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  • Evidence summary for use of rapid antigen testing for screening or surveillance of asymptomatic individuals to limit transmission of SARS-CoV-2

    Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) (Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), 2021-09-20)
  • Comparison of novel tools with traditional cognitive tests in detecting delirium in elderly medical patients.

    Meagher, David J; O'Connell, Henry; Leonard, Maeve; Williams, Olugbenga; Awan, Fahad; Exton, Chris; Tenorio, Michael; O'Connor, Margaret; Dunne, Colum P; Cullen, Walter; et al. (2020-04-19)
    Neurocognitive diagnoses were delirium (n = 44), dementia (n = 30), comorbid delirium-dementia (n = 60) and no neurocognitive disorder (n = 46). All conventional tests had sensitivity of > 70% for delirium, with best overall accuracy for the Vigilance-B (78.3%), Vigilance-A (77.8%) and MBT (76.7%) tests. The sustained attention component of the Lighthouse test was the most distinguishing of delirium (sensitivity 84.6%; overall accuracy 75.6%). The LSD-4 had sensitivity of 74.0% and overall accuracy 74.4% for delirium identification. Combining tests allowed for enhanced sensitivity (> 90%) and overall accuracy (≥ 75%) with the highest overall accuracy for the combination of MBT-Vigilance A and the combined Vigilance A and B tests (both 78.3%). When analyses were repeated for those with dementia, there were similar findings with the MBT-Vigilance A the most accurate overall combination (80.0%). Combining the Lighthouse-SA with the LSD-4, a fail in either test had sensitivity for delirium of 91.4 with overall accuracy of 74.4%.
  • Economic burden of maternal morbidity - A systematic review of cost-of-illness studies.

    Moran, Patrick S; Wuytack, Francesca; Turner, Michael; Normand, Charles; Brown, Stephanie; Begley, Cecily; Daly, Deirdre (2020-01-16)
  • Large-scale genome-wide analysis links lactic acid bacteria from food with the gut microbiome.

    Pasolli, Edoardo; De Filippis, Francesca; Mauriello, Italia E; Cumbo, Fabio; Walsh, Aaron M; Leech, John; Cotter, Paul D; Segata, Nicola; Ercolini, Danilo (2020-05-25)
  • Vancomycin and nisin A are effective against biofilms of multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from human milk.

    Angelopoulou, Angeliki; Field, Des; Pérez-Ibarreche, Mariana; Warda, Alicja K; Hill, Colin; Ross, R Paul (2020-05-29)
  • Reduction of the minimum age for the application of mask wearing requirements and recommendations – Updated advice [V3.0]

    Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) (Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), 2021-09-20)
  • COVID-19 Database of public health guidance - 15 September 2021

    Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) (Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), 2021-09-15)
  • Pharmacological Activation of Pyruvate Kinase M2 Inhibits CD4 T Cell Pathogenicity and Suppresses Autoimmunity.

    Angiari, Stefano; Runtsch, Marah C; Sutton, Caroline E; Palsson-McDermott, Eva M; Kelly, Beth; Rana, Nisha; Kane, Harry; Papadopoulou, Gina; Pearce, Erika L; Mills, Kingston H G; et al. (2019-11-21)
    Pyruvate kinase (PK) catalyzes the conversion of phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate during glycolysis. The PK isoform PKM2 has additional roles in regulation of gene transcription and protein phosphorylation. PKM2 has been shown to control macrophage metabolic remodeling in inflammation, but its role in T cell biology is poorly understood. Here, we report PKM2 upregulation, phosphorylation, and nuclear accumulation in murine and human CD4+ T cells following activation in vitro. Treatment of T cells with TEPP-46, an allosteric activator that induces PKM2 tetramerization and blocks its nuclear translocation, strongly reduces their activation, proliferation, and cytokine production by inhibiting essential signaling pathways and thus preventing the engagement of glycolysis. TEPP-46 limits the development of both T helper 17 (Th17) and Th1 cells in vitro and ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in vivo. Overall, our results suggest that pharmacological targeting of PKM2 may represent a valuable therapeutic approach in T cell-mediated inflammation and autoimmunity.
  • Structures of lipoprotein signal peptidase II from Staphylococcus aureus complexed with antibiotics globomycin and myxovirescin.

    Olatunji, Samir; Yu, Xiaoxiao; Bailey, Jonathan; Huang, Chia-Ying; Zapotoczna, Marta; Bowen, Katherine; Remškar, Maja; Müller, Rolf; Scanlan, Eoin M; Geoghegan, Joan A; et al. (2020-01-09)
  • Occupational Exposures to Organic Dust in Irish Bakeries and a Pizzeria Restaurant.

    Viegas, Carla; Fleming, Gerard T A; Kadir, Abdul; Almeida, Beatriz; Caetano, Liliana Aranha; Quintal Gomes, Anita; Twarużek, Magdalena; Kosicki, Robert; Viegas, Susana; Coggins, Ann Marie (2020-01-15)
    For decades, occupational exposure to flour dust has been linked to a range of respiratory diseases, including occupational asthma, thought to result from exposure to fungi present in the flour. Antifungal resistance is of increasing prevalence in clinical settings, and the role of occupational and environmental exposures, particularly for specific fungal species, is of concern. Occupational exposure to flour dust can occur in a range of occupational settings, however, few studies have focused on restaurant workers. The objective of this study was to measure occupational exposure to flour and microbial contamination, including azole resistance screening, in two small commercial bakeries and in a pizzeria. Personal full shift inhalable dust measurements were collected from workers, and were analyzed for inhalable dust and fungi, bacteria, azole resistance, and mycotoxins. Samples of settled dust were collected, and electrostatic dust cloths (EDC) were deployed and analyzed for microbial contamination, including azole resistance screening, and mycotoxins. Geometric mean exposures of 6.5 mg m-³ were calculated for inhalable dust, however, exposures of up to 18.30 mg m-³ were measured-70% of personal exposure measurements exceeded the occupational exposure limit for flour dust of 1.0 mg m-³. The air and EDC fungal counts were similar to those reported in previous studies for similar occupational environments. The fungi were dominated by Penicillium genera, however Aspergillus genera, including Fumigati and Flavi sections, were observed using culture-based methods, and the Fumigati section was also observed by molecular tools. Both Aspergillus sections were identified on the azole resistance screening. Mycotoxins were also detected in the settled dust samples, dominated by deoxynivalenol (DON). The role of environmental exposure in both the development of antimicrobial resistance and the total mycotoxin body burden is a growing concern; therefore, the presence of azole-resistant fungi and mycotoxin contamination, although low in magnitude, is of concern and warrants further investigation.
  • Syncope, Fear of Falling and Quality of Life Among Older Adults: Findings From the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA).

    McCarthy, Kevin; Ward, Mark; Romero Ortuño, Román; Kenny, Rose Anne (2020-02-07)
    Objective: Syncope is a prevalent condition that has a marked impact on quality of life. We examined the association between syncope and quality of life (QoL) and whether this association was explained by fear of falling (FoF). Methods: We examined data from Wave 3 of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA), of adults aged ≥50 years (n = 4,946) who were asked to report syncope and who completed the CASP-12 QoL instrument. Analyses were stratified by age and gender. Results: Over 20% of participants reported having a previous syncopal episode, while 8% reported a faint, blackout or unexplained fall in the last year. QoL scores decreased as the burden of syncope increased: linear regression models adjusted for covariates showed that those having had two or more syncopal episodes in the last year reported a significantly lower CASP-12 score compared to those with none (p = 0.011). FoF partially mediated the association between syncope and QoL, particularly among younger participants. Conclusions: Syncope is a common condition among older adults that has a deleterious effect on QoL, with ≥2 recent syncopal episodes having a particularly adverse impact on QoL. FoF is a potential pathway which may both explain this association and allow therapeutic interventions by health practitioners.
  • Dairy Products and Dairy-Processing Environments as a Reservoir of Antibiotic Resistance and Quorum-Quenching Determinants as Revealed through Functional Metagenomics.

    Alexa Oniciuc, Elena A; Walsh, Calum J; Coughlan, Laura M; Awad, Amal; Simon, Cezara A; Ruiz, Lorena; Crispie, Fiona; Cotter, Paul D; Alvarez-Ordóñez, Avelino (2020-02-18)
    Here, the role of the dairy-processing chain as a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance (AR) determinants and a source of novel biocontrol quorum-sensing inhibitors is assessed through a functional metagenomics approach. A metagenomic library comprising ∼22,000 recombinant clones was built from DNA isolated from raw milk, raw milk cheeses, and cheese-processing environment swab samples. The high-throughput sequencing of 9,216 recombinant clones showed that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) dominated the microbial communities of raw milk cheese, while Gram-negative microorganisms of animal or soil origin dominated the microbiota of raw milk and cheese-processing environments. Although functional screening of the metagenomic library did not recover potential quorum-sensing inhibitors, in silico analysis using an in-house database built specifically for this study identified homologues to several genes encoding proteins with predicted quorum-quenching activity, among which, the QsdH hydrolase was the most abundant. In silico screening of the library identified LAB, and especially Lactococcus lactis, as a relevant reservoir of AR determinants in cheese. Functional screening of the library allowed the isolation of 13 recombinant clones showing an increased resistance toward ampicillin, which in all cases was accompanied by a reduced susceptibility to a wide range of β-lactam antibiotics. This study shows that the dairy-processing environment is a rich reservoir of AR determinants, which vary by sample source, and suggests that combining next-generation sequencing with functional metagenomics can be of use in overcoming the limitations of both approaches.IMPORTANCE The study shows the potential of functional metagenomics analyses to uncover the diversity of functions in microbial communities prevailing in dairy products and their processing environments, evidencing that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) dominate the cheese microbiota, whereas Gram-negative microorganisms of animal or soil origin dominate the microbiota of milk and cheese-processing environments. The functional and in silico screening of the library allowed the identification of LAB, and especially Lactococcus lactis, as a relevant reservoir of antimicrobial resistance (AR) determinants in cheese. Quorum-quenching (QQ) determinants were not recovered through the execution of wet-lab function-based screenings but were detected through in silico sequencing-based analyses.
  • An EPR Strategy for Bio-responsive Fluorescence Guided Surgery with Simulation of the Benefit for Imaging.

    Daly, Harrison C; Conroy, Emer; Todor, Mihai; Wu, Dan; Gallagher, William M; O'Shea, Donal F (2020-02-10)
    A successful matching of a PEG group size with the EPR effect for an off-to-on responsive NIR-fluorophore conjugate has been accomplished which allows two distinct in vivo tumor imaging periods, the first being the switch on during the initial tumor uptake via enhanced permeability into the ROI (as background is suppressed) and a second, later, due to enhanced retention within the tumor. Methods: Software simulation (https://mihaitodor.github.io/particle_simulation/index.html), synthetic chemistry, with in vitro and in vivo imaging have been synergistically employed to identify an optimal PEG conjugate of a bio-responsive NIR-AZA fluorophore for in vivo tumor imaging. Results: A bio-responsive NIR-AZA fluorophore conjugated to a 10 kDa PEG group has shown excellent in vivo imaging performance with sustained high tumor to background ratios and peak tumor emission within 24 h. Analysis of fluorescence profiles over 7 days has provided evidence for the EPR effect playing a positive role. Conclusion: Preclinical results show that exploiting the EPR effect by utilizing an optimized PEG substituent on a bio-responsive fluorophore may offer a means for intraoperative tumor margin delineation. The off-to-on responsive nature of the fluorophore makes tumor imaging achievable without waiting for clearance from normal tissue.
  • Pitfalls in Single Clone CRISPR-Cas9 Mutagenesis to Fine-map Regulatory Intervals.

    Tian, Ruoyu; Pan, Yidan; Etheridge, Thomas H A; Deshmukh, Harshavardhan; Gulick, Dalia; Gibson, Greg; Bao, Gang; Lee, Ciaran M (2020-05-04)
  • Dietary Patterns Are Associated with Serum Metabolite Patterns and Their Association Is Influenced by Gut Bacteria among Older German Adults.

    Oluwagbemigun, Kolade; Foerster, Jana; Watkins, Claire; Fouhy, Fiona; Stanton, Catherine; Bergmann, Manuela M; Boeing, Heiner; Nöthlings, Ute (2020-01)
  • Tailoring Nanoparticle-Biofilm Interactions to Increase the Efficacy of Antimicrobial Agents Against .

    Fulaz, Stephanie; Devlin, Henry; Vitale, Stefania; Quinn, Laura; O'Gara, James P; Casey, Eoin (2020-07-07)
    Considering the timeline required for the development of novel antimicrobial drugs, increased attention should be given to repurposing old drugs and improving antimicrobial efficacy, particularly for chronic infections associated with biofilms. Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) are common causes of biofilm-associated infections but produce different biofilm matrices. MSSA biofilm cells are typically embedded in an extracellular polysaccharide matrix, whereas MRSA biofilms comprise predominantly of surface proteins and extracellular DNA (eDNA). Nanoparticles (NPs) have the potential to enhance the delivery of antimicrobial agents into biofilms. However, the mechanisms which influence the interactions between NPs and the biofilm matrix are not yet fully understood.
  • An Investigation into Indoor Radon Concentrations in Certified Passive House Homes.

    Mc Carron, Barry; Meng, Xianhai; Colclough, Shane (2020-06-10)
    The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) has introduced the concept of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) specifying that by 31 December 2020 all new buildings must meet the nearly zero- energy standard, the Passive House standard has emerged as a key enabler for the Nearly Zero Energy Building standard. The combination of Passive House with renewables represents a suitable solution to move to low/zero carbon. The hypothesis in this study is that a certified passive house building with high levels of airtightness with a balanced mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) should yield lower indoor radon concentrations. This article presents results and analysis of measured radon levels in a total of 97 certified passive house dwellings using CR-393 alpha track diffusion radon gas detectors. The results support the hypothesis that certified passive house buildings present lower radon levels. A striking observation to emerge from the data shows a difference in radon distribution between upstairs and downstairs when compared against regular housing. The study is a first for Ireland and the United Kingdom and it has relevance to a much wider context with the significant growth of the passive house standard globally.

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