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Background: Although small- and medium-sized hospitals comprise most healthcare providers in South Korea, data on antibiotic usage is limited in these facilities. We evaluated the pattern of antibiotic usage and its appropriateness in hospitals with <400 beds in South Korea. Methods: A multicenter retrospective study was conducted in 10 hospitals (6 long-term care hospitals, 3 acute-care hospitals, and 1 orthopedic hospital), with <400 beds in South Korea. We analyzed patterns of antibiotic prescription and their appropriateness in the participating hospitals. Data on the monthly antibiotic prescriptions and patient days for hospitalized patients were collected using electronic databases from each hospital. To avoid the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, data were collected from January to December 2019. For the evaluation of the appropriateness of the prescription, 25 patients under antibiotic therapy were randomly selected at each hospital over 2 separate periods. Due to the heterogeneity of their characteristics, the orthopedics hospital was excluded from the analysis. The collected data were reviewed, and the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated by 5 specialists in infectious diseases (adult and pediatric). Data from 2 hospitals were assigned to each specialist. The appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated from 3 aspects: route of administration, dose, and class. If the 3 aspects were ‘optimal,’ the prescription was considered ‘optimal.’ If only the route was ‘optimal,’ and the dose and/or class was ‘suboptimal,’ but not ‘inappropriate,’ it was considered ‘suboptimal.’ If even 1 aspect was ‘inappropriate,’ it was classified as ‘inappropriate.’ Results: The most commonly prescribed antibiotics in long-term care hospitals was fluoroquinolone, followed by β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor (antipseudomonal). In acute-care hospitals, these were third-generation cephalosporin, followed by first-generation cephalosporin and second-generation cephalosporin. The major antibiotics that were prescribed in the orthopedics hospital was first-generation cephalosporin. Only 2.3% of the antibiotics were administered inappropriately. In comparison, 15.3% of patients were prescribed an inappropriate dose. The proportion of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions was 30.6% of the total antibiotic prescriptions. Conclusions: The antibiotic usage patterns vary between small- and medium-sized hospitals in South Korea. The proportion of inappropriate prescriptions exceeded 30% of the total antibiotic prescriptions.
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.
Background: Contact tracing alone is often inadequate to determine the source of healthcare personnel (HCP) COVID-19 when SARS-CoV-2 is widespread in the community. We combined whole-genome sequencing (WGS) with traditional epidemiologic analysis to investigate the frequency with which patients or other HCP with symptomatic COVID-19 acted as the source of HCP infection at a large tertiary-care center early in the pandemic. Methods: Cohort samples were selected from patients and HCP with PCR-positive SARS-CoV-2 infection from a period with complete retention of samples (March 14, 2021–April 10, 2020) at Rush University Medical Center, a 664-bed hospital in Chicago, Illinois. During this period, testing was limited to symptomatic patients and HCP. Recommended respiratory equipment for HCP evolved under guidance, including a 19-day period when medical face masks were recommended for COVID-19 care except for aerosol-generating procedures. Viral RNA was extracted and sequenced (NovaSeq, Illumina) from remnant nasopharyngeal swab samples in M4RT viral transport medium. Genomes with >90% coverage underwent cluster detection using a 2 single-nucleotide variant genetic distance cutoff. Genomic clusters were independently evaluated for valid epidemiologic links by 2 infectious diseases physicians (with a third adjudicator) using metadata extracted from the electronic medical record and according to predetermined criteria (Table 1). Results: In total, 1,031 SARS-CoV-2 sequences were analyzed, identifying 49 genomic clusters with HCP (median, 8; range, 2–43 members per cluster; total, 268 patients and 115 HCP) (Fig. 1). Also, 20,190 flowsheet activities were documented for cohort HCP and patient interactions, including 686 instances in which a cohort HCP contributed to a cohort patient’s chart. Most HCP infections were considered not healthcare associated (88 of 115, 76.5%). We did not identify any strong linkages for patient-to-HCP transmission. Moreover, 13 HCP cases (11.3%) were attributed to patient source (weak linkage). Also, 14 HCP cases (12.2%) were attributed to HCP source (11 strong and 3 weak linkages). Weak linkages were due to lack of epidemiologic data for HCP location, particularly nonclinical staff (eg, an environmental service worker who lacked location documentation to rule out patient-specific contact). Agreement for epidemiologic linkage between the 2 evaluators was high (κ, 0.91). Conclusions: Using genomic and epidemiologic data, we found that most HCP COVID-19 infections were not healthcare associated. We found weak evidence to support symptomatic patient-to-HCP transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and stronger evidence for HCP-to-HCP transmission. Large genomic clusters without plausible epidemiologic links were identified, reflecting the limited utility of genomic surveillance alone to characterize chains of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during extensive community spread.
Our previous studies have already revealed that β-cryptoxanthin (BCX), hesperetin (HES), and icariin (ICA) antioxidants are effective for in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes. In this study, we investigated which of BCX, HES, or ICA was more effective for IVM of porcine oocytes. The antioxidant properties were assessed with aged porcine oocytes and embryos by comparing 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl)hydrazyl (DPPH), reducing power, and H2O2 scavenging activity assays. The chemical assay results demonstrated that BCX had a greater DPPH scavenging activity and reducing power than HES and ICA, compared with controls. However, the H2O2 scavenging activity of the antioxidants was similar when tested at the optimal concentrations of 1 μM BCX (BCX-1), 100 μM HES (HES-100), and 5 μM ICA (ICA-5). The biological assay results showed that BCX-1 treatment was more effective in inducing a significant reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS), improving glutathione levels, and increasing the expression of antioxidant genes. In addition, BCX-1 inhibited apoptosis by increasing the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and decreasing pro-apoptotic genes in porcine parthenogenetic blastocysts. BCX-1 also significantly increased the blastocyst formation rate compared with the ageing control group, HES-100 and ICA-5. This study demonstrates that damage from ROS produced during oocyte ageing can be prevented by supplementing antioxidants into the IVM medium, and BCX may be a potential candidate to improve assisted reproductive technologies.
The adolescent brain may be susceptible to the influences of illicit drug use. While compensatory network reorganization is a unique developmental characteristic that may restore several brain disorders, its association with methamphetamine (MA) use-induced damage during adolescence is unclear.
Using independent component (IC) analysis on structural magnetic resonance imaging data, spatially ICs described as morphometric networks were extracted to examine the effects of MA use on gray matter (GM) volumes and network module connectivity in adolescents (51 MA users v. 60 controls) and adults (54 MA users v. 60 controls).
MA use was related to significant GM volume reductions in the default mode, cognitive control, salience, limbic, sensory and visual network modules in adolescents. GM volumes were also reduced in the limbic and visual network modules of the adult MA group as compared to the adult control group. Differential patterns of structural connectivity between the basal ganglia (BG) and network modules were found between the adolescent and adult MA groups. Specifically, adult MA users exhibited significantly reduced connectivity of the BG with the default network modules compared to control adults, while adolescent MA users, despite the greater extent of network GM volume reductions, did not show alterations in network connectivity relative to control adolescents.
Our findings suggest the potential of compensatory network reorganization in adolescent brains in response to MA use. The developmental characteristic to compensate for MA-induced brain damage can be considered as an age-specific therapeutic target for adolescent MA users.
Firefighters are frequently exposed to stressful situations and are at high risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Hyperresponsiveness to threatening and emotional stimuli and diminishment of executive control have been suggested as manifestations of PTSD.
To examine brain activation in firefighters with PTSD by conducting an executive control-related behavioural task with trauma-related interferences.
Twelve firefighters with PTSD and 14 healthy firefighters underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a Stroop match-to-sample task using trauma-related photographic stimuli. Seed-based functional connectivity analysis was conducted using regions identified in fMRI contrast analysis.
Compared with the controls, the participants with PTSD had longer reaction times when the trauma-related interferences were presented. They showed significantly stronger brain activation to interfering trauma-related stimuli in the left insula, and had weaker insular functional connectivity in the supplementary motor area and the anterior cingulate cortex than the controls. They also showed a significant correlation between left insula–supplementary motor area connectivity strength and the hyperarousal subscale of the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale.
Our findings indicate that trauma-related stimuli elicit excessive brain activation in the left insula among firefighters with PTSD. Firefighters with PTSD also appear to have weak left insular functional connectivity with executive control-related brain regions. This aberrant insular activation and functional connectivity could be related to the development and maintenance of PTSD symptoms in firefighters.
The risk factors of environmental contamination by SARS-CoV-2 are largely unknown. We analyzed 1,320 environmental samples obtained from COVID-19 patients over 1 year. The risk factors for contamination of COVID-19 patients’ surrounding environment were higher viral load in the respiratory tract and shorter duration from symptom onset to sample collection.
To evaluate the performance of an FFQ for estimating dietary contributions of NOVA groups to individuals’ diets with a specific focus on ultra-processed foods (UPF) compared with a single 24-h dietary recall (24HR).
All consumed foods and beverages assess with both a 109-item FFQ and a single 24HR were classified into one of four NOVA groups: natural or minimally processed foods (MPF), processed culinary ingredients (PCI), processed foods (PF) and UPF. The contributions of each NOVA group to daily intakes of energy, protein, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, fibre and Na were expressed as crude intake, energy-adjusted intake and percentage intake. Mean differences, correlation coefficients and joint classification were calculated for intakes of energy and nutrients from each NOVA group between the FFQ and the 24HR.
The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2016.
Adults aged 19–64 years (n 3189).
The smallest group-mean differences between the two methods were observed in UPF (2–40 %). The greatest average Pearson’s correlation coefficients between the FFQ and 24HR were shown in dietary contributions of UPF (r = 0·22–0·25 for MPF; r = 0·02–0·05 for PCI; r = 0·11–0·18 for PF; r = 0·26–0·30 for UPF). The greatest agreement in quartile classification between the FFQ and the 24HR was observed in dietary contributions of UPF (70·0–71·5 % for MPF; 64·2–68·8 % for PCI; 66·9–69·2 % for PF; 71·8–73·9 % for UPF).
The use of the FFQ for estimating absolute intake of UPF may not be encouraged in its current form, but it still may be used for relative comparisons such as quantile categorisation.
Litter-dwelling arthropods play an important role in maintaining forest ecosystem function. This study was designed to understand seasonal variations and diversity of litter-dwelling adult beetles, one of the most diverse groups of arthropods. Sampling was conducted in mixed-wood forests of South Korea between March and December 2019, covering all seasons, including winter. We used a sifting method and a Berlese funnel to collect arthropods living in leaf litter and soil. We collected a total of 5820 invertebrates representing six orders, of which 1422 were beetles representing 24 families and minimum 141 species. Beetle species richness was highest in spring and lowest in summer based on rarefaction and extrapolation. However, beetle abundance was lowest in spring, but abundance was similar among the other seasons. Beetle assemblage composition was correlated significantly with soil surface and atmospheric temperature. The assemblage composition differed among seasons, except between spring and winter, which overlapped slightly. The combined sifting–Berlese funnel method showed great advantages for investigating the diversity of overwintering arthropods. Continued study of the relationship between arthropods and the leaf-litter environment is essential to understand this microecosystem and will increase the chance of discovering new beetle species.
This chapter addresses the issue of measuring consonants from an acoustic perspective. After reviewing some of the historic precedents that laid the foundations of acoustic analysis relevant for speech, the chapter provides a detailed report of the techniques for measuring the acoustic information of consonants of six manners of articulation (fricatives, stops, affricates, nasals, approximants, and the group of trills, taps and flaps). The chapter discusses links between the main articulatory characteristics of consonants of each manner and their acoustic correlates, with a focus on those acoustic variables that differentiate consonants within a manner, and on the variety of methods that are employed to measure them. Whenever possible, the chapter gives specific guidelines on how to apply the measurements, highlighting the differences in implementation between authors as well as the advantages and disadvantages of selecting one approach over another. In its closing sections, the chapter discusses some recent studies which address the issue of measuring consonants, provides some practical recommendations for teaching, and identifies some future directions for the topic.
This study aimed to determine the effect of donor-transmitted atherosclerosis on the late aggravation of cardiac allograft vasculopathy in paediatric heart recipients aged ≥7 years.
In total, 48 patients were included and 23 had donor-transmitted atherosclerosis (baseline maximal intimal thickness of >0.5 mm on intravascular ultrasonography). Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors for donor-transmitted atherosclerosis. Rates of survival free from the late aggravation of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (new or worsening cardiac allograft vasculopathy on following angiograms, starting 1 year after transplantation) in each patient group were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. The effect of the results of intravascular ultrasonography at 1 year after transplantation on the late aggravation of cardiac allograft vasculopathy, correcting for possible covariates including donor-transmitted atherosclerosis, was examined using the Cox proportional hazards model.
The mean follow-up duration after transplantation was 5.97 ± 3.58 years. The log-rank test showed that patients with donor-transmitted atherosclerosis had worse survival outcomes than those without (p = 0.008). Per the multivariate model considering the difference of maximal intimal thickness between baseline and 1 year following transplantation (hazard ratio, 22.985; 95% confidence interval, 1.948–271.250; p = 0.013), donor-transmitted atherosclerosis was a significant covariate (hazard ratio, 4.013; 95% confidence interval, 1.047–15.376; p = 0.043).
Paediatric heart transplantation recipients with donor-transmitted atherosclerosis aged ≥7 years had worse late cardiac allograft vasculopathy aggravation-free survival outcomes.
Two aphid-transmitted RNA viruses, broad bean wilt virus 2 (BBWV2) and cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), are the most prevalent viruses in Korean pepper fields and cause chronic damage in pepper production. In this study, we employed a screening system for pathotype-specific resistance of pepper germplasm to BBWV2 and CMV by utilizing infectious cDNA clones of different pathotypes of the viruses (two BBWV2 strains and three CMV strains). We first examined pathogenic characteristics of the BBWV2 and CMV strains in various plant species and their phylogenetic positions in the virus population structures. We then screened 34 commercial pepper cultivars and seven accessions for resistance. While 21 pepper cultivars were resistant to CMV Fny strain, only two cultivars were resistant to CMV P1 strain. We also found only one cultivar partially resistant to BBWV2 RP1 strain. However, all tested commercial pepper cultivars were susceptible to the resistance-breaking CMV strain GTN (CMV-GTN) and BBWV2 severe strain PAP1 (BBWV2-PAP1), suggesting that breeding new cultivars resistant to these virus strains is necessary. Fortunately, we identified several pepper accessions that were resistant or partially resistant to CMV-GTN and one symptomless accession despite systemic infection with BBWV2-PAP1. These genetic resources will be useful in pepper breeding programs to deploy resistance to BBWV2 and CMV.
Although the importance of networking often is emphasized to graduate students, straightforward guidance on how to approach this task is typically reliant on individual advisors who both know and can demystify the discipline’s hidden and informal practices. This article provides concrete, point-by-point tips for both junior scholars and their supporters, building on our experiences in creating an online communication forum for early-career scholars on the job market. Specifically, we suggest a model of community networking focused on robust, cross-rank engagement along dimensions of similar experiences and similar interests. Community networking moves beyond individuals angling to obtain a seat at the table and instead builds a bigger, more inclusive table. Although junior scholars must focus primarily on their research rather than expansive service commitments, community networking is ultimately both a service to the discipline and a fruitful strategy for raising a scholar’s profile and finding coauthors, colleagues, friends, and allies.
Prognostic heterogeneity in early psychosis patients yields significant difficulties in determining the degree and duration of early intervention; this heterogeneity highlights the need for prognostic biomarkers. Although mismatch negativity (MMN) has been widely studied across early phases of psychotic disorders, its potential as a common prognostic biomarker in early periods, such as clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis and first-episode psychosis (FEP), has not been fully studied.
A total of 104 FEP patients, 102 CHR individuals, and 107 healthy controls (HCs) participated in baseline MMN recording. Clinical outcomes were assessed; 17 FEP patients were treatment resistant, 73 FEP patients were nonresistant, 56 CHR individuals were nonremitters (15 transitioned to a psychotic disorder), and 22 CHR subjects were remitters. Baseline MMN amplitudes were compared across clinical outcome groups and tested for utility prognostic biomarkers using binary logistic regression.
MMN amplitudes were greatest in HCs, intermediate in CHR subjects, and smallest in FEP patients. In the clinical outcome groups, MMN amplitudes were reduced from the baseline in both FEP and CHR patients with poor prognostic trajectories. Reduced baseline MMN amplitudes were a significant predictor of later treatment resistance in FEP patients [Exp(β) = 2.100, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.104–3.993, p = 0.024] and nonremission in CHR individuals [Exp(β) = 1.898, 95% CI 1.065–3.374, p = 0.030].
These findings suggest that MMN could be used as a common prognostic biomarker across early psychosis periods, which will aid clinical decisions for early intervention.