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Background: Surveillance of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is the basis of infection prevention programs. However, manual review of medical records is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. We evaluated the diagnostic performance of automated surveillance of HAI using electronic screening algorithms. Methods: Between April and June 2022, we conducted surveillance of HAI manually and automatically using electronic screening algorithm on 75 units (general medical and surgical wards and ICUs) in a 2,700-bed, tertiary-care hospital in South Korea. Algorithms for surveillance of HAI were developed accordance with NHSN surveillance definitions (Fig. 1). Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) were automatically detected when eligible pathogen and fever (>38°C) were matched within infection window period. Other specific types of infection were automatically classified based on laboratory results that met NHSN criteria. After the algorithm showed possible cases that met laboratory-confirmed bloodstream infection (LCBI) criteria, we excluded secondary BSIs using the automatic surveillance algorithm. We analyzed sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) for the automated surveillance system compared to manual surveillance. Results: An algorithm for detecting CAUTI showed 98.7% sensitivity (78 of 79), 100.0% specificity (2,443 of 2,443), 100.0% PPV (78 of 78), and 100.0% NPV (2,443 of 2,444). For CLABSI, the algorithm had 97.3% sensitivity (214 of 220), 98.3% specificity (5,759 of 5,861), 67.7% PPV (214 of 316), and 99.9% NPV (5,759 of 5,765). In total, 102 cases of possible CLABSI were identified by the algorithm, and 76 (74.5%) were eventually diagnosed as secondary BSIs. Also, by chart review, 20 BSIs (19.6%) were present on arrival in ER (ER-POA). In 4 cases (3.9%), an original pathogen reoccurred in a repeated infection timeframe (RIT), and 2 cases (2%) were mucosal barrier injury-LCBI (MBI-LCBI). When we additionally performed manual surveillance for intra-abdominal infection secondary BSI, ER-POA, and assigning pathogen to original BSI in RIT, PPV increased to 87.7% (214 of 244). Conclusions: Algorithm for automated surveillance of CAUTI had good performance; however, automated surveillance of CLABSI was suboptimal. More elaborate screening algorithm for diagnosis CLABSI is needed, and further studies are needed to determine whether an automated surveillance system can reduce workload for surveillance of HAI.
Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection of healthcare workers (HCWs) occasionally occurs via acquisition from their colleagues. Data regarding the infection rates of HCWs with close contact and non–close contacts of HCWs are limited. In addition, the protective effect of COVID-19 vaccination against transmission between HCWs is unknown. We evaluated the infection rates of HCWs with close contact and non–close contact of infected HCWs and the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on transmission among HCWs in a tertiary-care hospital in South Korea. Methods: This study was performed in a tertiary-care hospital in Korea. We analyzed the COVID-19 cases and contacts among HCWs from January to December 2021. We reviewed the vaccination status of confirmed and exposed HCWs, the type of vaccination, and the infection rate according to the contact. We performed subgroup analyses in individuals who had been diagnosed since July 2021 when the δ (delta) variant became the dominant strain in South Korea. Transmission was defined based on their spatiotemporal epidemiologic association. Results: During the study period, 173 HCWs had COVID-19, and 2,693 HCWs were exposed to them. Among them, 18 (1.52%) of 1,186 close contacts and 13 (0.86%) of 1,507 non–close contacts had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test (P = .11). When the index cases had been fully vaccinated, the infection rate of close contacts was 0.85% (7 of 820), whereas the infection rate of close contacts was 3.01% (11 of 366) when the index had not been fully vaccinated (P = .005). However, the infection rate of non–close contacts was not different according to the vaccination status of index (0.83% vs 0.89%; P = .90). During the period of δ (delta) variant being dominant, the infection rate of close contacts was significantly lower when the index case had been fully vaccinated index than in cases with a non–fully vaccinated index case (0.85% vs 5.88%; P < .001). Conclusions: Transmission to colleagues was significantly lower from vaccinated HCWs than from nonvaccinated HCWs, and this finding was more significant in the era of the δ (delta) variant. Our findings support the importance of vaccination in HCWs.
Accumulating evidence suggests that alterations in inflammatory biomarkers are important in depression. However, previous meta-analyses disagree on these associations, and errors in data extraction may account for these discrepancies.
PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library were searched from database inception to 14 January 2020. Meta-analyses of observational studies examining the association between depression and levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 1-β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were eligible. Errors were classified as follows: incorrect sample sizes, incorrectly used standard deviation, incorrect participant inclusion, calculation error, or analysis with insufficient data. We determined their impact on the results after correction thereof.
Errors were noted in 14 of the 15 meta-analyses included. Across 521 primary studies, 118 (22.6%) showed the following errors: incorrect sample sizes (20 studies, 16.9%), incorrect use of standard deviation (35 studies, 29.7%), incorrect participant inclusion (7 studies, 5.9%), calculation errors (33 studies, 28.0%), and analysis with insufficient data (23 studies, 19.5%). After correcting these errors, 11 (29.7%) out of 37 pooled effect sizes changed by a magnitude of more than 0.1, ranging from 0.11 to 1.15. The updated meta-analyses showed that elevated levels of TNF- α, IL-6, CRP, but not IL-1β, are associated with depression.
These findings show that data extraction errors in meta-analyses can impact findings. Efforts to reduce such errors are important in studies of the association between depression and peripheral inflammatory biomarkers, for which high heterogeneity and conflicting results have been continuously reported.
We quantitatively assessed the fit failure rate of N95 respirators according to the number of donning/doffing and hours worn.
A tertiary-care referral center in South Korea.
In total, 10 infection control practitioners participated in the fit test.
The first experiment comprised 4 consecutive 1-hour donnings and fit tests between each donning. The second experiment comprised 2 consecutive 3-hour donnings and fit tests between each donning. The final experiment comprised fit tests after an 1-hour donning or a 2-hour donning.
For 1-hour donnings, 60%, 70%, and 90% of the participants had fit failures after 2, 3, and 4 consecutive donnings, respectively. For 3-hour donnings, 50% had fit failure after the first donning and 70% had failures after 2 consecutive donnings. All participants passed the fit test after refitting whenever fit failure occurred. The final experiment showed that 50% had fit failure after a single use of 1 hour, and 30% had fit failure after a single use of 2 hours.
High fit-failure rates were recorded after repeated donning and extended use of N95 respirators. Caution is needed for reuse (≥1 time) and extended use (≥1 hour) of N95 respirators in high-risk settings such as those involving aerosol-generating procedures. Although adequate refitting may recover the fit factor, the use of clean gloves and strict hand hygiene afterward should be ensured when touching the outer surfaces of N95 respirators for refitting.
Background: Mumps, a contagious disease, is transmissible by respiratory droplet particles and is preventable by vaccination. In South Korea, mandatory vaccination against mumps has markedly reduced its incidence. However, both the incidence and the number of reported cases of mumps have persistently increased in South Korea since 2007. Despite high vaccination rates, mumps outbreaks continue to occur, and many studies have been conducted on mumps seroprevalence in children and adolescents. In comparison, few reports have been published regarding mumps seroprevalence in healthcare workers (HCWs) in South Korea. Objective: We investigated the seroprevalence of HCWs in South Korea. Methods: This study was conducted at Asan Medical Center, a 2,705-bed tertiary-care hospital in Seoul, South Korea, with 8,329 HCWs. In 2018, we performed mumps antibody testing for HCWs. We administered MMR vaccination to all HCWs whose antibody test yielded equivocal or negative results. However, we did not repeat mumps antibody testing after MMR vaccination. Results: In total, 6,055 HCWs (73%) underwent mumps antibody testing. The overall mumps seropositivity rate was 87% (95% CI, 86%–87%). Seropositivity rates of all birth cohorts ranged from 72% to 92%. Mumps seropositivity rates were 88% in HCWs born before 1970, 87% in those born between 1970 and 1989, and 88% in those born between 1990 and 1995 (P = .59). Mumps seropositivity rates for both women and men HCWs were 87% (3,770 of 4,311 women and 1,517 of 1,744 men); the difference was not statistically significant (P = .62). The overall mumps seropositivity rate was 87%, which was above the herd immunity threshold of 75%–86%. Conclusions: Our results revealed that the overall mumps seropositivity rate in South Korean HCWs was above the herd immunity threshold. On the basis of this finding, we recommend that MMR vaccination after serologic testing may be a more reasonable approach than universal MMR vaccination alone in Korea.
Background: Measles is a highly contagious disease that is transmissible by airborne particles but is preventable by vaccination. South Korea has maintained a highly immunized adult population; however, small local outbreaks of measles continued to occur, and there have been some reports of pockets of underimmunity among the young adult population. It is important to know the seroepidemiology of healthcare workers (HCWs) for policy-making process, but data on the seroprevalence of measles in HCWs in South Korea are limited. Methods: We investigated the seroprevalence of HCWs at Asan Medical Center, a 2,705-bed tertiary-care hospital in Seoul, South Korea, with 8,329 HCWs. In 2014, after an outbreak of measles occurred in a university in Seoul, Asan Medical Center required measles IgG tests for all HCWs born in and after 1967 for point-prevalence surveillance. In addition, we have routinely performed measles antibody test for new HCWs since 2014. In 2018, antibody tests were administered to HCWs who were born before 1967 or who had taken a leave of absence in 2014. We provided MMR vaccination to all HCWs whose antibody tests yielded negative results. Results: In total, 7,411 HCWs (89%) underwent measles antibody tests from 2014 to 2018. The overall seropositivity was 73% (95% CI, 72%–74%); seroprevalence was 73% in HCWs born in of after 1967, whereas the seroprevalence in HCWs born before 1967 was 98%. The seroprevalence sharply decreased from 85% in the 1986 birth cohort to 42% in the 1995 birth cohort. Conclusions: In conclusion, the proportion of measles-susceptible individuals was substantially high in HCWs, especially in young adults. Because the impact of measles outbreak in healthcare facilities would be critical, a policy regarding routine serologic screening followed by measles vaccination or routine measles vaccination in healthcare facilities should be considered, especially for young Korean HCWs.
The Saemangeum tidal flat, an important staging site for migratory shorebirds that travel the East Asian-Australasian (EAA) Flyway, was isolated from the eastern Yellow Sea in 2006 as part of a large-scale reclamation project. To gain a better understanding of the impacts that this reclamation has had on the long-distance migratory shorebirds that use the EAA Flyway, we examined the number of shorebirds visiting Saemangeum and three adjacent sites in the Geum Estuary (Yubu Island, the Janghang coastline, and the Geum River Channel) during the spring and fall prior to, and after, completion of the reclamation (2004–2013). A total of 48 shorebird species, including one Critically Endangered, three Endangered, and nine Near Threatened species, were observed over this period. Peak numbers of shorebirds recorded at sites in Saemangeum and the Geum Estuary following completion of the project were 74% below those recorded in 2004 and 2005, the years prior to reclamation activity. In Saemangeum, shorebird abundance declined by approximately 95% and 97.3% during the northward and southward migrations, respectively, as a result of reclamation. Although shorebird populations in the Geum Estuary increased by 5% and 20% during the northwards and southward migrations, respectively, these increases failed to offset the reduction in shorebird abundance in Saemangeum; overall, shorebird abundance at Saemangeum and the three adjacent sites in the Geum Estuary markedly declined over the reclamation period. Given the more favourable conditions of adjacent areas, sites in Saemangeum and the Geum Estuary no longer provide the habitat conditions necessary for long-distance migratory shorebirds. In order to improve habitat for staging migratory birds, we suggest that measures such as the conversion of an abandoned salt farm for use as roosting sites, the construction of artificial barriers to prevent human disturbance, and re-opening of the river-banks to facilitate water flow be implemented.
A life-threatening cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)-related injury can cause recurrent arrest after return of circulation. Such injuries are difficult to identify during resuscitation, and their contribution to failed resuscitation can be missed given the limitations of conventional CPR. Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR), increasingly being considered for selected patients with potentially reversible etiology of arrest, may identify previously occult CPR-related injuries by restoring arterial pressure and flow. Herein, we describe two cases of severe CPR-related injuries contributing to recurrent arrest. Each case had ECPR implemented within 60 minutes of the start of CPR. After the presumed cardiac etiology had been addressed with percutaneous coronary intervention, life-threatening cardiovascular injuries with recurrent arrest were noted, and resuscitative thoracotomy was performed under ECPR. One patient survived to hospital discharge.
ECPR may provide an opportunity to identify and correct severe resuscitation-related injuries causing recurrent arrest. Chest compression depth >6 cm, especially in older women, may contribute to these injuries.
We examined the effects of various exercise intensities on recovery from middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats.
First, we administered a 120-minute left MCAO to male Sprague-Dawley rats and randomly assigned them to one of four groups: no exercise (Group 1), mild exercise (Group 2), moderate exercise (Group 3), and severe exercise (Group 4). Then, we trained the rats for 30 min per day for one week or two weeks. We used a five-point neurological evaluation scale to measure neurological deficits 1-day, 4-days, 7-days, 10-days and 14-days after MCAO and measured infarct volume by use of 2% 2,3,4-triphenyltetrazolium chloride in exercised brains. We also performed immunohistochemistry analysis of the brain to observe reactive astrocytosis at the peri-infarct region.
Neurological examination indicated that Group 2 and 3 recovered better than Group 1 after one week and two weeks (p<0.05). Moreover, Group 2 and 3 had reduced brain infarct volume compared with Group 1 after one week (p<0.05). There were no significant differences between Group 4 and Group 1. The thickness of the peri-infarct astrocytosis was significantly reduced in Group 4 relative to Group 1 after one week. There was a significant negative correlation between the extent of reactive astrocytosis and neurological recovery (r= -0.648, p<0.01).
This study demonstrates that mild to moderate exercise that begins soon after induced cerebral ischemia promotes recovery and that astrocytes may have an important role in the recovery process.
A number of causative mutations such as a-synuclein, parkin, UCHL1, Pink-1, DJ-1 have been identified in Parkinson's disease (PD). They are usually found in the familial cases. One mutation of great interest is the G2019S mutation in the LRRK2 gene, which has been reported in both familial and sporadic PD. Its prevalence has been reported to vary markedly among different races. We examined the prevalence of the G2019S mutation in the Korean PD population for genetic study planning.
We conducted a genetic analysis of the G2019S mutation by standard PCR and restriction digestion method. 453 PD patients were studied, 34% of whom had an age at onset of <50 years and 3.8% had a positive family history.
None of the 453 study subjects carried the G2019S mutation.
Our result confirms previous reports that the G2019S mutation is rare among PD patients in the Asian population. This result supports the notion that the prevalence of this LRRK2 mutation is population specific, and that there may be a founder effect within western populations.
It is controversial whether Borna disease virus (BDV) infects humans and causes psychiatric disorders.
The relationship between BDV infection and schizophrenia with deficit syndrome was investigated.
Using the Schedule for the Deficit Syndrome, 62 schizophrenic in-patients were selected from three psychiatric hospitals. RNA was extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells and analyzed using nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction with primers to detect BDV p24 and p40.
Results and conclusions:
BDV transcripts were not detected in samples from any of the 62 schizophrenic patients. These data do not support an etiologic association between BDV infection and the deficit form of schizophrenia.
Although there are rapidly growing concerns about the high rates of cognitive dysfunction in Korea, the knowledge of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) among the general public in Korea remains to be elucidated.
A total of 2767 randomly selected subjects from the Ansan Geriatric Study were questioned on their knowledge of putative risk factors for AD. Their answers were compared with their sociodemographic data and other variables.
The most common stated risk factor was being older (59.6%), followed by head trauma (33.6%) and cerebrovascular disease (30.4%). However, a substandard education, which is a known risk factor, was considered significant by only 9.5% of the subjects. Predictors for a worse knowledge of the risk factors for AD were being older, a lower level of education, lower economic status and the attitude that dementia is not curable.
This study revealed that misunderstanding about AD is more prevalent in older subjects and those with a lower level of education, and so public health education on the basic concepts of AD should be targeted at this population.
The in vitro corrosion mechanism of the biodegradable cast Mg–10% Ca binary alloy in Hanks' solution was evaluated through transmission electron microscopy observations. The corrosion behavior depends strongly on the microstructural peculiarity of Mg2Ca phase surrounding the island-like primary Mg phase and the fast corrosion induced by the interdiffusion of O and Ca via the Mg2Ca phase of lamellar structure. At the corrosion front, we found that a nanosized crack-like pathway was formed along the interface between the Mg2Ca phase and the primary Mg phase. Through the crack-like pathway, O and Ca are atomically exchanged each other and then the corroded Mg2Ca phase was transformed to Mg oxides. The in vitro corrosion by the exchange of Ca and O at the nanosized pathway led to the rapid bulk corrosion in the Mg–Ca alloys.
In 2011 the Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor census recorded a 22% drop in numbers from 2010, particularly at the known large coastal wintering sites. During this period, we discovered two new inland wintering sites for the species using satellite telemetry data, one located in China, where the individual followed the Yangtze river as far as Wuhan (500 km inland), and the other across the Vietnam-Cambodia border (70–200 km inland). Long periods of concentrated use of various freshwater habitats were in evidence for these two tagged individuals (China: 79 days, Vietnam/Cambodia: 91 Days) and in the latter case visual confirmation indicated a larger group of at least five individuals. The importance and potential of inland freshwater environments is highlighted towards the further conservation of the recovering population.
We previously demonstrated that the chronic consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD) promotes lung and liver metastases of 4T1 mammary carcinoma cells in obesity-resistant BALB/c mice. To examine early transcriptional responses to tumour progression in the liver and lungs of HFD-fed mice, 4-week-old female BALB/c mice were divided into four groups: sham-injected, control diet (CD)-fed; sham-injected, HFD-fed (SH); 4T1 cell-injected, CD-fed (TC); 4T1 cell-injected, HFD-fed (TH). Following 16 weeks of either a CD or HFD, 4T1 cells were injected into the mammary fat pads of mice in the TC and TH groups and all mice were continuously fed identical diets. At 14 d post-injection, RNA was isolated from hepatic and pulmonary tissues for microarray analysis of mRNA expression. Functional annotation and core network analyses were conducted for the TH/SH Unique gene set. Inflammation in hepatic tissues and cell mitosis in pulmonary tissues were the most significant biological functions in the TH/SH Unique gene set. The biological core networks of the hepatic TH/SH Unique gene set were characterised as those genes involved in the activation of acute inflammatory responses (Orm1, Lbp, Hp and Cfb), disordered lipid metabolism and deregulated cell cycle progression. Networks of the pulmonary Unique gene set displayed the deregulation of cell cycle progression (Cdc20, Cdk1 and Bub1b). These HFD-influenced alterations may have led to favourable conditions for the formation of both pro-inflammatory and pro-mitotic microenvironments in the target organs that promote immune cell infiltration and differentiation, as well as the infiltration and proliferation of metastatic tumour cells.
Applying a first-principles computational approach, we study the electronic and charge transport properties of the interfaces between metals and capped carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with various arrangements of topological defects. Observing the length scaling of resistance, we first show that capped CNTs exhibit only one CNT-body-determined low-slope scaling and the resulting very low long-length-limit resistance. The intrinsically low resistance (absence of Schottky-barrier-dominated high-slope scaling) of capped CNTs is next analyzed by the local density of states, which shows the formation of unusual propagating-type metal-induced gap states originating from the topological defect states that are well connected with CNT edge and body states.