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This study aims to describe the course of admission and clinical characteristics of admissions to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) in the Phoenix Care Centre (PCC), Dublin, Ireland.
This retrospective chart study was conducted at the PCC, Dublin, Ireland. The cohort included all admission episodes (n = 91 complete data) over a three-year study period between January 2014 and January 2017.
The mean age of admitted cases was 37.1 (s.d. = 11.3; range 18–63). The mean length of stay (LOS) was 59.3 days (s.d. = 61.0; median 39.5 days). All patients were admitted under Mental Health Act legislation. Antipsychotic polypharmacy was used in 61% (n = 55) of the admissions. A diagnosis of acute psychotic disorder (B = −1.027, p = 0.003, 95% CI: −1.691, −0.363) was associated with reduced LOS in PICU.
Our study describes the cohort of patients admitted as being predominantly male, younger-aged, single, having a diagnosis of schizophrenia and being legally detained. The primary indication for referral is risk of assault, which highlights the need for the intensive and secure treatment model that a PICU can provide.
Prompt diagnosis and intervention for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is critical but can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
We investigated healthcare provider (HCP) perceptions and challenges associated with VAP diagnosis, and we sought to identify opportunities for diagnostic stewardship.
We conducted a qualitative study of 30 HCPs at a tertiary-care hospital. Participants included attending physicians, residents and fellows (trainees), advanced practice providers (APPs), and pharmacists. Interviews were composed of open-ended questions in 4 sections: (1) clinical suspicion and thresholds for respiratory culture ordering, (2) preferences for respiratory sample collection, (3) culture report interpretation, and (4) VAP diagnosis and treatment. Interviews transcripts were analyzed using Nvivo 12 software, and responses were organized into themes.
Overall, 10 attending physicians (75%) and 16 trainees (75%) trainees and APPs believed they were overdiagnosing VAP; this response was frequent among HCPs in practice 5–10 years (91%, n = 12). Increased identification of bacteria as a result of frequent respiratory culturing, misinterpretation of culture data, and fear of missing diagnosis were recognized as drivers of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Although most HCPs rely on clinical and radiographic changes to initiate work-up, the fear of missing a diagnosis leads to sending cultures even in the absence of those changes.
HCPs believe that VAP overdiagnosis and overtreatment are common due to fear of missing diagnosis, overculturing, and difficulty distinguishing colonization from infection. Although we identified opportunities for diagnostic stewardship, interventions influencing the ordering of cultures and starting antimicrobials will need to account for strongly held beliefs and ICU practices.
When presenting with a first episode of psychosis (FEP), migrants can have different demographic and clinical characteristics to the native-born population and this was examined in an Irish Early Intervention for Psychosis service.
All cases of treated FEP from three local mental health services within a defined catchment area were included. Psychotic disorder diagnoses were determined using the SCID and symptom and functioning domains were measured using validated and reliable measures.
From a cohort of 612 people, 21.1% were first-generation migrants and there was no difference in the demographic characteristics, diagnoses, symptoms or functioning between migrants and those born in the Republic of Ireland, except that migrants from Africa presented with less insight. Of those admitted, 48.6% of admissions for migrants were involuntary compared to 37.7% for the native-born population (p = 0.09).
First-generation migrants now make up a significant proportion of people presenting with a FEP to an Irish EI for psychosis service. Broadly the demographic and clinical characteristics of migrants and those born in the Republic of Ireland are similar, except for less insight in migrants from Africa and a trend for a higher proportion of involuntary admissions in the total migrant group.
Typical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (tEPEC) infection is a major cause of diarrhoea and contributor to mortality in children <5 years old in developing countries. Data were analysed from the Global Enteric Multicenter Study examining children <5 years old seeking care for moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) in Kenya. Stool specimens were tested for enteric pathogens, including by multiplex polymerase chain reaction for gene targets of tEPEC. Demographic, clinical and anthropometric data were collected at enrolment and ~60-days later; multivariable logistic regressions were constructed. Of 1778 MSD cases enrolled from 2008 to 2012, 135 (7.6%) children tested positive for tEPEC. In a case-to-case comparison among MSD cases, tEPEC was independently associated with presentation at enrolment with a loss of skin turgor (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.37–3.17), and convulsions (aOR 2.83, 95% CI 1.12–7.14). At follow-up, infants with tEPEC compared to those without were associated with being underweight (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3–3.6) and wasted (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3–4.6). Among MSD cases, tEPEC was associated with mortality (aOR 2.85, 95% CI 1.47–5.55). This study suggests that tEPEC contributes to morbidity and mortality in children. Interventions aimed at defining and reducing the burden of tEPEC and its sequelae should be urgently investigated, prioritised and implemented.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Adipocytokines, which are secreted during fetal development by both mothers and fetuses, may influence fetal lung development, but little human data are available. We used data from the HOME Study to investigate the associations of cord blood adipocytokine concentrations with children’s lung forced expiratory volume (FEV1; N = 160) and their risk of wheeze (N = 281). We measured umbilical cord serum adipocytokine concentrations using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and FEV1 using a portable spirometer at ages 4 and 5 to calculate the percent predicted FEV1 (%FEV1). Parents completed standardized questionnaires of their child’s wheeze symptoms every 6 months from birth to age 5, then again at ages 6 and 8. We used multivariable linear mixed models and modified Poisson regression with generalized estimating equations to estimate associations of adipocytokine concentrations (log2-transformed) with children’s %FEV1 and the risk of wheeze, respectively, adjusting for sociodemographic, perinatal, and child factors. Cord serum leptin was not associated with children’s %FEV1. Higher cord serum adiponectin concentrations were associated with higher %FEV1 in girls (β = 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.6, 5.6), but not in boys (β = −1.3, 95% CI: −5.9, 3.3) (sex × adiponectin p-value = 0.05). Higher leptin was associated with lower risk of wheeze in girls (RR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.84), but not boys (RR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.69, 1.11) (sex × leptin p-value = 0.01). In contrast, higher adiponectin concentrations were associated with lower risk of wheeze (RR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.73, 0.96) in both boys and girls. These data suggest that fetal adipocytokines may impact lung development and function in early childhood. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings and explore the mechanisms underlying these associations.
The radiocarbon (14C) calibration curve so far contains annually resolved data only for a short period of time. With accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) matching the precision of decay counting, it is now possible to efficiently produce large datasets of annual resolution for calibration purposes using small amounts of wood. The radiocarbon intercomparison on single-year tree-ring samples presented here is the first to investigate specifically possible offsets between AMS laboratories at high precision. The results show that AMS laboratories are capable of measuring samples of Holocene age with an accuracy and precision that is comparable or even goes beyond what is possible with decay counting, even though they require a thousand times less wood. It also shows that not all AMS laboratories always produce results that are consistent with their stated uncertainties. The long-term benefits of studies of this kind are more accurate radiocarbon measurements with, in the future, better quantified uncertainties.
Introduction: CAEP recently developed the acute atrial fibrillation (AF) and flutter (AFL) [AAFF] Best Practices Checklist to promote optimal care and guidance on cardioversion and rapid discharge of patients with AAFF. We sought to assess the impact of implementing the Checklist into large Canadian EDs. Methods: We conducted a pragmatic stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial in 11 large Canadian ED sites in five provinces, over 14 months. All hospitals started in the control period (usual care), and then crossed over to the intervention period in random sequence, one hospital per month. We enrolled consecutive, stable patients presenting with AAFF, where symptoms required ED management. Our intervention was informed by qualitative stakeholder interviews to identify perceived barriers and enablers for rapid discharge of AAFF patients. The many interventions included local champions, presentation of the Checklist to physicians in group sessions, an online training module, a smartphone app, and targeted audit and feedback. The primary outcome was length of stay in ED in minutes from time of arrival to time of disposition, and this was analyzed at the individual patient-level using linear mixed effects regression accounting for the stepped-wedge design. We estimated a sample size of 800 patients. Results: We enrolled 844 patients with none lost to follow-up. Those in the control (N = 316) and intervention periods (N = 528) were similar for all characteristics including mean age (61.2 vs 64.2 yrs), duration of AAFF (8.1 vs 7.7 hrs), AF (88.6% vs 82.9%), AFL (11.4% vs 17.1%), and mean initial heart rate (119.6 vs 119.9 bpm). Median lengths of stay for the control and intervention periods respectively were 413.0 vs. 354.0 minutes (P < 0.001). Comparing control to intervention, there was an increase in: use of antiarrhythmic drugs (37.4% vs 47.4%; P < 0.01), electrical cardioversion (45.1% vs 56.8%; P < 0.01), and discharge in sinus rhythm (75.3% vs. 86.7%; P < 0.001). There was a decrease in ED consultations to cardiology and medicine (49.7% vs 41.1%; P < 0.01), but a small but insignificant increase in anticoagulant prescriptions (39.6% vs 46.5%; P = 0.21). Conclusion: This multicenter implementation of the CAEP Best Practices Checklist led to a significant decrease in ED length of stay along with more ED cardioversions, fewer ED consultations, and more discharges in sinus rhythm. Widespread and rigorous adoption of the CAEP Checklist should lead to improved care of AAFF patients in all Canadian EDs.
Abnormalities of orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) sulcogyral patterns have been reported in schizophrenia, but it is not known if these predate psychosis.
Hundred and forty-six subjects at high genetic risk of schizophrenia, 34 first episode of schizophrenia patients (SZ) and 36 healthy controls were scanned and clinically assessed. Utilising the classification system proposed by Chiavaras, we categorised OFC patterns and compared their distribution between the groups, as well as between those high risk subjects who did, and did not develop schizophrenia. The relationship between OFC pattern and schizotypy was explored in high risk subjects.
We refined Chiavaras’ classification system, with the identification of a previously unreported variant of OFC surface structure. There were significant differences in distribution of OFC patterns between high risk subjects who did or did not develop schizophrenia as well as between the first episode of schizophrenia group and healthy controls. Within the high risk group, possession of OFC Type III was associated with higher ratings on the Structured Inventory for Schizotypy (SIS) psychotic factor.
Our results suggest that OFC Type III is associated with psychotic features before the development of schizophrenia. Characterisation of OFC morphology may have a role in the identification of those at greatest risk of developing schizophrenia.
The Genomics Used to Improve DEpresssion Decisions (GUIDED) trial assessed outcomes associated with combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Analyses used the 17-item Hamilton Depression (HAM-D17) rating scale; however, studies demonstrate that the abbreviated, core depression symptom-focused, HAM-D6 rating scale may have greater sensitivity toward detecting differences between treatment and placebo. However, the sensitivity of HAM-D6 has not been tested for two active treatment arms. Here, we evaluated the sensitivity of the HAM-D6 scale, relative to the HAM-D17 scale, when assessing outcomes for actively treated patients in the GUIDED trial.
Outpatients (N=1,298) diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate treatment response to >1 psychotropic medication were randomized into treatment as usual (TAU) or combinatorial PGx-guided (guided-care) arms. Combinatorial PGx testing was performed on all patients, though test reports were only available to the guided-care arm. All patients and raters were blinded to study arm until after week 8. Medications on the combinatorial PGx test report were categorized based on the level of predicted gene-drug interactions: ‘use as directed’, ‘moderate gene-drug interactions’, or ‘significant gene-drug interactions.’ Patient outcomes were assessed by arm at week 8 using HAM-D6 and HAM-D17 rating scales, including symptom improvement (percent change in scale), response (≥50% decrease in scale), and remission (HAM-D6 ≤4 and HAM-D17 ≤7).
At week 8, the guided-care arm demonstrated statistically significant symptom improvement over TAU using HAM-D6 scale (Δ=4.4%, p=0.023), but not using the HAM-D17 scale (Δ=3.2%, p=0.069). The response rate increased significantly for guided-care compared with TAU using both HAM-D6 (Δ=7.0%, p=0.004) and HAM-D17 (Δ=6.3%, p=0.007). Remission rates were also significantly greater for guided-care versus TAU using both scales (HAM-D6 Δ=4.6%, p=0.031; HAM-D17 Δ=5.5%, p=0.005). Patients taking medication(s) predicted to have gene-drug interactions at baseline showed further increased benefit over TAU at week 8 using HAM-D6 for symptom improvement (Δ=7.3%, p=0.004) response (Δ=10.0%, p=0.001) and remission (Δ=7.9%, p=0.005). Comparatively, the magnitude of the differences in outcomes between arms at week 8 was lower using HAM-D17 (symptom improvement Δ=5.0%, p=0.029; response Δ=8.0%, p=0.008; remission Δ=7.5%, p=0.003).
Combinatorial PGx-guided care achieved significantly better patient outcomes compared with TAU when assessed using the HAM-D6 scale. These findings suggest that the HAM-D6 scale is better suited than is the HAM-D17 for evaluating change in randomized, controlled trials comparing active treatment arms.
Environmental information from place-names has largely been overlooked by geoarchaeologists and fluvial geomorphologists in analyses of the depositional histories of rivers and floodplains. Here, new flood chronologies for the rivers Teme, Severn, and Wye are presented, modelled from stable river sections excavated at Broadwas, Buildwas, and Rotherwas. These are connected by the Old English term *wæsse, interpreted as ‘land by a meandering river which floods and drains quickly’. The results reveal that, in all three places, flooding during the early medieval period occurred more frequently between AD 350–700 than between AD 700–1100, but that over time each river's flooding regime became more complex including high magnitude single events. In the sampled locations, the fluvial dynamics of localized flood events had much in common, and almost certainly differed in nature from other sections of their rivers, refining our understanding of the precise nature of flooding which their names sought to communicate. This study shows how the toponymic record can be helpful in the long-term reconstruction of historic river activity and for our understanding of past human perceptions of riverine environments.
We present a detailed overview of the cosmological surveys that we aim to carry out with Phase 1 of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA1) and the science that they will enable. We highlight three main surveys: a medium-deep continuum weak lensing and low-redshift spectroscopic HI galaxy survey over 5 000 deg2; a wide and deep continuum galaxy and HI intensity mapping (IM) survey over 20 000 deg2 from
$z = 0.35$
to 3; and a deep, high-redshift HI IM survey over 100 deg2 from
$z = 3$
to 6. Taken together, these surveys will achieve an array of important scientific goals: measuring the equation of state of dark energy out to
$z \sim 3$
with percent-level precision measurements of the cosmic expansion rate; constraining possible deviations from General Relativity on cosmological scales by measuring the growth rate of structure through multiple independent methods; mapping the structure of the Universe on the largest accessible scales, thus constraining fundamental properties such as isotropy, homogeneity, and non-Gaussianity; and measuring the HI density and bias out to
$z = 6$
. These surveys will also provide highly complementary clustering and weak lensing measurements that have independent systematic uncertainties to those of optical and near-infrared (NIR) surveys like Euclid, LSST, and WFIRST leading to a multitude of synergies that can improve constraints significantly beyond what optical or radio surveys can achieve on their own. This document, the 2018 Red Book, provides reference technical specifications, cosmological parameter forecasts, and an overview of relevant systematic effects for the three key surveys and will be regularly updated by the Cosmology Science Working Group in the run up to start of operations and the Key Science Programme of SKA1.
The Cassini Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) spans a wavelength range of 0.34 to 5.2 µm. Executing numerous close targeted flybys of the major moons of Saturn, as well as serendipitous flybys of the smaller moons, VIMS gathered millions of spectra of these bodies during its 13-year mission, some at spatial resolutions of a few hundred meters. The surfaces of the inner moons are dominated by water ice, while Iapetus, Hyperion, and Titan have substantial amounts of dark materials, including hydrocarbons, on their surfaces. Phoebe is grayer in color in the visible than Saturn’s other low-albedo moons. The surfaces of the inner small moons are also dominated by water ice, and they share compositional similarities to the main rings. The optical properties of the main moons are affected by particles from Saturn’s rings: the inner moons are coated by the E-ring, which originates from cryoactivity on Enceladus, while Iapetus and Hyperion are coated by particles from the Phoebe ring. Cassini VIMS detected previously unknown volatiles and organics on these moons, including CO2, H2, organic molecules as complex as aromatic hydrocarbons, nano-iron, and nano-iron oxides.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
In 2013, the national surveillance case definition for West Nile virus (WNV) disease was revised to remove fever as a criterion for neuroinvasive disease and require at most subjective fever for non-neuroinvasive disease. The aims of this project were to determine how often afebrile WNV disease occurs and assess differences among patients with and without fever. We included cases with laboratory evidence of WNV disease reported from four states in 2014. We compared demographics, clinical symptoms and laboratory evidence for patients with and without fever and stratified the analysis by neuroinvasive and non-neuroinvasive presentations. Among 956 included patients, 39 (4%) had no fever; this proportion was similar among patients with and without neuroinvasive disease symptoms. For neuroinvasive and non-neuroinvasive patients, there were no differences in age, sex, or laboratory evidence between febrile and afebrile patients, but hospitalisations were more common among patients with fever (P < 0.01). The only significant difference in symptoms was for ataxia, which was more common in neuroinvasive patients without fever (P = 0.04). Only 5% of non-neuroinvasive patients did not meet the WNV case definition due to lack of fever. The evidence presented here supports the changes made to the national case definition in 2013.
There are a variety of causes of acute heart failure in children including myocarditis, genetic/metabolic conditions, and congenital heart defects. In cases with a structurally normal heart and a negative personal and family history, myocarditis is often presumed to be the cause, but we hypothesise that genetic disorders contribute to a significant portion of these cases. We reviewed our cases of children who presented with acute heart failure and underwent genetic testing from 2008 to 2017. Eighty-seven percent of these individuals were found to have either a genetic syndrome or pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant in a cardiac-related gene. None of these individuals had a personal or family history of cardiomyopathy that was suggestive of a genetic aetiology prior to presentation. All of these individuals either passed away or were listed for cardiac transplantation indicating genetic testing may provide important information regarding prognosis in addition to providing information critical to assessment of family members.
Research on the drivers of vaccine acceptance has expanded but most interventions fall short of coverage targets. We explored whether vaccine uptake is driven directly or indirectly by disgust with attitudes towards vaccines acting as a possible mediator. An online cross-sectional study of 1007 adults of the USA via Amazon's Mechanical Turk was conducted in January 2017. The questionnaire consisted of four sections: (1) items assessing attitudes towards vaccines and vaccine uptake, (2) revised Disgust Scale (DS-R) to measure Disgust Sensitivity, (3) Perceived Vulnerability to Disease scale (PVD) to measure Germ Aversion and Perceived Susceptibility, and (4) socio-demographic information. Using mediation analysis, we assess the direct, the indirect (through Vaccine Attitudes) and the total effect of Disgust Sensitivity, Germ Aversion and Perceived Susceptibility on 2016 self-reported flu vaccine uptake. Mediation analysis showed the effect of Disgust Sensitivity and Germ Aversion on vaccine uptake to be twofold: a direct positive effect on vaccine uptake and an indirect negative effect through Vaccine Attitudes. In contrast, Perceived Susceptibility was found to have only a direct positive effect on vaccine uptake. Nonetheless, these effects were attenuated and small compared to economic, logistic and psychological determinants of vaccine uptake.
Patient expectancy is an important source of placebo effects in antidepressant clinical trials, but all prior studies measured expectancy prior to the initiation of medication treatment. Little is known about how expectancy changes during the course of treatment and how such changes influence clinical outcome. Consequently, we undertook the first analysis to date of in-treatment expectancy during antidepressant treatment to identify its clinical and demographic correlates, typical trajectories, and associations with treatment outcome.
Data were combined from two randomized controlled trials of antidepressant medication for major depressive disorder in which baseline and in-treatment expectancy assessments were available. Machine learning methods were used to identify pre-treatment clinical and demographic predictors of expectancy. Multilevel models were implemented to test the effects of expectancy on subsequent treatment outcome, disentangling within- and between-patient effects.
Random forest analyses demonstrated that whereas more severe depressive symptoms predicted lower pre-treatment expectancy, in-treatment expectancy was unrelated to symptom severity. At each measurement point, increased in-treatment patient expectancy significantly predicted decreased depressive symptoms at the following measurement (B = −0.45, t = −3.04, p = 0.003). The greater the gap between expected treatment outcomes and actual depressive severity, the greater the subsequent symptom reductions were (B = 0.49, t = 2.33, p = 0.02).
Greater in-treatment patient expectancy is associated with greater subsequent depressive symptom reduction. These findings suggest that clinicians may benefit from monitoring and optimizing patient expectancy during antidepressant treatment. Expectancy may represent another treatment parameter, similar to medication compliance and side effects, to be regularly monitored during antidepressant clinical management.
Utilising routine surveillance data, this study presents a method for generating a baseline comparison that can be used in future foodborne outbreak investigations following a case–case methodology. Salmonella and Campylobacter cases (2012–2015) from Maricopa County, AZ were compared to determine differences in risk factors, symptoms and demographics. For foods and other risk factors, adjusted odds ratios were developed using Campylobacter as the reference. Comparisons were also made for three major Salmonella subtypes, Typhimurium, Enteritidis and Poona as compared with Campylobacter. Salmonella cases were younger, while Campylobacter cases were more Hispanic and female. Campylobacter cases reported consuming peppers, sprouts, poultry, queso fresco, eggs and raw nuts more and reported contact with animal products, birds, visiting a farm or dairy, owning a pet, a sick pet, swimming in a river, lake or pond, or handling multiple raw meats more. Salmonella cases reported visiting a petting zoo and contact with a reptile more. There were significant variations by Salmonella subtype in both foods and exposures. We recommend departments conduct this analysis to generate a baseline comparison and a running average of relevant odds ratios allowing staff to focus on trace-back of contaminated food items earlier in the outbreak investigation process.