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Understanding the clinical risk factors for COVID-19 disease severity and outcomes requires a combination of data from electronic health records and patient reports. To facilitate the collection of patient-reported data, as well as accelerate and standardize the collection of data about host factors, we have constructed a COVID-19 survey. This survey is freely available to the scientific community to send electronically for patients to complete online. This patient survey is designed to be comprehensive, yet not overly burdensome, to gather data useful for a range of clinical investigations, and to accommodate a wide variety of implementation settings including at a COVID-19 testing site, at home during infection or after recovery, and/or for individuals while they are hospitalized. A widely adopted standardized survey that can be implemented online with minimal resources can serve as a critical tool for combining and comparing data across studies to improve our understanding of COVID-19 disease.
In 2019, a 42-year-old African man who works as an Ebola virus disease (EVD) researcher traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), near an ongoing EVD epidemic, to Philadelphia and presented to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Emergency Department with altered mental status, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. He was classified as a “wet” person under investigation for EVD, and his arrival activated our hospital emergency management command center and bioresponse teams. He was found to be in septic shock with multisystem organ dysfunction, including circulatory dysfunction, encephalopathy, metabolic lactic acidosis, acute kidney injury, acute liver injury, and diffuse intravascular coagulation. Critical care was delivered within high-risk pathogen isolation in the ED and in our Special Treatment Unit until a diagnosis of severe cerebral malaria was confirmed and EVD was definitively excluded.
This report discusses our experience activating a longitudinal preparedness program designed for rare, resource-intensive events at hospitals physically remote from any active epidemic but serving a high-volume international air travel port-of-entry.
Effectively addressing public health crises requires dynamic and nimble interdisciplinary collaborations across the translational spectrum, from bench to clinic to community. The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program hubs are uniquely suited to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations across universities and academic medical centers. This paper describes the activities at the Columbia University CTSA Program hub to address a current public health crisis, the opioid epidemic. Columbia’s CTSA Program hub led a three-phase approach, based on the Conceptual Model of Transdisciplinary Scientific Collaboration as described by Stokols et al.: (1) a university-wide planning and brainstorming phase to identify key leaders across many domains who are influential in addressing the opioid epidemic, (2) a campus-wide and community outreach to identify all interested parties, and (3) ongoing targeted support for collaboration development. Preliminary metrics of success are interdisciplinary collaborations and grant funding. We describe recent examples of how interdisciplinary collaboration, academic-community partnership, and pilot funding contributed to the development and funding of innovative interdisciplinary research, including the New York site of the HEALing Communities initiative. The processes are now being used to support interdisciplinary approaches for other translational public health issues.
We explored whether supported (SJE) or coordinated joint engagement (CJE) between mothers recruited from the community and their 24-month-old children who were slow-to-talk at 18 months old were associated with child language scores at ages 24, 36, and 48 months (n = 197). We further explored whether SJE or CJE modified the concurrent positive associations between maternal responsive behaviours and language scores. Previous research has shown that SJE, maternal expansions, imitations, and responsive questions were associated with better language scores. Our main finding was that SJE but not CJE was consistently positively associated with 24- and 36-month-old expressive and receptive language scores, but not with 48-month-old language scores. SJE modified how expansions and imitations, but not responsive questions, were associated with language scores; the associations were evident in all but the highest levels of SJE. Further research is necessary to test these findings in other samples before clinical recommendations can be made.
This study aimed to examine a range of factors influencing the long-term recovery of New York City residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In a series of logistic regressions, we analyzed data from a survey of New York City residents to assess self-reported recovery status from Hurricane Sandy.
General health, displacement from home, and household income had substantial influences on recovery. Individuals with excellent or fair health were more likely to have recovered than were individuals with poor health. Those with high and middle income were more likely to have recovered than were those with low income. Also, individuals who had not experienced a decrease in household income following Hurricane Sandy had higher odds of recovery than the odds for those with decreased income. Additionally, displacement from the home decreased the odds of recovery. Individuals who applied for assistance from the Build it Back program and the Federal Emergency Management Agency had lower odds of recovering than did those who did not apply.
The study outlines the critical importance of health and socioeconomic factors in long-term disaster recovery and highlights the need for increased consideration of those factors in post-disaster interventions and recovery monitoring. More research is needed to assess the effectiveness of state and federal assistance programs, particularly among disadvantaged populations. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:172–175)
Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) has been reported to rapidly reduce psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. This has the potential to revolutionize treatment for schizophrenia. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that SNP leads to a reduction in psychotic symptoms and an improvement in spatial working memory (SWM) performance in patients with schizophrenia.
This was a single-centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial performed from 27 August 2014 to 10 February 2016 (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02176044). Twenty patients with schizophrenia aged 18–60 years with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were recruited from psychiatric outpatient clinics in the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London, UK. Baseline symptoms were measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the 18-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS-18), and SWM was assessed using the CANTAB computerized test. Participants received either an infusion of SNP (0.5 μg/kg per min for 4 h) or placebo and were re-assessed for symptoms and SWM performance immediately after the infusion, and 4 weeks later.
SNP did not lead to any reduction in psychotic symptoms or improvement in SWM performance compared to placebo.
Although this study was negative, it is possible that the beneficial effects of SNP may occur in patients with a shorter history of illness, or with more acute exacerbation of symptoms.
β-Glucans have been identified as natural biomolecules with immunomodulatory activity. The first objective of the present study was to compare the effects of purified β-glucans derived from Laminariadigitata, L. hyperborea and Saccharomyces cerevisiae on piglet performance, selected bacterial populations and intestinal volatile fatty acid (VFA) production. The second aim was to compare the gene expression profiles of the markers of pro- and anti-inflammation in both unchallenged and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged ileal and colonic tissues. β-Glucans were included at 250 mg/kg in the diets. The β-glucans derived from L. hyperborea, L. digitata and S. cerevisiae all reduced the Enterobacteriaceae population (P < 0·05) without influencing the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria populations (P>0·05) in the ileum and colon. There was a significant interaction between gastrointestinal region and β-glucan source in the expression of cytokine markers, IL-1α (P < 0·001), IL-10 (P < 0·05), TNF-α (P < 0·05) and IL-17A (P < 0·001). β-Glucans did not stimulate any pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokine markers in the ileal epithelial cells. In contrast, the expression of a panel of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1α, IL-10, TNF-α and IL-17A) was down-regulated in the colon following exposure to β-glucans from all the three sources. However, the data suggest that the soluble β-glucans derived from L. digitata may be acting via a different mechanism from the insoluble β-glucans derived from L. hyperborea and S. cerevisiae, as the VFA profile was different in the L. digitata-treated animals. There was an increase in IL-8 gene expression (P < 0·05) in the gastrointestinal tract from the animals exposed to L. digitata following an LPS ex vivo challenge that was not evident in the other two treatment groups. In conclusion, β-glucans from both seaweed and yeast sources reduce Enterobacteriaceae counts and pro-inflammatory markers in the colon, though the mechanisms of action may be different between the soluble and insoluble fibre sources.
This paper presents the results of a gradiometer survey conducted on the summit of Etowah's largest mound, Mound A, which stands some 19 m tall. Those results are compared to limited excavation data from the summit of Mound A as well as information from the wider region on mound summit architecture. The gradiometer results reveal the presence of as many as four buildings and an open-ended portico that are arranged around an open space and obscured from view below in the plaza. We argue that decisions about the kinds of buildings constructed and their arrangement reveal the interplay between agency and structure at a point of ambiguity in the history of Etowah. The buildings located on the summit of Mound A were built after the site had been abandoned and reoccupied. With that reoccupation, agents and their followers both connected to local traditions and attempted to reformulate them.
The aim of the present study was to establish the optimum inclusion level of laminarin derived from Laminaria digitata on selected microbial populations, intestinal fermentation, cytokine and mucin gene expression in the porcine ileum and colon. A total of twenty-one pigs (mean body weight 17·9 kg) were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments: T1 – basal (control) diet, T2 and T3 – basal diets supplemented with laminarin included at 300 and 600 parts per million (ppm), respectively. Selected intestinal bacterial populations and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations were measured in the ileum and colon. Relative gene expression levels for specific cytokine and mucin genes were investigated in ileal and colonic tissue in the absence and presence of a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. There was an up-regulation of MUC2 gene expression at the 300 ppm inclusion level in the ileum. In the colon, there was a significant reduction in the enterobacteriaceae population at the 300 ppm inclusion level (P = 0·0421). Dietary supplementation of 600 ppm laminarin led to a significant increase in MUC2 (P = 0·0365) and MUC4 (P = 0·0401) expression in the colon, and in the total VFA concentration in the caecum (P = 0·0489). A significant increase was also recorded in IL-6 (P = 0·0289) and IL-8 gene expression (P = 0·0245) in LPS-challenged colonic tissue at both laminarin inclusion levels. In conclusion, dietary inclusion of 300 ppm laminarin appears to be the optimum dose in the present study due to the reduction in the enterobacteriaceae populations and enhanced IL-6 and IL-8 cytokine expression in response to an ex vivo LPS challenge.
An outbreak of keratoconjunctivitis is described which involved at least 186 people; adenovirus type 8 was identified in 50 of the cases. Topical human fibroblast interferon was assessed in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which 34 patients participated. Seventeen of the 34 trial patients yielded adenovirus type 8; three were infected with adenovirus type 7. The outbreak was curtailed by control of infection measures: principally careful hand-washing by medical personnel between cases and by discouraging attendance of new cases at the Eye Infirmary. Consequently the trial numbers are small. In addition there was a wide interpatient variation in the severity of infection. Therefore it was not possible to make any statistically valid conclusions concerning the recovery rate of patients receiving interferon or placebo.
Between 1980–5, 224 outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with poultry-meat were reported in Scotland. In total 2245 persons were affected, 12 of whom died. Twenty-one salmonella serotypes were identified from those affected, while 33 serotypes were isolated from poultry during routine monitoring and disease investigation. Existing measures to prevent the spread of salmonellae within poultry flocks and processing plants are failing. It is suggested that irradiation of poultry-meat may be the only effective method of reducing the public health problem of poultry-borne salmonellosis.
This study reports on a preliminary evaluation of a cognitive behavioural intervention to improve social recovery among young people in the early stages of psychosis showing persistent signs of poor social functioning and unemployment. The study was a single-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) with two arms, 35 participants receiving cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) plus treatment as usual (TAU), and 42 participants receiving TAU alone. Participants were assessed at baseline and post-treatment.
Seventy-seven participants were recruited from secondary mental health teams after presenting with a history of unemployment and poor social outcome. The cognitive behavioural intervention was delivered over a 9-month period with a mean of 12 sessions. The primary outcomes were weekly hours spent in constructive economic and structured activity. A range of secondary and tertiary outcomes were also assessed.
Intention-to-treat analysis on the combined affective and non-affective psychosis sample showed no significant impact of treatment on primary or secondary outcomes. However, analysis of interactions by diagnostic subgroup was significant for secondary symptomatic outcomes on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) [F(1, 69)=3.99, p=0.05]. Subsequent exploratory analyses within diagnostic subgroups revealed clinically important and significant improvements in weekly hours in constructive and structured activity and PANSS scores among people with non-affective psychosis.
The primary study comparison provided no clear evidence for the benefit of CBT in a combined sample of patients. However, planned analyses with diagnostic subgroups showed important benefits for CBT among people with non-affective psychosis who have social recovery problems. These promising results need to be independently replicated in a larger, multi-centre RCT.
An experiment (complete randomised design) was conducted to investigate the effects of Laminaria hyperborea and Laminaria digitata seaweed extract inclusion on gut morphology, selected intestinal microbiota populations, volatile fatty acid concentrations and the immune status of the weaned pig. Twenty-eight piglets (24 days of age, 6.5 ± 1.4 kg live weight) were assigned to one of four dietary treatments for 7 days and then sacrificed: (T1) basal diet (control); (T2) basal diet and 1.5 g/kg L. hyperborea seaweed extract; (T3) basal diet and 1.5 g/kg L. digitata seaweed extract; and (T4) basal diet and 1.5 g/kg of a combination of L. hyperborea and L. digitata seaweed extract. The seaweed extract contained both laminarin and fucoidan. Digesta samples were taken from the caecum and colon to measure the enterobacteria, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli populations and for volatile fatty acid analysis. Tissue samples were taken from the duodenum, jejunum and ileum for morphological examination. Blood samples were taken to determine the cytokine gene expression profile and to measure the phagocytotic capacity of the blood. Pigs offered diets containing L. hyperborea seaweed extract had less bifidobacteria in the colon (P < 0.05) and lactobacilli in the caecum (P < 0.05) and colon (P < 0.001). The inclusion of L. digitata seaweed extract resulted in lower populations of enterobacteria in the caecum and colon (P < 0.01), bifidobacteria in the caecum (P < 0.05), and lactobacilli in the caecum (P < 0.05) and colon (P < 0.001). Pigs offered the combination of L. hyperborea and L. digitata seaweed extracts had less enterobacteria (P < 0.05) and lactobacilli (P < 0.01) in the caecum and colon. Pigs offered the L. digitata-supplemented diet had a reduced villous height in the duodenum and jejunum (P < 0.05). The inclusion of the L. digitata seaweed extract increased the molar proportion of butyric acid in the colon (P < 0.05). There was a significant reduction in the ammonia concentration in the colon with the inclusion of L. hyperborea (P < 0.01) and L. digitata (P < 0.05) seaweed extracts. An increase in the expression of the Interleukin-8 mRNA was observed on day 6 with the supplementation of the combination of L. hyperborea and L. digitata seaweed extract (P < 0.05). The inclusion of L. hyperborea seaweed extract resulted in an increase in total monocyte number (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the supplementation of L. hyperborea and L. digitata seaweed extract alone and in combination reduced the enterobacteria, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli populations in the caecum and colon, while only marginal effects on the immune response was observed.
To describe an outbreak of invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection after percutaneous needle procedures (acupuncture and joint injection) performed by a single medical practitioner.
A medical practitioner's office and 4 hospitals in Perth, Western Australia.
Eight individuals who developed invasive MRSA infection after acupuncture or joint injection performed by the medical practitioner.
We performed a prospective and retrospective outbreak investigation, including MRSA colonization surveillance, environmental sampling for MRSA, and detailed molecular typing of MRSA isolates. We performed an infection control audit of the medical practitioner's premises and practices and administered MRSA decolonization therapy to the medical practitioner.
Eight cases of invasive MRSA infection were identified. Seven cases occurred as a cluster in May 2004; another case (identified retrospectively) occurred approximately 15 months earlier in February 2003. The primary sites of infection were the neck, shoulder, lower back, and hip: 5 patients had septic arthritis and bursitis, and 3 had pyomyositis; 3 patients had bacteremia, including 1 patient with possible endocarditis. The medical practitioner was found to be colonized with the same MRSA clone [ST22-MRSA-IV (EMRSA-15)] at 2 time points: shortly after the first case of infection in March 2003 and again in May 2004. After the medical practitioner's premises and practices were audited and he himself received MRSA decolonization therapy, no further cases were identified.
This outbreak most likely resulted from a breakdown in sterile technique during percutaneous needle procedures, resulting in the transmission of MRSA from the medical practitioner to the patients. This report demonstrates the importance of surveillance and molecular typing in the identification and control of outbreaks of MRSA infection.
The Macarthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI) have been used widely to document early communicative development. The paper reports on a large community sample of 1,447 children recruited from low, middle and high socioeconomic (SES) areas across metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Regression analyses were conducted to determine the extent to which communicative behaviours reported at 0 ; 8 and 1 ; 0 predicted vocabulary development at 1 ; 0 and 2 ; 0. In support of previous findings with smaller, often less representative samples, gesture and object use at 1 ; 0 were better predictors of 2 ; 0 vocabulary than were gesture and object use at 0 ; 8. At 1 ; 0, children from the lower SES groups were reported to understand more words than children from the higher SES groups, but there were no SES differences for words produced at 1 ; 0 or 2 ; 0. The findings add to our understanding of the variability in the development of early communicative behaviours.