first_imgNorthern Ireland announces One Health AMR planThe government of Northern Ireland yesterday announced a 5-year, One Health action plan to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR).The plan, developed by Northern Ireland’s Department of Health and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), aims to address the growing threat of drug-resistant pathogens by lowering the burden of infection in humans and animals, optimizing antibiotic use on farms and in human medicine, strengthening AMR surveillance, minimizing the spread of AMR in the environment, and investing in research into new therapeutics and diagnostics.Among the specific goals laid out in the plan are a 10% reduction in the incidence of specific drug-resistant infections in people, a 50% reduction in healthcare-associated gram-negative bloodstream infections, and a 15% reduction in human antimicrobial use by 2023-2024.”This issue affects more than just human health and healthcare. Whenever we make an environment favourable for infectious bugs, then they take advantage,” Maria Jennings, FSA director in Northern Ireland, said in a press release. “This affects farming, the environment and ultimately the food we eat.  Taking a One Health approach and working with partners across government is the most effective way to address AMR.”The plan was developed in conjunction with the United Kingdom’s 20-year vision and 5-year national action plan for addressing AMR, released in January. May 16 Northern Ireland 5-year action plan May 16 Northern Ireland Executive press release Jan 24 CIDRAP News story, “UK aims to cut antibiotics 15% in 5-year plan” Rapid susceptibility test produces mixed results in German studyIntroduction of a novel, rapid antimicrobial susceptibility test at a German hospital significantly reduced time for species identification (ID) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) in patients with bloodstream infections, as well as time to optimal antimicrobial therapy, researchers at University of Cologne Hospital reported yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases. But the test did not affect antimicrobial consumption or clinical outcomes.In the quasi-experimental study, researchers investigated the impact of The Accelerate Pheno system (ADX), a new technology that identifies microorganisms from a positive blood culture within 90 minutes and provides phenotypic AST results within 7 hours, by analyzing three different groups of patients with a positive blood culture. One group was evaluated and treated with conventional diagnostics, a second with conventional diagnostics and antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) intervention, and a third with ADX and ASP intervention. The goal was to see whether use of ADX leads to earlier therapeutic decision-making, decreased use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials, decreased length of hospitalization, and better clinical outcomes.Overall, 204 patients were evaluated; 64 in the conventional diagnostics group, 68 in the conventional diagnostics plus ASP group, and 72 rapid diagnostics plus ASP group. Compared with the two groups using conventional diagnostics, the use of ADX significantly decreased time from Gram stain to ID (median: 23 vs 2.2 hours, P < 0.001) and time to AST results (median: 23 vs 7.4 hours, P < 0.001) and shortened time from Gram stain to optimal antimicrobial therapy (median: 11 vs 7 hours, p < 0.024) and to step-down antimicrobial therapy (median: 27.8 vs 12 hours, P < 0.019). But no significant differences were found in the duration of antimicrobial treatment, total antimicrobial consumption, length of hospital stay, or 7-day and 28-day in-hospital mortality."In conclusion, the use of ADX significantly reduced time to ID and AST as well as time to optimal antimicrobial therapy but did not affect clinical outcome parameters," the authors of the study write. "It remains to be determined if a larger study in a high resistance setting or in a setting with 24/7 microbiology service or with less active ASP involvement can show lower mortality rates and antimicrobial consumption when rapid susceptibilities are provided."May 16 Clin Infect Dis abstract Study: Antibiotics for respiratory infections common in cancer patientsIn another study yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that nearly one-third of hematology-oncology patients were prescribed antibiotics for a respiratory tract infection. But viral causes were identified in 75% of patients tested, and viral testing was associated with reduced prescribing.The retrospective study looked at the electronic medical records of patients who presented for care at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and had received a diagnosis for acute upper respiratory tract infection (URI) or acute bronchitis from October 2015 through September 2016. The researchers obtained antibiotic prescribing, viral testing, and other clinical data from the first clinical encounter for the URI through day 14 to characterize antibiotic prescribing patterns, use of respiratory viral diagnostic tests, and clinical outcomes associated with URI in an immunocompromised population.Of the 251 patients included in the final analysis, 81 (32%) were prescribed an antibiotic for URI symptoms, with 52 (64%) receiving prescriptions on day 0, 11 (14%) on days 1-2, and 18 (22%) on days 3-14. Viral testing was performed in 113 patients (45%), and at least one virus was detected in 85 (75%). Antibiotic prescribing and viral testing varied substantially by clinical service.On univariate analysis, sputum production or chest congestion were associated with higher risk of antibiotic prescribing (relative risk [RR], 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 3.8, P < 0.001), while viral testing on day 0 was associated with lower risk of antibiotic prescribing (RR=0.4, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.8, P = 0.01), though collinearity between viral testing and clinical service limited the ability to separate these effects on prescribing. Antibiotic prescribing was not associated with subsequent URI-related healthcare visits (P = 0.89).The authors of the study conclude, "These findings highlight the need for further research to explore the role and cost-effectiveness of molecular respiratory viral testing in limiting unnecessary antibiotic use among hematology-oncology patients."May 16 Clin Infect Dis abstractlast_img read more

first_img Smartphones, tablets and LTE USB sticks TDK Corporation has announced a new duplexer for LTE Band 1 by EPCOS. It has a high 60 dB isolation for both the Tx and Rx paths. Based on SAW technology the B8651 duplexer has a miniature footprint and measures 1.8 mm x 1.4 mm. Due to very good separation of the Tx and Rx signals, the new EPCOS duplexer can be combined with power-saving envelope tracking power amplifiers without any additional prefiltering. This significantly simplifies the design of the front end, leading to major cost benefits. A further advantage of this new duplexer is its low insertion loss of only 1.9 dB in the Tx path, which leads to a further power savings and a longer battery life.Main Applications Main Features and Benefitscenter_img Excellent isolation of 60 dB Low insertion loss in the Tx band of only 1.9 dB Can be combined with envelope tracking power amplifiers without additional filterslast_img read more

first_imgMADRID, (Reuters) – The Spanish Civil Guard has made widespread arrests following an investigation into tennis match-fixing by an organised Armenian criminal gang, the European Union’s Europol agency said yesterday. Eleven house searches were carried out in Spain and 167,000 euros in cash were seized, along with a shotgun, more than 50 electronic devices, credit cards, five luxury vehicles and documentation related to the case. Forty-two bank accounts have been frozen. The Civil Guard said in a statement 15 people had been arrested, including the leaders of the criminal organisation, while a further 68 people have been investigated.Of the 83 people implicated in the case, 28 were professional tennis players, playing in the ITF Futures and Challenger categories, and one whose identity was not revealed competed in the 2018 U.S. Open.“Our officers have proved the group had been operating since February 2017 and estimate that they had earned millions of euros through the operation,” added the Civil Guard’s statement. News of the arrests came a day after the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) revealed that in 2018 more tennis players were disciplined for violations of anti-corruption rules than in any other year since the body’s creation.Twenty-one individuals broke anti-corruption rules with the majority sanctioned for match-fixing or betting offences, while eight lifetime bans were imposed, most notably to Italian former world number 49 Daniele Bracciali for match-fixing and facilitating betting.An independent review panel, set up by the sport’s four governing organisations, the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, last month published a report into the threat of match-fixing in the sport. It described the current tennis environment as “a lamentably fertile breeding ground for breaches of integrity”, in particular the lowest rungs of the professional game.The report said there were around 14,000 notional professional players in 2018 but that only about 600 earned enough money to cover the annual cost of competing.Of the 400 match specific alerts flagged up by betting organisations to the TIU in 2018, 91 percent were generated at the lowest and mid-levels of the sport where prize money is minimal compared to what is on offer on the main Tours.“The imbalance between prize money and the cost of competing places players in an invidious position by tempting them to contrive matches for financial reward,” the report said.last_img read more

first_imgManchester United forward Alexis Sanchez pleaded guilty to two counts of tax fraud dating from when he played for Spanish team Barcelona and accepted a 16-month suspended jail sentence, his agent Fernando Felicevich said on Wednesday.In a statement issued by the Barcelona prosecutor and seen by Reuters, Sanchez was accused of defrauding the Spanish state of a combined 983,000 euros in image rights in 2012 and 2013 by using a shell company in Malta and omitting the earnings from tax returns.The Chilean was given a suspended sentence of eight months for each of those years and fines of 353,000 euros and 237,000 euros respectively.Spanish law is such that any sentence under two years for a non-violent crime rarely requires a defendant without previous convictions to serve jail time.Sanchez posted on social media a statement from Felicevich which criticised Spain’s authorities for changing their criteria on tax returns and using the media to publicly shame players.“Despite proving Alexis did not commit any crime, we felt obliged, on the recommendation of our advisers, to accept the unfair pact offered to us to alleviate the emotional, personal and financial stress that comes from dealing with long and tedious court cases,” the statement said.“Seeing the huge ordeals that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi etc have been put through, we came to the conclusion that it was best to accept this unfair deal so that we can move on and stop being the object of media and political pressure.”A spokesperson for Spain’s tax agency said it could not comment on individual cases but that it uses the same criteria and measures for each tax payer.Sanchez, who joined United last month from Arsenal, is the latest in a long line of La Liga players past and present, including Ronaldo, Messi, Marcelo, Pepe and Javier Mascherano to face judicial process for allegedly defrauding the Spanish state.Sanchez moved to Barcelona from Italian side Udinese in 2011 and joined Arsenal three years later.last_img read more