(17/585) Horizontal heterogeneity of denitrifying bacterial communities in marine sediments by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.

Although it is widely believed that horizontal patchiness exists in microbial sediment communities, determining the extent of variability or the particular members of the bacterial community which account for the observed differences among sites at various scales has not been routinely demonstrated. In this study, horizontal heterogeneity was examined in time and space for denitrifying bacteria in continental shelf sediments off Tuckerton, N.J., at the Rutgers University Long-Term Ecosystem Observatory (LEO-15). Characterization of the denitrifying community was done using PCR amplification of the nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ) gene combined with terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Spatial scales from centimeters to kilometers were examined, while temporal variation was assayed over the course of 1995 to 1996. Sorenson's indices (pairwise similarity values) were calculated to permit comparison between samples. The similarities of benthic denitrifiers ranged from 0.80 to 0.85 for centimeter scale comparisons, from 0.52 to 0.79 for meter level comparisons, and from 0.23 to 0.53 for kilometer scale comparisons. Sorenson's indices for temporal comparisons varied from 0.12 to 0.74. A cluster analysis of the similarity values indicated that the composition of the denitrifier assemblages varied most significantly at the kilometer scale and between seasons at individual stations. Specific nosZ genes were identified which varied at centimeter, meter, or kilometer scales and may be associated with variability in meio- or macrofaunal abundance (centimeter scale), bottom topography (meter scale), or sediment characteristics (kilometer scale).  (+info)

(18/585) Antidepressant treatment and health services utilization among HIV-infected medicaid patients diagnosed with depression.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the prevalence and predictors of diagnosed depression among persons with HIV on Medicaid and antidepressant treatment among those diagnosed, and to compare utilization and costs between depressed HIV-infected individuals treated with and without antidepressant medications. DESIGN: Merged Medicaid and surveillance data were used to compare health services utilized by depressed individuals who were or were not treated with antidepressant medications, controlling for other characteristics. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The study population comprised Medicaid recipients in New Jersey who were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS by March 1996 and received Medicaid services between 1991 and 1996. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Logistic regression and ordinary least squares regressions were employed. Women were more likely and African Americans were less likely to be diagnosed with depression. Women and drug users in treatment were more likely to receive antidepressant treatment. Depressed patients treated with antidepressants were more likely to receive antiretroviral treatment than those not treated with antidepressants. Monthly total expenditures were significantly lower for individuals diagnosed with depression and receiving antidepressant therapy than for those not treated with antidepressants. After controlling for socioeconomic and clinical characteristics, treatment with antidepressant medications was associated with a 24% reduction in monthly total health care costs. CONCLUSIONS: Depressed HIV-infected patients treated with antidepressants were more likely than untreated subjects to receive appropriate care for their HIV disease. Antidepressant therapy for treatment of depression is associated with a significantly lower monthly cost of medical care services.  (+info)

(19/585) The New A /New Jersey/ 76 influenza strain.

This Memorandum reviews the information available on the new strain of influenza virus, A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1), that first appeared at Fort Dix, NJ, USA, in February 1976. Recommendations are given concerning measures to be taken to detect spread of this strain and to meet the challenge if an epidemic should occur.  (+info)

(20/585) Emergency department discharge of patients with a negative cranial computed tomography scan after minimal head injury.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the negative predictive value of cranial computed tomography (CT) scanning in a prospective series of patients and whether hospital admission for observation is mandatory after a negative diagnostic evaluation after minimal head injury (MHI). SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Hospital admission for observation is a current standard of practice for patients who have sustained MHI, despite having undergone diagnostic studies that exclude the presence of an intracranial injury. The reasons for this practice are multifactorial and include the perceived false-negative rate of all standard diagnostic tests, the belief that admission will allow prompt diagnosis of occult injuries, and medicolegal considerations about the risk of early discharge. METHODS: In a prospective, multiinstitutional study during a 22-month period at four level I trauma centers, all patients with MHI were evaluated using the following protocol: a standardized physical and neurologic examination in the emergency department, cranial CT scanning, and then admission for observation. MHI was defined as either a documented loss of consciousness or evidence of posttraumatic amnesia and an emergency department Glasgow Coma Scale score of 14 or 15. Outcomes were measured at 20 hours and at discharge and included clinical deterioration, need for craniotomy, and death. RESULTS: Two thousand one hundred fifty-two consecutive patients fulfilled the study protocol. The CT was interpreted as negative for intracranial injury in 1,788, positive in 217, and equivocal in 119. Five patients with CT scans initially interpreted as negative required intervention. There was one craniotomy in a patient whose CT scan was initially interpreted as negative. This patient had facial fractures that required surgical intervention and elevation of depressed intracranial fracture fragments. The negative predictive power of a cranial CT scan based on the preliminary reading of the CT scan and defined by the subsequent need for neurosurgical intervention in the population fully satisfying the protocol was 99.70%. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a cranial CT scan, obtained on a helical CT scanner, that shows no intracerebral injury and who do not have other body system injuries or a persistence of any neurologic finding can be safely discharged from the emergency department without a period of either inpatient or outpatient observation. Implementation of this practice could result in a potential decrease of more than 500,000 hospital admissions annually.  (+info)

(21/585) Adoption of protective behaviors among persons with recent HIV infection and diagnosis--Alabama, New Jersey, and Tennessee, 1997-1998.

A comprehensive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention strategy includes knowledge of HIV status, counseling to reduce high-risk behavior, and referral for appropriate care (1). After diagnosis, a substantial percentage of HIV-infected persons reduce their high-risk sexual behaviors (2-4). This report presents data characterizing the sexual practices of persons with newly diagnosed HIV infection who have evidence of recently acquired infection. Characterizing these persons may assist in the development of risk-reduction efforts for HIV-infected populations to prevent further HIV transmission.  (+info)

(22/585) Opinions and reactions of physicians in New Jersey regarding the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.

Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) was legalized in Oregon in 1997. In the study reported here, the authors surveyed a sample of New Jersey physicians with regard to Oregon's Death with Dignity Act and to whether similar legislation should be enacted in New Jersey. A 49-item questionnaire was sent to 563 physicians in New Jersey who were licensed in the specialties of family practice, internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry, and obstetrics/gynecology. The questionnaire contained sections pertaining to demographics, physicians' attitudes regarding PAS, and physicians' opinions on Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. A brief summary of the legislation was included in the mailing, which participants were asked to read before completing the questionnaire. Of the 191 physicians who responded to the survey, 55% agreed with legislation that would legalize PAS, and 59% said that a law similar to that enacted in Oregon should exist in New Jersey. However, only 47% of respondents indicated that they believed PAS to be consistent with the role of a physician to relieve pain and suffering. Slightly more than half of respondents indicated that they would refuse to participate in PAS and were concerned about issues such as professional and personal liability and the potential for abuse. Physicians in New Jersey will require additional information, education, and discussion of the ethical and legal implications of PAS before a law similar to that in Oregon could be proposed or considered.  (+info)

(23/585) Misdiagnoses of tuberculosis resulting from laboratory cross-contamination of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultures--New Jersey, 1998.

A diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) is rarely disputed if Mycobacterium tuberculosis is isolated from a clinical specimen; however, specimen contamination may occur (1-3). Identification of TB strain patterns through molecular typing or DNA fingerprinting is a recent advancement in TB laboratory techniques (3-7). CDC's National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network (NTGSN) performs DNA fingerprinting on TB isolates to determine the frequency of clustering among M. tuberculosis strains in project surveillance sites. In November 1998, NTGSN detected 11 isolates from previously reported TB cases among persons in New Jersey whose DNA fingerprints matched the avirulent laboratory M. tuberculosis control strain H37Ra. H37Ra does not cause active TB in humans, but it has been reported as a source of cross-contamination (8). In collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, CDC investigated H37Ra as a possible cause of TB disease and/or TB misdiagnoses caused by laboratory cross-contamination in the 11 case-patients. This report describes findings from two of the 11 cases and summarizes the results of this investigation, which indicate that TB was misdiagnosed and demonstrate the value of DNA fingerprinting to identify occurrences of cross-contamination of patient specimens.  (+info)

(24/585) West Nile virus activity--New York and New Jersey, 2000.

In late August 1999, an outbreak of encephalitis caused by West Nile virus (WNV) was detected in New York City and subsequently identified in neighboring counties (1). In response, an extensive mosquito-control and risk-reduction campaign was initiated, including aerial and ground applications of mosquito adulticides throughout the affected areas. No human WNV infections were found in New York City with an onset date after the campaign was completed. Cases continued to occur among humans in surrounding counties that did not undertake mosquito-control efforts until later, suggesting that the campaign may have reduced human risk. In May 2000, CDC issued guidelines to direct national surveillance, prevention, and control efforts (2) and provided funds to support these efforts in 19 state and local health departments where WNV transmission had occurred or where transmission would probably occur based on known bird migration patterns. This report presents the findings of surveillance activities.  (+info)