To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Background: Hospitalized patients may unknowingly carry severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), even if they are admitted for other reasons. Because SARS-CoV-2 may remain positive by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for months after infection, patients with a positive result may not necessarily be infectious. We aimed to determine the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 infections in patients admitted for reasons unrelated to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is an 811-bed tertiary-care center. We use a nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR to screen admitted patients without signs or symptoms compatible with COVID-19. Patients with positive tests undergo a repeat test to assess cycle threshold (Ct) value kinetics. We reviewed records for patients with positive RT-PCR screening admitted during July–October 2020. We used a combination of history, serologies, and RT-PCR Ct values to assess and qualify likelihood of infectiousness: (1) likely infectious, if Ct values were <29, or (2) likely not infectious, if 1 or both samples had Cts <30 with or without a positive SARS-CoV-2 antinucleocapsid IgG/IgM test or history of a positive result in the past 90 days. Contact tracing was only conducted for patients likely to be infectious. We describe the isolation duration and contact tracing data. Results: In total, 6,447 patients were tested on hospital admission for any reason (persons under investigation or admitted for reasons other than COVID-19). Of these, 240 (4%) had positive results, but 65 (27%) of these were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19. In total, 55 patients had Ct values available and were included in this analysis. The median age was 56 years (range, 0–91), 28 (51%) were male, and 12 (5%) were children. The most frequent admission syndromes were neurological (36%), gastrointestinal (16%), and trauma (16%). Our assessment revealed 23 likely infections (42%; 14 definite, 9 possible) and 32 cases likely not infectious (58%). The mean Ct for patients who were likely infectious was 22; it was 34 for patients who were likely not infectious. Mean duration of in-hospital isolation was 6 days for those who were likely infectious and 2 days for those who were likely not infectious. We detected 8 individuals (1 healthcare worker and 7 patients) who were exposed to a likely infectious patient. Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients hospitalized for other reasons was infrequent. An assessment of the likelihood of infectiousness including history, RT-PCR Cts, and serology may help prioritize patients in need of isolation and contact investigations.
Background: Identification of hospitalized patients with enteric multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) carriage, combined with implementation of targeted infection control interventions, may help reduce MDRO transmission. However, the optimal surveillance approach has not been defined. We sought to determine whether daily serial rectal surveillance for MDROs detects more incident cases (acquisition) of MDRO colonization in medical intensive care unit (MICU) patients than admission and discharge surveillance alone. Methods: Prospective longitudinal observational single-center study from January 11, 2017, to January 11, 2018. Inclusion criteria were ≥3 consecutive MICU days and ≥2 rectal or stool swabs per MICU admission. Daily rectal or stool swabs were collected from patients and cultured for MDROs, including vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Enterobacterales (3GCR), and extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E) (as a subset of 3GCR). MDRO detection at any time during the MICU stay was used to calculate prevalent colonization. Incident colonization (acquisition) was defined as new detection of an MDRO after at least 1 prior negative swab. We then determined the proportion of prevalent and incident cases detected by daily testing that were also detected when only first swabs (admission) and last swabs (discharge) were tested. Data were analyzed using SAS version 9.4 software. Results: In total, 939 MICU stays of 842 patients were analyzed. Patient characteristics were median age 64 years (interquartile range [IQR], 51–74), median MICU length of stay 5 days (IQR, 3–8), median number of samples per admission 3 (IQR, 2–5), and median Charlson index 4 (IQR, 2–7). Prevalent colonization with any MDRO was detected by daily swabbing in 401 stays (42.7%). Compared to daily serial swabbing, an admission- and discharge-only approach detected ≥86% of MDRO cases (ie, overall prevalent MDRO colonization). Detection of incident MDRO colonization by an admission- or discharge-only approach would have detected fewer cases than daily swabbing (Figure 1); ≥34% of total MDRO acquisitions would have been missed. Conclusions: Testing patients upon admission and discharge to an MICU may fail to detect MDRO acquisition in more than one-third of patients, thereby reducing the effectiveness of MDRO control programs that are targeted against known MDRO carriers. The poor performance of a single discharge swab may be due to intermittent or low-level MDRO shedding, inadequate sampling, or transient MDRO colonization. Additional research is needed to determine the optimal surveillance approach of enteric MDRO carriage.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveying has potential to become a powerful tool for sustainable parasite control. As trematode parasites require an intermediate snail host that is often aquatic or amphibious to fulfil their lifecycle, water-based eDNA analyses can be used to screen habitats for the presence of snail hosts and identify trematode infection risk areas. The aim of this study was to identify climatic and environmental factors associated with the detection of Galba truncatula eDNA. Fourteen potential G. truncatula habitats on two farms were surveyed over a 9-month period, with eDNA detected using a filter capture, extraction and PCR protocol with data analysed using a generalized estimation equation. The probability of detecting G. truncatula eDNA increased in habitats where snails were visually detected, as temperature increased, and as water pH decreased (P < 0.05). Rainfall was positively associated with eDNA detection in watercourse habitats on farm A, but negatively associated with eDNA detection in watercourse habitats on farm B (P < 0.001), which may be explained by differences in watercourse gradient. This study is the first to identify factors associated with trematode intermediate snail host eDNA detection. These factors should be considered in standardized protocols to evaluate the results of future eDNA surveys.
Stretcher transport isolators provide mobile, high-level biocontainment outside the hospital for patients with highly infectious diseases, such as Ebola virus disease. Air quality within this confined space may pose human health risks.
Ambient air temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 concentration were monitored within an isolator during 2 operational exercises with healthy volunteers, including a ground transport exercise of approximately 257 miles. In addition, failure of the blower unit providing ambient air to the isolator was simulated. A simple compartmental model was developed to predict CO2 and H2O concentrations within the isolator.
In both exercises, CO2 and H2O concentrations were elevated inside the isolator, reaching steady-state values of 4434 ± 1013 ppm CO2 and 22 ± 2 mbar H2O in the first exercise and 3038 ± 269 ppm CO2 and 20 ± 1 mbar H2O in the second exercise. When blower failure was simulated, CO2 concentration exceeded 10 000 ppm within 8 minutes. A simple compartmental model predicted CO2 and H2O concentrations by accounting for human emissions and blower air exchange.
Attention to air quality within stretcher transport isolators (including adequate ventilation to prevent accumulation of CO2 and other bioeffluents) is needed to optimize patient safety.
An accurate estimate of the average number of hand hygiene opportunities per patient hour (HHO rate) is required to implement group electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems (GEHHMSs). We sought to identify predictors of HHOs to validate and implement a GEHHMS across a network of critical care units.
Multicenter, observational study (10 hospitals) followed by quality improvement intervention involving 24 critical care units across 12 hospitals in Ontario, Canada.
Critical care patient beds were randomized to receive 1 hour of continuous direct observation to determine the HHO rate. A Poisson regression model determined unit-level predictors of HHOs. Estimates of average HHO rates across different types of critical care units were derived and used to implement and evaluate use of GEHHMS.
During 2,812 hours of observation, we identified 25,417 HHOs. There was significant variability in HHO rate across critical care units. Time of day, day of the week, unit acuity, patient acuity, patient population and use of transmission-based precautions were significantly associated with HHO rate. Using unit-specific estimates of average HHO rate, aggregate HH adherence was 30.0% (1,084,329 of 3,614,908) at baseline with GEHHMS and improved to 38.5% (740,660 of 1,921,656) within 2 months of continuous feedback to units (P < .0001).
Unit-specific estimates based on known predictors of HHO rate enabled broad implementation of GEHHMS. Further longitudinal quality improvement efforts using this system are required to assess the impact of GEHHMS on both HH adherence and clinical outcomes within critically ill patient populations.
Patients admitted to the hospital may unknowingly carry severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and hospitals have implemented SARS-CoV-2 admission screening. However, because SARS-CoV-2 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays may remain positive for months after infection, positive results may represent active or past infection. We determined the prevalence and infectiousness of patients who were admitted for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 but tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on admission screening.
We conducted an observational study at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics from July 7 to October 25, 2020. All patients admitted without suspicion of COVID-19 were included, and medical records of those with a positive admission screening test were reviewed. Infectiousness was determined using patient history, PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value, and serology.
In total, 5,913 patients were screened and admitted for reasons unrelated to COVID-19. Of these, 101 had positive admission RT-PCR results; 36 of these patients were excluded because they had respiratory signs/symptoms on admission on chart review. Also, 65 patients (1.1%) did not have respiratory symptoms. Finally, 55 patients had Ct values available and were included in this analysis. The median age of the final cohort was 56 years and 51% were male. Our assessment revealed that 23 patients (42%) were likely infectious. The median duration of in-hospital isolation was 5 days for those likely infectious and 2 days for those deemed noninfectious.
SARS-CoV-2 was infrequent among patients admitted for reasons unrelated to COVID-19. An assessment of the likelihood of infectiousness using clinical history, RT-PCR Ct values, and serology may help in making the determination to discontinue isolation and conserve resources.
Ventilator-capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs) are critical to the epidemiology and control of antibiotic-resistant organisms. During an infection prevention intervention to control carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), we conducted a qualitative study to characterize vSNF healthcare personnel beliefs and experiences regarding infection control measures.
A qualitative study involving semistructured interviews.
One vSNF in the Chicago, Illinois, metropolitan region.
The study included 17 healthcare personnel representing management, nursing, and nursing assistants.
We used face-to-face, semistructured interviews to measure healthcare personnel experiences with infection control measures at the midpoint of a 2-year quality improvement project.
Healthcare personnel characterized their facility as a home-like environment, yet they recognized that it is a setting where germs were ‘invisible’ and potentially ‘threatening.’ Healthcare personnel described elaborate self-protection measures to avoid acquisition or transfer of germs to their own household. Healthcare personnel were motivated to implement infection control measures to protect residents, but many identified structural barriers such as understaffing and time constraints, and some reported persistent preference for soap and water.
Healthcare personnel in vSNFs, from management to frontline staff, understood germ theory and the significance of multidrug-resistant organism transmission. However, their ability to implement infection control measures was hampered by resource limitations and mixed beliefs regarding the effectiveness of infection control measures. Self-protection from acquiring multidrug-resistant organisms was a strong motivator for healthcare personnel both outside and inside the workplace, and it could explain variation in adherence to infection control measures such as a higher hand hygiene adherence after resident care than before resident care.
Ethnohistoric accounts indicate that the people of Australia's Channel Country engaged in activities rarely recorded elsewhere on the continent, including food storage, aquaculture and possible cultivation, yet there has been little archaeological fieldwork to verify these accounts. Here, the authors report on a collaborative research project initiated by the Mithaka people addressing this lack of archaeological investigation. The results show that Mithaka Country has a substantial and diverse archaeological record, including numerous large stone quarries, multiple ritual structures and substantial dwellings. Our archaeological research revealed unknown aspects, such as the scale of Mithaka quarrying, which could stimulate re-evaluation of Aboriginal socio-economic systems in parts of ancient Australia.
A major obstacle in understanding and treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is its clinical and neurobiological heterogeneity. To address this barrier, the field has become increasingly interested in identifying subtypes of PTSD based on dysfunction in neural networks alongside cognitive impairments that may underlie the development and maintenance of symptoms. The current study aimed to determine if subtypes of PTSD, based on normative-based cognitive dysfunction across multiple domains, have unique neural network signatures.
In a sample of 271 veterans (90% male) that completed both neuropsychological testing and resting-state fMRI, two complementary, whole-brain functional connectivity analyses explored the link between brain functioning, PTSD symptoms, and cognition.
At the network level, PTSD symptom severity was associated with reduced negative coupling between the limbic network (LN) and frontal-parietal control network (FPCN), driven specifically by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and amygdala Hubs of Dysfunction. Further, this relationship was uniquely moderated by executive function (EF). Specifically, those with PTSD and impaired EF had the strongest marker of LN-FPCN dysregulation, while those with above-average EF did not exhibit PTSD-related dysregulation of these networks.
These results suggest that poor executive functioning, alongside LN-FPCN dysregulation, may represent a neurocognitive subtype of PTSD.
Michael Hattaway's Introduction to this bestselling edition of As You Like It accounts for what makes this popular play both innocent and dangerous. This third edition includes a new section on recent critical interpretations, including sections on ecocriticism, peace studies, and myths of gender, on recent as well as past stage productions and films of the play, as well as fresh illustrations. An appendix on an early court performance in 1599, commentary on the play's language, the book trade, and the discursive cultures of its time, as well as an updated reading list are also included.