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The aim of this study was to quantify the time delay between screening and initiation of contact isolation for carriers of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)–producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E).
This study was a secondary analysis of contact isolation periods in a cluster-randomized controlled trial that compared 2 strategies to control ESBL-E (trial no. ISRCTN57648070). Patients admitted to 20 non-ICU wards in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland were screened for ESBL-E carriage on admission, weekly thereafter, and on discharge. Data collection included the day of sampling, the day the wards were notified of the result, and subsequent ESBL-E isolation days.
Between January 2014 and August 2016, 19,122 patients, with a length of stay ≥2 days were included. At least 1 culture was collected for 16,091 patients (84%), with a median duration between the admission day and the day of first sample collection of 2 days (interquartile range [IQR], 1–3). Moreover, 854 (41%) of all 2,078 ESBL-E carriers remained without isolation during their hospital stay. In total, 6,040 ESBL-E days (32% of all ESBL-E days) accrued for patients who were not isolated. Of 2,078 ESBL-E-carriers, 1,478 ESBL-E carriers (71%) had no previous history of ESBL-E carriage. Also, 697 (34%) were placed in contact isolation with a delay of 4 days (IQR, 2–5), accounting for 2,723 nonisolation days (15% of ESBL-E days).
Even with extensive surveillance screening, almost one-third of all ESBL-E days were nonisolation days. Limitations in routine culture-based ESBL-E detection impeded timely and exhaustive implementation of targeted contact isolation.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) occur more frequently during periods of warmer temperatures. We aimed to investigate for which pathogens this association is particularly strong.
A retrospective observational study was conducted.
Data from the SSI-module of the German nosocomial infection surveillance system between 2000 and 2016 were linked with data from the German Meteorological Service. Patient- and procedure-related data were associated with monthly aggregated meteorological data. Due to high correlation with other meteorological parameters, we focused on the outside temperature. Adjusted odds ratios were calculated for SSI rates relating to temperature. SSIs were stratified by pathogen. A P value of <.05 was considered significant.
Altogether, 2,004,793 procedures resulting in 32,118 SSIs were included. Generally, warmer temperatures were associated with a higher SSI risk, especially for SSIs with gram-negative pathogens. This association was particularly prominent for Acinetobacter spp, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and certain Enterobacteriaceae. Per additional 1°C, we observed a 6% increase in the SSI risk for Acinetobacter spp and a 4% increase for Enterobacter spp. Superficial SSIs with Acinetobacter spp were 10 times more likely to occur when comparing surgeries in months with mean temperatures of ≥20°C to mean temperatures of <5°C.
Higher temperatures were associated with increased SSI rates caused by gram-negative bacteria. Future SSI prevention measures should consider this aspect. Underlying shifts in microbiome composition due to climate factors should be included in further analyses. Given the expected rise of global temperatures until the end of the century, this topic has relevance from multiple perspectives.
Background: Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global health problem predominantly driven by overuse of antibiotics. In humans, most antibiotics are used outside the hospital. Overprescribing for acute respiratory infections (ARIs) is common despite clear guidelines. The need for further training of general practitioners is well known. Objective: To develop and evaluate a massive open online course (MOOC) on antibiotic therapy of common infectious diseases in general practice. Methods: A 4-week MOOC was developed on the basis of previous face-to-face trainings (platform, Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering) and was conducted 3 times between July 10, 2017, and May 31, 2019. The course was promoted through various general practitioner (GP) networks, local multipliers, and conferences and in the local trade press. In addition to epidemiological background information, the focus was on guideline-based diagnostics and treatment of ARI, side effects of antibiotics, correct drug selection, dosage and duration of indicated antibiotic therapy, as well as aspects of doctor–patient communication. Content included videos, self-tests, additional written material, and an optional exam. At the end of the course, participants were asked to complete a voluntary, anonymous online assessment questionnaire (LimeSurveyPro software). Usage data from the MOOC platform and data from the questionnaire were analyzed using IBM SPSS statistical software. Results: In total, 2,177 registered persons retrieved content (= learners). The proportion of learners dropped from 99.6% in week 1 to 40.7% in week 4. However, among those attending week 4, the average proportion of content used was still high (74.5%). Furthermore, 27.5% of learners completed the course, 23.8% took the exam, and 19.7% passed the exam. Moreover, 284 learners answered the assessment questionnaire (response rate, 13.0%); 62.3% were women, and the mean age was 45.9 years. Also, 225 participants (79.2%) stated that they were physicians; 122 of these worked as general practitioners (54.2% of physicians). Among the other physicians, 23% stated were in specialist training and 15.6% had a different specialist designation. The average overall rating of the course was 1.31 (1 = very good to 6 = not sufficient). General practitioners rated it slightly better than other physicians (1.23 vs 1.41). The clinical relevance was rated at 1.27 (GPs vs other physicians, 1.18 vs 1.35). For all scores, see Table 1. Conclusions: A massive open online course appears to be an appropriate format in which to deliver clinical relevant content concerning prudent antibiotic use in the outpatient setting. It is a good complement to existing face-to-face formats and helps to cover needs related to antibiotic training.
Background: Hand hygiene is one of the most effective measures to prevent healthcare-associated infections and transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms in healthcare settings. The WHO proposes a multimodal intervention strategy to improve hand hygiene in healthcare settings. In 2008, a voluntary national campaign for hand hygiene was implemented in the German healthcare system. The objective of this study was to evaluate participation, practices, and performance of hand hygiene in German acute-care hospitals. Methods: In 2008 a national hand hygiene campaign began in Germany. Based on voluntary participation, the campaign’s goal was to implement the WHO 5 Moments model, to establish a national surveillance system for compliance to hand hygiene, to improve availability of alcohol-based hand-rub (ABHR) dispensers at points of care, and to implement interdisciplinary executive boards at each hospital to ensure sustainable implementation. Annual data on ABHR consumption and patient days (PD) were collected within the national surveillance system (HAND-KISS) on the individual ward level and were validated. Direct observation of compliance was performed according the recommendations of the WHO. Results: Overall, 1,047 of 1,942 acute-care hospitals in Germany participated in the national hand hygiene campaign in 2018, covering 81,571,917 patient days. Moreover, 9,360 regular wards (RWs), 338 intermediate care units (IMCs) and 1,342 intensive care units (ICUs) provided data on ABHR consumption. Between 2007 and 2018 in the ICU, ABHR consumption increased continuously from 70 mL/PD (IQR, 52–98) to 129 mL/PD (IQR, 102–162). In intermediate care units, ABHR consumption increased from 40 mL/PD (IQR, 15–54) to 67 mL/PD (IQR, 46–95), and on regular wards, ABHR consumption increased from 14 mL/PD (IQR, 10–21) to 29 mL/PD (IQR, 22–39). These increases were especially pronounced in wards that continuously provided annual data for ABHR consumption over the past 12 years. In 2014, electronic documentation for direct observation of compliance to hand hygiene was established. From 2014 until 2018, 1,598,209 opportunities were observed on 1,907 wards of 422 hospitals. The median directly observed compliance in 2018 was 76% (IQR, 66%–84%). Median compliance to the 5 Moments was 71% (IQR, 57%–82%) before touching a patient, 68% (IQR, 51%–85%) before clean or aseptic procedures, 83% (IQR, 72%–92%) after body fluid exposure or risk, 84% (IQR, 75%–90%) after touching a patient, and 74% (IQR, 61%–84%) after touching patient surroundings. Conclusions: The WHO multimodal intervention strategy has been successfully established in German acute-care hospitals. A surveillance system for ABHR consumption and direct observation of compliance to hand hygiene are widely used by hospitals in Germany. Hand hygiene practices have significantly improved in the German healthcare system.
Background: Various studies have linked periods of warmer temperatures to an increased occurrence of surgical site infections (SSIs) and healthcare-associated infections in general. In an observational study, we sought to determine the pathogens for which this association was especially strong. Method: Patient- and procedure-related data of the SSI-module of the German nosocomial infection surveillance system were linked with monthly aggregated meteorological data from the German Meteorological Service for a period from 2000 to 2016. Due to high correlation with other meteorological parameters, analyses were executed focusing on the outside ambient temperature. Temperature was regarded as both a continuous variable and a categorical variable with different temperature intervals (5°C steps ranging from <5°C to ≥20°C). Through multivariable logistic regression analysis, adjusted odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated for SSI rates relating to temperature. SSIs were stratified by pathogen and depth of infiltration. Result: Altogether, 2,004,793 procedures, conducted in 1,455 German surgical departments and resulting in 32,118 SSIs, were included. A general association of warmer mean temperatures in the month of surgery with an increased SSI-risk was observed, particularly for SSIs caused by gram-negative pathogens. Stratification by pathogen revealed that the association was especially prominent for Acinetobacter spp, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and certain Enterobacteriaceae. Per additional 1°C, we observed a 6% increase in the risk for SSIs caused by Acinetobacter spp (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.04–1.09), and a 4% increase in the risk for SSIs caused by Enterobacter spp (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.03–1.05). Among gram-positive pathogens, temperature-association was strongest for Staphylococcus aureus. Superficial SSIs showed a higher temperature-association than deeper SSIs. The risk for superficial SSIs with Acinetobacter spp significantly increased >10-fold after surgeries conducted in months with a mean temperature of ≥20°C in reference to <5°C. For Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we observed a >2-fold statistically significant increase in the risk for superficial SSIs, when comparing the same temperature categories (≥20°C vs <5°C). Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that higher temperatures were associated with increased SSI-rates caused by gram-negative bacteria. As a consequence, future SSI-prevention measures should place a higher emphasis on the parameter season as part of a more tailormade, personalized approach at infection prevention. For instance, it may be conceivable to seasonally adjust decolonizing regimes and certain prophylaxes. Underlying shifts in microbiome composition due to meteorological factors should be considered in further analyses. Given the expected rise of global temperatures until the end of the century, the topic gains relevance from multiple perspectives.
In light of the infection risk associated with external ventricular drainage (EVD), we decided to establish the surveillance of EVD-associated meningitis/ventriculitis in German intensive care units (ICUs) in the framework of the German national nosocomial infection surveillance system (KISS). Here, we present the current reference data and subsequent risk-factor analysis for EVD-associated meningitis/ventriculitis rates.
The surveillance method corresponds with the surveillance methods for device-associated infections recommended by the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). All ICUs participating for at least 1 month from 2008 to 2016 in the module ICU-KISS were included in the reference dataset and the multivariate analysis.
Current reference data (2008–2016) are based on input from 157 ICUs. The mean EVD-associated meningitis/ventriculitis rate per 1,000 EVD days was 3.96, with little variation between neurosurgical, surgical, interdisciplinary (hospitals with >400 beds), and neurological ICUs. In total, 893 EVD-associated meningitis/ventriculitis cases and 225,351 EVD days were included in the risk-factor analysis. After multivariate analysis, 2 factors remained significant: (1) stay in an ICU labeled other than neurosurgical, surgical, interdisciplinary (>400 beds), and neurological as a protective factor and (2) EVD utilization rate above the 75th quantile as a risk factor for acquisition of EVD-associated meningitis/ventriculitis.
EVD-associated meningitis and ventriculitis are frequent complications of care in intensive care patients at risk. A long hospital stay and/or the presence of the EVD puts the patient at high risk for pathogen acquisition with subsequent infection.
Annual surveillance data (2007–2015), collected continuously in 132 German hospitals, was evaluated for development of alcohol-based hand-rub consumption (AHC) as a surrogate parameter for hand hygiene adherence. Overall, the median increase in AHC was 94%. The increases over 9 years were significant in all units and quartiles of AHC at baseline.
To improve the patient safety of very-low-birthweight infants in neonatal departments in Germany.
Multicenter cohort study with a baseline (24 months), an intervention (12 months), and a postinterventional follow-up period (12 months) and time series analysis.
Very-low-birthweight patients from 32 neonatal departments in Germany.
Neonatal departments showing a standardized infection ratio of bloodstream infection 10% higher than the expected number (standardized infection ratio ≥1.1) were invited to participate in the study. To reduce the occurrence of primary bloodstream infections, evidence-based bundles to improve catheter maintenance routines, insertion practice, and hand-hygiene compliance were implemented in the participating infirmaries.
Thirty-four departments participated in the study and 32 reported data. In total, 6,222 very-low-birthweight infants with 231,868 patient-days and 1,405 cases of bloodstream infections were analyzed. In the baseline period the pooled mean bloodstream infection rate was 6.63 (95% CI, 6.17–7.12) per 1,000 patient-days. The bloodstream infection rate decreased in the intervention period to 5.68 (relative risk, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.76–0.97]) and in the 1-year follow-up period to 5.31 per 1,000 patient-days (relative risk, 0.80 [95% CI, 0.70–0.92]). The multivariable time series analysis of monthly aggregated data showed a significant change in the slope for the frequency of bloodstream infections from the start to the end of the intervention (change in slope incidence rate ratio, 0.97; P=.001).
The implementation of an intervention bundle is feasible and can reduce bloodstream infections in neonatal departments.
To quantify the Hawthorne effect of hand hygiene performance among healthcare workers using direct observation.
Prospective observational study.
Intensive care unit, university hospital.
Direct observation of hand hygiene compliance over 48 audits of 2 hours each. Simultaneously, hand hygiene events (HHEs) were recorded using electronic alcohol-based handrub dispensers. Directly observed and electronically recorded HHEs during the 2 hours of direct observation were compared using Spearman correlations and Bland-Altman plots. To quantify the Hawthorne effect, we compared the number of electronically recorded HHEs during the direct observation periods with the re-scaled electronically recorded HHEs in the 6 remaining hours of the 8-hour working shift.
A total of 3,978 opportunities for hand hygiene were observed during the 96 hours of direct observation. Hand hygiene compliance was 51% (95% CI, 49%–53%). There was a strong positive correlation between directly observed compliance and electronically recorded HHEs (ρ=0.68 [95% CI, 0.49–0.81], P<.0001). In the 384 hours under surveillance, 4,180 HHEs were recorded by the electronic dispensers. Of those, 2,029 HHEs were recorded during the 96 hours in which direct observation was also performed, and 2,151 HHEs were performed in the remaining 288 hours of the same working shift that were not under direct observation. Healthcare workers performed 8 HHEs per hour when not under observation compared with 21 HHEs per hour during observation.
Directly and electronically observed HHEs were in agreement. We observed a marked influence of the Hawthorne effect on hand hygiene performance.
Germany established a national surveillance system for alcohol-based hand rub consumption (AHC) in 2008. In 2010, the median AHC was 83 mL/patient-day in 543 intensive care units (ICUs) and 18 mL/patient-day in 4,638 non-ICUs. There was a median increase in AHC of 35.9% (P < .01) in 159 hospitals that participated in the surveillance system for 4 years.
Laminar airflow (LAF) systems are widely used, at least in orthopedic surgery. However, there is still controversial discussion about the influence of LAF on surgical site infection (SSI) rates. The size of the LAF ceiling is also often a question of debate. Our objective is to determine the effect of this technique under conditions of actual rather than ideal use.
Cohort study using multivariate analysis with generalized estimating equations method.
Data for hip and knee prosthesis procedures from hospitals participating in the German national nosocomial infection surveillance system (KISS) from July 2004 to June 2009 were used for analysis.
A total of 33,463 elective hip prosthesis procedures due to arthrosis (HIP-A) from 48 hospitals, 7,749 urgent hip prosthesis procedures due to fracture (HIP-F) from 41 hospitals, and 20,554 knee prosthesis (KPRO) procedures from 38 hospitals were included.
The data were analyzed for hospitals with and without LAF in the operating rooms and by the size of the LAF ceiling. The endpoints were severe SSI rates.
The overall severe SSI rate was 0.74 per 100 procedures for HIP-A, 2.39 for HIP-F, and 0.63 for KPRO. For all 3 prosthesis types, neither LAF nor the size of the LAF ceiling was associated with lower infection risk.
The data demonstrate consistency and reproducibility with the results from earlier registry studies. Neither LAF nor ceiling size had an impact on severe SSI rates.
To assess the representativeness of the data in the Krankenhaus Infektions Surveillance System (KISS), which is a nosocomial infections surveillance system for intensive care units (ICUs) in Germany.
Prospective and retrospective surveillance study.
Medical-surgical ICUs in Germany.
A sample of medical-surgical ICUs from all over Germany, stratified according to hospital size, was randomly selected. Surveillance personnel from the hospitals were trained in surveillance of nosocomial infections, and they subsequently conducted a 2-month surveillance in their ICUs. Data were compared with KISS data for medical-surgical ICUs.
During the period from 2004 through 2005, a total of 50 medical-surgical ICUs agreed to participate in our study: 21,832 patient-days were surveyed, and 262 cases of nosocomial infection were registered, 176 of which were cases of device-associated nosocomial infection (100 cases of lower respiratory tract infection, 47 cases of urinary tract infection, and 29 cases of bloodstream infection). The overall incidence density of all types of nosocomial infections was estimated to be 10.65 cases per 1,000 patient-days. Device utilization rates in the study ICUs and in the KISS medical-surgical ICUs were similar. The pooled mean device-associated infection rates were higher in the study ICUs than in the KISS medical-surgical ICUs (10.2 vs 5.1 cases of pneumonia; 2.0 vs 1.2 cases of bloodstream infection; and 2.7 vs 1.2 cases of urinary tract infection), but the pooled mean device-associated infection rates in the study ICUs were comparable to those of the KISS ICUs during their first year of participation in KISS. The incidence density for nosocomial infections in the study ICUs varied according hospital size, with ICUs in larger hospitals having a higher incidence density than those in smaller hospitals.
KISS ICUs started with nosocomial infection rates comparable to those found in our study ICUs. Over the years of participation, however, a decrease in nosocomial infections is seen. Thus, rates of nosocomial infection from KISS should be used as benchmarks, but estimations for Germany that are based on KISS data may underestimate the real burden of nosocomial infections.
To describe the relationship between the use of central and peripheral venous catheters and the risk of nosocomial, primary, laboratory-confirmed bloodstream infection (BSI) for neonates with a birth weight less than 1,500 g (very-low-birth-weight [VLBW] infants).
Cox proportional hazard regression analysis with time-dependent variable was used to determine the risk factors for the occurrence of BSI in a cohort of VLBW infants. We analyzed previously collected surveillance data from the German national nosocomial surveillance system for VLBW infants. All VLBW infants in 22 participating neonatal departments who had a complete daily record of patient information were included.
Of 2,126 VLBW infants, 261 (12.3%) developed a BSI. The incidence density for BSI was 3.3 per 1,000 patient-days. The multivariate analysis identified the following significant independent risk factors for BSI: lower birth weight (hazard ratio [HR], 1.1–2.2), vaginal delivery (HR, 1.5), central venous catheter use (HR, 6.2) or peripheral venous catheter use (HR, 6.0) within 2 days before developing BSI, and the individual departments (HR, 0.0–4.6).
After adjusting for other risk factors, use of peripheral venous catheter and use of central venous catheter were significantly related to occurrence of BSI in VLBW infants.
Nosocomial pneumonia and its impact on length of stay are major healthcare concerns. From an epidemiological perspective, nosocomial pneumonia is a time-dependent event. Any statistical analysis that does not explicitly model this time dependency will be biased. The bias is not redeemed by adjusting for baseline information.
We performed a multicenter prospective matched cohort study to evaluate the mortality attributable to hospital-acquired infections among 12,791 patients admitted to surgical departments. We were able to match 731 patients with 1 or more hospital-acquired infections (ie, case patients) with 731 patients without a hospital-acquired infection (ie, control patients) at a 1 : 1 ratio. Of the 731 case patients, 42 (5.7%) died; of the 731 control patients, 23 (3.1%) died—a significant difference of 2.6%.
Rabies virus was inadvertently transmitted to a lung transplant recipient through donor lungs. The patient was given ventilatory assistance and cared for postoperatively for 6 weeks before a diagnosis of rabies virus infection was made. Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) was offered to potentially exposed healthcare workers (HCWs).
Only HCWs classified as belonging to possible and/or proven contact groups (according to a standardized interview) received PEP. The risk of individual HCWs being exposed to rabies virus was reassessed on the basis of viral concentrations measured in the patient's excretions and body fluids. HCWs who were vaccinated as part of PEP were followed up prospectively according to a standardized procedure.
Of 179 HCWs and other patient contacts, 132 met the eligibility criteria for PEP (118 [89.4%] with possible contact and 14 [10.6%] with proven contact with the patient's excretions and/or body fluids). One hundred thirty-one individuals started PEP, and 126 met the inclusion criteria for analysis. Of these, 48 (38%) developed at least 1 adverse effect (8 [6.3%] had fever, 37 [29.4%] had headache, 3 [2.4%] had lymphadenopathy, 17 [13.5%] had dizziness, and 6 [4.8%] had paresthesia). No HCW or other patient contact developed rabies or serious PEP-related adverse effects. Reassessment of the individual's risk of infection as a function of the viral concentration in the patient's excretions and/or body fluids (up to 5.12 × 107 copies/mL) revealed that 103 HCWs (78.0%) had contact with high-risk substances (89 [67.40%] had possible contact and 14 [10.7%] had proven contact).
HCWs can be exposed to significant viral concentrations in excretions and/or body fluids from rabies virus-infected lung transplant recipients. Because widespread use of PEP entails the possibility of significant health problems for HCWs considered to be at risk of contracting rabies, applying a rational indication for PEP is crucial.
To determine the appropriate method to calculate the rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection and colonization (hereafter, MRSA rates) for interhospital comparisons, such that the large number of patients who are already MRSA positive on admission is taken into account.
A prospective, multicenter, hospital-based surveillance of MRSA-positive case patients from January through December 2004.
Data from 31 hospitals participating in the German national nosocomial infections surveillance system (KISS) were recorded during routine surveillance by the infection control team at each hospital.
Data for 4,215 MRSA-positive case patients were evaluated. From this data, the following values were calculated. The median incidence density was 0.71 MRSA-positive case patients per 1,000 patient-days, and the median nosocomial incidence density was 0.27 patients with nosocomial MRSA infection or colonization per 1,000 patient-days (95% CI, 0.18-0.34). The median average daily MRSA burden was 1.13 MRSA patient-days per 100 patient-days (95% CI, 0.86-1.51), with the average daily MRSA burden defined as the total number of MRSA patient-days divided by the total number of patient-days times 100. The median MRSA-days–associated nosocomial MRSA infection and colonization rate, which describes the MRSA infection risk for other patients in hospitals housing large numbers of MRSA-positive patients and/or many patients who were MRSA positive on admission, was 23.1 cases of nosocomial MRSA infection and colonization per 1,000 MRSA patient-days (95% CI, 17.4-28.6). The values were also calculated for various MRSA screening levels.
The MRSA-days–associated nosocomial MRSA rate allows investigators to assess the extent of MRSA colonization and infection at each hospital, taking into account cases that have been imported from other hospitals, as well as from the community. This information provides an appropriate incentive for hospitals to introduce further infection control measures.
Surveillance of nosocomial infection (NI) and the use of reference data for comparison is recommended to improve the quality of patient care. In addition to standardization according to device use, another stratification of reference data according to patients' severity-of-illness scores is often required for benchmarking in intensive care units (ICUs).
To determine whether severity-of-illness scores on admission to the ICU are sufficient data for predicting the development of NI.
This study was performed in an interdisciplinary ICU at a teaching hospital. Two scores were studied: the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scoring system and the Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System (TISS). The patient's clinical condition was evaluated on admission and reevaluated daily during the period before the development of NI. In addition, we recorded the number of intubations for every patient-day, the age and sex of the patients, and their history of operations. The Fisher exact test and the stepwise multiple logistic regression model were applied to identify significant predictors of NI.
During a 12-month period, 270 patients with ICU stays of more than 24 hours were included in the study. Sixty-nine NIs were identified (incidence, 25.6 cases per 100 patients [95% confidence interval, 19.9-32.3]). A mean APACHE II score and a mean TISS score above the median for these scores, duration of ventilation above the median in the period before the development of NI, and patient age were significantly associated with the development of NI; the score data on admission provided a clearly poorer prediction.
The APACHE II and TISS scores on admission are not useful predictors for NI in ICUs.