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  1. Abstract Building cooling loads are driven by heat gains through enclosures. This research identifies possible ways of reducing the building cooling loads through vegetative shading. Vegetative shading reduces heat gains by blocking radiation and by evaporative air cooling. Few measured data exist, so we gathered thermal data from a vegetative wall grown in front of a Mobile Diagnostics Lab (MDL), a trailer with one conditioned room with instrumentation that collects thermal data from heat flux sensors and thermistors within its walls. In spring 2020 a variety of plants were cultivated in a greenhouse and planted in front of the south façade of the MDL, which was placed in direct sunlight to collect heat flux data. The plants acted as a barrier for solar radiation and reduced the amount of thermal energy affecting the trailer surface. Data were collected through the use of 16 heat flux sensors and development of continuous infrared (IR) images indicating surface temperature with and without plant cover. The façade surface beneath the plants was 10-30 °C cooler than exposed façade areas. In further analyses, the heat-flux data were compared to IR temperature data. 
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  2. Abstract Aims

    Wound infections involving Candida albicans can be challenging to treat because of the fungus’ ability to penetrate wound tissue and form biofilms. The goal of this study was to assess the activity of a hypochlorous acid (HOCl)-generating electrochemical scaffold (e-scaffold) against C. albicans biofilms in vitro and on porcine dermal explants (ex vivo).

    Methods and Results

    C. albicans biofilms were grown either on acrylic-bottom six-well plates (in vitro) or on skin tissue excised from porcine ears (ex vivo), and the polarized e-scaffold was used to generate a continuous supply of low concentration HOCl near biofilm surfaces. C. albicans biofilms grown in vitro were reduced to undetectable amounts within 24 h of e-scaffold exposure, unlike control biofilms (5·28 ± 0·034 log10 (CFU cm-2); P < 0·0001). C. albicans biofilms grown on porcine dermal explants were also reduced to undetectable amounts in 24 h, unlike control explant biofilms (4·29 ± 0·057 log10 (CFU cm-2); P < 0·0001). There was a decrease in the number of viable mammalian cells (35·6 ± 6·4%) in uninfected porcine dermal explants exposed to continuous HOCl-generating e-scaffolds for 24 h compared to explants exposed to nonpolarized e-scaffolds (not generating HOCl) (P < 0·05).


    Our HOCl-generating e-scaffold is a potential antifungal-free strategy to treat C. albicans biofilms in chronic wounds.

    Significance and Impact of the Study

    Wound infections caused by C. albicans are difficult to treat due to presence of biofilms in wound beds. Our HOCl producing e-scaffold provides a promising novel approach to treat wound infections caused by C. albicans.

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  3. Background. Rapid blood culture diagnostics are of unclear benefit for patients with gram-negative bacilli (GNB) bloodstream infections (BSIs). We conducted a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial comparing outcomes of patients with GNB BSIs who had blood culture testing with standard-of-care (SOC) culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) vs rapid organism identification (ID) and phenotypic AST using the Accelerate Pheno System (RAPID). Methods. Patients with positive blood cultures with Gram stains showing GNB were randomized to SOC testing with antimicrobial stewardship (AS) review or RAPID with AS. The primary outcome was time to first antibiotic modification within 72 hours of randomization. Results. Of 500 randomized patients, 448 were included (226 SOC, 222 RAPID). Mean (standard deviation) time to results was faster for RAPID than SOC for organism ID (2.7 [1.2] vs 11.7 [10.5] hours; P < .001) and AST (13.5 [56] vs 44.9 [12.1] hours; P < .001). Median (interquartile range [IQR]) time to first antibiotic modification was faster in the RAPID arm vs the SOC arm for overall antibiotics (8.6 [2.6–27.6] vs 14.9 [3.3–41.1] hours; P = .02) and gram-negative antibiotics (17.3 [4.9–72] vs 42.1 [10.1–72] hours; P < .001). Median (IQR) time to antibiotic escalation was faster in the RAPID arm vs the SOC arm for antimicrobial-resistant BSIs (18.4 [5.8–72] vs 61.7 [30.4–72] hours; P = .01). There were no differences between the arms in patient outcomes. Conclusions. Rapid organism ID and phenotypic AST led to faster changes in antibiotic therapy for gram-negative BSIs. 
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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024