University celebrates Advent with Las Posadas

first_imgAmong the Advent traditions celebrated on campus this season is Las Posadas, a procession that celebrates the journey of Mary and Joseph to the birthplace of Christ.  Three residence halls are hosting the event this week, the final part of which will start at the Grotto at 9 p.m. tonight and end at Farley Hall. Las Posadas, which means “lodgings” in Spanish, is a Christmastime tradition that originated in Spain and is now celebrated annually in Mexico, the southwestern United States and Latino communities in Central and South America.  Elaine DeBassige, rector of Farley Hall, said she grew up with the tradition of Las Posadas in New Mexico and wanted to ensure that the tradition became a part of Notre Dame’s Advent season. “Notre Dame has held Las Posadas celebrations in years past, but usually it was just one night out of the year, and I don’t think it has been this organized,” DeBassige said. In traditional Las Posadas observances, two individuals dressed as the holy couple lead a candle-lit procession to the home of a local family, who hosts a meal and prayer. A priest will normally bless the home and lead the prayer service, which often takes place on nine successive nights leading up to Christmas Eve Mass, with Mary and Joseph walking down the church aisle to meet the Christ child at the crèche. “The celebration is usually a novena,” DeBassige said. “Nine families will host the event in community, but we decided it would be easier to have only three dorms host this week.” Keenan Hall hosted the event Monday night, followed by Howard Hall on Tuesday night. Farley Hall will host the final procession tonight. The Keenan Hall procession began with prayer at the Grotto, followed by a procession featuring traditional music in Spanish, sung by the student group Coro Primavera.  Afterward, Ofelia Juarez, a Keenan Hall housekeeper, and several of her family members prepared traditional Mexican tacos for the attendees.  Keenan Hall rector Noel Terranova said Juarez has offered her cooking expertise for such events in the past. “Ofelia is part of our family,” Terranova said. “She cooked for our Las Posadas celebration last year. She brings her family, her sons and grandchildren.” As part of the procession, freshman Halie Berrigan from Farley Hall dressed up as Mary and freshman Luke Joseph from Siegfried Hall dressed up as Joseph. The two said they agreed to don the costumes for Las Posadas at the request of DeBassige. “We have a Monday night tradition where we have Mass and she feeds us, so she asked if we wanted to be Mary and Joseph,” Joseph said. Las Posadas was new for many students who took part in the event, including Berrigan. “I hadn’t heard of Las Posadas,” Berrigan said. “It’s a new tradition for me, and it’s cool to be a part of it.” Contact Charlie Ducey at cducey@nd.edulast_img read more

Stowe Area Association honors Michael Diender

first_imgStowe Area Association presented the Stowe Business Person of the Year award at their Annual Membership Dinner, which was hosted on June 19th by Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. The Annual Stowe Business Person of the Year 2012 honor was awarded to Michael Diender, owner of the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites.  Diender started his career in the hospitality industry 36 years ago when he attended the hotel management school in Maastricht, Netherlands. From there, Michael moved to the United States for an internship, and it was in Florida that he met his wife Debi and decided to stay. He subsequently managed several hotels in the Disney World area. In 1985 the Dienders vacationed in Stowe where they fell in love with the community.  For years Michael wanted a business of his own and they decided to purchase the Grey Fox Inn.  Between 1986 and 2001, they transformed the Grey Fox Inn from a 19 room renovated farm house inn, into a AAA 3-star mini-resort.  Michaelâ s pride and joy was creating the Dutch Pancake Café, a tribute to his Dutch heritage, which became a favorite among tourists and local residents. In 1998, Michael and Debi purchased the Sun & Ski Inn and a few years later created another Stowe first, the Stowe Golf Park.  Looking to slow down a little they sold the Grey Fox in 2004.  In 2011, to their great surprise their daughter Rachel and son-in-law Mark asked to enter the family business. Rachel & Mark have been operating the Sun & Ski Inn since January. Over the years Michael has also focused his energies on improving Stowe as a tourist destination.  He has been a long time member of the Stowe Area Association and served as its President from 2000 to 2006.  Heâ s been an active member of Rotary and currently serves as its President, a member of the Stowe Vibrancy Committee, and currently serves on the Design Review Board.  He was also a notable leader in Stoweâ s effort to create a local options tax for the benefit of the community and visitors. In his presentation speech at the dinner, Chuck Barawâ President of the SAA board of trusteesâ said, â Michael can be truly characterized as being polymathic.’He explained, â he is an individual with many interests and with a depth of knowledge in a wide variety of subjects.â   As Michael transitions into retirement, he will remain an active advisor for the Sun & Ski Inn, and will remain on the Board of the Stowe Area Association.  Both Michael & Debi are looking forward to enjoying time in their home, traveling and spending time with their daughters Donna and Rachel and 4 grandchildren, and welcoming a fifth in January 2013. Stowe Area Association, located in the resort community of Stowe, Vermont, is a tourism marketing organization as well as being the Chamber of Commerce. Stowe, VT (June 25, 2012) Stowe Area Associationlast_img read more

Another leading academic medical center turns to Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center has joined the growing family of organizations leveraging Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform to manage VNA archiving, communication, exchange and sharing of medical imaging data. Penn State Hershey, one of the leading academic medical centers in the US, provides a range of fully-integrated patient care services to the people of central Pennsylvania and to a growing care network. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Penn State Hershey,” said Eric Rice, chief technology officer, Mach7 Technologies. “Our advanced healthcare IT platform allows Penn State Hershey to own, manage, and share their unstructured clinical media. Mach7 enterprise imaging technology simplifies scalability, and expands clinical data access helping Penn State Hershey achieve their key business and care delivery goals.” Penn State Hershey Health System consists of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institution, Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital, and Penn State Hershey Medical Group. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a 551-bed academic medical center consisting of 3 on-campus outpatient facilities and several office buildings. Over 27,000 inpatient visits, 64,000 emergency room visits and 28,000 surgeries are performed each year at the medical center.  The Medical group includes 63 clinics and more than 900 clinicians. Penn State Hershey joins Mach7 Technologies’ global family of customers and technology partners. This global network includes similar large academic medical centers, IDNs, regional medical centers and independent imaging centers. The flexibility and scalability of Mach7 Enterprise Imaging Platform supports cohesive workflows for organizations of all sizes by bridging traditional patient data sharing and interoperability barriers. Mach7 TechnologiesMach7 Technologies is a global provider of enterprise image management systems that allow healthcare enterprises to easily identify, connect, and share diagnostic image and patient care intelligence where and when needed. Mach7’s award-winning platform delivers image management including rapid record identification, integration, synchronization and routing, advanced clinical viewing and optimized vendor neutral archiving. Mach7 has locations in the U.S., Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. Visit is external). Follow us on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn.Burlington, VT – March 8, 2016 – Mach7 Technologieslast_img read more

KLM introduces 8 direct flights a week between Split and Amsterdam

first_imgKLM Royal Dutch Airlines is in the new summer schedule for 2017. introduced a direct line between Split and Amsterdam which means that from now on it will fly to two destinations in Croatia, to Zagreb and Split. At the beginning of the summer season of 2017, the capital of the Netherlands will be more accessible than ever, and at the peak of the season, passengers from Split will be able to choose between 8 weekly flights. In the pre- and post-season, KLM will have direct flights Split – Amsterdam on Saturdays and Sundays, and will use the Embraer 90 with 100 seats, while in the season the Dutch airline will use the Boeing 737 with 132 seats. ” For us, this is a historic day because KLM’s plane landed at Split Airport for the first time. This summer, we directly connected in total today two destinations in Croatia with the Dutch capital. KLM is celebrating its 98th anniversary this year making it the world’s oldest airline using the same name. We continue to hold the record thanks to constant innovation and modernization. ”- said Yeshwant Pawar, Director General for the Alps and Central Europe.KLM also brings the most widespread network of world destinations to Split. Together with Air France and other partners, it literally enables flights to every corner of the world via its hubs in Amsterdam and Paris. KLM has a fleet of 160 aircraft from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport connecting over 200 world destinations on all continents. Their Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which fly long distances between Amsterdam and several destinations in the global network including New York, Toronto, Shanghai, Beijing, now have a good connection from Split.Schiphol enables a transfer of only 40 minutes between flights because it has a special terminal that is adapted to such a short time with its facilities and navigation, which makes it the best European hub and has received many awards. KLM was also honored with the World Airline Awards for the best cabin crew in the world. ”We want to offer our passengers more direct lines from Amsterdam to the destinations they choose. In 2017. KLM will present 8 new routes, which will ultimately mean connecting 82 European destinations directly from Amsterdam. ” Pawar concludedFlight schedule Amsterdam – Split From 22.4.2017. KLM will fly twice a week: on Saturdays and Sundays. On those days, departure from Amsterdam is at 09.45, and arrival at 12.00 local time. The return flight from Split is scheduled for 12.50 local time, and arrival in Amsterdam at 15.15.last_img read more

Eating a lot of fish may help curb depression risk — at least in Europe

first_imgPinterest LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share Share on Twittercenter_img Email Eating a lot of fish may help curb the risk of depression–at least in Europe–suggests a pooled analysis of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.The association between a fishy diet and mental health appears to be equally significant among men and women, the first analysis of its kind indicates.Depression affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide, and is projected to become the second leading cause of ill health by 2020. Several previous studies have looked at the possible role of dietary factors in modifying depression risk, but the findings have been inconsistent and inconclusive.The researchers therefore pooled the data from relevant studies published between 2001 and 2014 to assess the strength of the evidence on the link between fish consumption and depression riskAfter trawling research databases, they found 101 suitable articles, of which 16 were eligible for inclusion in the analysis. These 16 articles included 26 studies, involving 150, 278 participants.Ten of the studies were cohort studies, which involve monitoring a group of people who don’t have the condition in question for a period of time to see who develops it. The remainder were cross-sectional: these look at the association between a condition and other variables of interest in a defined population at a single point in time or over a brief period.Ten of the studies involved participants from Europe; 7 those from North America; the rest involved participants in Asia, Oceania, and South America.After pooling all the data together, a significant association emerged between those eating the most fish and a 17% reduction in depression risk compared with those eating the least. This was found in both cohort and cross-sectional studies, but only for the European studies.When the researchers looked specifically at gender, they found a slightly stronger association between high fish consumption and lowered depression risk in men (20%). Among women, the associated reduction in risk was 16%.This is an observational study so no definitive conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, added to which fish consumption was measured using different dietary assessment methods across the various studies. But there may be a plausible biological explanation for the link, suggest the researchers.For example, it has been suggested that the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish may alter the microstructure of brain membranes and modify the activity of the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, both of which are thought to be involved in depression.Furthermore, the high quality protein, vitamins, and minerals found in fish may help stave off depression, while eating a lot of fish may be an indicator of a healthy and more nutritious diet, suggest the researchers.“Higher fish consumption may be beneficial in the primary prevention of depression,” they conclude, adding: “Future studies are needed to further investigate whether this association varies according to the type of fish.”last_img read more

Researchers discover previously unknown cellular defect in Parkinson’s disease

first_img“Idiopathic or genetic dysfunction of calcium signaling triggers a sequence of pathological events leading to autophagic dysfunction, progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons and age-dependent impairment of vital motor functions typical for Parkinson’s disease,” explained corresponding author Victoria Bolotina, PhD, professor of medicine at BUSM.“Discovery of this new mechanism associated with human Parkinson’s disease and our ability to mimic this pathology in a novel genetic model opens new opportunities for finding a cure for this devastating neurodegenerative disease,” she added. Email A team of local researchers have discovered a previously unknown cellular defect in patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, and identified a sequence of pathological events that can trigger or accelerate premature death of certain neurons in the brain seen in this disease.The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, will provide a better understanding and further research towards a possible cure of Parkinson’s disease, which is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement and other vital functions in nearly one million people in the United States. Despite advances in understanding the causes of familial forms of this disease, the most prevalent idiopathic form of Parkinson’s disease remains a mystery.Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers discovered that the cells of people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease have a previously unknown defect in the function of a specific PLA2g6 protein, causing dysfunction of calcium homeostasis that can determine whether some cells will live or die. Pinterest Sharecenter_img Share on Facebook Share on Twitter LinkedInlast_img read more

Study: Friend ‘sentinels’ provide early flu warning

first_imgSep 16, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – Human “sensors” who are in the hubs of friend networks can detect flu outbreaks at least 2 weeks earlier than surveillance systems that track, for example, doctors’ visits and may someday be a useful tool for identifying other diseases and behaviors, researchers reported yesterday.The novel disease detecting system depends on the “friendship paradox,” a theory that friends of given individuals are more popular than they are and are at the center of social webs, where they not only learn of gossip, trends, and ideas sooner, they may also be exposed to diseases earlier than those in more remote parts of friend networks.The researchers, Dr Nicholas Christakis, professor of medicine, medical sociology, and sociology at Harvard University and Dr James Fowler, professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California , San Diego (UCSD), tested their friend network disease detection system at Harvard University from Sep 1 through Dec 31 during the second wave of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Their findings appeared yesterday in Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.They wrote that analyzing social networks and monitoring the health of central members is an ideal way to predict outbreaks, but detailed information doesn’t exist for most groups, and to produce it would be time-consuming and costly.Instead, they propose asking a random group of people to name friends, and then monitor and compare illness patterns in both groups. They emphasized that a person’s position in the friend network doesn’t indicate the actual flu transmission path, but it may serve as a proxy for an unobservable network of flu spread.Using the “friendship paradox” theory, Christakis and Fowler contacted 319 randomly selected Harvard undergraduates who named 425 friends. Many who named friends were often named by others as friends, and the same person was often nominated several times by other people. In total, the study collected information on 1,789 unique interconnected students.They monitored the two groups through self-reporting and with data from Harvard University Health Services.They found that the friends group got sick about 2 weeks before the random-student group. Using a variation of the detection method, they found, gauged by visits to the student health service, that the friends group showed flu symptoms 46 days before the epidemic peak. A figure and movie Web link that accompany the study show flu “blooming” first in the friendship network’s more central nodes.As an alternate method of identifying a high-risk group, the researchers administered a survey to measure subjects’ perceptions of their own popularity, but it did not produce an earlier flu diagnosis.Christakis said in a UCSD press release that current surveillance systems provide only a snapshot of what’s currently happening. “By simply asking members of the random group to name friends, and then tracking and comparing both groups, we can predict epidemics before they strike the population at large,” he said. “This would allow an earlier, more vigorous, and more effective response.”Fowler added that current detection methods lag the real world, or, at best, report the information in real time. “We show a way you can get ahead of an epidemic of flu, or potentially anything else that spreads in networks,” he said. The authors noted that the system could be used to identify drug-use behaviors or even the spread of new ideas and fashion fads.To put such a monitoring system into practice, the authors suggest that, for example, a university health service could gather a sample of people who are nominated as friends and who agree to be passively monitored for healthcare use, such as doctors’ visits. They said local, regional, or national health officials could pull together a random group of people, then enlist their nominated friends to report symptoms with brief, period text messages or an online survey system.”Since public health officials often monitor populations in any case, the change in practice required to monitor a sample of these more central individuals might not be too burdensome,” Christakis and Fowler wrote.They added that analysts could note when disease incidence in the friends group rose above a predetermined or background rate, or they could track both the friend and random groups and watch for when the two epidemic curves first part ways, which could be an early epidemic signal.A friend disease detection system could also be used alongside a system that tracks the online behavior in Google and other search engines to provide even better real-time information about a developing disease epidemic.Dr John Glasser, a mathematical epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in the press release that the “provocative” new study will likely prompt epidemiologists and public health officials to think more about the social contexts of disease transmission.”This study may be unique in demonstrating that social position affects one’s risk of acquiring disease,” he said. “Consequently, epidemiologists and social scientists are modeling networks to evaluate novel disease surveillance and infection control strategies.”See also:Sep 15 EurekAlert press releaseSep 15 PLoS One studyFigure of flu blooming in social network hubsVideo of flu booming in social network hubslast_img read more

ASP Scan (Weekly) for Nov 15, 2019

first_imgOur weekly wrap-up of antimicrobial stewardship & antimicrobial resistance scansPaper calls for more engagement on dental antibiotic stewardshipA paper today in Clinical Infectious Diseases calls for more engagement between antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs), dentists, and orthopedic surgeons to curb unnecessary dental antibiotic prophylaxis.Nationwide, dentists are the top specialty prescriber of antibiotics, accounting for 10% of all antibiotic prescriptions in the United States. Most of these prescriptions are given prior to dental procedures to prevent infections in patients with cardiac conditions and prosthetic joints. But recent research has found that more than 80% of these prescriptions are unnecessary.One reason is that guidelines for prophylactic dental antibiotic prescribing in the patients have changed over the years. In particular, recent guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons have stopped recommending antibiotic prophylaxis for patients with prosthetic joints, while guidelines from the American Dental Association and American Heart Association have limited the types of cardiac patients who should receive antibiotics before dental procedures.But as researchers from the Ohio State University write in the paper, despite the new recommendations, orthopedic surgeons still see high value and low risk in antibiotic prophylaxis, and dentists are put in a tough position when patients ask for antibiotics on the advice of their orthopedic surgeon. They also note, based on feedback from a recent town hall forum they held with orthopedic surgeons and dentists, that many consider dental antibiotic prophylaxis to be a form of defensive medicine.Based on their review of guidelines and findings from the forum, the authors of the paper recommend that ASP coordinators should meet with local orthopedic and dental societies to address guidelines and controversies and to improve knowledge gaps about adverse drug reactions, and should provide education to dentists and orthopedic surgeons via webinars. They also suggest that dentists and orthopedic surgeons in the same communities work together to build consensus on antibiotic prophylaxis.”Similar to the current US opioid crisis, which has greatly impacted dentists and OS [orthopedic surgeons] to reconsider every opioid dose and duration, we believe community based dental stewardship must advocate for both dentists and OS to rethink any AP [antibiotic prophylaxis] prescribed with a goal towards far less,” the authors write.Nov 15 Clin Infect Dis abstract HHS funds 3 host-response rapid tests to diagnose viral, bacterial illnessesThe US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will provide an initial $6 million over 14 months to Inflammatix, of Burlingame, California, for developing three point-of-care host-response diagnostic tests to distinguish viral infections from bacterial ones, HHS said in a news release yesterday.The tests—HostDx Fever, HostDx Sepsis, and HostDx FeverFlu—involve diagnostics technology that reads gene expression patterns in the immune system to distinguish bacterial from viral infections and determines the severity within 20 to 30 minutes. HostDx Fever is designed for ambulatory care settings, HostDx Sepsis is geared toward hospital patients, and HostDx FeverFlu is designed for both outpatient and inpatient settings.Funds will be provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The contract could grow to as much as $64.9 million through 2027 for Inflammatix to complete the additional work needed to apply for Food and Drug Administration approval.Determining quickly whether an illness is caused by a virus or a bacterium is crucial in knowing whether antibiotics are needed. “Rapid diagnostics are a cornerstone of our strategy to protect Americans from many bacterial and viral infections; earlier diagnosis can empower patients to take action to reduce disease transmission,” said BARDA Director Rick Bright, PhD. “Diagnostics that can provide rapid results to patients and doctors will support stewardship of antibiotics and save lives.”Nov 14 HHS news release European data show antibiotic use, resistance dropping or stableAntibiotic use for and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniaeacross Europe have decreased or stabilized in recent years, according to a report yesterday in Eurosurveillance.To examine trends, European researchers analyzed population-weighted data across the European Union/European Economic Area from the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network (ESAC-Net) and the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net) for 2001 through 2018. They studied trends in consumption of third-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, and carbapenems and for AMR in E coli and K pneumoniae.The authors found that consumption of third-generation antibiotics rose slightly in the earlier years of the study but then declined in the community and held steady in the hospital sector. Resistance to third-generation cephalosporins rose steadily till about 2013 then plateaued.Fluoroquinolone use held fairly steady throughout the study period, while resistance to the drug followed a pattern similar to third-generation cephalosporins, though fluoroquinolone resistance in hospital samples plateaued earlier, in 2006. Carbapenem consumption climbed more dramatically than for the other drugs until 2013, then declined in each subsequent year, while resistance to that antibiotic class rose sharply till 2013 and has been fairly stable since.The authors write that their results indicate that recent public health efforts promoting prudent antibiotic use are showing results. “Nevertheless,” they add, “percentages of AMR reported here were comparatively much higher in 2018 than in 2002/06 and trends appear to stabilise or slow down rather than decrease in recent years.”Nov 14 Eurosurveill study Pakistan to launch typhoid vaccine campaign to fight ‘superbug’ strainPakistan has become the first country to routinely use the typhoid conjugate vaccine as it combats an outbreak of multidrug-resistant typhoid, according to Reuters. The vaccination campaign will be funded by GAVI, the vaccine alliance.The “superbug” strain of typhoid has sickened about 11,000 Pakistanis since 2016. Children between the ages of 9 months and 15 years will be targeted in the vaccination campaign, and the vaccine affords up to 5 years of protection from the disease. The campaign will launch in Sindh province.Children are most at risk for contracting typhoid, which is caused by Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi bacteria and transmitted through contaminated food and water. The disease most commonly causes fever, nausea, and stomach pain, and in severe cases can be fatal.The case-fatality rate for Pakistan’s current outbreak is around 1%, but experts say that number could jump to 20% if the strain becomes resistant to the last remaining antibiotic that can kill it. There is also the risk of the strain spreading internationally, as travelers to Pakistan from the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, and Taiwan have already contracted the disease. Nov 15 Reuters story AHRQ publishes stewardship toolkit for hospitalsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 14The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a new toolkit to improve antibiotic use in acute care hospitals.The toolkit consists of presentations, slides, posters, and other documents that provide guidance on how to develop a culture of safety around antibiotic prescribing, how to develop and improve antibiotic stewardship programs, and how to learn and disseminate best practices for the diagnosis and treatment of common infectious disease syndromes. It also includes an explanation of the “Four Moments of Antibiotic Prescribing,” a step-by-step approach that clinicians can use to achieve optimal antibiotic prescribing.The toolkit is based on the experiences of more than 400 US hospitals that took part in AHRQ’s Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use, a 5-year project to improve antibiotic prescribing practices across acute care, ambulatory care, and long-term care facilities in the United States.Nov 13 AHRQ toolkit New York names hospitals, nursing homes with Candida auris casesOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 14New York has become the first state to release the names of medical facilities that have treated patients with Candida auris, according to a report yesterday in the New York Times.The list published by the Times includes 64 hospitals and 103 nursing homes (mostly concentrated in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens) that have cared for patients who were either infected or colonized with the multidrug-resistant fungus. New York health officials told the paper they decided to release the names of the facilities to provide transparency to consumers and help curtail C auris, which has spread rapidly in healthcare settings in New York and other states since first being detected in the United States in 2016.Of the 836 confirmed and probable C auris infections reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 392 have been in New York, with 231 reported in Illinois and 159 in New Jersey. Ten other states have reported cases. An additional 1,624 US patients have been found to be colonized with C auris.In its updated report on the antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, the CDC added C auris to the list of drug-resistant pathogens it considers to be urgent threats. The fungus has shown resistance to all three classes of antifungal medication, and more than 1 in 3 patients with invasive C auris infections dies.Nov 13 New York Times story Oct 29 CDC case count Study finds antibiotic prescriptions have fallen by nearly a third in FinlandOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 14Antibiotic prescriptions have fallen by 29% in Finland over the past decade, according to a study commissioned by pharmaceutical company Pfizer.Using health insurance data from Kela, the Finnish government agency in charge of social benefits, Pfizer researchers found that nearly 1 million fewer antibiotic prescriptions were filled in Finland in 2018 compared with 2008. Antibiotic prescribing for children ages 0 to 4 fell by 60%, while the number of antibiotic courses prescribed for children ages 5 to 7 fell by 43%. The smallest decline in antibiotic prescribing, 17%, was in adults over 65.Pekka Honkannen, Emeritus Professor of General Medicine at the University of Oulu, notes in a translated Pfizer press release that the decline in antibiotic prescribing in children is likely linked to the inclusion of a pneumococcal vaccine in the country’s national vaccination program.Recent data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show that Finland has the ninth lowest antibiotic prescribing rate in Europe.Nov 13 Pfizer press release Latest Scottish report shows drop in antibiotic use, stable resistance levelsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 13In an annual report for 2018, public health officials in Scotland yesterday said total antibiotic use in humans has dropped by 6.2% since 2014, and resistance has stayed mainly stable.The findings, from Health Protection Scotland, for the first time include data on animal antimicrobial use from small-animal veterinary practices and data on environmental antimicrobial resistance.Among other key findings on antimicrobial use, the authors report that, since 2014, levels have declined by 10.2% in primary care but increased by 16.0% in acute care hospitals. For 2018, more than one in four people in Scotland (27.3%) received at least one antibiotic course in primary care settings. The new information from small animal veterinary practices found that at least one in five consultations resulted in a prescription for at least one antibiotic.Regarding latest trends on antibiotic resistance in humans, infections involving carbapenemase-producing bacteria have increased significantly since 2014, but there was no change between 2017 and 2018. Resistance to vancomycin, a key antibiotic used to treat resistant infections, has increased to 43.2% in some infection types, and in 2018, nearly 10% of gonorrhea cases showed some resistance to azithromycin.On a positive note, the level of resistance to antibiotics prescribed for E coli bacteremia and similar infections has been stable of the past 5 years, the authors found. And in 2018, two thirds of Salmonella infections in animals were fully susceptible to antibiotics tested, showing no change from 2017. The group said the level of antibiotic-resistant infections in animals has been relatively stable since 2014.Nov 12 Health Protection Scotland report Study: Antibiotic prescriptions rates high in JapanOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 13A study today in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases surveyed Japanese antibiotic prescription rates from 2012 to 2015 via electronic health insurance claims and found that 56% of prescriptions were written for infections for which antibiotics are rarely indicated.The national health insurance database claims showed 659 million infectious disease visits from April 2012 through March 2015 across the country, with antibiotics prescribed at 266 million visits (704 prescriptions per 1,000 population per year). Antibiotics were most commonly prescribed for upper respiratory infections, with bronchitis being the most frequently cited diagnosis for prescriptions (58.3% of prescriptions, or 184 prescriptions per 1,000 population per year). Other high rates were for viral upper respiratory infections (40.6%), pharyngitis (58.9%), and sinusitis (53.9%).Gastrointestinal infections accounted for 26.1% of prescriptions. The vast majority (86%) of oral antibiotics prescribed were broad-spectrum (third-generation cephalosporins, macrolides, or quinolones), and antibiotics was prescribed approximately 6.6 times more frequently for infections that did not require antibiotics than infection for which antibiotics are usually indicated, the authors said.”Prescriptions of oral antibiotics should be reduced at least 50% based on our data, showing that >50% of them (391 per 1000 population) were prescribed for conditions where antibiotics are generally not indicated,” the authors concluded. “Broad-spectrum antibiotics were too frequently prescribed and most of them were prescribed for acute respiratory infections, which should be the main targets of antimicrobial stewardship intervention.” Nov 13 Int J Infect Dis study Study: Pre-surgical antibiotic prescriptions often inappropriateOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 12A new study that surveyed 22.5% of Australia’s hospitals from January 2016 through June 2018 found that surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis (SAP) was often inappropriate, because of both incorrect timing and overly long treatment. The study appears in JAMA Network Open.A total of 15,395 prescriptions (10,740 procedural and 4,655 postprocedural) were audited for appropriateness by pharmacists, nurses, and infectious disease physicians who were trained in study methodology. They found that only 48.7% of all total prescriptions were appropriate. Appropriateness varied among types of surgeries: Only 33.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 26.3%-41.2%) of dentoalveolar surgical SAP prescriptions were appropriate, while 68.9% of neurosurgey prescriptions were appropriate.”The adjusted appropriateness of postprocedural prescriptions was also low, ranging from 21.5% (95% CI, 13.4%-29.7%) for breast surgery to 58.7% (95% CI, 47.9%-69.4%) for ophthalmological procedures. The most common reason for inappropriate procedural SAP was incorrect timing (44.9%), while duration greater than 24 hours was the most common reason for inappropriate postprocedural SAP (54.3%),” the authors wrote.Among procedural prescriptions, 11.7% were prescribed when procedural SAP was not deemed to be required, the authors said.In a commentary on the study, two researchers said the study was well-designed, but ultimately the audits were too time-consuming. Instead they suggested conducting smaller-scale audits more frequently, and using antibiotic consumption data to assess SAP. Nov 8 JAMA Netw Open study  Nov 8 JAMA Netw Open commentary Highly deadly Klebsiella pneumoniae strain identified in Brazilian hospitalOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 12A retrospective analysis of adult bloodstream infections involving carbapenemase-producing K pneumoniae (KPC-KP) at a Brazilian teaching hospital identified an emerging strain linked to high mortality rates. A team from Brazil and Cardiff University in the United Kingdom reported its findings today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.For the study, the researchers looked at cases from January 2014 to December 2016 to assess the molecular epidemiology and impact on 30-day all-cause mortality. Of 165 KPC-KP cases, the endemic CC258 group was predominant (66%), followed by ST16 (12%). Though the overall 30-day mortality rate was 60%, it was much higher for ST16, for which 95% of the cases were fatal.The team found no differences in patient severity scores and baseline clinical variables, but they did find that risk factors for fatal outcomes were presence of ST16 and septic shock.Further investigation found that the ST16 clone carried up to 14 resistance genes and was highly pathogenic in moth larvae. “Our results suggest that even in endemic settings, highly virulent clones can rapidly emerge demanding constant monitoring,” they wrote.Nov 12 Clin Infect Dis abstract Review: FDA guidance often touts indirect end points for antimicrobial trialsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 12A systematic review today of 27 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance documents on developing new anti-infective agents has determined that the documents frequently recommend as study end points indirect measures of patient benefit—rather than direct measures, such as symptom resolution or survival—raising questions about whether the FDA is following its own standards when it comes to new antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics.For the study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, Harvard University scientists included 22 guidance in their review. The documents included recommendations for primary end points in 27 “pivotal” clinical trials for drugs designed to combat infectious diseases. An end point is an event or outcome that can be objectively measured to see if the drug benefits patients.The investigators found that 21 of 27 indications recommended surrogate—or indirect—outcomes as either the sole primary end point or as one or more components. What’s more, none of the recommendations for the use of surrogate end points matched the regulatory and scientific conditions favoring indirect outcomes in place of clinical outcomes, the authors reported.The authors conclude, “Existing guidance documents should be updated and revised to recommend appropriate clinical outcomes consistent with general scientific and regulatory parameters.”A related commentary in the same journal, however, notes that surrogate end points are not necessarily bad, such as with uncomplicated gonorrhea, for which the primary end point is microbiological cure. “This surrogate measure of microbiological cure meets none of the 3 criteria previously listed for surrogate trial end points,” write the commentary authors, Paul Volberding, MD, and Henry Chambers, MD. “Nonetheless, both clinically and from a public health perspective, eradication of the organism is the important outcome.”The commentators, from the University of California San Francisco, add, “The true debate is not whether to use surrogate markers. Rather, the debate is about when surrogate markers are meaningful.”Nov 11 JAMA Intern Med systematic reviewNov 11 JAMA Intern Med commentary Study shows decline in C difficile incidence at VA hospitalsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 11A retrospective analysis of Veterans Administration (VA) patients who had stool testing for Clostridiodes difficile shows an overall decrease in C difficile infection (CDI) over the course of a decade, with temporal increases linked to implementation of molecular testing methods, researchers reported today in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.From 2006 through 2016, 472,346 VA patients were tested for C difficile and 68,995 new cases of CDI were reported. The incidence of total inpatient CDI per 10,000 patient-days decreased from 16.81 in 2006 to 13.66 in 2016, and incidence of hospital-onset healthcare facility-associated (HO-HCFA) CDI fell from 10.87 to 6.41. For both CDI and HO-HCFA CDI, temporal increases in incidence observed in 2011 were associated with increased use of molecular-based testing methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests (P < .0001). Decreases for both CDI and HO-HCFA CDI were associated with reduced use of fluoroquinolones (P < .0001), clindamycin (P = .0006), and third-generation cephalosporins (P < .0002). Implementation of VA mandatory reporting of HO-HCFA CDI in 2012 did not influence overall CDI rates (P = .24) or HO-HCFA CDI rates (P = .72).The analysis also found that the overall crude 30-day mortality rate for CDI fell from 2.17 deaths per 10,000 patient-days in 2006 to 1.41 in 2016. The decrease in mortality correlated with PCR testing (P= .0003) but not with decreased antibiotic use or with mandatory VA reporting.The authors of the study conclude, "Controlling CDI is likely multifactorial. Although the VA initiative to report cases of hospital-acquired CDI was not significant in our model, the advent of stewardship programs throughout the VA and reductions in the use of third-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, and clindamycin were significantly associated with reduced rates of CDI."Nov 11 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol abstract UK antibiotic development group to work on metallo-beta-lactamase inhibitorOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 11UK-based antibiotic and diagnostic development group the AMR Centre announced today that is has selected a preclinical candidate from its program to address antibiotic resistance caused by metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL) enzymes.According to an AMR Centre press release, the MBL inhibitor program is focused on a novel small molecule that inhibits a range of MBL enzymes—including NDM-1, IMP, and VIM—and has been shown in lab studies to restore the function of existing beta-lactam antibiotics, which are inactivated by MBLs. The goal is to combine the molecule with carbapenems to treat serious, multidrug-resistant infections caused by gram-negative, MBL-harboring bacteria."Our mission is to overcome resistance mechanisms and develop new treatments for serious infections," AMR Centre Executive Director Peter Jackson, PhD, said. "Our MBL inhibitor will be one of the first and, we hope, most effective broad-spectrum therapies against the emerging class of superbugs coming out of India and China."Clinical trials are scheduled to begin in late 2020.Nov 11 AMR Centre press release Dutch study measures ESBL carriage in dogs, cats, and their ownersOriginally published by CIDRAP News Nov 11A nationwide study by Dutch researchers has found that more than 10% of dogs in the Netherlands carry extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E). The findings appear today in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.For the cross-sectional study, which aimed to identify the prevalence, risk factors, molecular characteristics, persistence, and acquisition of ESBL-E in dogs and cats, the researchers randomly invited Dutch residents to fill out a web-based questionnaire and provide a fecal sample from their dog or cat. Participants were also invited to provide a fecal sample so researchers could investigate co-carriage in human-pet pairs belonging to the same household.Overall, 550 pairs of fecal samples from humans and dogs and 282 pairs of fecal samples from humans and cats were submitted. The prevalence of ESBL-E carriage in these cohorts was 3.8% for human participants, 10.7% for dogs, and 1.4% for cats. Among the dogs and the cats, the most abundant ESBL gene were blaCTX-M-1 and blaCTX-M-15. The persistence of ESBL-E carriage in dogs was 57.1% at 1 month and 42.9% at 6 months. The primary risk factors for ESBL-E carriage in dogs was eating raw meat (odds ratio, 8.8; 95% CI, 4.7 to 16.4). Risk factors could not be determined for cats.No ESBL-E co-carriage was found between cats and their owners, but in five households, both the human and dog fecal samples were positive for the same ESBL gene, which was more than expected based on chance. Whole-genome sequencing in three of the human-dog pairs found that the isolates were nearly identical.The authors of the study say the observed ESBL-E co-carriage between humans and their dogs suggests either clonal transmission between humans and pets within the same household, or exposure to the same source.Nov 11 J Antimicrob Chemother studylast_img read more

Region needs coordinated approach to tackle cyber-crime

first_img May 6, 2020 CTU Collaborating With Organisations to Assist People With… Feb 18, 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Georgetown, Guyana 12 July, 2018 – (Department of Public Information Press Release) Governments in the region are being urged to standardise practices to address the increasing threats associated with cyber-crime. Coordinator of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), Junior Mc Intyre during a workshop on Cyber Security hosted (on Thursday) as part of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) roadshow, explained that countries in the region need to have the appropriate technical standards and infrastructure in place. Junior McIntyre, CTU Coordinator (Photo via DPI) The setting up of cyber-security emergency response committees was touted as an effective coordinated approach to tackling cyber-crime, “you need to be able to talk to the right people at the right time, all of that requires collaboration…you need to be able to contact and communicate with people when your neighbour has a threat or if you perceive a threat.” The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Strategic Plan 2015-2019 lists Cyber Crime as an obstacle to social and economic development in the region and outlines five priority areas, among them public awareness and building sustainable capacity in member countries. Mc Intyre said an effective Cyber Security Framework requires a wide range of skills to support the prevention, detection and prosecution of cyber-crime and ensure sustainability and relevance in a changing environment. “You [governments] need to have that structure, that organisation, you need to be clear on the policies in place, you need to be clear on the standards, people need to be aware of the issues,” he noted. Mc Intyre emphasised that to ensure a secured network, all stakeholders must be aware of cyber-crime and its threats and appropriate legislation must be placed. The CARICOM Strategic Plan, the CTU Coordinator said, establishes a proper governance structure including the Regional Cyber Committee (RCC), as well as identifies minimum standards for cyber-security for each country. As Guyana continues to open up and move further onto the global square the administration has drafted a Cyber Crime Bill which is meant to strengthen the country’s ability to defend itself against cyber-attacks, which is now a global issue. The Bill is slated for further debate in the National Assembly before being laid. By: Stacy Carmichael. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… CARICOM Heads to discuss Security: Regional law enforcement… center_img Advance Digital Transformation – Prime Minister… You may be interested in… COVID-19 Makes Universal Digital Access, Cooperation… May 8, 2020 Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Black cloud descends on offices world

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img