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BMC Series Highlights – June 2022

Does delaying the processing of positive blood tests influence the detection of pathogens? – Can physiotherapy promote bone health in premature babies? – How have the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected the lifestyle and health of our dogs? – How have restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected the mental health of pregnant women and their partners? – Are there early predictors of the success of high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy to avoid delay in mechanical ventilation and reduce the risk of mortality?

BMC Infectious Diseases – Impact of delayed processing of positive blood cultures on the detection of organisms: a prospective multicenter study

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Many health departments do not have the resources or capacity to subculture positive blood samples to diagnose bloodstream infections. As a result, centralization of diagnostic laboratory services is becoming popular. “Centralization” describes the creation of a “central” laboratory while closing or downgrading peripheral or smaller laboratories. To better utilize healthcare resources and save money, blood samples are increasingly being shipped to a central location for processing. In some low- and middle-income countries, the lack of necessary infrastructure and resources may mean that centralization is the only viable option.

However, the impact of delayed subculture of positive blood samples on the diagnostic yield of pathogens during shipment to central sites remains relatively unknown. In BMC Infectious Diseasesresearchers find that delaying subculture for up to a week did not affect diagnostic yield for nearly all pathogens studied, including Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, researchers demonstrate that storage temperature can affect viability, especially in tropical regions. The study provides useful data to consider when setting up new microbiological diagnostic services.

BMC PediatricsEffect of physiotherapy on bone remodeling in premature infants: a multicenter randomized controlled clinical trial

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According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely every year before the end of 37 weeks of pregnancy. These premature babies have a much higher risk of osteopenia. This condition results in reduced bone mineral density and subsequent disease due to multiple prenatal and postnatal factors that impair bone remodeling.

Bone remodeling is essential for normal growth and development. Osteoclasts remove old bone while osteoblasts lay new ones. Normally, these two types of cells work in balance, but if the rate of bone resorption exceeds the formation of new bone, the skeleton can become weak.

Physical activities that put mechanical stress on the bones stimulate bone growth. In BMC Pediatrics, researchers conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial to study the effect of three different physiotherapeutic methods on bone turnover in premature infants. The study found that reflex locomotion therapy (RLT) increased levels of biomarkers of bone formation and height in premature infants. These results suggest that RLT positively affects bone formation and growth, which may help prevent and treat osteopenia in this population.

BMC Veterinary Research – The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a cohort of Labrador retrievers in England

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How have the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected the lifestyle and health of our dogs? To help answer this question, researchers at the University of Edinburgh analyzed data from over 4,000 Labrador owners in England between March and July 2020.

The study found that Labradors visited vets less often during this time and were less likely to be insured. This finding suggests that the dogs may not have received their usual level of veterinary care. In addition, the number of vaccinations in Labradors has also decreased during confinement – this finding is valuable in encouraging owners to check that their dog’s vaccination history is up to date.

However, positive elements have also accompanied the pandemic restrictions. For example, Labradors exercised more, were more likely to be dewormed, and were less likely to receive treats from their owners. Labrador owners have also reported less coughing in their dogs. This observation led researchers to speculate that confinement reduced the spread of infectious diseases like kennel cough due to a reduction in the dogs’ social interactions.

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth – Associations between COVID-19 lockdown and post-lockdown on the mental health of pregnant women, postpartum women and their partners from the Queensland Prospective Family Cohort Study

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How have restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the mental health of pregnant women, postpartum women and their partners? In BMC Pregnancy and Childbirththe researchers used data from an ongoing pregnancy-across-the-lifeline study known as the Queensland Family Cohort at Mater Mother’s Hospital in Australia to help answer this question.

Pregnant women and their partners were prospectively recruited for the study before 24 weeks of gestation. The 454 families participating in the study then completed questionnaires relating to mental health and general well-being at 24 weeks of gestation and also at 6 weeks postpartum. Families were recruited before (August 2018-February 2020), during (March-August 2020) and after the end of the first confinement (September-December 2020).

Interestingly, the lockdown did not have a negative effect on the mental health of the assessed population in Brisbane, Australia. On the contrary, the odds of pregnant or postpartum women experiencing severe anxiety were more than halved among women during lockdown compared to women in the pre-COVID-19 period. Additionally, the risks of pregnant and postpartum women experiencing severe stress decreased by more than 70% post-lockdown compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

This manuscript is part of a collection of articles focusing on research on maternal mental health and mood during the perinatal period. To learn more, visit:

BMC pulmonary medicine – Prediction of Early Phase High Flow Nasal Cannula Outcomes Using Modified Respiratory Rate Oxygenation Index

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High-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy (HFNC) provides respiratory support to patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure (AHRF) – one of the most common causes of severe illness. However, in case of failure of HFNC, it is necessary to change the treatment to mechanical ventilation. Delay in mechanical ventilation is associated with an increased risk of mortality. In BMC pulmonary medicine, researchers reviewed the records of 75 patients with AHRF treated with HFNC to identify early predictors of the success of HFNC to avoid delay in mechanical ventilation and reduce the risk of mortality. The study reveals that two hours after the start of HFNC, a modified respiratory rate oxygenation index (PaO2/FiO2/RR) less than 7.1 predicts the success of HFNC therapy with 100% specificity.