The first group, headed by Lance Kachi, admitted to operating multiple unlicensed, illegal marijuana dispensaries in Spring Valley and El Cajon, including locations at 9545 Campo Road, 9600 Campo Road, 9070 Jamacha Road, 985 Greenfield Drive, and 9143 Birch Street. Since at least 2020, Kachi, Michael Yono, Avrin Yakou, Fabian Yakou, and others, oversaw multiple unlicensed dispensaries that would each generate up to $25,000 daily, and were open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Also in May 2022, a second group, comprised of the Shamoun brothers – Sean, Alvin, Vincent, and Andrew – pleaded guilty in federal court to charges stemming from their wholesale distribution of marijuana products to unlicensed, illegal marijuana dispensaries from Los Angeles to San Diego. Operating under the name of Babylon’s Garden, the Shamoun brothers manufactured a variety of marijuana products at a warehouse in San Diego, which they would deliver directly to dispensaries or ship in the United States mail. The Shamoun brothers admitted that their operation was responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of more than 3,000 kilograms of marijuana.Kachi and his coconspirators grossed millions of dollars in revenue from their illegal, unlicensed operation. Several times a week, Kachi and others would meet at various hotels where they would spend hours counting hundreds of thousands of dollars in dispensary proceeds using automated money counters. Before leaving the room with bags of money, the defendants would pack up their money counters as well as the various notes they took to account for their profits and expenses, such as the cost of armed security.
In their plea agreements, all the various defendants referenced above admitted that they had an obligation to report their income to both the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and California state tax authorities, as well as pay taxes on any income derived from these illegal businesses, which they failed to do. Additionally, all individuals agreed to forfeit seized cash, which currently exceeds $5 million.Sheikhan and Williams join several others who have pleaded guilty to various drug, firearm, and money laundering charges in federal court as part of this investigation.“Illegal marijuana dispensaries have been responsible for numerous complaints by our community members,” added Chula Vista Police Department Chief Roxana Kennedy. “We’ve seen many of them open up near our schools over time. They pose a significant health and safety hazard to the public, especially our youth, and they move around trying to avoid enforcement. Collaborating with our law enforcement partners in the region and pooling our resources to stop these criminal organizations from putting our communities at risk is absolutely critical.” In April 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Cannaland, which at the time was located at 10630 Willie Baker Way in Spring Valley, California. During the execution of the search warrant, more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana was seized, with an estimated street value in excess of $6 million, along with five firearms. Following the search warrant, Sheikhan and Williams personally coordinated and facilitated the procurement of replacement firearms for the business’ armed security guards and continued to operate their business and distribute vast amounts of marijuana. As part of their plea agreements, Sheikhan and Williams admitted the amount of marijuana products distributed during the course of the conspiracy exceeded 3,000 kilograms.This case is the result of ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises. To date, law enforcement has executed dozens of search warrants and charged more than 30 individuals with violating state and federal law. As a result of this joint effort, law enforcement has seized nearly 30,000 pounds of marijuana and marijuana products; 68 firearms, including ghost guns; and millions of dollars in currency, jewelry, and other valuables. Nearly 30 unlicensed, illegal marijuana dispensaries and wholesale distributors have been shut down as a result. “The Sheriff’s Department has been a proud partner in the collaborative law enforcement response to organized criminal activity related to unlicensed marijuana distribution in the East County,” said Kelly A. Martinez, Undersheriff of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. “Sheriff deputies, investigators, and analysts committed countless hours of investigative support, surveillance, and analysis to this effort. Today’s outcome is a culmination of the dedication of federal, state, and local law enforcement partnerships in the region which are the hallmark of public safety in San Diego. East San Diego County is safer today because of this hard work.”
“IRS has been a part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for over 30 years. ‘Stronger Through Partnership’ is the OCDETF motto, and the success of this highly impactful investigation truly exemplifies that motto,” noted Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office of IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “The primary motivation of drug traffickers is greed. They don’t care how their actions negatively impact innocent people, the community, or our society. The role of IRS-CI is to fully dismantle these criminal organizations by following the money that fuels the drug trade, and ultimately ensure that the peddlers of these illicit drugs do not reap the benefits of their criminal activity.” “The FBI is committed to keeping our communities safe from the vast array of violent crimes and criminal activity which accompanies these illegal establishments,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy. “I want to thank our law enforcement partners at the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the San Diego Police Department, the Chula Vista Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for their commitment and collaboration on these cases. It’s these ongoing partnerships which enable law enforcement from around the county to be agile and able to handle these types of cases using a variety of investigative techniques with different prosecutive options.” DocketJudgment was entered as follows: Judgment entered for Capital One Bank (USA) N.A. and against Yakou, Fabian F for $ 6026.18, punitive damages: $ 0.00, attorney fees: $ 0.00, interest: $ 0.00, prejudgment costs: $ 464.00, other costs: $ 0.00, amount payable to court: $ .00, for a grand total of $ 6490.18.
ngsters who pleaded guilty to federal felonies last week didn’t care “how their actions negatively impact innocent people, the community, or our society.” Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy says such criminals “pose a significant health and safety hazard to the public, especially our youth.”Last Thursday, the Justice Department reports, Shahram Sheikhan and Sabriana Williams pleaded guilty to participating in a marijuana distribution conspiracy. Sheikhan faces “forty years in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a $5 million fine.” Williams faces “twenty years in prison and a $1 million fine.” Their convictions were part of “an ongoing investigation by federal and state authorities targeting unlicensed, illegal marijuana dispensaries throughout Southern California.”
To show us how nefarious Kachi’s activities were, the Justice Department emphasizes that he took in lots of cash. “Kachi and his coconspirators grossed millions of dollars in revenue,” it says. “Several times a week, Kachi and others would meet at various hotels where they would spend hours counting hundreds of thousands of dollars in dispensary proceeds using automated money counters. Before leaving the room with bags of money, the defendants would pack up their money counters as well as the various notes they took to account for their profits and expenses, such as the cost of armed security.” Moy observes that “the primary motivation of drug traffickers is greed.”San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit is “proud of the work that has been done to close these illegal distribution centers and stop the violent crime associated with them.” But despite that claim and Moy’s reference to a “the vast array of violent crimes” that “accompanies these illegal establishments,” none of these defendants was charged with predatory crimes of any sort. Even the defensive possession of firearms, ordinarily protected by the Second Amendment, becomes a crime if your business involves a psychoactive substance that Congress has arbitrarily banned. Kachi, for example, was charged with “possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime,” a federal felony that is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. When someone has previously been convicted of that offense, the mandatory minimum is 25 years. Like many licensed marijuana dealers, in other words, Sheikhan and Williams worried that their business was a tempting target for robbers. Continued federal prohibition magnifies that risk by making it difficult for marijuana businesses, licensed or not, to obtain banking services, which forces them to rely heavily on cash. If anything, it seems, these defendants were potential victims of “violent crimes” rather than perpetrators of them.Just as armed self-defense is a crime for anyone in the marijuana industry, ordinary business transactions are federal felonies. Kachi was charged with money laundering, which by itself is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, plus “a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved.”
Even as the Justice Department implies that unlicensed marijuana dealers pose a special threat to public safety, it complains that the federal government is not getting its cut of their profits. “All the various defendants,” it says, “admitted that they had an obligation to report their income” to the IRS “as well as pay taxes on any income derived from these illegal businesses, which they failed to do.” As compensation for that failure, the defendants “agreed to forfeit seized cash, which currently exceeds $5 million.” Uncle Sam is perfectly happy to make money from this obviously iniquitous business, as long as the cash is laundered by self-righteous rhetoric.A profit motive is by no means unique to unlicensed marijuana businesses, and neither are bags of money. Due to the dearth of banking services, duly licensed pot dealers in California and other states commonly operate this way. Like Kachi, all of them are guilty of money laundering. Kennedy claims that these operations posed a threat to “our youth”. While unauthorized utensil shops may be less punctual about checking customers’ IDs than licensed retailers, the Justice Department’s announcement does not cover any allegations of distribution to minors. The Closest It Comes to Kennedy’s Complaint That “Many” Unlicensed Pottery Stores Are “Open”[ed] near our schools,” which could mean they were closer than the city-mandated 1,000 feet. From 2019 to 2022, the Justice Department states, “Sheikhan and Williams, among others, operated an unlicensed, illicit marijuana business known as ‘Canaland’, which primarily sold unlicensed and illicit marijuana.” Served as a wholesale supplier of marijuana and marijuana products to dispensaries in Southern California. Additionally, Canland itself operates as an unlicensed, illegal marijuana dispensary, serving individual customers. “
that “the primary motivation of drug traffickers is greed.” Again, Katchi’s lack of a business license is irrelevant under federal law. A licensed marijuana dealer who dares to arm himself against the risk of robbery is guilty of the same crime. Kennedy also says “illegal marijuana dispensaries are responsible for many complaints by members of our community,” although she does not specify the nature of those complaints. In 2020, when Chula Vista cracked down on unlicensed dispensaries, Kennedy said some “sell cannabis to children” or were selling “irregular products that contain banned chemicals.” San Diego Union-Tribune,Those burdens, along with local restrictions, explain why unlicensed sales still account for nearly two-thirds of the marijuana purchased in California. As a recent report by the Region Foundation (which publishes causeNote, California has one licensed recreational outlet per 29,282 residents, while Colorado has one per 13,838 and Oregon has one per 6,145. Worse, the report said, California stores are unevenly distributed throughout the state, leading to “massive cannabis deserts” where “consumers have legal access within a reasonable distance of their home. The retailer doesn’t have access.”
Last Thursday, the Justice Department reported, Shahram Shekhan and Sabariana Williams pleaded guilty to participating in a marijuana distribution conspiracy. Sheikhan faces “forty years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a $5 million fine.” Williams faces “twenty years in prison and a fine of one million dollars”. His conviction was part of “an ongoing investigation by federal and state officials targeting unlicensed, illegal marijuana dispensaries in Southern California.”Even as the Justice Department implies that unlicensed marijuana dealers pose a particular threat to public safety, it complains that the federal government is not getting a cut of their profits. “All the various defendants,” it says, “accepted that they had an obligation to report their income to the IRS” as well as pay taxes on any income derived from these illegal businesses, which they failed to do. As compensation for that failure, the defendants “agreed to forfeit the confiscated cash, which currently amounts to more than $5 million.” Uncle Sam is perfectly happy to make money from this apparently unjust business, as long as the cash is laundered by self-righteous rhetoric.Chula Vista didn’t start accepting applications from recreational retailers until 2018. The first such business, Grasshopper Delivery, opened in 2020. Since then many others have joined in. But the number of dispensaries in the city is 12, or one per 23,000 residents. This is slightly better than the statewide average but clearly less than the adult market. The situation is even worse in San Diego: The city allows no more than 36 recreational dispensaries, or one per 39,000 residents. And even without such restrictions, high taxes and cumbersome regulations make it very difficult for licensed stores to compete on the black market.
San Diego Police Chief David Nieslit is proud of the work done to “shut down these illegal distribution centers and stop the violent crime associated with them.” But despite Moy’s reference to that claim and “a vast array of violent crimes with these illegal establishments,” none of these defendants were charged with any sort of violent crimes.But for lack of licenses and Kachi’s unusually convenient hours, none of which matter under federal law, it’s all par for the course in California’s cannabis industry. If the Biden administration decides to implement the Controlled Substances Act more aggressively, even licensed marijuana traders across the state could see decades in federal prison.After attacks with anthrax pathogens have been committed since 2001 all over the world the fast detection and determination of biological samples has attracted interest. A very promising method for a rapid test is Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). LIBS is an optical method which uses time-resolved or time-integrated spectral analysis of optical plasma emission after pulsed laser excitation. Even though LIBS is well established for the determination of metals and other inorganic materials the analysis of microbiological organisms is difficult due to their very similar stoichiometric composition. To analyze similar LIBS-spectra computer assisted chemometrics is a very useful approach. In this paper we report on first results of developing a compact and fully automated rapid test for the detection of hazardous microbiological material. Experiments have been carried out with two setups: A bulky one which is composed of standard laboratory components and a compact one consisting of miniaturized industrial components. Both setups work at an excitation wavelength of Î»=1064nm (Nd:YAG). Data analysis is done by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) with an adjacent neural network for fully automated sample identification.
dal gold particles was coated on a gold conjugate pad. A secondary goat anti-mouse IgG was coated on the surface of a nitrocellulose filter membrane (NC) as the control (C) line, while 1E1 was coated on the surface of the NC as the test (T) line. The ICS test was evaluated for specificity and sensitivity and then applied for virus detection in field samples. There was no cross-reaction with citrus tristeza virus (CTV), satsuma dwarf virus (SDV), citrus tatter leaf virus (CTLV), citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd), citrus mosaic virus (CiMV), citrus psorosis virus (CPV), citrus ringspot virus (RSV) or ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas). The ICS test was still able to detect CYVCV in tissue extracts at a dilution of 1: 320 (w/v), which is as efficient as the dot-ELISA assay. In general, the ICS assay is less expensive, faster and simpler to conduct than conventional CYVCV detection methods, so it may be useful for large-scale detection or monitoring of CYVCV. Rapid HIV testing in high-risk populations can increase the number of persons who learn their HIV status and avoid spending clinic resources to locate persons identified as HIV infected. We determined the cost to sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics of point-of-care rapid HIV testing using data from 7 public clinics that participated in a randomized trial of rapid testing with and without brief patient-centered risk reduction counseling in 2010. Costs included counselor and trainer time, supplies, and clinic overhead. We applied national labor rates and test costs. We calculated median clinic start-up costs and mean cost per patient tested, and projected incremental annual costs of implementing universal rapid HIV testing compared with current testing practices. Criteria for offering rapid HIV testing and methods for delivering nonrapid test results varied among clinics before the trial. Rapid HIV testing cost an average of US $22/patient without brief risk reduction counseling and US $46/patient with counseling in these 7 clinics. Median start-up costs per clinic were US $1100 and US $16,100 without and with counseling, respectively. Estimated incremental annual costs per clinic of implementing universal rapid HIV testing varied by whether or not brief counseling is conducted and by current clinic testing practices, ranging from a savings of US $19,500 to a cost of US $40,700 without counseling and a cost of US $98,000 to US $153,900 with counseling. Universal rapid HIV testing in STD clinics with same-day results can be implemented at relatively low cost to STD clinics, if brief risk reduction counseling is not offered.
Baltzell, Kimberly A; Shakely, Deler; Hsiang, Michelle; Kemere, Jordan; Ali, Abdullah Suleiman; BjÃ¶rkman, Anders; MÃ¥rtensson, Andreas; Omar, Rahila; Elfving, Kristina; Msellem, Mwinyi; Aydin-Schmidt, Berit; Rosenthal, Philip J; Greenhouse, BryanRapid biochemical tests for nitrate, indole, gelatin, starch, esculin, and o-nitrophenyl-Î²-D-galactopyranoside were performed on 112 strains of anaerobic bacteria. All tests were incubated under aerobic conditions, and results were recorded within 4 h. The tests for nitrate, indole, and starch showed a 95% or greater correlation when compared to the standard biochemical tests. Tests for esculin and gelatin showed an agreement of 86 and 77%, respectively. PathoTec test strips for nitrate, indole, esculin, o-nitrophenyl-Î²-D-galactopyranoside, Voges-Proskauer, and urease were also tested and showed encouraging results. PMID:4613268A rapid and simple latex fixation test (LFT), which quantifies immunoglobulin (Ig) released into culture supernatants is described. Latex particles are coated with rabbit anti-human IgG, IgA or IgM antibodies. With this LFT technique the concentration of Ig is determined within a few minutes. The LFT is as sensitive and quantitative as double-antibody radioimmunoassay and is capable of detecting 35, 68 and 225 ng/ml of IgG, IgA and IgM, respectively.It is aimed to detect the sensitivity and specificity of rapid antigen detection of group A beta hemolytic streptococci from throat specimen compared with throat culture. The other goal of the study is to help in giving clinical decisions in upper respiratory tract infections according to the age group, by detection of sensitivity and positive predictive values of the rapid tests and throat cultures. Rapid antigen detection and throat culture results for group A beta hemolytic streptococci from outpatients attending to our university hospital between the first of November 2005 and 31st of December 2008 were evaluated retrospectively. Throat samples were obtained by swabs from the throat and transported in the Stuart medium and Quickvue Strep A [Quidel, San Diego, USA] cassette test was applied and for culture, specimen was inoculated on 5% blood sheep agar and identified according to bacitracin and trimethoprim-sulphametaxazole susceptibility from beta hemolytic colonies. During the dates between the first of November 2005 and 31st of December 2008, from 453 patients both rapid antigen detection and throat culture were evaluated. Rapid antigen detection sensitivity and specificity were found to be 64.6% and 96.79%, respectively. The positive predictive value was 80.95% whereas negative predictive value was 92.82%. Kappa index was 0.91. When the results were evaluated according to the age groups, the sensitivity and the positive predictive value of rapid antigen detection in children were 70%, 90.3% and in adults 59.4%, 70.4%. When bacterial infection is concerned to prevent unnecessary antibiotic use, rapid streptococcal antigen test (RSAT) is a reliable method to begin immediate treatment. To get the maximum sensitivity of RSAT, the specimen collection technique used and education of the health care workers is important. While giving clinical decision, it must be taken into consideration that the sensitivity and the positive predictive value of the RSAT is quite This study was undertaken in MSFC’s 14-Inch Trisonic Wind Tunnel to determine if rapid prototyping methods could be used in the design and manufacturing of high speed wind tunnel models in direct testing applications, and if these methods would reduce model design/fabrication time and cost while providing models of high enough fidelity to provide adequate aerodynamic data, and of sufficient strength to survive the test environment. Rapid prototyping methods utilized to construct wind tunnel models in a wing-body-tail configuration were: fused deposition method using both ABS plastic and PEEK as building materials, stereolithography using the photopolymer SL-5170, selective laser sintering using glass reinforced nylon, and laminated object manufacturing using plastic reinforced with glass and ‘paper’. This study revealed good agreement between the SLA model, the metal model with an FDM-ABS nose, an SLA nose, and the metal model for most operating conditions, while the FDM-ABS data diverged at higher loading conditions. Data from the initial SLS model showed poor agreement due to problems in post-processing, resulting in a different configuration. A second SLS model was tested and showed relatively good agreement. It can be concluded that rapid prototyping models show promise in preliminary aerodynamic development studies at subsonic, transonic, and supersonic speeds. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are today the most widely used method for malaria diagnosis and are recommended, alongside microscopy, for the confirmation of suspected cases before the administration of anti-malarial treatment. The diagnostic performance of RDTs, as compared to microscopy or PCR is well described but the actual analytical sensitivity of current best-in-class tests is poorly documented. This value is however a key performance indicator and a benchmark value needed to developed new RDTs of improved sensitivity. Thirteen RDTs detecting either the Plasmodium falciparum histidine rich protein 2 (HRP2) or the plasmodial lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) antigens were selected from the best performing RDTs according to the WHO-FIND product testing programme. The analytical sensitivity of these products was evaluated using a range of reference materials including P. falciparum and Plasmodium vivax whole parasite samples as well as recombinant proteins. The best performing HRP2-based RDTs could detect all P. falciparum cultured samples at concentrations as low as 0.8Â ng/mL of HRP2. The limit of detection of the best performing pLDH-based RDT specifically detecting P. vivax was 25Â ng/mL of pLDH. The analytical sensitivity of P. vivax and Pan pLDH-based RDTs appears to vary considerably from product to product, and improvement of the limit-of-detection for P. vivax detecting RDTs is needed to match the performance of HRP2 and Pf pLDH-based RDTs for P. falciparum. Different assays using different reference materials produce different values for antigen concentration in a given specimen, highlighting the need to establish universal reference assays.Galetta, Kristin M; Brandes, Lauren E; Maki, Karl; Dziemianowicz, Mark S; Laudano, Eric; Allen, Megan; Lawler, Kathy; Sennett, Brian; Wiebe, Douglas; Devick, Steve; Messner, Leonard V; Galetta, Steven L; Balcer, Laura J
Microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are the techniques commonly used for malaria diagnosis but they are usually insensitive at very low levels of parasitemia. Nested PCR is commonly used as a reference technique in the diagnosis of malaria due to its high sensitivity and specificity. However, it is a cumbersome assay only available in reference centers. We evaluated a new nested PCR-based assay, BIOMALAR kit (Biotools B&M Labs, Madrid, Spain) which employs ready-to-use gelled reagents and allows the identification of the main four species of Plasmodium. Blood samples were obtained from patients with clinical suspicion of malaria. A total of 94 subjects were studied. Fifty-two (55.3%) of them were malaria-infected subjects corresponding to 48 cases of Plasmodium falciparum, 1 Plasmodium malariae, 2 Plasmodium vivax, and 1 Plasmodium ovale. The performance of the BIOMALAR test was compared with microscopy, rapid diagnostic test (RDT) (BinaxNOWÂ® Malaria) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). The BIOMALAR test showed a sensitivity of 98.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 89.7-100), superior to microscopy (82.7% [95% CI, 69.7-91.8]) and RDT (94.2% [95% CI, 84.1-98.8]) and similar to qPCR (100% [95% CI, 93.2-100]). In terms of specificity, the BIOMALAR assay showed the same value as microscopy and qPCR (100% [95% CI, 93.2-100]). Nine subjects were submicroscopic carriers of malaria. The BIOMALAR test identified almost all of them (8/9) in comparison with RDT (6/9) and microscopy (0/9). In conclusion, the BIOMALAR is a PCR-based assay easy to use with an excellent performance and especially useful for diagnosis submicroscopic malaria.
on settings will probably depend on the use of more than one diagnostic tool in clinical-care and surveillance activities, and the combination of tools utilized will need to be informed by regular monitoring of test performance through effective quality assurance. PMID:21910780 Background Rapid HIV tests provide same-day results and are widely used in HIV testing programs in areas with limited personnel and laboratory infrastructure. The Uganda Ministry of Health currently recommends the serial rapid testing algorithm with Determine, STAT-PAK, and Uni-Gold for diagnosis of HIV infection. Using this algorithm, individuals who test positive on Determine, negative to STAT-PAK and positive to Uni-Gold are reported as HIV positive. We conducted further testing on this subgroup of samples using qualitative DNA PCR to assess the potential for false positive tests in this situation. Results Of the 3388 individuals who were tested, 984 were HIV positive on two consecutive tests, and 29 were considered positive by a tiebreaker (positive on Determine, negative on STAT-PAK, and positive on Uni-Gold). However, when the 29 samples were further tested using qualitative DNA PCR, 14 (48.2%) were HIV negative. Conclusion Although this study was not primarily designed to assess the validity of rapid HIV tests and thus only a subset of the samples were retested, the findings show a potential for false positive HIV results in the subset of individuals who test positive when a tiebreaker test is used in serial testing. These findings highlight a need for confirmatory testing for this category of individuals. PMID:22429706
Background Zambiaâ€™s national HIV testing algorithm specifies use of two rapid blood based antibody assays, DetermineÂ®HIV-1/2 (Inverness Medical) and if positive then Uni-GoldTM Recombigen HIV-1/2 (Trinity Biotech). Little is known about the performance of oral fluid based HIV testing in Zambia. The aims of this study are two-fold: 1) to compare the diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity and specificity) under field conditions of the OraQuickÂ® ADVANCEÂ® Rapid HIV-1/2 (OraSure Technologies, Inc.) to two blood-based rapid antibody tests currently in use in the Zambia National Algorithm, and 2) to perform a cost analysis of large-scale field testing employing the OraQuickÂ®. Methods This was a operational retrospective research of HIV testing and questionnaire data collected in 2010 as part of the ZAMSTAR (Zambia South Africa TB and AIDS reduction) study. Randomly sampled individuals in twelve communities were tested consecutively with OraQuickÂ® test using oral fluid versus two blood-based rapid HIV tests, DetermineÂ® and Uni-GoldTM. A cost analysis of four algorithms from health systems perspective were performed: 1) DetermineÂ® and if positive, then Uni-GoldTM (DetermineÂ®/Uni-GoldTM); based on current algorithm, 2) DetermineÂ® and if positive, then OraQuickÂ® (DetermineÂ®/OraQuickÂ®), 3) OraQuickÂ® and if positive, then DetermineÂ® (OraQuickÂ®/DetermineÂ®), 4) OraQuickÂ® and if positive, then Uni-GoldTM (OraQuickÂ®/Uni-GoldTM). This information was then used to construct a model using a hypothetical population of 5,000 persons with varying prevalence of HIV infection from 1â€“30%. Results 4,458 participants received both a DetermineÂ® and OraQuickÂ® test. The sensitivity and specificity of the OraQuickÂ® test were 98.7 (95%CI, 97.5â€“99.4) and 99.8 (95%CI, 99.6â€“99.9), respectively when compared to HIV positive serostatus. The average unit costs per algorithm were US$3.76, US$4.03, US$7.35, and US$7.67 for DetermineÂ®/Uni-GoldTM, DetermineÂ®/OraQuickÂ®, OraDifferentiating dengue patients from other acute febrile illness patients is a great challenge among physicians. Several dengue diagnosis methods are recommended by WHO. The application of specific laboratory tests is still limited due to high cost, lack of equipment, and uncertain validity. Therefore, clinical diagnosis remains a common practice especially in resource limited settings. Bayesian networks have been shown to be a useful tool for diagnostic decision support. This study aimed to construct Bayesian network models using basic demographic, clinical, and laboratory profiles of acute febrile illness patients to diagnose dengue. Data of 397 acute undifferentiated febrile illness patients who visited the fever clinic of the Bangkok Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Thailand, were used for model construction and validation. The two best final models were selected: one with and one without NS1 rapid test result. The diagnostic accuracy of the models was compared with that of physicians on the same set of patients. The Bayesian network models provided good diagnostic accuracy of dengue infection, with ROC AUC of 0.80 and 0.75 for models with and without NS1 rapid test result, respectively. The models had approximately 80% specificity and 70% sensitivity, similar to the diagnostic accuracy of the hospital’s fellows in infectious disease. Including information on NS1 rapid test improved the specificity, but reduced the sensitivity, both in model and physician diagnoses. The Bayesian network model developed in this study could be useful to assist physicians in diagnosing dengue, particularly in regions where experienced physicians and laboratory confirmation tests are limited.Zheng, Tianyu; Finn, Caroline; Parrett, Christopher J; Dhume, Kunal; Hwang, Ji Hae; Sidhom, David; Strutt, Tara M; Li Sip, Yuen Yee; McKinstry, Karl K; Huo, Qun Countrywide Reassessment of Schistosoma mansoni Infection in Burundi Using a Urine-Circulating Cathodic Antigen Rapid Test: Informing the National Control Program On 11 March 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale off the northeast coast of Honshu Island, Japan, produced a devastating tsunami that destroyed many towns and villages near the coast in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures. Miyagi Prefecture was the area most severely devastated by the tsunami, with extensive loss of life and property; hundreds of thousands of people lost their houses and were forced to move to evacuation areas. In the days and weeks following devastating natural disasters, the threat of infectious disease outbreak is high. Rapid diagnostic tests can be performed at or near the site of patient care and the tests were very useful in this disaster, because they enabled us to manage patients appropriately in the settings where medical resources were limited. Here we report actual cases where the rapid diagnostic tests for infectious diseases were useful in the patient management.We assessed preferences of social media-using young black, Hispanic and white men-who-have-sex-with-men (YMSM) for oral fluid rapid HIV self-testing, as compared toÂ other currently available HIV testing options. We also identified aspects of the oral fluid rapid HIV self-test that might influence preferences for using this test instead of other HIV testing options and determined if consideration of HIV testing costs and the potential future availability of fingerstick rapid HIV self-testing change HIV testing preferences. Anonymous online survey. HIV-uninfected YMSM across the United States recruited from multiple social media platforms completed an online survey about willingness to use, opinions about and their preferences for using oral fluid rapid HIV self-testing and five other currently available HIV testing options. In a pre/post questionnaire format design, participants first indicated their preferences for using the six HIV testing options (pre) before answering questions that asked their experience with and opinions about HIV testing. Although not revealed to participants and not apparent in the phrasing of the questions or responses, the opinion questions concerned aspects of oral fluid rapid HIV self-testing (e.g. its possible advantages/disadvantages, merits/demerits, and barriers/facilitators). Afterward, participants were queried again about their HIV testing preferences (post). After completing these questions, participants were asked to re-indicate their HIV testing preferences when considering they had to pay for HIV testing and if fingerstick blood sample rapid HIV self-testing were an additional testing option. Aspects about the oral fluid rapid HIV self-test associated with increased preference for using the test (post-assessment vs pre-assessment of opinion topics) were identified through multivariable regression models that adjusted for participant characteristics. Of the 1975 YMSM participants, the median age was 22 years (IQR 20-23); 19
nt tool in an elderly population.
Rosenstierne, Maiken WorsÃ¸e; Karlberg, Helen; Bragstad, Karoline; Lindegren, Gunnel; Stoltz, Malin Lundahl; Salata, Cristiano; Kran, Anne-Marte Bakken; Dudman, Susanne Gjeruldsen; Mirazimi, Ali; Fomsgaard, AndersWarm-up exercises are commonly used before exercise as a method to physiologically prepare for strenuous physical activity. Various warm-up exercises are often implemented but without scientific merit and, at times, may be detrimental to performance. To date, no systematic reviews have examined the effectiveness of warm-up exercises for military physical fitness test (PFT) or combat fitness test (CFT). The purpose of this rapid evidence assessment of the literature was to examine the quantity, quality, and effectiveness of warm-up exercises for PFT and identify those that might increase PFT and/or CFT scores, as reported in the literature. Literature searches of randomized controlled trials were performed across various databases from database inception to May 2011. Methodological quality of included studies was assessed using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) 50 criteria for randomized controlled trial designs, and studies were individually described. Subject matter experts summarized the results applicable or generalizable to military testing. The search yielded a total of 1177 citations, with 37 fitting our inclusion criteria. Cardiovascular warm-ups increased sprint/running time, but dynamic stretching and dynamic warm-ups had the most positive outcome for the various exercise tests examined. Systematically, static stretching had no beneficial or detrimental effect on exercise performance but did improve range of movement exercises. Selected warm-up exercise may increase PFT and possibly CFT scores. Further research is needed to investigate the efficacy of dynamic stretching and dynamic warm-ups.As effective onchocerciasis control efforts in Africa transition to elimination efforts, different diagnostic tools are required to support country programs. Senegal, with its long standing, successful control program, is transitioning to using the SD BIOLINE Onchocerciasis IgG4 (Ov16) rapid test over traditional skin snip microscopy. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating the Ov16 rapid test into onchocerciasis surveillance activities in Senegal, based on the following attributes of acceptability, usability, and cost. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 13 villages in southeastern Senegal in May 2016. Individuals 5 years and older were invited to participate in a demographic questionnaire, an Ov16 rapid test, a skin snip biopsy, and an acceptability interview. Rapid test technicians were interviewed and a costing analysis was conducted. Of 1,173 participants, 1,169 (99.7%) agreed to the rapid test while 383 (32.7%) agreed to skin snip microscopy. The sero-positivity rate of the rapid test among those tested was 2.6% with zero positives 10 years and younger. None of the 383 skin snips were positive for Ov microfilaria. Community members appreciated that the rapid test was performed quickly, was not painful, and provided reliable results. The total costs for this surveillance activity was $22,272.83, with a cost per test conducted at $3.14 for rapid test, $7.58 for skin snip microscopy, and $13.43 for shared costs. If no participants had refused skin snip microscopy, the total cost per method with shared costs would have been around $16 per person tested. In this area with low onchocerciasis sero-positivity, there was high acceptability and perceived value of the rapid test by community members and technicians. This study provides evidence of the feasibility of implementing the Ov16 rapid test in Senegal and may be informative to other country programs transitioning to Ov16 serologic tools. PMID:28972982
Determine HIV-1/2, Chembio HIV-1/2 STAT-PAK and PenTest are simple/rapid tests for the detection of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in human whole blood, serum and plasma samples. The assay is one step and the result is read visually within 15 minutes. Using 92 known HIV-1 reactive sera and 108 known HIV-1 negative sera, the 3 HIV tests correctly identified all the known HIV-1 reactive and negative samples. The results indicated that Determine HIV-1/2, Chembio HIV-1/2 STAT-PAK and PenTest HIV are as sensitive and specific (100% concordance) as Microparticle Enzyme Immunoassay. The data indicated that these 3 HIV tests are effective testing systems for diagnosis of HIV infection in a situation when the conventional Enzyme Immunoassay is not suitable.Fogel, Jessica M; Piwowar-Manning, Estelle; Donohue, Kelsey; Cummings, Vanessa; Marzinke, Mark A; Clarke, William; Breaud, Autumn; Fiamma, AgnÃ¨s; Donnell, Deborah; Kulich, Michal; Mbwambo, Jessie K K; Richter, Linda; Gray, Glenda; Sweat, Michael; Coates, Thomas J; Eshleman, Susan H Impact of rapid methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus polymerase chain reaction testing on mortality and cost effectiveness in hospitalized patients with bacteraemia: a decision model. Marshall Space Flight Center’s (MSFC) Small Projects Rapid Integration and Test Environment (SPRITE) is a Hardware-In-The-Loop (HWIL) facility that provides rapid development, integration, and testing capabilities for small projects (CubeSats, payloads, spacecraft, and launch vehicles). This facility environment focuses on efficient processes and modular design to support rapid prototyping, integration, testing and verification of small projects at an affordable cost, especially compared to larger type HWIL facilities. SPRITE (Figure 1) consists of a “core” capability or “plant” simulation platform utilizing a graphical programming environment capable of being rapidly re-configured for any potential test article’s space environments, as well as a standard set of interfaces (i.e. Mil-Std 1553, Serial, Analog, Digital, etc.). SPRITE also allows this level of interface testing of components and subsystems very early in a program, thereby reducing program risk.de Glanville, William A; Conde-Ãlvarez, Raquel; MoriyÃ³n, Ignacio; Njeru, John; DÃaz, RamÃ³n; Cook, Elizabeth A J; Morin, Matilda; Bronsvoort, Barend M de C; Thomas, Lian F; Kariuki, Samuel; FÃ¨vre, Eric M Recently, super-hydrophobicity has attracted increasing attention due to its huge potential in the practical applications. In this paper, we have presented a duo-structure of the combination of micro-dot-matrix and nano-candle-soot. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) was used as a combination layer between the dot-matrix and the soot particles. Firstly, a period of 9-Î¼m dot-matrix was easily fabricated on the K9 glass using the most simple and mature photolithography process. Secondly, the dot-matrix surface was coated by a thin film of PDMS (elastomer: hardener=10:1) which was diluted by methylbenzene at the volume ratio of 1:8. Thirdly, we held the PDMS modified surface over a candle flame to deposit a soot layer and followed by a gentle water-risen to remove the non-adhered particles. At last, the samples were baked at 85Â°C for 2 hours and then the duo-structure surface with both micro-size dot-matrix and nano-size soot particles was obtained. The SEM indicated this novel surface morphology was quite like a lotus leaf of the well-know micro-nano-binary structures. As a result, the contact angle meter demonstrated such surface exhibited a perfect super-hydrophobicity with water contact angle of 153Â° and sliding angle of 3Â°. Besides, just listed as above, the fabrication process for our structure was quite more easy, smart and low-cost compared with the other production technique for super-hydrophobic surfaces such as the phase separation method, electrochemical deposition and chemical vapor deposition etc. Hence, this super-hydrophobic duo-structure reported in this letter was a great promising candidate for a wide and rapid commercialization in the future. Tuberculosis (TB) is the most important zoonotic bacterial disease in nonhuman primates (NHP). The current diagnostic method, the intradermal palpebral tuberculin test, has serious shortcomings. We characterized antibody responses in NHP against Mycobacterium tuberculosis to identify immunodominant antigens and develop a rapid serodiagnostic test for TB. A total of 422 NHP were evaluated, including 243 rhesus (Macaca mulatta), 46 cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis), and 133 African green (Cercopithecus aethiops sabaeus) monkeys at five collaborative centers. Of those, 50 monkeys of the three species were experimentally inoculated with M. tuberculosis. Antibody responses were monitored every 2 to 4 weeks for up to 8 months postinfection by MultiAntigen Print ImmunoAssay with a panel of 12 recombinant antigens. All of the infected monkeys produced antibodies at various levels and with different antigen recognition patterns. ESAT-6 and MPB83 were the most frequently recognized proteins during infection. A combination of selected antigens which detected antibodies in all of the infected monkeys was designed to develop the PrimaTB STAT-PAK assay by lateral-flow technology. Serological evaluation demonstrated high diagnostic sensitivity (90%) and specificity (99%). The highest rate of TB detection was achieved when the skin test was combined with the PrimaTB STAT-PAK kit. This novel immunoassay provides a simple, rapid, and accurate test for TB in NHP. PMID:17652522Simple and rapid diagnosis of influenza is useful for making treatment decisions in the clinical setting. Although many influenza rapid diagnostic tests (IRDTs) are available for the detection of seasonal influenza virus infections, their sensitivity for other viruses, such as H5N1 viruses and the recently emerged swine origin pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus, remains largely unknown. Here, we examined the sensitivity of 20 IRDTs to various influenza virus strains, including H5N1 and 2009 pandemic H1N1 viruses. Our results indicate that the detection sensitivity to swine origin H1N1 viruses varies widely among IRDTs, with some tests lacking sufficient sensitivity to detect the early stages of infection when the virus load is low.Diagnosis of scrub typhus is challenging due to its more than twenty serotypes and the similar clinical symptoms with other acute febrile illnesses including leptospirosis, murine typhus and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. Accuracy and rapidity of a diagnostic test to Orientia tsutsugamushi is an important step to diagnose this disease. To discriminate scrub typhus from other diseases, the improved ImmuneMed Scrub Typhus Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) was evaluated in Korea and Sri Lanka. The sensitivity at the base of each IgM and IgG indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA) in Korean patients was 98.6% and 97.1%, and the specificity was 98.2% and 97.7% respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for retrospective diagnosis at the base of IFA in Sri Lanka was 92.1% and 96.1%. ImmuneMed RDT was not reactive to any serum from seventeen diseases including hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (n = 48), leptospirosis (n = 23), and murine typhus (n = 48). ImmuneMed RDT shows superior sensitivity (98.6% and 97.1%) compared with SD Bioline RDT (84.4% at IgM and 83.3% at IgG) in Korea. The retrospective diagnosis of ImmuneMed RDT exhibits 94.0% identity with enzyme-linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using South India patient serum samples. These results suggest that this RDT can replace other diagnostic tests and is applicable for global diagnosis of scrub typhus. This rapid and accurate diagnosis will be beneficial for diagnosing and managing scrub typhus.
ion test [SAT] for CPV antigen and slide inhibition test [SIT] for CPV antibody) that are sensitive, specific, cost-effective, generic for all genotypes of CPV, and provide instant results for CPV antigen detection in feces and antibody quantification in serum. We found these assays to be useful for routine applications in kennels with large numbers of puppies at risk. The results of these assays are available in 1 min and do not require any special instrumentation. SAT-SIT technology will find applications in rapid screening of samples for other hemagglutinating emerging viruses of animals and humans (influenza virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus). PMID:18987166