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To evaluate the impact of a vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) screening policy change on the incidence of healthcare-associated (HA)-VRE bacteremia in an endemic hospital setting.
A quasi-experimental before-and-after study.
A 1,989-bed tertiary-care referral center in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Since May 2010, our hospital has diminished VRE screening for admitted patients transferred from other healthcare facilities. We assessed the impact of this policy change on the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia using segmented autoregression analysis of interrupted time series from January 2006 to December 2014 at the hospital and unit levels. In addition, we compared the molecular characteristics of VRE blood isolates collected before and after the screening policy change using multilocus sequence typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
After the VRE screening policy change, the incidence of hospital-wide HA-VRE bacteremia increased, although no significant changes of level or slope were observed. In addition, a significant slope change in the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia (change in slope, 0.007; 95% CI, 0.001–0.013; P = .02) was observed in the hemato-oncology department. Molecular analysis revealed that various VRE sequence types appeared after the policy change and that clonally related strains became more predominant (increasing from 26.1% to 59.3%).
The incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia increased significantly after VRE screening policy change, and this increase was mainly driven by high-risk patient populations. When planning VRE control programs in hospitals, different approaches that consider risk for severe VRE infection in patients may be required.
Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
This research communication describes the profile of gene expression related to the synthesis of yak milk as determined via quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Significant up-regulation during lactation were observed in genes related to fatty acid (FA) uptake from blood (LPL, CD36), intracellular FA transport (FABP3), intracellular FA activation of long- and short-chain FAs (ACSS1, ACSS2, ACSL1), de novo synthesis (ACACA), desaturation (SCD), triacyglycerol (TAG) synthesis (AGPAT6, GPAM, LPIN1), lipid droplet formation (PLIN2, BTN1A1, XDH), ketone body utilisation (BDH1, OXCT1), and transcription regulation (THRSP, PPARGC1A). In particular, intracellular de novo FA synthesis (ACSS2, ACACA, and FABP3) and TAG synthesis (GPAM, AGPAT6, and LPIN1), whose regulation might be orchestrated as part of the gene network under the control of SERBF1 in the milk fat synthesis process, were more activated compared to levels in dairy cows. However, the genes involved in lipid droplet formation (PLIN2, XDH, and BTN1A1) were expressed at lower levels compared to those in dairy cows, where these genes are mainly controlled by the PPARG regulator.
Vitamin D insufficiency is known to be related to cardiometabolic disorders; however, the associations among serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration and metabolic syndrome and cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adolescents have not yet been clearly delineated. For this reason, we investigated the relationship among serum 25(OH)D concentration and metabolic syndrome and cardiometabolic risk factors among Korean adolescents.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis and used hierarchical multivariate logistic regression analysis models to adjust for confounding variables.
We used the data gathered during the 2008–2009 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).
Our subjects included 1504 Korean adolescents aged 12–18 years who participated in the KNHANES.
Vitamin D insufficiency, defined as 25(OH)D concentration <50 nmol/l, was found in 75·3 % of Korean adolescents and was associated with an increased risk of the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Waist circumference and BMI were the most closely correlated cardiometabolic components of metabolic syndrome according to serum 25(OH)D status, but no significant relationship was found between serum 25(OH)D concentration and insulin resistance or for the risks for high blood pressure, hyperglycaemia, reduced HDL-cholesterol or hypertriacylglycerolaemia, with or without adjustment for confounding variables.
Low serum 25(OH)D concentration appears to be associated with several cardiometabolic risk factors and an increased risk of the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Korean adolescents.
Interspecies intracytoplasmic sperm injection has been carried out to understand species-specific differences in oocyte environments and sperm components during fertilization. While sperm aster organization during cat fertilization requires a paternally derived centriole, mouse and hamster fertilization occur within the maternal centrosomal components. To address the questions of where sperm aster assembly occurs and whether complete fertilization is achieved in cat oocytes by interspecies sperm, we studied the fertilization processes of cat oocytes following the injection of cat, mouse, or hamster sperm. Male and female pronuclear formations were not different in the cat oocytes at 6 h following cat, mouse or hamster sperm injection. Microtubule asters were seen in all oocytes following intracytoplasmic injection of cat, mouse or hamster sperm. Immunocytochemical staining with a histone H3-m2K9 antibody revealed that mouse sperm chromatin is incorporated normally with cat egg chromatin, and that the cat eggs fertilized with mouse sperm enter metaphase and become normal 2-cell stage embryos. These results suggest that sperm aster formation is maternally dependent, and that fertilization processes and cleavage occur in a non-species specific manner in cat oocytes.
Ndc80 (called Hec1 in human), the core component of the Ndc80 complex, is involved in regulation of both kinetochore-microtubule interactions and the spindle assembly checkpoint in mitosis; however, its role in meiosis remains unclear. Here, we report Ndc80 expression, localization, and possible functions in mouse oocyte meiosis. Ndc80 mRNA levels gradually increased during meiosis. Immunofluorescent staining showed that Ndc80 was restricted to the germinal vesicle and associated with spindle microtubules from the Pro-MI to MII stages. Ndc80 was localized on microtubules and asters in the cytoplasm after taxol treatment, while Ndc80 staining was diffuse after disruption of microtubules by nocodazole treatment, confirming its microtubule localization. Disruption of Ndc80 function by either siRNA injection or antibody injection resulted in severe chromosome misalignment, spindle disruption, and precocious polar body extrusion. Our data show a unique localization pattern of Ndc80 in mouse oocytes and suggest that Ndc80 may be required for chromosome alignment and spindle organization, and may regulate spindle checkpoint activity during mouse oocyte meiosis.
Cocoa polyphenols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. TNF-α is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that has a vital role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases such as cancer and psoriasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression is associated with tumorigenesis, CVD, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. We tested whether cocoa polyphenol extract (CPE) inhibited TNF-α-induced VEGF expression in promotion-sensitive JB6 mouse epidermal cells. CPE significantly inhibited TNF-α-induced up-regulation of VEGF via reducing TNF-α-induced activation of the nuclear transcription factors activator protein-1 (AP-1) and NF-κB, which are key regulators of VEGF expression. CPE also inhibited TNF-α-induced phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. CPE blocked activation of their downstream kinases, p70 kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase and p90 kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase. CPE suppressed phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) activity via binding PI3K directly. CPE did not affect TNF-α-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase-1 (MEK1) but suppressed TNF-α-induced MEK1 activity. Collectively, these results indicate that CPE reduced TNF-α-induced up-regulation of VEGF by directly inhibiting PI3K and MEK1 activities, which may contribute to its chemopreventive potential.
We evaluated the effects of the two main kiwifruit cultivars (gold kiwifruit (GOK) and green kiwifruit (GRK)) and their active phenolic compound, quercetin, on H2O2-induced inhibition of gap-junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells. We found that both GOK and GRK protect WB-F344 cells from H2O2-induced inhibition of GJIC. The extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2)–connexin 43 (Cx43) signalling pathway is crucial for the regulation of GJIC, and both GOK and GRK blocked the H2O2-induced phosphorylation of Cx43 and ERK1/2 in WB-F344 cells. Quercetin alone attenuated the H2O2-mediated ERK1/2–Cx43 signalling pathway and consequently reversed H2O2-mediated inhibition of GJIC in WB-F344 cells. A free radical-scavenging assay using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl showed that the scavenging activity of quercetin was higher than that of a synthetic antioxidant, butylated hydroxytoluene, per mol, suggesting that the chemopreventive effect of quercetin on H2O2-mediated inhibition of ERK1/2–Cx43 signalling and GJIC may be mediated through its free radical-scavenging activity. Since the carcinogenicity of reactive oxygen species such as H2O2 is attributable to the inhibition of GJIC, GOK, GRK and quercetin may have chemopreventive potential by preventing the inhibition of GJIC.
McCoy proved that for a right ideal A of S = R[x1, . . ., xk] over a ring R, if rS(A) ≠ 0 then rR(A) ≠ 0. We extend the result to the Ore extensions, the skew monoid rings and the skew power series rings over non-commutative rings and so on.
To improve the IPD reliability of NAND flash memory, plasma oxidation was introduced as the post-treatment process of ONO (Oxide/Nitride/Oxide) IPD. The LP-CVD SiO2 modified by plasma oxidation showed the excellent electrical properties. e.g., low leakage current, high breakdown voltage etc. By the analysis of Tof-SIMS and XRR, we could observe the several changes of physical characteristics such as the reduction of impurities (H, N etc.), the increase of oxide density, and the improvement of oxide surface roughness. We found out the appropriate treatment condition to be able to densify oxide layer without the addition of ONO Equivalent Oxide Thickness (EOT). The LP-CVD SiO2 prepared by plasma oxidation was used for the ONO IPD of 50nm NAND flash device and also compared with the conventional LP-CVD SiO2 in the aspect of the IPD reliability.
To determine the effectiveness of infection control strategies to reduce transmission of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), a cohort study was performed in a university hospital. Contact precautions alone were not effective in reducing transmission of VRE. Strict isolation of affected patients in private rooms, in addition to use of contact precautions, showed a significantly improved reduction in the transmission of VRE.
To investigate the characteristics and origins of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains isolated from neonatal patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital from local and primary care obstetrics clinics.
Molecular typing study.
A 1,278-bed tertiary care hospital (Samsung Medical Center) and 2 primary obstetrics clinics in Seoul, Korea.
The genotypic characteristics of 12 MRSA samples isolated from 11 neonatal patients transferred from 2 primary care obstetrics clinics to a tertiary care hospital were investigated by means of multilocus sequence typing, spa (staphylococcal protein A) typing, and SCCmec typing. Ten MRSA strains isolated from workers and environments in the associated obstetrics clinics were also investigated.
Although the antibiograms of isolates from 2 obstetrics clinics differed, no strain showed multidrug resistance to antimicrobials. Multilocus sequence typing analysis showed that all 22 MRSA isolates analyzed in this study had sequence type 1 (with the allelic profile 1-1-1-1-1-1-1), sequence type 493 (62-1-1-1-1-1-1), or a novel sequence type (25-1-1-1-1-1-1) and that all belonged to a single clonal complex (clonal complex 1). Moreover, they all contained SCCmec type IVA and the identical spa type (UJEBKBP). These genotypic characteristics are similar to those of typical community-associated MRSA strains rather than the hospital-acquired MRSA strains common in Korea.
The findings of this study suggest that community-acquired MRSA strains can spread in primary care clinics and be imported into tertiary care settings.
The thermal degradation behavior of indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films coated on glass substrates using radio frequency (rf) magnetron sputtering was investigated over the temperature range of 100–400 °C in air. The resistivity of ITO films increases abruptly after the thermal degradation temperature of 250 °C is reached, with a slight increase from 200 to 250 °C. The x-ray photoelectron spectrometry intensity ratio of O/(In + Sn) in thermally degraded ITO films is higher than that in normal films. The carrier concentration gradually decreases up to 200 °C, sharply drops between 200 and 250 °C with increasing temperature, and then saturates from 275 °C. The Hall mobility drops suddenly at 275 °C. The diffusion of oxygen into oxygen interstitials and oxygen vacancies and the chemisorption of oxygen into grain boundaries decrease the carrier concentration and the Hall mobility, respectively. The former mainly affects the resistivity of ITO films below 250 °C, and the later above 250 °C.
NiCr films were thermally evaporated on the Mn-Ni-Co-O thick-film substrates. The NiCr/Mn-Ni-Co-O bi-layer systems were tested in a thermal shock chamber with three temperature differences of 150, 175 and 200°C. The systems were considered to have failed when the sheet resistance of NiCr films changed by 30% relative to an initial value. As the cyclic repetition of thermal shock increased, the sheet resistance of NiCr coatings increased. The Coffin-Manson equation was applied to the failure mechanism of cracking of NiCr coatings and the SEM observation of cracks and delamination in NiCr coatings due to thermal cycling agreed well with the failure mechanism.
We report the characterization of white light emitting devices fabricated using conjugated polymer blends. Blue emissive poly[9,9-bis(4′-n-octyloxyphenyl)fluorene-2,7-diyl-co-10-(2′-ethylhexyl)phenothiazine-3,7-diyl] [poly(BOPF-co-PTZ)] and red emissive poly(2-(2′-ethylhexyloxy)-5-methoxy-1,4-phenylenevinylene) (MEH-PPV) were used in the blends. The inefficient energy transfer between these blue and red light emitting polymers (previously deduced from the photoluminscence (PL) spectra of the blend films) enables the production of white light emission through control of the blend ratio. The PL and electroluminescence (EL) emission spectra of the blend systems were found to vary with the blend ratio. The EL devices were fabricated in the indium tin oxide [poly(3,4-ethylenedioxy-thiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate)] (ITO/PEDOT-PSS)blend/LiF/Al configuration, and white light emission was obtained for one of the tested blend ratios.
Large area, flat panel detectors are being investigated for digital radiogrpahy and fluoroscopy. Theses detectors employ an x-ray conversion layer of photoconductor to detect x-rays. The amorphous selenium layer that is currently being studied for its use as an x-ray photoconductor is not pure a-Se but rather a-Se doped with 0.2-0.5% As and 10-30 ppm Cl, also known as stabilized a-Se. The suitability of the stabilized a-Se is largely determined by its charge on generating, transporting and trapping properties.
In this paper, a conventional time-of-flight measurement was carried out to analyze the transport properties of charge carriers. A laser beam with pulse duration of 5 ns and wavelength of 350 nm was illuminated on the surface of the stabilized a-Se with thickness of 400 μm. The photo response signals of the hole and electron were measured at the applied electric field of 10 V/μm as a function of time. The measured transit times of the hole and electron were about 229.17μs and about 8.73μs at 10 V/μm, respectively. The measured mobility indicated a slight dependence with respect to the applied electric field with a range of 4-10 V/μm. The experimental results showed that the measured mobility of the hole and electron was 0.04584 cm2V-1s-1 and 0.00174 cm2V-1s-1 at the electric field of 10 V/μm.
Nowadays, large area, flat panel solid state detectors are being investigated for digital radiography. In this paper, development and evaluation of a selenium-based flat-panel digital xray detector are described. The prototype detector has a pixel pitch of 139μm and a total active imaging area of 7″×8.5″, giving a total of 1.9 million pixel. This detector include a x-ray imaging layer of amorphous selenium as a photoconductor which is evaporated in vacuum state on a TFT flat panel, to make signals in proportion to incident x-ray. The film thickness was about 500μm. To evaluate the imaging performance of the digital radiography (DR) system developed in our group, sensitivity, linearity of the response of exposure, the modulation transfer function(MTF) and detective quantum efficiency(DQE) of detector was measured. The measured sensitivity was 4.16×106 ehp/pixel mR at the bias field of 10 V/μm: The beam condition was 41.9 KeV. Measured MTF at 2.5 lp/mm was 52%, and the DQE at 1.5 lp/mm was 75%.
Effect of host polymers on energy transfer in phosphorescent dye doped polymer light emitting devices has been investigated. Poly (N-vinylcarbazol) [PVK] and poly (9,9'-di-n-hexyl-2,7-fluorene-alt-1,4(2,5dinhexyloxy) phenylene) [PFHP] were examined as the host materials for the phosphorescent dyes fac tris(2-phenypyridine) irdium(III) [Ir(ppy)3] and 2,3,7,8,12,13,17,18-octaethyl-21H,23H-porphyrin platinum(II) [PtOEP]. The host and guest materials have the large spectrum overlap between the emission of the hosts and absorption of the guests. When the guests were doped in PVK, the singlet-singlet and triplet-triplet energy transfer took place efficiently. On the contrary, the energy transfer did not take place from φ-conjugated polymer PFHP to the guests, even though common requirements for Förster and Dexter energy transfer were fulfilled. Host aggregation in PFHP based phosphorescent dye doped light emitting devices can play an undesired role obstructing efficient energy transfer.