers, and battery from an eco-system point of view. Moreover, an in-house Possibility-Based Design Optimisation (iPBDO) solver was researched and developed to effectively handle uncertainty variables and parameters and to further shift constraints into a feasible design space. A sensitivity analysis was performed to reduce the dimensions of design variables and the computational load during the iPBDO process. Maximising the electric-powered UAV endurance while solving the iPBDO yields more conservative, but more reliable, optimal UAV configuration results than the traditional deterministic optimisation approach. A high fidelity analysis was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the process by verifying the accuracy of the optimal electric-powered UAV configuration at two possibility index values and a baseline.
To examine the prevalence of human pathogens carried by rats in urban areas in Hanoi and Hai Phong, Vietnam, we live-trapped 100 rats in January 2011 and screened them for a panel of bacteria and viruses. Antibodies against Leptospira interrogans (22·0%), Seoul virus (14·0%) and rat hepatitis E virus (23·0%) were detected in rats, but antibodies against Yersinia pestis were not detected. Antibodies against L. interrogans and Seoul virus were found only in adult rats. In contrast, antibodies to rat hepatitis E virus were also found in juvenile and sub-adult rats, indicating that the transmission mode of rat hepatitis E virus is different from that of L. interrogans and Seoul virus. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses of the S and M segments of Seoul viruses found in Rattus norvegicus showed that Seoul viruses from Hai Phong and Hanoi formed different clades. Human exposure to these pathogens has become a significant public health concern.
Non-typhoidal Salmonella are an important but poorly characterized cause of paediatric diarrhoea in developing countries. We conducted a hospital-based case-control study in children aged <5 years in Ho Chi Minh City to define the epidemiology and examine risk factors associated with Salmonella diarrhoeal infections. From 1419 diarrhoea cases and 571 controls enrolled between 2009 and 2010, 77 (5·4%) diarrhoea cases were stool culture-positive for non-typhoidal Salmonella. Salmonella patients were more likely to be younger than controls (median age 10 and 12 months, respectively) [odds ratio (OR) 0·97; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·94–0·99], to report a recent diarrhoeal contact (8·1% cases, 1·8% controls; OR 5·98, 95% CI 1·8–20·4) and to live in a household with >2 children (cases 20·8%, controls 10·2%; OR 2·32, 95% CI 1·2–4·7). Our findings indicate that Salmonella are an important cause of paediatric gastroenteritis in this setting and we suggest that transmission may occur through direct human contact in the home.
In Vietnam, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 infections in poultry often occur without concomitant clinical signs and outbreaks are not consistently reported. Live bird markets represent a convenient site for surveillance that does not rely on farmers' notifications. Two H5N1 surveys were conducted at live bird markets/slaughter points in 39 districts (five provinces) in the Red River, Mekong delta, and central Vietnam during January and May 2011. Oropharyngeal and rectal swab samples from 12 480 ducks were tested for H5N1 by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction in pools of five. Traders and stallholders were interviewed using standardized questionnaires; 3·3% of pools tested positive. The highest prevalence (6·6%) corresponded to the Mekong delta, and no H5N1 was detected in the two Red River provinces. The surveys identified key risk behaviours of traders and stallholders. It is recommended that market surveys are implemented over time as a tool to evaluate progress in HPAI control in Vietnam.
Lactoferrin (LTF) is a milk glycoprotein favorably associated with the immune system of dairy cows. Somatic cell count is often used as an indicator of mastitis in dairy cows, but knowledge on the milk LTF content could aid in mastitis detection. An inexpensive, rapid and robust method to predict milk LTF is required. The aim of this study was to develop an equation to quantify the LTF content in bovine milk using mid-infrared (MIR) spectrometry. LTF was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and all milk samples were analyzed by MIR. After discarding samples with a coefficient of variation between 2 ELISA measurements of more than 5% and the spectral outliers, the calibration set consisted of 2499 samples from Belgium (n = 110), Ireland (n = 1658) and Scotland (n = 731). Six statistical methods were evaluated to develop the LTF equation. The best method yielded a cross-validation coefficient of determination for LTF of 0.71 and a cross-validation standard error of 50.55 mg/l of milk. An external validation was undertaken using an additional dataset containing 274 Walloon samples. The validation coefficient of determination was 0.60. To assess the usefulness of the MIR predicted LTF, four logistic regressions using somatic cell score (SCS) and MIR LTF were developed to predict the presence of mastitis. The dataset used to build the logistic regressions consisted of 275 mastitis records and 13 507 MIR data collected in 18 Walloon herds. The LTF and the interaction SCS × LTF effects were significant (P < 0.001 and P = 0.02, respectively). When only the predicted LTF was included in the model, the prediction of the presence of mastitis was not accurate despite a moderate correlation between SCS and LTF (r = 0.54). The specificity and the sensitivity of models were assessed using Walloon data (i.e. internal validation) and data collected from a research herd at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (i.e. 5886 Wisconsin MIR records related to 93 mastistis events – external validation). Model specificity was better when LTF was included in the regression along with SCS when compared with SCS alone. Correct classification of non-mastitis records was 95.44% and 92.05% from Wisconsin and Walloon data, respectively. The same conclusion was formulated from the Hosmer and Lemeshow test. In conclusion, this study confirms the possibility to quantify an LTF indicator from milk MIR spectra. It suggests the usefulness of this indicator associated to SCS to detect the presence of mastitis. Moreover, the knowledge of milk LTF could also improve the milk nutritional quality.
The commercial viability of solar power will depend on a careful balance of reliability, efficiency, and overall cost. A systematic approach to the optimization of the latter two for the case of organic solar cells is outlined. This relies among other on the development of a detailed understanding of the charge generation process and the systematic application of analytical tools such as UV-vis, photoluminescence, lifetime measurements, and current-voltage (I-V) curves.