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We explored ecological aspects of the early establishment of the association between the Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica (Newman) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), and the adult tachinid parasitoid, Istocheta aldrichi (Mesnil) (Diptera: Tachinidae), in the province of Québec, Canada. The Japanese beetle started its invasion in the late 1930s, whereas I. aldrichi was detected only in 2009. It is assumed that I. aldrichi spread in the province from its introduced range in the northeastern United States of America. Throughout the summer, we used baited traps in eight localities of southern Québec (2018–2019) and in 13 raspberry (Rubus idaeus) fields (2022) localised along a latitudinal gradient to describe the distribution and seasonal occurrence of both species and the parasitism rates of I. aldrichi. We also mapped observational data from the online platform iNaturalist to further describe the current distribution of both the host and its parasitoid. Results indicate that I. aldrichi is well spread in southern Québec and along the St. Lawrence River in most areas where the Japanese beetle is present. Parasitism mostly occurs from late June to mid-July, before the peak of Japanese beetle populations, and levels of total seasonal parasitism range from 3.9 to 27.3% across sampled sites. Together, trap captures and data from iNaturalist provide evidence that I. aldrichi is now established in most areas of the province of Québec where the Japanese beetle is present.
We evaluated the added value of infection control-guided, on demand, and locally performed severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomic sequencing to support outbreak investigation and control in acute-care settings.
Design and setting:
This 18-month prospective molecular epidemiology study was conducted at a tertiary-care hospital in Montreal, Canada. When nosocomial transmission was suspected by local infection control, viral genomic sequencing was performed locally for all putative outbreak cases. Molecular and conventional epidemiology data were correlated on a just-in-time basis to improve understanding of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission and reinforce or adapt control measures.
Between April 2020 and October 2021, 6 outbreaks including 59 nosocomial infections (per the epidemiological definition) were investigated. Genomic data supported 7 distinct transmission clusters involving 6 patients and 26 healthcare workers. We identified multiple distinct modes of transmission, which led to reinforcement and adaptation of infection control measures. Molecular epidemiology data also refuted (n = 14) suspected transmission events in favor of community acquired but institutionally clustered cases.
SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing can refute or strengthen transmission hypotheses from conventional nosocomial epidemiological investigations, and guide implementation of setting-specific control strategies. Our study represents a template for prospective, on site, outbreak-focused SARS-CoV-2 sequencing. This approach may become increasingly relevant in a COVID-19 endemic state where systematic sequencing within centralized surveillance programs is not available.
The Food Quality Observatory was created in the province of Quebec (Canada) in 2016. In this study, the Observatory aimed to generate a methodology to (1) test the use of sales data combined with nutrient values to characterise the nutritional composition of ready-to-eat (RTE) breakfast cereals offered and purchased in the province of Quebec (Canada) and (2) verify the extent to which a front-of-pack label based on the percentage of daily value (DV) for total sugar, as a strategy to improve the food supply, would be distributed in this food category.
Nutritional information were obtained by purchasing each RTE breakfast cereal available in the Greater Montreal area. Cereals were then classified according to their processing type.
The nutritional values of 331 RTE breakfast cereals available in Quebec were merged with sales data covering the period between May 2016 and May 2017. A total of 306 products were successfully cross-referenced.
Granola and sweetened cereals were the most available (36·6 % and 19·6 %, respectively) and purchased (19·8 % and 40·9 % of sales, respectively). When compared with other types of cereals, granola cereals had a higher energy, fat, saturated fat, protein content and a lower Na content. A larger proportion of chocolate (65 %) and sweetened cereals (49 %) were above 15 % of the DV for sugar.
This study showed that the methodology developed generates important data to monitor nutritional quality of the food supply and ultimately contribute to improve the nutritional quality of processed foods.
We studied the diversity and summer seasonal activity-density of Carabidae associated with soybean fields infested by the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura; Hemiptera: Aphididae) in Québec, Canada. Carabid beetles were sampled in six to seven fields from June to September 2004 and 2005 using pitfall traps. A total of 33 species from 15 genera were identified, with the exotic Pterostichus melanarius (Illiger) (Coleoptera: Carabidae), representing 75.8% and 84.5% of all individuals trapped in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Large variations in species richness and diversity indexes were observed between fields within and between years. Multivariate analyses showed that carabid activity-density varied as a function of field location and sampling period, with individuals belonging to species overwintering as adults being more abundant early in the growing season. There was no relationship between carabid trap catches and A. glycines density, suggesting that carabid beetles do not respond numerically to soybean aphid populations at the spatial scale studied.
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