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The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on treatment outcomes in critically ill patients with carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) bloodstream infection (BSI). This single-centre, retrospective cohort study was conducted in a 1,048-bed university-affiliated tertiary hospital in the Republic of Korea from January 2021 to March 2022. The study participants included consecutive hospitalised adult patients (aged ≥18 years) in the intensive care unit with CRAB monomicrobial BSI. During the study period, a total of 70 patients were included in our study, and 24 (34.3%) were diagnosed with COVID-19. The 28-day mortality rate was 64.3%. In the multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, diagnosis of COVID-19 (hazard ratio (HR), 2.91; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.45–5.87), neutropenia (HR, 2.76; 95% CI: 1.04–7.29), Pitt bacteraemia score (per point; HR, 1.30; 95% CI: 1.19–1.41), and appropriate definite antibiotic therapy (HR, 0.31; 95% CI: 0.15–0.62) were independent predictors of 28-day mortality in patients with CRAB BSI. In conclusion, our findings suggested that COVID-19 has a negative prognostic impact on patients with CRAB BSI. Further study is needed to investigate the specific mechanisms of how COVID-19 worsens the prognosis of CRAB infection.
Mood disorders require consistent management of symptoms to prevent recurrences of mood episodes. Circadian rhythm (CR) disruption is a key symptom of mood disorders to be proactively managed to prevent mood episode recurrences. This study aims to predict impending mood episodes recurrences using digital phenotypes related to CR obtained from wearable devices and smartphones.
The study is a multicenter, nationwide, prospective, observational study with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder I, and bipolar II disorder. A total of 495 patients were recruited from eight hospitals in South Korea. Patients were followed up for an average of 279.7 days (a total sample of 75 506 days) with wearable devices and smartphones and with clinical interviews conducted every 3 months. Algorithms predicting impending mood episodes were developed with machine learning. Algorithm-predicted mood episodes were then compared to those identified through face-to-face clinical interviews incorporating ecological momentary assessments of daily mood and energy.
Two hundred seventy mood episodes recurred in 135 subjects during the follow-up period. The prediction accuracies for impending major depressive episodes, manic episodes, and hypomanic episodes for the next 3 days were 90.1, 92.6, and 93.0%, with the area under the curve values of 0.937, 0.957, and 0.963, respectively.
We predicted the onset of mood episode recurrences exclusively using digital phenotypes. Specifically, phenotypes indicating CR misalignment contributed the most to the prediction of episodes recurrences. Our findings suggest that monitoring of CR using digital devices can be useful in preventing and treating mood disorders.
Background: The δ (delta) variant has spread rapidly worldwide and has become the predominant strain of SARS-CoV-2. We analyzed an outbreak caused by a vaccine breakthrough infection in a hospital with an active infection control program where 91.9% of healthcare workers were vaccinated. Methods: We investigated a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak between September 9 and October 2, 2021, in a referral teaching hospital in Korea. We retrospectively collected data on demographics, vaccination history, transmission, and clinical features of confirmed COVID-19 in patients, healthcare workers, and caregivers. Results: During the outbreak, 94 individuals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR) testing. Testing identified infections in 61 health care workers, 18 patients, and 15 caregivers, and 70 (74.5%) of 94 cases were vaccine breakthrough infections. We detected 3 superspreading events: in the hospital staff cafeteria and offices (n = 47 cases, 50%), the 8th floor of the main building (n = 22 cases, 23.4%), and the 7th floor in the maternal and child healthcare center (n = 12 cases, 12.8%). These superspreading events accounted for 81 (86.2%) of 94 transmissions (Fig. 1, 2). The median interval between completion of vaccination and COVID-19 infection was 117 days (range, 18–187). There was no significant difference in the mean Ct value of the RdRp/ORF1ab gene between fully vaccinated individuals (mean 20.87, SD±6.28) and unvaccinated individuals (mean 19.94, SD±5.37, P = .52) at the time of diagnosis. Among healthcare workers and caregivers, only 1 required oxygen supplementation. In contrast, among 18 patients, there were 4 fatal cases (22.2%), 3 of whom were unvaccinated (Table 1). Conclusions: Superspreading infection among fully vaccinated individuals occurred in an acute-care hospital while the δ (delta) variant was dominant. Given the potential for severe complications, as this outbreak demonstrated, preventive measures including adequate ventilation should be emphasized to minimize transmission in hospitals.
We compared the pregnancy and live birth rates following transfer of early-stage embryos or blastocysts produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer using in vitro-matured oocytes. In total 102 ovaries were collected from dromedary camels at a local abattoir; from these 1048 cumulus–oocytes complexes (COCs) were aspirated and cultured for 42 h in a commercial maturation medium. Metaphase II oocytes were subjected to nuclear transfer. Somatic cell nuclear transfer-derived embryos were cultured in a commercial embryo medium for 2 or 7 days. Next, 71 early-stage embryos were surgically transferred to the left fallopian tube of 28 recipients and 47 blastocysts were transferred to the left uterine horn of 26 recipients. Early pregnancy was detected by serum progesterone (P4), and pregnancy was confirmed using ultrasonography on days 30 and 90 after embryo transfer. Pregnancy rate based on P4 level was 17.86% (5/28) and 11.54% (3/26) for early-stage embryo and blastocyst transfer, respectively. In the early-stage embryo group, out of five recipients, one recipient had lost the pregnancy by the first ultrasonography on day 30; two other recipients aborted at 14 and 24 weeks, and two recipients gave live births. In the blastocyst group, out of three recipients, one lost the pregnancy at an early stage and two recipients gave live births. Therefore, for dromedary camels, we recommend transvaginal blastocyst transfer from the standpoint of the pregnancy and live birth rate, ease of the transfer procedure, and comfort and safety of the recipients.
Jellyfish galaxies are starburst galaxies with ram-pressure-stripped tails and blue star-forming knots. These galaxies show a snapshot of star formation enhancement triggered by ram pressure stripping (RPS), being important targets for studying the RPS-induced star formation in gas-rich galaxies. Here we investigate the star formation activity of five jellyfish galaxies in massive clusters, using Gemini GMOS/IFU observations. From the Hα-derived star formation rates (SFRs), we find that our sample shows higher SFR excess to the star formation main sequence than the jellyfish galaxies in low-mass clusters. From the compiled sample of jellyfish galaxies in low-mass to high-mass host clusters, we suggest that the star formation activity of jellyfish galaxies has positive correlations with host cluster mass and degree of RPS. These relationships imply that higher ram pressure environments tend to trigger stronger starbursts in jellyfish galaxies in the early stage of RPS.
The explosive outbreak of COVID-19 led to a shortage of medical resources, including isolation rooms in hospitals, healthcare workers (HCWs) and personal protective equipment. Here, we constructed a new model, non-contact community treatment centres to monitor and quarantine asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients who recorded their own vital signs using a smartphone application. This new model in Korea is useful to overcome shortages of medical resources and to minimise the risk of infection transmission to HCWs.
We report our experience with an emergency room (ER) shutdown related to an accidental exposure to a patient with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who had not been isolated.
A 635-bed, tertiary-care hospital in Daegu, South Korea.
To prevent nosocomial transmission of the disease, we subsequently isolated patients with suspected symptoms, relevant radiographic findings, or epidemiology. Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays (RT-PCR) were performed for most patients requiring hospitalization. A universal mask policy and comprehensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) were implemented. We analyzed effects of these interventions.
From the pre-shutdown period (February 10–25, 2020) to the post-shutdown period (February 28 to March 16, 2020), the mean hourly turnaround time decreased from 23:31 ±6:43 hours to 9:27 ±3:41 hours (P < .001). As a result, the proportion of the patients tested increased from 5.8% (N=1,037) to 64.6% (N=690) (P < .001) and the average number of tests per day increased from 3.8±4.3 to 24.7±5.0 (P < .001). All 23 patients with COVID-19 in the post-shutdown period were isolated in the ER without any problematic accidental exposure or nosocomial transmission. After the shutdown, several metrics increased. The median duration of stay in the ER among hospitalized patients increased from 4:30 hours (interquartile range [IQR], 2:17–9:48) to 14:33 hours (IQR, 6:55–24:50) (P < .001). Rates of intensive care unit admissions increased from 1.4% to 2.9% (P = .023), and mortality increased from 0.9% to 3.0% (P = .001).
Problematic accidental exposure and nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 can be successfully prevented through active isolation and surveillance policies and comprehensive PPE use despite longer ER stays and the presence of more severely ill patients during a severe COVID-19 outbreak.
To investigate the impacts of depression screening, diagnosis and treatment on major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) in acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Prospective cohort study including a nested 24-week randomised clinical trial for treating depression was performed with 5–12 years after the index ACS. A total of 1152 patients recently hospitalised with ACS were recruited from 2006 to 2012, and were divided by depression screening and diagnosis at baseline and 24-week treatment allocation into five groups: 651 screening negative (N), 55 screening positive but no depressive disorder (S), 149 depressive disorder randomised to escitalopram (E), 151 depressive disorder randomised to placebo (P) and 146 depressive disorder receiving medical treatment only (M).
Cumulative MACE incidences over a median 8.4-year follow-up period were 29.6% in N, 43.6% in S, 40.9% in E, 53.6% in P and 59.6% in M. Compared to N, screening positive was associated with higher incidence of MACE [adjusted hazards ratio 2.15 (95% confidence interval 1.63–2.83)]. No differences were found between screening positive with and without a formal depressive disorder diagnosis. Of those screening positive, E was associated with a lower incidence of MACE than P and M. M had the worst outcomes even compared to P, despite significantly milder depressive symptoms at baseline.
Routine depression screening in patients with recent ACS and subsequent appropriate treatment of depression could improve long-term cardiac outcomes.
Spirituality is what gives people meaning and purpose in life, and it has been recognized as a critical factor in patients’ well-being, particularly at the ends of their lives. Studies have demonstrated relationships between spirituality and patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life and mental health. Although a number of studies have suggested that spiritual belief can be associated with mortality, the results are inconsistent. We aimed to determine whether spirituality was related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea.
For this multicenter study, we recruited adult advanced cancer inpatients who had been admitted to seven palliative care units with estimated survival of <3 months. We measured spirituality at admission using the Korean version of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-sp), which comprises two subscales: meaning/peace and faith. We calculated a Kaplan-Meier curve for spirituality, dichotomized at the predefined cutoffs and medians for the total scale and each of the two subscales, and performed univariate regression with a Cox proportional hazard model.
We enrolled a total of 204 adults (mean age: 64.5 ± 13.0; 48.5% female) in the study. The most common primary cancer diagnoses were lung (21.6%), colorectal (18.6%), and liver/biliary tract (13.0%). Median survival was 19.5 days (95% confidence interval [CI95%]: 23.5, 30.6). Total FACIT-sp score was not related to survival time (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.981, CI95% = 0.957, 1.007), and neither were the scores for its two subscales, meaning/peace (HR = 0.969, CI95% = 0.932, 1.008) and faith (HR = 0.981, CI95% = 0.938, 1.026).
Significance of results
Spirituality was not related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea. Plausible mechanisms merit further investigation.
Our objective was to evaluate long-term altered appearance, distress, and body image in posttreatment breast cancer patients and compare them with those of patients undergoing active treatment and with general population controls.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey between May and December of 2010. We studied 138 breast cancer patients undergoing active treatment and 128 posttreatment patients from 23 Korean hospitals and 315 age- and area-matched subjects drawn from the general population. Breast, hair, and skin changes, distress, and body image were assessed using visual analogue scales and the EORTC BR–23. Average levels of distress were compared across groups, and linear regression was utilized to identify the factors associated with body image.
Compared to active-treatment patients, posttreatment patients reported similar breast changes (6.6 vs. 6.2), hair loss (7.7 vs. 6.7), and skin changes (5.8 vs. 5.4), and both groups had significantly more severe changes than those of the general population controls (p < 0.01). For a similar level of altered appearance, however, breast cancer patients experienced significantly higher levels of distress than the general population. In multivariate analysis, patients with high altered appearance distress reported significantly poorer body image (–20.7, CI95% = –28.3 to –13.1) than patients with low distress.
Significance of results:
Posttreatment breast cancer patients experienced similar levels of altered appearance, distress, and body-image disturbance relative to patients undergoing active treatment but significantly higher distress and poorer body image than members of the general population. Healthcare professionals should acknowledge the possible long-term effects of altered appearance among breast cancer survivors and help them to manage the associated distress and psychological consequences.
Hyperlipidaemia is a major cause of atherosclerosis and related CVD and can be prevented with natural substances. Previously, we reported that a novel Bacillus-fermented green tea (FGT) exerts anti-obesity and hypolipidaemic effects. This study further investigated the hypotriglyceridaemic and anti-obesogenic effects of FGT and its underlying mechanisms. FGT effectively inhibited pancreatic lipase activity in vitro (IC50, 0·48 mg/ml) and ameliorated postprandial lipaemia in rats (26 % reduction with 500 mg/kg FGT). In hypertriglyceridaemic hamsters, FGT administration significantly reduced plasma TAG levels. In mice, FGT administration (500 mg/kg) for 2 weeks augmented energy expenditure by 22 % through the induction of plasma serotonin, a neurotransmitter that modulates energy expenditure and mRNA expressions of lipid metabolism genes in peripheral tissues. Analysis of the gut microbiota showed that FGT reduced the proportion of the phylum Firmicutes in hamsters, which could further contribute to its anti-obesity effects. Collectively, these data demonstrate that FGT decreases plasma TAG levels via multiple mechanisms including inhibition of pancreatic lipase, augmentation of energy expenditure, induction of serotonin secretion and alteration of gut microbiota. These results suggest that FGT may be a useful natural agent for preventing hypertriglyceridaemia and obesity.
The development of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from large animal species has become an important model for therapeutic cloning using ESCs derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). However, poor embryo quality and blastocyst formation have been major limitations for derivation of cloned ESCs (ntESCs). In this study, we have tried to overcome these problems by treating these cells with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) and aggregating porcine embryos. First, cloned embryos were treated with Scriptaid to confirm the effect of HDACi on cloned embryo quality. The Scriptaid-treated blastocysts showed significantly higher total cell numbers (29.50 ± 2.10) than non-treated blastocysts (22.29 ± 1.50, P < 0.05). Next, cloned embryo quality and blastocyst formation were analyzed in aggregates. Three zona-free, reconstructed, four-cell-stage SCNT embryos were injected into the empty zona of hatched parthenogenetic (PA) blastocysts. Blastocyst formation and total cell number of cloned blastocysts increased significantly for all aggregates (76.4% and 83.18 ± 8.33) compared with non-aggregates (25.5% and 27.11 ± 1.67, P < 0.05). Finally, aggregated blastocysts were cultured on a feeder layer to examine the efficiency of porcine ES-like cell derivation. Aggregated blastocysts showed a higher primary colony formation rate than non-aggregated cloned blastocysts (17.6 ± 12.3% vs. 2.2 ± 1.35%, respectively, P < 0.05). In addition, derived ES-like cells showed typical characters of ESCs. In conclusion, the aggregation of porcine SCNT embryos at the four-cell stage could be a useful technique for improving the development rate and quality of porcine-cloned blastocysts and the derivation efficiency of porcine ntESCs.
During the past decade, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has emerged and spread across the world.1 The major carbapenemase enzymes currently being reported are KPC, NDM-1, VIM, IMP, and OXA.2 Because carbapenemase can be effectively transmitted via mobile genetic elements, and current therapeutic options for CPE infections are extremely limited, CPE may be one of the most serious contemporary threats to public health. However, very little is known about the characteristics of CPE carriage during hospitalization. The aims of this study were to investigate the clearance rate of CPE carriage and determine the number of consecutive negative cultures required to confirm CPE clearance. We also examined CPE transmission among hospitalized patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1361–1362
We report on the formation of highly flexible and transparent TiO2/Ag/ITO multilayer films deposited on polyethylene terephthalate substrates. The optical and electrical properties of the multilayer films were investigated as a function of oxide thickness. The transmission window gradually shifted toward lower energies with increasing oxide thickness. The TiO2 (40 nm)/Ag (18 nm)/ITO (40 nm) films gave the transmittance of 93.1% at 560 nm. The relationship between transmittance and oxide thickness was simulated using the scattering matrix method to understand high transmittance. As the oxide thickness increased from 20 to 50 nm, the carrier concentration gradually decreased from 1.08 × 1022 to 6.66 × 1021 cm−3, while the sheet resistance varied from 5.8 to 6.1 Ω/sq. Haacke's figure of merit reached a maximum at 40 nm and then decreased with increasing oxide thickness. The change in resistance for the 60 nm-thick ITO single film rapidly increased with increasing bending cycles, while that of the TiO2/Ag/ITO (40 nm/18 nm/40 nm) film remained virtually unchanged during the bending test.
An indexed offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet ⩾8 mm/m2 is a quantitative criterion for the diagnosis of Ebstein’s anomaly. The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of this criterion for the discrimination of Ebstein’s anomaly from pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum in neonatal patients. A total of 122 neonatal patients, 56 with Ebstein’s anomaly and 66 with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, were enrolled. Diagnosis of each anomaly was based on typical morphologic features. Echocardiographic variables, including the offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet, were measured via an offline analysis of images recorded before 1 month of age. The offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet was indexed by the body surface area, and the indexed offset distances in the Ebstein’s anomaly and pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum groups were 34.2 mm/m2 (7.1–119.1 mm/m2) and 7.2 mm/m2 (0.0–25.6 mm/m2), respectively. The indexed offset distance was ⩾8 mm/m2 in 29 (43.9%) of the patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum; clinical and echocardiographic characteristics were comparable between these 29 patients and the remaining 37 patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum. When an indexed offset distance ⩾8 mm/m2 was applied as a cut-off for the diagnosis of Ebstein’s anomaly, the sensitivity was 0.963 and the specificity was 0.561. In conclusion, indexed offset distance ⩾8 mm/m2 cannot be used as a cut-off for the diagnosis of complicated Ebstein’s anomaly in neonatal patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum.