ResearchPad - spain https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Time-to-Death approach in revealing Chronicity and Severity of COVID-19 across the World]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13808 The outbreak of coronavirus disease, 2019 (COVID-19), which started from Wuhan, China, in late 2019, have spread worldwide. A total of 5,91,971 cases and 2,70,90 deaths were registered till 28th March, 2020. We aimed to predict the impact of duration of exposure to COVID-19 on the mortality rates increment.MethodsIn the present study, data on COVID-19 infected top seven countries viz., Germany, China, France, United Kingdom, Iran, Italy and Spain, and World as a whole, were used for modeling. The analytical procedure of generalized linear model followed by Gompertz link function was used to predict the impact lethal duration of exposure on the mortality rates.FindingsOf the selected countries and World as whole, the projection based on 21st March, 2020 cases, suggest that a total (95% Cl) of 76 (65–151) days of exposure in Germany, mortality rate will increase by 5 times to 1%. In countries like France and United Kingdom, our projection suggests that additional exposure of 48 days and 7 days, respectively, will raise the mortality rates to10%. Regarding Iran, Italy and Spain, mortality rate will rise to 10% with an additional 3–10 days of exposure. World’s mortality rates will continue increase by 1% in every three weeks. The predicted interval of lethal duration corresponding to each country has found to be consistent with the mortality rates observed on 28th March, 2020.ConclusionThe prediction of lethal duration was found to have apparently effective in predicting mortality, and shows concordance with prevailing rates. In absence of any vaccine against COVID-19 infection, the present study adds information about the quantum of the severity and time elapsed to death will help the Government to take necessary and appropriate steps to control this pandemic. ]]> <![CDATA[A model for the assessment of bluetongue virus serotype 1 persistence in Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11225 Bluetongue virus (BTV) is an arbovirus of ruminants that has been circulating in Europe continuously for more than two decades and has become endemic in some countries such as Spain. Spain is ideal for BTV epidemiological studies since BTV outbreaks from different sources and serotypes have occurred continuously there since 2000; BTV-1 has been reported there from 2007 to 2017. Here we develop a model for BTV-1 endemic scenario to estimate the risk of an area becoming endemic, as well as to identify the most influential factors for BTV-1 persistence. We created abundance maps at 1-km2 spatial resolution for the main vectors in Spain, Culicoides imicola and Obsoletus and Pulicaris complexes, by combining environmental satellite data with occurrence models and a random forest machine learning algorithm. The endemic model included vector abundance and host-related variables (farm density). The three most relevant variables in the endemic model were the abundance of C. imicola and Obsoletus complex and density of goat farms (AUC 0.86); this model suggests that BTV-1 is more likely to become endemic in central and southwestern regions of Spain. It only requires host- and vector-related variables to identify areas at greater risk of becoming endemic for bluetongue. Our results highlight the importance of suitable Culicoides spp. prediction maps for bluetongue epidemiological studies and decision-making about control and eradication measures.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiology of Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever in Endemic Area, Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N08a04346-bee9-4f53-897a-0858de92df2d

Incidence of this disease increased over time; peak incidences were observed in 2011, 2014, and 2015.

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<![CDATA[Risk factors associated to a high Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex seroprevalence in wild boar (Sus scrofa) from a low bovine tuberculosis prevalence area]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nfbbd03ef-7cb8-4d82-b605-16cf8ee0d77e

Animal tuberculosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease caused principally by Mycobacterium bovis, a member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC). In southern Iberian Peninsula, wild reservoirs such as the wild boar, among other factors, have prevented the eradication of bovine tuberculosis. However, most of the studies have been focused on south-central Spain, where the prevalence of tuberculosis is high among wild ungulates and cattle herds. In northern regions, where wild boar density and bovine tuberculosis prevalence are lower, fewer studies have been carried out and the role of this species is still under debate. The aim of this study was to describe the temporal and spatial distribution of antibodies against MTC in wild boar from the Basque Country, northern Spain. Sera from 1902 animals were collected between 2010 and 2016. The seroprevalence was determined with an in house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the search of risk factors was assessed by Generalized Linear Models. Overall, 17% of wild boars (326/1902; 95%CI, [15.5%–18.9%]) showed antibodies against MTC. Risk factors associated with seropositivity were the year and location of sampling, the number of MTC positive cattle, the distance to positive farms and the percentage of shrub cover. Younger age classes were associated with increased antibody titres among seropositive individuals. The seroprevalence detected was higher than those previously reported in neighbouring regions. Hence, further studies are needed to better understand the role of wild boar in the epidemiology of tuberculosis in low tuberculosis prevalence areas and consequently, its relevance when developing control strategies.

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<![CDATA[Imported Arbovirus Infections in Spain, 2009–2018 ]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf7626368-e7aa-45cf-967f-76789d18de90

To determine the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of patients in Spain with imported arbovirus infections, we analyzed 22,655 records from a collaborative network for January 2009–December 2018. Among 861 arbovirus infections, 845 were monoinfections (456 [53%] dengue, 280 [32.5%] chikungunya, 109 [12.7%] Zika) and 16 (1.8%) were co-infections. Most patients were travelers (56.3%) or immigrants returning to Spain after visiting friends or relatives (31.3%). Median patient age was 37 years; most (62.3%) were women and some (28.6%) had received pretravel advice. Only 12 patients were immunosuppressed. Six cases (all dengue monoinfections, none in immunosuppressed patients) were severe. Since 2014, nondengue arbovirus infections increased; until 2016, chikungunya and Zika were most common. Imported arbovirus infections (mostly dengue) were frequently diagnosed, although increased chikungunya and Zika virus infections coincided with their introduction and spread in the Americas. A large proportion of cases occurred in women of childbearing age, some despite receipt of pretravel advice.

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<![CDATA[Trombiculiasis in a Dog with Severe Neurologic Disorders, Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na0a047ed-bea0-42e0-9394-bfeafd997e17

Chiggers, the larvae of trombiculid mites, parasitize a wide variety of terrestrial vertebrates worldwide. Their bites cause seasonal trombiculiasis in humans and animals. Affected canines can have a variety of digestive and systemic clinical signs. We describe a case of canine trombiculiasis in a dog exhibiting severe neurologic symptoms.

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<![CDATA[Illness Severity in Hospitalized Influenza Patients by Virus Type and Subtype, Spain, 2010–2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N08cfe80f-2251-4cd4-9494-1bc659e5f812

Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 caused more hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions, and deaths than influenza A(H3N2) or B.

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<![CDATA[Completeness of Digital Accessible Knowledge (DAK) about terrestrial mammals in the Iberian Peninsula]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c197fd5eed0c484b4d7aa

The advent of online data aggregator infrastructures has facilitated the accumulation of Digital Accessible Knowledge (DAK) about biodiversity. Despite the vast amount of freely available data records, their usefulness for research depends on completeness of each body of data regarding their spatial, temporal and taxonomic coverage. In this paper, we assess the completeness of DAK about terrestrial mammals distributed across the Iberian Peninsula. We compiled a dataset with all records about mammals occurring in the Iberian Peninsula available in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and in the national atlases from Portugal and Spain. After cleaning the dataset of errors as well as records lacking collection dates or not determined to species level, we assigned all occurrences to a 10-km grid. We assessed inventory completeness by calculating the ratio between observed and expected richness (based on the Chao2 richness index) in each grid cell and classified cells as well-sampled or under-sampled. We evaluated survey coverage of well-sampled cells along four environmental gradients and temporal coverage. Out of 796,283 retrieved records, quality issues led us to remove 616,141 records unfit for this use. The main reason for discarding records was missing collection dates. Only 25.95% cells contained enough records to robustly estimate completeness. The DAK about terrestrial mammals from the Iberian Peninsula was low, and spatially and temporally biased. Out of 5,874 cells holding data, only 620 (9.95%) were classified as well-sampled. Moreover, well-sampled cells were geographically aggregated and reached inventory completeness over the same temporal range. Despite the increasing availability of DAK, its usefulness is still compromised by quality issues and gaps in data. Future work should therefore focus on increasing data quality, in addition to mobilizing unpublished data.

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<![CDATA[Validation of the Spanish-language Cardiff Anomalous Perception Scale]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897783d5eed0c4847d2ec2

The Cardiff Anomalous Perceptions Scale (CAPS) is a psychometric measure of hallucinatory experience. It has been widely used in English and used in initial studies in Spanish but a full validation study has not yet been published. We report a validation study of the Spanish-language CAPS, conducted in both Spain and Colombia to cover both European and Latin American Spanish. The Spanish-language version of the CAPS was produced through back translation with slight modifications made for local dialects. In Spain, 329 non-clinical participants completed the CAPS along with 40 patients with psychosis. In Colombia, 190 non-clinical participants completed the CAPS along with 21 patients with psychosis. Participants completed other psychometric scales measuring psychosis-like experience to additionally test convergent and divergent validity. The Spanish-language CAPS was found to have good internal reliability. Test-retest reliability was slightly below the cut-off, although could only be tested in the Spanish non-clinical sample. The scale showed solid construct validity and a principal components analysis broadly replicated previously reported three component factor structures for the CAPS.

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<![CDATA[HIV self-testing in Spain: A valuable testing option for men-who-have-sex-with-men who have never tested for HIV]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9f4d5eed0c48452a5cf

Background

We assessed the capacity of HIV self-testing to promote testing among untested men who have sex with men (MSM) and determined the most benefited subpopulations.

Methods

An online questionnaire was disseminated on several gay websites in Spain from September 2012 to April 2013. We used Poisson regression to estimate factors associated with the intention to use self-testing if already available. Among those who reported intention of use, we assessed several aspects related to the testing and linkage to care process by type of barrier reported: low perceived risk (LR), structural barriers (SB) and fear of testing positive (FTP).

Results

Of 2589 never-tested MSM, 83% would have used self-testing if already available. Intention of use was associated with age ≥30 (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.05, 1.01–1.10), having had protected (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.15, 1.02–1.30) or unprotected (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.21, 1.07–1.37) anal intercourse and reporting FTP (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.12, 1.05–1.20) or SB to access HIV testing (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.23, 1.19–1.28). Among those who reported intention of using a self-testi, 78.3% declared it their preferred option (83.8% in the SB group; p<0.001), and 56.8% would always use this testing option (60.9% among the SB group; p = 0.001). In the case of obtaining a positive self-test, 69.3% would seek confirmatory testing, 15.3% would self-test again before taking any decision and 13.0% reported not being sure of what they would do.

Conclusion

HIV self-testing in Spain has the potential of becoming a highly used testing methodology for untested MSM and could represent the gateway to testing especially among older, at risk MSM who report SB or FTP as main barriers to testing.

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<![CDATA[Factors affecting Dupont´s lark distribution and range regression in Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c70676ad5eed0c4847c6fdd

In this work, we analyse factors explaining the distribution and range regression of Dupont’s lark in Spain, the only European country in which this threatened alaudid is present. Dupont’s lark is an extremely elusive and scarce species, distributed across a reduced and strongly fragmented range, showing a metapopulational structure with unknown dispersive and connective mechanisms. We used maximum entropy modelling (Maxent) on nearly 15,000 Dupont’s lark observations (1985–2015) to assess the probability of presence at a 1 km resolution across its European range. Moreover, we tested the probability of extinction by comparing pre- and post-2000 observations by means of a GLM over a subset of cells with presence-absence data. We obtained strong model fitting (AUC = 0.919), in which species occurrence was explained by low values of plant productivity (NDVI), climate (high temperature range and medium annual precipitation), land use (increasing with sclerophyllous scrubland), flat topography and human disturbance (associated with low human population density). The species also tolerates dry farming, but not other farm types or forest cover. The probability map identified two main regions known as the species' core areas: the steppes of the Iberian System and the Ebro Valley. The North Plateau is characterised by a dispersed structure of small and very fragmented patches of suitable habitat, while a succession of discontinuous probability patches form an Eastern Corridor connecting the central core areas to the southernmost populations. Finally, the model identified small and isolated patches of high probability of presence along the eastern coastline. The species tends to occur in the best available areas but, at the same time, the model revealed a large area of suitable but unoccupied habitat. Our results correct the previous estimation of occupation area from 1,480 to 1,010.78 km2, a reduction of 26.22%. The current distribution of Dupont’s lark is almost completely covered by Important Bird Areas (IBAs), highlighting their importance for bird conservation, but only 44.89% is included in Natura 2000 Special Protection Areas (SPAs). A comparison of pre- and post-2000 periods revealed a range contraction of 44%. Probability of extinction increased with higher temperature range and lower annual precipitation, and with decreases in population density, which suggests that this species is extremely vulnerable to both climate change and rural abandonment, due to its dependence on traditional grazing. These results suggest the need for a re-evaluation of the conservation status of Dupont’s lark in Spain. They urge the preservation of not only current extant populations, but also the unoccupied suitable areas that could be critical for metapopulation structure, and the development of policies addressing the preservation of traditional grazing.

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<![CDATA[Quality of INR control and switching to non-Vitamin K oral anticoagulants between women and men with atrial fibrillation treated with Vitamin K Antagonists in Spain. A population-based, real-world study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75bad5eed0c4843d0092

Background

Worldwide, there is growing evidence that quality of international normalized ratio (INR) control in atrial fibrillation patients treated with Vitamin K Antagonists (VKA) is suboptimal. However, sex disparities in population-based real-world settings have been scarcely studied, as well as patterns of switching to second-line Non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOAC). We aimed to assess the quality of INR control in atrial fibrillation patients treated with VKA in the region of Valencia, Spain, for the whole population and differencing by sex, and to identify factors associated with poor control. We also quantified switching to Non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOAC) and we identified factors associated to switching.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional, population-based study. Information was obtained through linking different regional electronic databases. Outcome measures were Time in Therapeutic Range (TTR) and percentage of INR determinations in range (PINRR) in 2015, and percentage of switching to NOAC in 2016, for the whole population and stratified by sex.

Results

We included 22,629 patients, 50.4% were women. Mean TTR was 62.3% for women and 63.7% for men, and PINNR was 58.3% for women and 60.1% for men (p<0.001). Considering the TTR<65% threshold, 53% of women and 49.3% of men had poor anticoagulation control (p<0.001). Women, long-term users antiplatelet users, and patients with comorbidities, visits to Emergency Department and use of alcohol were more likely to present poor INR control. 5.4% of poorly controlled patients during 2015 switched to a NOAC throughout 2016, with no sex differences.

Conclusion

The quality of INR control of all AF patients treated with VKA in 2015 in our Southern European region was suboptimal, and women were at a higher risk of poor INR control. This reflects sex disparities in care, and programs for improving the quality of oral anticoagulation should incorporate the gender perspective. Clinical inertia may be lying behind the observed low rates of switching in patient with poor INR control.

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<![CDATA[Validation of a simple sample preparation method for multielement analysis of bovine serum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633931d5eed0c484ae61f2

Here we propose a single acid digestion (SAD) sample preparation method for ICP-MS analysis of animal serum samples to determine trace element contents. The method was evaluated in comparison with a commonly used procedure involving dilution of samples in an alkaline solution (AKD). In the SAD procedure, aliquots (1 mL) of bovine serum samples were treated at low temperature with a mixture of concentrated nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. Trace elements (As, B, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sr, U, and Zn) were directly determined by ICP-MS analysis of diluted solutions of samples. Both methods were sufficiently sensitive to enable quantification of most trace elements, with the exception of the AKD method for Cd, Hg and Pb. The quality of the data was verified by using certified reference material. Good results were obtained for the SAD procedure and all elements, but recoveries were unacceptable with the AKD procedure for Se (recovery: 57%), Cd (154%) and Fe (139%). Strong associations (R2>0.90, P = 0.000) between the data obtained by both methods were demonstrated for the elements considered. The proposed SAD sample preparation method produced satisfactory results for determining most toxic and essential trace elements targeted in monitoring studies.

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<![CDATA[Social representation of palliative care in the Spanish printed media: A qualitative analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e65fd5eed0c484ef2e16

Background

Lack of social awareness is a major barrier to the development of palliative care. Mass media influences public opinion, and frequently deal with palliative care contributing to its image and public understanding.

Aim

To analyse how palliative care is portrayed in Spanish newspapers, as well as the contribution made by the press to its social representation.

Design

Based on criteria of scope and editorial plurality, four print newspapers were selected. Using the newspaper archive MyNews (www.mynews.es), articles published between 2009 and 2014 containing the words “palliative care” or “palliative medicine” were identified. Sociological discourse analysis was performed on the identified texts on two levels: a) contextual analysis, focusing on the message as a statement; b) interpretative analysis, considering the discourse as a social product.

Results

We examined 262 articles. Politician and healthcare professionals were the main representatives transmitting messages on palliative care. The discourses identified were characterised by: strong ideological and moral content focusing on social debate, strong ties linking palliative care and death and, to a lesser degree, as a healthcare service. The messages transmitted by representatives with direct experience in palliative care (professionals, patients and families) contributed the most to building a positive image of this healthcare practice. Overall, media reflect different interests in framing public understanding about palliative care.

Conclusion

The knowledge generated about how palliative care is reflected in the printed media may help to understand better one of the main barriers to its development not only in Spain, but also in other contexts.

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<![CDATA[Bronchiectasis in patients hospitalized with acute exacerbation of COPD in Spain: Influence on mortality, hospital stay, and hospital costs (2006-2014) according to gender]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6b4d5eed0c484ef3bf5

Purpose

The objectives of this study were to analyze the characteristics of male and female patients hospitalized with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AE-COPD) during 2006–2014 according to the presence or absence of bronchiectasis and to study the factors associated with in-hospital mortality (IHM) in patients hospitalized with AE-COPD and concomitant bronchiectasis.

Methods

We used the Spanish National Hospital Database to analyze patients admitted with AE-COPD as their primary diagnosis. Patients included in the study were stratified according to the presence or absence of bronchiectasis as their secondary diagnosis.

Results

We identified 386,646 admissions for AE-COPD, of which 19,679 (5.09%) involved patients with concomitant bronchiectasis. When patients with and without bronchiectasis were compared, we observed that the incidence of infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa was substantially higher in the former, as were the mean stay, cost, and percentage of readmissions, although IHM and comorbidity were lower. The course of patients with AE-COPD and bronchiectasis was characterized by a gradual increase in prevalence and mean age among men and no differences in prevalence or lower mean age in women. Mortality was 4.24% and 5.02% in patients with and without bronchiectasis, respectively, although significance was lost after a multivariate adjustment (OR 0.94; 95% CI, 0.88–1.01). The factors associated with IHM were older age, higher comorbidity, isolation of P. aeruginosa, mechanical ventilation and readmission.

Conclusions

The prevalence of admission with AE-COPD and bronchiectasis increased in men but not in women during the study period. In patients hospitalized with AE-COPD, we did not find differences in mortality when comparing the presence and absence of bronchiectasis. The analysis of temporal trends revealed a significant reduction in mortality from 2006 to 2014 in male patients with COPD and concomitant bronchiectasis, but not among women. It is important to consider the factors associated with IHM such as age, comorbidity, isolation of P. aeruginosa, mechanical ventilation and readmission to better identify those patients who are at greater risk of dying during hospitalization.

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<![CDATA[Seasonal diet composition of Pyrenean chamois is mainly shaped by primary production waves]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217add5eed0c484794364

In alpine habitats, the seasonally marked climatic conditions generate seasonal and spatial differences in forage availability for herbivores. Vegetation availability and quality during the growing season are known to drive life history traits of mountain ungulates. However, little effort has been made to understand the association between plant phenology and changes in the foraging strategies of these mountain dwellers. Furthermore, this link can be affected by the seasonal presence of livestock in the same meadows. The objective of this work was to study the seasonal changes in diet composition of Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica) and its relationship to primary production trends in a Mediterranean alpine environment. Moreover, diet composition in two populations with contrasting livestock pressure was compared in order to study the effect of sheep flocks on the feeding behaviour of chamois. From 2009 to 2012, monthly diet composition was estimated by cuticle microhistological analysis of chamois faeces collected in the eastern Pyrenees. The primary production cycle was assessed by remote sensing, using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. Additionally, the diet of sheep sharing seasonally the subalpine and alpine meadows with chamois was analysed. Diet selection of chamois and sheep and their overlap was also assessed. Our results show an intra-annual variation in the diet composition of Pyrenean chamois and demonstrate a strong relationship between plant consumption dynamics and phenology in alpine areas. In addition, Calluna vulgaris, Cytisus spp. and Festuca spp., as well as forbs in the summer, are found to be key forage species for Pyrenean chamois. Furthermore, this study couldn’t detect differences between both chamois populations despite the presence of sheep flocks in only one area. However, the detection of a shift in the diet of chamois in both areas after the arrival of high densities of multi-specific livestock suggest a general livestock effect. In conclusion, Pyrenean chamois are well adapted to the variations in the seasonal availability of plants in alpine habitats but could be disturbed by the seasonal presence of livestock. Due to the key plants in their diet, we suggest that population management programmes should focus on the preservation of mixed grasslands composed of patches of shrubs and herbs. The effects of climate change and shrub expansion should be studied as they may potentially affect chamois population dynamics through changes in habitat composition and temporal shifts in forage availability.

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<![CDATA[Accuracy gains from conservative forecasting: Tests using variations of 19 econometric models to predict 154 elections in 10 countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7b4d5eed0c484386692

Problem

Do conservative econometric models that comply with the Golden Rule of Forecasting provide more accurate forecasts?

Methods

To test the effects of forecast accuracy, we applied three evidence-based guidelines to 19 published regression models used for forecasting 154 elections in Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, U.K., and the U.S. The guidelines direct forecasters using causal models to be conservative to account for uncertainty by (I) modifying effect estimates to reflect uncertainty either by damping coefficients towards no effect or equalizing coefficients, (II) combining forecasts from diverse models, and (III) incorporating more knowledge by including more variables with known important effects.

Findings

Modifying the econometric models to make them more conservative reduced forecast errors compared to forecasts from the original models: (I) Damping coefficients by 10% reduced error by 2% on average, although further damping generally harmed accuracy; modifying coefficients by equalizing coefficients consistently reduced errors with average error reductions between 2% and 8% depending on the level of equalizing. Averaging the original regression model forecast with an equal-weights model forecast reduced error by 7%. (II) Combining forecasts from two Australian models and from eight U.S. models reduced error by 14% and 36%, respectively. (III) Using more knowledge by including all six unique variables from the Australian models and all 24 unique variables from the U.S. models in equal-weight “knowledge models” reduced error by 10% and 43%, respectively.

Originality

This paper provides the first test of applying guidelines for conservative forecasting to established election forecasting models.

Usefulness

Election forecasters can substantially improve the accuracy of forecasts from econometric models by following simple guidelines for conservative forecasting. Decision-makers can make better decisions when they are provided with models that are more realistic and forecasts that are more accurate.

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<![CDATA[Migration behavior and performance of the great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390b93d5eed0c48491d532

The study of brood parasitism has traditionally been focused on the breeding period, but recent evidence suggests that it urgently needs a new spatio-temporal perspective to explore novel avenues on brood parasite-host co-evolutionary interactions. Many brood parasites are migrants, but their ecology outside their short breeding season is poorly known. The great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) is one of the classical models in the study of brood parasitism, however, there is very little information on its migratory strategy, route and wintering grounds. Furthermore, there is no previous information on the geographical distribution of mortality and its causes in this species; information that is critical to understand the fluctuations in cuckoo populations and detect potential conservation risks. Using satellite tracking technology, we provide novel insight into the migratory behavior and performance of the great spotted cuckoo. We found individuals from southern Spain to be long-distance nocturnal migrants that use the East Atlantic Flyway for both post and pre-breeding migration, and that winter in the western Sahel. We found evidence of individual variation in their migration route, particularly regarding their post-breeding behavior in Spain. Our study also suggests that the south of Morocco is the most dangerous area due to a large number of deaths during the post-breeding migratory period. Furthermore, we found that natural predation seems to be the main cause of death, probably due to raptors, although human activities (i.e. hunting) could also played a role in the southern Mediterranean shore. Our study offers novel findings and challenges traditional ideas on the ecology of this species providing a good example of how the new spatio-temporal perspective can expand our knowledge on brood parasites.

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<![CDATA[Identifying potential areas of expansion for the endangered brown bear (Ursus arctos) population in the Cantabrian Mountains (NW Spain)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bb4d5eed0c48491de8b

Many large carnivore populations are expanding into human-modified landscapes and the subsequent increase in coexistence between humans and large carnivores may intensify various types of conflicts. A proactive management approach is critical to successful mitigation of such conflicts. The Cantabrian Mountains in Northern Spain are home to the last remaining native brown bear (Ursus arctos) population of the Iberian Peninsula, which is also amongst the most severely threatened European populations, with an important core group residing in the province of Asturias. There are indications that this small population is demographically expanding its range. The identification of the potential areas of brown bear range expansion is crucial to facilitate proactive conservation and management strategies towards promoting a further recovery of this small and isolated population. Here, we used a presence-only based maximum entropy (MaxEnt) approach to model habitat suitability and identify the areas in the Asturian portion of the Cantabrian Mountains that are likely to be occupied in the future by this endangered brown bear population following its range expansion. We used different spatial scales to identify brown bear range suitability according to different environmental, topographic, climatic and human impact variables. Our models mainly show that: (1) 4977 km2 are still available as suitable areas for bear range expansion, which represents nearly half of the territory of Asturias; (2) most of the suitable areas in the western part of the province are already occupied (77% of identified areas, 2820 km2), 41.4% of them occurring inside protected areas, which leaves relatively limited good areas for further expansion in this part of the province, although there might be more suitable areas in surrounding provinces; and (3) in the eastern sector of the Asturian Cantabrian Mountains, 62% (2155 km2) of the land was classified as suitable, and this part of the province hosts 44.3% of the total area identified as suitable areas for range expansion. Our results further highlight the importance of increasing: (a) the connectivity between the currently occupied western part of Asturias and the areas of potential range expansion in the eastern parts of the province; and (b) the protection of the eastern sector of the Cantabrian Mountains, where most of the future population expansion may be expected.

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<![CDATA[Progress in the elimination of hepatitis C virus infection: A population-based cohort study in Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c102896d5eed0c484247922

Background

The World Health Organization set targets to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection through detection and treatment of all cases by 2030. This study aimed to describe the progress and difficulties in the elimination of HCV infection in Navarra, Spain.

Methods

Using electronic healthcare databases, we performed a population-based prospective cohort study to describe changes in the prevalence of diagnosed active HCV infection at the beginning of 2015 and the end of 2017, the rate of new diagnoses and the rate of post-treatment viral clearance (PTVC) during this period.

Results

At the beginning of 2015 there were 1503 patients diagnosed with positive HCV-RNA, 2.4 per 1000 inhabitants, and at the end of 2017 the prevalence had decreased by 47%. In the study period, 333 (18 per 100,000 person-years) new positive HCV-RNA cases were detected, but only 76 (23%; 4.2 per 100,000 person-years) did not have anti-HCV antibodies previously detected. Prevalent cases and new diagnoses of active infection were more frequent in men, people born in 1950–1979, HIV-infected patients and in those with lower income levels. Among patients with HCV-RNA, 984 achieved PTVC (22.7 per 100 person-years). PTVC was less frequent in patients born before 1940, in immigrants and in patients with lower income levels.

Conclusions

The prevalence of diagnosed active HCV infection has dropped by almost half over three years, because the number of patients with PTVC was much higher than the number of new diagnoses. Interventions specifically targeted at population groups with less favourable trends may be necessary.

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