35 research outputs found

    Improving detection probabilities for pests in stored grain

    Get PDF
    BACKGROUND: The presence of insects in stored grains is a significant problem for grain farmers, bulk grain handlers and distributors worldwide. Inspections of bulk grain commodities is essential to detect pests and therefore to reduce the risk of their presence in exported goods. It has been well documented that insect pests cluster in response to factors such as microclimatic conditions within bulk grain. Statistical sampling methodologies for grains, however, have typically considered pests and pathogens to be homogeneously distributed throughout grain commodities. In this paper we demonstrate a sampling methodology that accounts for the heterogeneous distribution of insects in bulk grains. RESULTS: We show that failure to account for the heterogeneous distribution of pests may lead to overestimates of the capacity for a sampling program to detect insects in bulk grains. Our results indicate the importance of the proportion of grain that is infested in addition to the density of pests within the infested grain. We also demonstrate that the probability of detecting pests in bulk grains increases as the number of sub-samples increases, even when the total volume or mass of grain sampled remains constant. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the importance of considering an appropriate biological model when developing sampling methodologies for insect pests. Accounting for a heterogeneous distribution of pests leads to a considerable improvement in the detection of pests over traditional sampling models

    Visualizing and Assessing Acceptance Sampling Plans: The R Package AcceptanceSampling

    Get PDF
    Manufacturers and government agencies frequently use acceptance sampling to decide whether a lot from a supplier or exporting country should be accepted or rejected. International standards on acceptance sampling provide sampling plans for specific circumstances. The aim of this package is to provide an easy-to-use interface to visualize single, double or multiple sampling plans. In addition, methods have been provided to enable the user to assess sampling plans against pre-specified levels of performance, as measured by the probability of acceptance for a given level of quality in the lot

    The scenario coevolution paradigm: adaptive quality assurance for adaptive systems

    Get PDF
    Systems are becoming increasingly more adaptive, using techniques like machine learning to enhance their behavior on their own rather than only through human developers programming them. We analyze the impact the advent of these new techniques has on the discipline of rigorous software engineering, especially on the issue of quality assurance. To this end, we provide a general description of the processes related to machine learning and embed them into a formal framework for the analysis of adaptivity, recognizing that to test an adaptive system a new approach to adaptive testing is necessary. We introduce scenario coevolution as a design pattern describing how system and test can work as antagonists in the process of software evolution. While the general pattern applies to large-scale processes (including human developers further augmenting the system), we show all techniques on a smaller-scale example of an agent navigating a simple smart factory. We point out new aspects in software engineering for adaptive systems that may be tackled naturally using scenario coevolution. This work is a substantially extended take on Gabor et al. (International symposium on leveraging applications of formal methods, Springer, pp 137–154, 2018)

    Bacterial diseases of tilapia, their zoonotic potential and risk of antimicrobial resistance

    Get PDF
    Tilapia culture is an important source of income and nutrition to many rural families. Since 2000, the production of tilapia increased and reached domestic and global markets. Major farmed species is Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), in earthen ponds and cage cultures. Intensification contributed to global tilapia disease outbreaks, with bacterial infections causing mortalities and morbidities, threatening sustainable production. At tilapia farms, high nutrient concentrations, water temperature and fish densities enhance bacterial growth including virulent bacterial clones and potential zoonotic bacteria. Global warming favours this. This review respectively provides a comprehensive overview of the most common and emerging bacterial pathogens, diseases, clinical presentations and diagnostics of tilapia, including bacteria and diseases with zoonotic potential. First, common bacterial disease outbreaks, including streptococcosis, motile Aeromonas septicaemia, francisellosis, columnaris disease and vibriosis are described. Then, information on emerging bacterial infections of concern for tilapia, like edwardsiellosis through Edwardsiella ictaluri and E. tarda, as well as Aeromonas schubertii is provided. Reports of infectious bacterial tilapia disease outbreaks from other bacteria, including Lactococcus garvieae, Aerococcus viridans, Pseudomonas spp., Mycobacterium marinum and Chlamydia spp., and others are reviewed. Furthermore, bacteria with zoonotic potential, like Streptococcus agalactiae ST283, S. iniae, Aeromonas sp., E. tarda, Vibrio vulnificus pathovar (pv) piscis and M. marinum are included in the review, to provide the most current overview of the disease risks affecting production and post-harvest stages. Additionally, the status and risks of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria from tilapia and other cultured fish through imprudent use of antibiotics, and its future at a global level are provided

    Shelf-life: designing and analysing stability trials

    Get PDF
    All pharmaceutical products are required by law to display an expiry date on the packaging. The period between the date of manufacture and expiry date is known as the label shelf-life. The label shelf-life indicates the period of time during which the consumer can expect the product to be safe and effective. Methods for determining the label shelf-life from stability data are discussed in the guidelines on the evaluation of stability data issued by the International Conference for Harmonization. These methods are limited to data that can be analysed using linear model methods. Furthermore, in the situation where a number of batches are used to determine a label shelf-life, the current regulatory method (unintentionally) penalizes good statistical design. In addition, the label shelf-life obtained this way may not be a reliable guide to the properties of future batches produced under similar conditions. In this thesis it is shown that the current definition of the label shelf-life may not provide the consumer with the desired level of confidence that the product is safe and effective. This is especially the case when the manufacturer has performed a well designed stability study with many assays. Consequently, a new definition for the label shelf-life is proposed, such that the consumer can be confident that a certain percentage of the product will meet the specification by the expiry date. Several methods for obtaining such a label shelf-life under linear model and generalized linear model assumptions are proposed and evaluated using simulation studies. The new definition of label shelf-life is extended to allow a label shelf-life to be obtained from stability studies that make use of many batches, such that a proportion of product over all batches can be assured to meet specifications by the expiry date. Several methods for estimating the label shelf-life in the multi-batch case are proposed and evaluated with the help of simulation studies.Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture and Wine, 2003

    Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment of Salmonellosis from the Consumption of Australian Pork: Minced Meat from Retail to Burgers Prepared and Consumed at Home

    No full text
    Pork burgers could be expected to have an elevated risk of salmonellosis compared to other pork products due to their comminuted nature. A stochastic risk assessment was performed to estimate the risk of salmonellosis from Australian pork burgers and considered risk-affecting factors in the pork supply chain from retail to consumption at home. Conditions modeled included prevalence and concentration of Salmonella in pork mince, time and temperature effects during retail, consumer transport, and domestic storage and the effect of cooking, with the probability of illness from consumption estimated based on these effects. The model was two-dimensional, allowing for the separation of variability and uncertainty. Potential changes to production practices and consumer behaviors were examined through alternative scenarios. Under current conditions in Australia, the mean risk of salmonellosis from consumption of 100 g pork burgers was estimated to be 1.54 Ă— 10-8 per serving or one illness per 65,000,000 servings consumed. Under a scenario in which all pork mince consumed is served as pork burgers, and with conservative (i.e., worst-case) assumptions, 0.746 cases of salmonellosis per year from pork burgers in Australia were predicted. Despite the adoption of several conservative assumptions to fill data gaps, it is predicted that pork burgers have a low probability of causing salmonellosis in Australia

    Paralytic shellfish toxins in Australian Southern Rock Lobster (Jasus edwardsii): acute human exposure from consumption of hepatopancreas

    No full text
    Paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) were identified in the hepatopancreas of Southern Rock Lobster (Jasus edwardsii) during Alexandrium tamarense blooms in Tasmania, Australia. Human health risk from PST in lobsters was unknown - this study assesses exposure to PST from hepatopancreas consumption. Lobster hepatopancreas samples collected during blooms (n = 181) were mostly positive for PST (>88%), the highest concentration was 4032g STX-2HCl eq/kg. Consumer exposure to PST was estimated using a 2-D Monte Carlo model. Mean PST intake (pi) from hepatopancreas consumption (raw and cooked) was below the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) for PST

    Risk Assessment of Pectenotoxins in New Zealand Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish, 2009–2019

    No full text
    Pectenotoxins (PTXs) are produced by Dinophysis spp., along with okadaic acid, dinophysistoxin 1, and dinophysistoxin 2. The okadaic acid group toxins cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), so are therefore regulated. New Zealand currently includes pectenotoxins within the DSP regulations. To determine the impact of this decision, shellfish biotoxin data collected between 2009 and 2019 were examined. They showed that 85 samples exceeded the DSP regulatory limit (0.45%) and that excluding pectenotoxins would have reduced this by 10% to 76 samples. The incidence (1.3%) and maximum concentrations of pectenotoxins (0.079 mg/kg) were also found to be low, well below the current European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) safe limit of 0.12 mg/kg. Inclusion within the DSP regulations is scientifically flawed, as pectenotoxins and okadaic acid have a different mechanism of action, meaning that their toxicities are not additive, which is the fundamental principle of grouping toxins. Furthermore, evaluation of the available toxicity data suggests that pectenotoxins have very low oral toxicity, with recent studies showing no oral toxicity in mice dosed with the PTX analogue PTX2 at 5000 µg/kg. No known human illnesses have been reported due to exposure to pectenotoxins in shellfish, a fact which combined with the toxicity data indicates that they pose negligible risk to humans. Regulatory policies should be commensurate with the level of risk, thus deregulation of PTXs ought to be considered, a stance already adopted by some countries

    Effect of egg washing and correlation between cuticle and egg penetration by various 'Salmonella' strains

    No full text
    In Australia, Europe and the United States, eggs and egg products are frequently associated with 'Salmonella' food poisoning outbreaks. Many of the egg-associated 'Salmonella' outbreaks have been due to the products such as mayonnaise, ice-cream and cold desserts which are eaten without cooking following the addition of raw egg. The ability of four 'Salmonella' isolates (one each of S. Singapore, S. Adelaide, S. Worthington and S. Livingstone) to penetrate washed and unwashed eggs using whole egg and agar egg penetration methods was investigated in the current study. The results of the agar penetration experiment indicated that all the isolates used in the present study have the capacity to penetrate the eggshell. Eggshell penetration by the S. Worthington isolate was higher but not significant (p = 0.06) in washed eggs compared to unwashed eggs. However, for all other isolates (S. Singapore, S. Adelaide andS. Livingstone), there was no significant difference in penetration of washed and unwashed eggs. Statistical analysis indicated that cuticle score was a significant linear predictor of Salmonella eggshell penetration.Whole egg penetration results showed that all of the 'Salmonella' isolates used in the present study were capable of surviving on the eggshell surface after 21 days of incubation (at 20 °C) following a high dose of inoculation (105 CFU/mL). The combined data of all isolates demonstrated that, the survival rate of 'Salmonella' on eggshells (inoculated with 105 CFU/mL)was significantly higher (p = 0.002) at 20 °C as compared to 37 °C. S. Singapore, S. Worthington, and S. Livingstone were not detected in egg internal contents whereas S. Adelaide was detected in one egg's internal contents

    Perioperative mortality rates in Australian public hospitals : the influence of age, gender and urgency

    Full text link
    INTRODUCTION: A decline in surgical deaths has been observed in Australia since the introduction of the Australian and New Zealand Audit of Surgical Mortality (ANZASM). The current study was conducted to determine whether the perioperative mortality rate (POMR) has also declined. METHODS: This study is a retrospective review of the POMR for surgical procedures in Australian public hospitals between July 2009 and June 2013, using data obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Operative procedures contained in the Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups were selected and the POMR was modelled using urgency of admission, age and gender as explanatory covariates. RESULTS: The POMR in Australian public hospitals reduced by 15.4 % over the 4-year period. The emergency admissions POMR dropped from 1.40 to 1.12 %, and the elective admissions POMR from 0.09 to 0.08 %. The binary logistic regression model used to predict patient mortality showed emergency admissions to have a higher POMR than elective, being more evident at older ages. For emergency admissions, the difference in POMR between females and males increased with age, from about 55 years onwards, with females being lower. For elective surgeries, the difference between males and females was of little practical importance across ages. CONCLUSIONS: The reduction in the POMR in Australia confirms the reduction in surgical deaths reported to ANZASM. Continuing to monitor POMR will be important to ensure the safest surgery in Australia. Further investigations into case-mix will allow better risk adjustment and comparison between regions and time-periods, to facilitate continuous quality improvement