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We analysed associations between exposure to nightlife businesses and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 PCR test results at a tertiary hospital in Tokyo between March and April 2020. A nightlife group was defined as those who had worked at or visited the businesses. We included 1517 individuals; 196 (12.9%) were categorised as the nightlife group. After propensity score matching, the proportion of positive PCR tests in the nightlife group was significantly higher than that in the non-nightlife group (nightlife, 63.8%; non-nightlife, 23.0%; P < 0.001). An inclusive approach to mitigate risks related to the businesses needs to be identified.
Vertigo and dizziness are frequent symptoms in patients at out-patient services. An accurate diagnosis for vertigo or dizziness is essential for symptom relief; however, it is often challenging. This study aimed to identify differences in diagnoses between primary-care physicians and specialised neurotologists.
In total, 217 patients were enrolled. To compare diagnoses, data was collected from the reference letters of primary-care physicians, medical questionnaires completed by patients and medical records.
In total, 62.2 per cent and 29.5 per cent of the patients were referred by otorhinolaryngologists and internists, respectively. The cause of vertigo or dizziness and diagnosis was missing in 47.0 per cent of the reference letters. In addition, 67.3 per cent of the diagnoses by previous physicians differed from those reported by specialised neurotologists.
To ensure patient satisfaction and high quality of life, an accurate diagnosis for vertigo or dizziness is required; therefore, methods or materials to improve the diagnostic accuracy are needed.
Sleep restriction has adverse effects on performance and neurobehavioral function. However, the mechanism of impaired performance and neurobehavioral function has not been studied yet.
We examined the effect of insufficient sleep on cerebral blood flow and cognitive function in 8 healthy adults (mean age 22.4 years).
All participants were in bed for 8 h (sufficient sleep), and for < 4 h (insufficient sleep). The oxyhemoglobin (oxyHb) level by a word fluency task was measured with a near-infrared spectroscopy recorder on the morning following sufficient and insufficient sleep periods. Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST), continuous performance test (CPT) and N-back test were evaluated on the same days.
The peak oxyHb level was significantly lower in the left and right frontal lobes after insufficient sleep than after sufficient sleep (left: 0.25 ± 0.10 vs. 0.70 ± 0.29 mmol, P < 0.05; right: 0.23 ± 0.13 vs. 0.73 ± 0.22 mmol, P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the number of words generated during the word fluency task between sufficient and insufficient sleep states. The percentage of correct responses on CPT after insufficient sleep was significantly lower than that after sufficient sleep (86.6 ± 10.2 vs. 96.0 ± 4.9%, P < 0.05). The reaction time of WCST was significantly longer after insufficient sleep than after sufficient sleep (76.6 ± 13.4 vs. 70.6 ± 16.2 sec, P < 0.05).
One night sleep restriction decreased the concentration changes of oxyHb in brain tissue, leading to impaired cognitive function.
As part of the international joint projects working towards the control of taeniosis/cysticercosis in Asia Pacific, epidemiological studies on Taenia solium cysticercosis have been carried out in high-incidence populations, such as minority groups in Thailand. To assess the epidemiology of cysticercotic infections in pigs in the hill-tribe minority villages (Karen) in Tak province, Thailand, we conducted serological screening and necropsies. The patterns of antibody response to T. solium antigens were then investigated using immunoblot assays. Of the 188 pig serum samples tested for antibody responses to partially purified low-molecular-weight antigens of T. solium cyst fluid, positive responses were detected in 37 samples (19.7%). Based on these results, 16 pigs (10 seropositive and 6 seronegative) were necropsied for investigation of cysticerci and intestinal parasites. All seropositive pigs were coinfected with both T. solium and Taenia hydatigena cysticerci, except one, which was infected with T. hydatigena alone. Three of the six seronegative pigs were confirmed to be infected with T. hydatigena. Pigs infected with T. solium showed much stronger antibody responses than those infected with T. hydatigena. Our results demonstrate the co-occurrence of two swine cysticercoses due to T. solium and T. hydatigena in the studied areas. This study also reveals the importance of direct confirmation of the presence of cysticerci by necropsy after serological screening. In addition to the prevalence of swine cysticercosis in these endemic areas, our findings also reveal potential implications for the development of serological diagnostic assays for swine cysticercosis.
We report on the formation of shallow junctions with high activation in both n+/p and p+/n Ge junctions using ion implantation and Flash Lamp Annealing (FLA). The shallowest junction depths (Xj) formed for the n+/p and p+/n junctions were 7.6 nm and 6.1 nm with sheet resistances (Rs) of 860 ohms/sq. and 704 ohms/sq., respectively. By reducing knocked-on oxygen during ion implantation in the n+/p junctions, Rs was decreased by between 5% and 15%. The lowest Rs observed was 235 ohms/sq. with a junction depth of 21.5 nm. Hall measurements clearly revealed that knocked-on oxygen degraded phosphorus activation (carrier concentration). In the p+/n Ge junctions, we show that ion implantation damage induced high boron activation. Using this technique, Rs can be reduced from 475 ohms/sq. to 349 ohms/sq. These results indicate that the potential for forming ultra-shallow n+/p and p+/n junctions in the nanometer range in Ge devices using FLA is very high, leading to realistic monolithically-integrated Ge CMOS devices that can take us beyond Si technology.
Workplace dietary intervention studies in low- and middle-income countries using psychometrically sound measures are scarce. This study aimed to validate a nutrition knowledge questionnaire (NQ) and its utility in evaluating the changes in knowledge among participants of a Nutrition Education Program (NEP) conducted at the workplace. A NQ was tested for construct validity, internal consistency and discriminant validity. It was applied in a NEP conducted at six workplaces, in order to evaluate the effect of an interactive or a lecture-based education programme on nutrition knowledge. Four knowledge domains comprising twenty-three items were extracted in the final version of the NQ. Internal consistency of each domain was significant, with Kuder–Richardson formula values>0·60. These four domains presented a good fit in the confirmatory factor analysis. In the discriminant validity test, both the Expert and Lay groups scored>0·52, but the Expert group scores were significantly higher than those of the Lay group in all domains. When the NQ was applied in the NEP, the overall questionnaire scores increased significantly because of the NEP intervention, in both groups (P<0·001). However, the increase in NQ scores was significantly higher in the interactive group than in the lecture group, in the overall score (P=0·008) and in the healthy eating domain (P=0·009). The validated NQ is a short and useful tool to assess gain in nutrition knowledge among participants of NEP at the workplace. According to the NQ, an interactive nutrition education had a higher impact on nutrition knowledge than a lecture programme.
Little is known about the economic benefits of cognitive remediation and supported employment (CR + SE). The present study aimed to investigate the cost-effectiveness of CR + SE compared with traditional vocational services (TVS).
Individuals with mental illness and low cognitive function were recruited at six sites in Japan. A total of 111 participants were randomly allocated to the CR + SE group or the TVS group. Clinical and vocational outcomes were assessed at baseline and 12-month follow-up. Service utilization data were collected monthly. The data on outcomes and costs were combined to examine cost-effectiveness.
The data were obtained from a total of 92 participants. The CR + SE group resulted in better vocational and clinical outcomes (employment rate, 62.2%; work tenures, 78.6 days; cognitive improvement, 0.5) than the TVS group (19.1%, 24.9 days and 0.2). There was no significant difference in mean total costs between the groups (CR + SE group: $9823, s.d. = $6372, TVS group: $11 063, s.d. = $11 263) with and without adjustment for covariates. However, mean cost for medical services in the CR + SE group was significantly lower than that in the TVS group after adjusting covariates (Β = −$3979, 95% confidence interval −$7816 to −$143, p = 0.042). Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves for vocational outcomes illustrated the high probabilities (approximately 70%) of the CR + SE group being more cost-effective than TVS when society is not willing to pay additional costs.
CR + SE appears to be a cost-effective option for people with mental illness who have low cognitive functioning when compared with TVS.
In this study, we used an online survey to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to environmental cleaning and other infection prevention strategies among environmental services workers (ESWs) at 5 hospitals. Our findings suggest that ESWs could benefit from additional education and feedback as well as new strategies to address workflow challenges.
We previously reported an association between human parechovirus type 3 (HPeV3) and epidemic myalgia with myositis in adults during summers in which an HPeV3 outbreak occurred in children. However, this disease association has not yet been reported elsewhere. We have since continued our surveillance to accumulate data on this disease association and to confirm whether myalgia occurs in children as well as adults. Between June and August 2014, we collected 380 specimens from children with infectious diseases. We also collected clinical specimens from two adult and three paediatric patients suspected of myalgia. We then performed virus isolation and reverse-transcription–PCR using the collected specimens. We detected HPeV3 in 26 children with infectious diseases, which we regarded as indicating an outbreak. We also confirmed HPeV3 infection in all patients suspected of myalgia. In particular the symptoms in two boys, complaining of myalgia and fever, closely matched the criteria for adult myalgia. Based on our findings from 2008, 2011 and 2014, we again urge that clinical consideration be given to the relationship between myalgia and HPeV3 infections during HPeV3 outbreaks in children. Furthermore, our observations from 2014 suggest that epidemic myalgia and myositis occur not only in adults but also in children.
The mode of onset and the course of schizophrenia illness exhibit substantial individual variations. Previous studies have pointed out that the mode of onset affects the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and clinical outcomes, such as cognitive and social functioning. This study attempted to clarify the association between the DUP and clinical features, taking the different modes of onset into consideration, in a prospective longitudinal study examining patients with first-episode schizophrenia.
This study was conducted in six areas of Japan. Patients with first-episode schizophrenia were followed for over 18 months. Cognitive function, psychopathology, and social functioning were assessed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 18-month follow-up points.
We identified 168 patients and sufficient information was available to determine the DUP and the mode of onset for 156 patients (92.9%): 79 had an acute onset, and 77 had an insidious onset. The DUP was significantly associated with quality of life (QOL), social functioning, and cognitive function at most of the follow-up points in the insidious-onset group. The DUP and negative symptoms at baseline were significant predictors of cognitive function at the 18-month follow-up in the insidious-onset group.
The present results further support the hypothesis that the DUP affects QOL, social functioning, and cognitive function over the course of illness, especially in patients with an insidious onset. Effective strategies for detecting and caring for individuals with insidious onset early during the course of schizophrenia will be essential for achieving a full patient recovery.
Oxidation tests of Cr containing Co-based superalloys with compositions of Co-20at.%Ni-9at.%Al-9at.%W-x at.%Cr (x = 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10) have been carried out at 1173 and 1273 K in air. Oxidation resistance is improved upon alloying with Cr not only at 1173 K but also at 1273 K. The weight gain of the 10at.%Cr alloy oxidized at 1173 K is similar to that of the 5th generation Ni-based superalloy of TMS-173. Alloying with Cr is efficient to improve oxidation resistance, however, the shape of γ’ precipitates is rounded and the alignment of the precipitates along the <100> direction becomes less pronounced upon alloying with Cr.
Partial sequences of the DNA polymerase delta (pold) gene from Taenia saginata-like adult worms were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that pold gene sequences were clearly divided into two clades, differing from each other in five to seven nucleotides. There is little doubt that T. saginata and Taenia asiatica were once separated into two distinct taxa as has been concluded in previous studies. On the other hand, most of the adult worms, which were identified as T. asiatica using mitochondrial DNA, were homozygous for an allele that originated from the allele of T. saginata via single nucleotide substitution. These results indicate that most of the adult worms, which had been called T. asiatica, are not actually ‘pure T. asiatica’ but instead originated from the hybridization of ‘pure T. saginata’ and ‘pure T. asiatica’.
Human cysticercosis, caused by accidental ingestion of eggs of Taenia solium, is one of the most pathogenic helminthiases and is listed among the 17 WHO Neglected Tropical Diseases. Controlling the life-cycle of T. solium between humans and pigs is essential for eradication of cysticercosis. One difficulty for the accurate detection and identification of T. solium species is the possible co-existence of two other human Taenia tapeworms (T. saginata and T. asiatica, which do not cause cysticercosis in humans). Several key issues for taeniasis/cysticercosis (T/C) evidence-based epidemiology and control are reviewed: (1) advances in immunological and molecular tools for screening of human and animals hosts and identification of Taenia species, with a focus on real-time detection of taeniasis carriers and infected animals in field community screenings, and (2) spatial ecological approaches that have been used to detect geospatial patterns of case distributions and to monitor pig activity and behaviour. Most recent eco-epidemiological studies undertaken in Sichuan province, China, are introduced and reviewed.
In the eastern Tibetan plateau both human cystic and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) caused by infection with Echincoccus granulosus or Echinococcus multilocularis, respectively are highly endemic. The domestic dog plays a key role in zoonotic transmission in this region. Our primary objective was to investigate the role of domestic dogs in maintaining transmission of E. multilocularis in Shiqu county, Sichuan. A cohort of 281 dogs was followed up over one year after a single treatment with praziquantel followed by re-infection surveillance at 2, 5 and 12 months post-treatment. Faecal samples were tested by an Echinococcus genus-specific coproantigen ELISA and two species-specific copro-PCR tests. Total Echinococcus coproantigen prevalence in Shiqu at baseline was 21% and 9·6% after 2 months. E. multilocularis copro-PCR was positive in 11·2% of dogs before treatment (vs 3·6% with E. granulosus copro-DNA), 2·9% at 2 months post-treatment, and 0% at 5 month and 12 months. The results suggest that dogs may have the potential to maintain E. multilocularis transmission within local pastoral communities, and thus dog dosing could be an effective strategy to reduce transmission of E. multilocularis as well as E. granulosus in these co-endemic Tibetan communities.
In Russia, both alveolar and cystic echinococcoses are endemic. This study aimed to identify the aetiological agents of the diseases and to investigate the distribution of each Echinococcus species in Russia. A total of 75 Echinococcus specimens were collected from 14 host species from 2010 to 2012. Based on the mitochondrial DNA sequences, they were identified as Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), E. canadensis and E. multilocularis. E. granulosus s.s. was confirmed in the European Russia and the Altai region. Three genotypes, G6, G8 and G10 of E. canadensis were detected in Yakutia. G6 was also found in the Altai region. Four genotypes of E. multilocularis were confirmed; the Asian genotype in the western Siberia and the European Russia, the Mongolian genotype in an island of Baikal Lake and the Altai Republic, the European genotype from a captive monkey in Moscow Zoo and the North American genotype in Yakutia. The present distributional record will become a basis of public health to control echinococcoses in Russia. The rich genetic diversity demonstrates the importance of Russia in investigating the evolutionary history of the genus Echinococcus.