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Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto is regarded to have the highest zoonotic potential of all Echinococcus taxa. Globally, human infection due to this species constitutes over 88.44% of the total cystic echinococcosis (CE) burden. Here, we report a CE infection in a Nigerian camel caused by E. granulosus G1 genotype. To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first encounter of the G1 genotype in the West Africa sub-region where the G6 genotype is reportedly prevalent, suggesting that the epidemiology of this highly zoonotic group could have a wider host range and distribution in the sub-region, and emphasizes the need for further investigation into the genetic diversity of Echinococcus spp. in Nigeria and across the sub-region.
Although polyphenols inhibit glucose absorption and transport in vitro, it is uncertain whether this activity is sufficient to attenuate glycaemic response in vivo. We examined this using orange juice, which contains high levels of hesperidin. We first used a combination of in vitro assays to evaluate the potential effect of hesperidin and other orange juice components on intestinal sugar absorption and then tested whether this translated to an effect in healthy volunteers. Hesperidin attenuated transfer of 14C-labelled glucose across differentiated Caco-2/TC7 cell monolayers. The involvement of the sugar transporter GLUT2 was demonstrated by experiments carried out in the absence of Na to exclude the contribution of sodium-glucose linked transporter 1 and further explored by the use of Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing human GLUT2 or GLUT5. Fructose transport was also affected by hesperidin partly by inhibition of GLUT5, while hesperidin, even at high concentration, did not inhibit rat intestinal sucrase activity. We conducted three separate crossover interventions, each on ten healthy volunteers using orange juice with different amounts of added hesperidin and water. The biggest difference in postprandial blood glucose between orange juice and control, containing equivalent amounts of glucose, fructose, sucrose, citric acid and ascorbate, was when the juice was diluted (ΔCmax=–0·5 mm, P=0·0146). The effect was less pronounced when the juice was given at regular strength. Our data indicate that hesperidin can modulate postprandial glycaemic response of orange juice by partial inhibition of intestinal GLUT, but this depends on sugar and hesperidin concentrations.
The rotation rate of a planet is a fundamental parameter, no less than its mass or composition, and planetary investigators require this rate to assess various other phenomena such as planetary wind speeds, internal and atmospheric models, ring dynamics and so forth. Saturn presents a conundrum, however, because none of its various planetary periods indicates the “true” rotation of the planet. Thus, although the planet displays an abundance of periodicities near 10.7 hours, the exact rotation period of Saturn is unknown. In the magnetosphere, “planetary-period oscillations” (PPOs) appear in charged particles, magnetic fields, energetic neutral atoms, radio emissions and motions of the plasma sheet and magnetopause. In Saturn’s rings, the spoke phenomenon can exhibit periodicities near 10.7 hours, and ring phenomena themselves may be related to the interior rotation of the planet. In the high-latitude ionosphere, modulations near this period appear in auroral motions and intensities. In the upper atmosphere, some cloud features rotate near this period, although wind speeds are generally faster, and the well-known polar hexagon rotates with a period close to 10.7 hours. Some of the magnetospheric/ionospheric oscillations differ in the northern and southern hemispheres and their periods do not remain constant, sometimes varying on long time scales of a year or longer and sometimes on much shorter time scales. These variations in the period argue against a cause related to changes interior to Saturn, and because the magnetic and spin axes of Saturn are reported to be axisymmetric (unlike those of any other known planet), Saturn’s periodicities cannot be explained as “wobble” caused by a geometric tilt or by a nondipolar magnetic anomaly. Several models have been proposed to account for the observed periodicities, including rotating atmospheric vortices, periodic plasma releases and a flapping magnetodisk, but none can satisfactorily explain all of Saturn’s periodicities nor their common origin, and none can determine the exact rotation rate of the planet. This chapter reviews Saturn’s periodicities, theories thereof, and how they might be used to determine the elusive rotation rate of the planet.
Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
The influence of different inclusion levels of a biologically active peptide derived from soybeans by enzymatic hydrolysis, on growth performance, foot pad lesions and carcass characteristics in broilers were examined in this study. Starter (1 to 21 d) and finisher (22 to 42 d) diets, based on maize and soybean meal, were subjected to seven inclusion levels of a commercial soybean bioactive peptide (SBP) product (Fortide, Chengdu Mytech Biotech Co. Ltd., Chengdu, Sichuan, China) at 0.0, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0 g/kg of diet. All diets were equivalent in respect of energy density, digestible amino acids and other nutrients. A total of 840, one-day-old male broilers (Ross 308) were allocated to 42 pens (20 birds/pen), which were randomly assigned to seven dietary treatments. During the starter period, there was no significant effect of SBP on weight gain and feed intake of the birds. However, a significant (P < 0.05) effect of SBP was observed for the feed conversion ratio (FCR), with SBP inclusion at 3.0 g/kg and above showing lower (P < 0.05) FCR values compared to the diet with no SBP. No effect of SBP was observed for weight gain and feed intake over the whole trial period. However, SBP inclusion tended (P = 0.06) to influence the FCR of birds. Increasing SBP inclusion level resulted in gradual decrease in FCR values, with SBP inclusion at 5.0 and 6.0 g/kg showing lower FCR values compared to the diet with no SBP. Overall, the present study suggests that dietary supplementation of SBP in broiler diets has the potential to improve FCR and to be used as a novel functional protein in poultry diets.
Previous studies showed that spermine could protect the organism from oxidative damage in vivo. However, in vivo information on the antioxidant-related underlying molecular mechanism of spermine is limited. In this experiment, we further evaluated the effects of spermine supplementation and extended spermine administration on the antioxidant status and antioxidant-related signaling molecules gene expression in the liver and longissimus dorsi of piglets. A total of 80 piglets were randomly distributed to two groups, that is, those with adequate nutrient intake administrated with spermine (0.4 mmol/kg BW) or those with restricted nutrient intake supplemented by saline. The piglets were fed in pairs for 7 h or 3, 6, or 9 days. The results are as follows: (1) spermine can promote the antioxidant capacity by increasing enzymatic antioxidant capacity, glutathione content and clearance of oxygen radicals; (2) spermine significantly increased the mRNA levels of enzymatic antioxidant substances, NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2, Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1, and the mammalian target of rapamycin but decreased the mRNA levels of ribosomal p70 S6 kinase in the liver and longissimus dorsi of the piglets.
Bronze Age social and cultural interconnections across the Eurasian steppe are the subject of much current debate. A particularly significant place is occupied by the Andronovo Culture or family of cultures. Important new data document the most easterly extension of Eurasian Bronze Age sites of Andronovo affinity into western China. Findings from the site of Adunqiaolu in Xinjiang and a new series of radiocarbon dates challenge existing models of eastward cultural dispersion, and demonstrate the need to reconsider the older chronologies and migration theories. The site is well preserved and offers robust potential for deeper study of the Andronovo culture complex, particularly in the eastern mountain regions.
A biologically active peptide derived from soybeans by enzymatic hydrolysis was evaluated for its potential benefits on chicken growth performance, apparent ileal nutrient digestibility and intestinal histology in young broilers. Seven broiler starter diets, based on maize and soybean meal, were formulated to contain 0.0, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0 g/kg of a commercial soybean bioactive peptide (SBP) product (Fortide, Chengdu Mytech Biotech Co. Ltd., Chengdu, Sichuan, China). All diets were equivalent in respect of energy density, and digestible protein, amino acids, and other nutrients. A total of 336, one-day-old male broilers (Ross 308) were allocated to 42 cages (eight birds/cage), which were randomly assigned to the six dietary treatments. There was no significant effect of SBP on weight gain and feed intake of the birds. A significant (P < 0.01) effect of SBP was observed for FCR. Inclusion of 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 g SBP/kg of feed resulted in similar FCR values to the diet with no SBP, addition of SBP to the diets at 5.0 and 6.0 g/kg of feed resulted in lower (P < 0.05) FCR compared to the diet with no SBP. Inclusion of SBP had no effect (P > 0.05) on apparent ileal digestibility of nutrients and energy utilisation. Though not statistically significant, SBP inclusion, regardless of level, resulted in 5.7% and 6.3% increases in digestibility of dry matter and nitrogen, respectively. Birds receiving no SBP had the shortest villi and those fed SBP at 3.0 and 6.0 g/kg of feed tended (P = 0.075) to have the greatest villus height. The current findings suggested that including SBP in broiler diets may benefit production through improving feed efficiency, and, to some extent, nutrient digestion and intestinal histology parameters.
HBsAg reappearance may constitute not only a risk for liver disease but also an infectious source. We aimed to determine whether HBsAg may reappear after spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance. A cohort of 2999 HBsAg-positive subjects aged 30–55 years was recruited in Guangxi, China in 2004. HBsAg was tested every 6 months from July 2004 to June 2007, then, one more time in December 2013. The results showed that spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance occurred in 41 subjects in the first 3 years, giving a 0·54% annual seroclearance rate. Thirteen of the 41 subjects were randomly tested for HBsAg in 2013. Four subjects became HBsAg positive. S gene sequences of HBV were analysed from serum collected before seroclearance and after reappearance, respectively, for subject QS840 (11 and 12 clones), subject TN98 (13 and 13 clones) and subject WX227 (10 and 8 clones). Serotype, subgenotype and amino-acid substitution pattern in each sample collected after reappearance was observed in the sample collected before HBsAg seroclearance. Nucleotide similarity between the two sequences from each subject was >99% and five sequences from subject TN98 were the same. In conclusion, following reactivation, HBsAg may reappear in individuals with spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance many years previously.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) has caused public health concerns worldwide. We aimed to investigate the effect of meteorological factors on the HFMD epidemic in Qingdao, a port city in China. A total of 78641 cases were reported in Qingdao between January 2007 and December 2014. Of those, 71084 (90·39%) occurred in children aged 0–5 years, with an incidence of 1691·2/100000. The incidence increased from early spring, peaked between spring and summer, and decreased in late summer. Aetiological agents in all severe cases and selected mild cases were characterized by examining throat swabs. Except for enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16), other EVs caused >50% of the HFMD cases between 2011 and 2014. EV71 was more frequent in the off-peak months than in the peak months and prone to causing more severe cases compared to CA16 (χ2 = 46·3, P < 0·001). CA10 caused more severe HFMD than did CA6 (χ2 = 20·49, P < 0·001) and all non-CA10 EVs (χ2 = 41·01, P < 0·001). Community-derived HFMD cases accounted for 65·11%. Spearman rank correlation analysis showed that HFMD incidence in children aged 0–5 years was positively correlated with atmospheric temperature (rs = 0·77, P < 0·001), relative humidity (rs = 0·507, P < 0·001), and precipitation (rs = 0·328, P < 0·001). Climate changes and CA10 surveillance in communities should be integrated into the current prophylactic programme.
Biased assessment of tillage impacts on soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration are often associated with a lack of information on the initial level of SOC stocks. The present study reported the changes in SOC concentrations and stocks following 10-year different tillage practices relative to the initial SOC levels. The tillage trial included no tillage (NT), ridge tillage (RT) and mouldboard plough (MP) on a Black soil (Hapludolls) in Northeast China. Results showed that tillage, soil depth and time significantly affected SOC concentration and SOC stock. Tillage and crop residue retention had great impacts on the SOC concentrations in the top 0·1 m layer. Compared with MP and NT, RT resulted in higher SOC concentration and SOC stock in the plough layer (0–0·2 m), which became more obvious with time. The soil under NT and RT had higher stratification ratios (SR) of SOC (SR, the ratio of SOC concentration in 0–0·05 m to that in 0·1–0·2 m) than under MP. Significant positive and nearly identical linear relationships between the SR of SOC and the duration of tillage practices occurred for both NT and RT soils; the increased SR in NT resulted from both SOC increase in surface and SOC decrease in subsurface soils, but in RT, the increased SR was only from a substantial SOC increase in surface soil. Accordingly, the present study highlights that RT was more helpful than NT in carbon sequestration for the studied Black soil in Northeast China.
Pseudanoplocephala crawfordi is an important zoonotic cestode of economic significance and public health concern. In spite of its significance as a pathogen, the systematics, genetics, epidemiology and biology of this parasite remain poorly understood. In the present study, we sequenced and characterized the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of P. crawfordi, which is 14,192 bp long and encodes 36 genes, including 12 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and two ribosomal RNA genes. Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated amino acid sequences using the Bayesian inference (BI) method showed that P. crawfordi was closely related to the family Hymenolepididae. Considering that the taxonomic status of P. crawfordi has been controversial when based only on morphological features, the mt genome obtained here will provide novel molecular markers to ascertain the phylogenetic position of this parasite accurately.
Co-infections of cystic echinococcosis (CE) and HIV/AIDS is rare. We report four CE cases that were HIV positive. Three out of the four patients underwent a surgical operation to remove the hydatid cysts in their livers. The operation confirmed that in two of the cases their cysts had ruptured. These patients were given 3 months of albendazole after the operation. Follow-up showed they were remarkably improved in term of their health, although they were still HIV antibody positive 6 months after surgical treatment. Interestingly, the treatment remarkably increased their CD4+ cell population. We showed that surgery is suitable for treating hepatic cystic echinococcosis with HIV/AIDS co-infection.
The present work built on a previous study of tillage trials, which found the effectiveness of least limiting water range (LLWR) as an indicator of soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralization under different tillage practices in a black soil of Northeast China in 2009. To improve the understanding of soil structure controls over SOC dynamics, a study was conducted to explore the relationship between LLWR, which was calculated based on soil bulk density and soil pore-size distribution, and the effects of LLWR, which was calculated based on soil bulk density and soil pore-size distribution on SOC mineralization following no tillage (NT) and mouldboard ploughing (MP). In contrast to MP, NT had a significantly greater volume of large macropores (>100 μm) at depths of 0–0·05 and 0·2–0·3 m, but a significantly lower volume of small macropores (30–100 μm) at depths of 0–0·05, 0·05–0·1, 0·1–0·2 and 0·2–0·3 m. The volume of meso- (0·2–30 μm) and micro-pores (<0·2 μm) at different depths under the two tillage practices were similar. Tillage-induced changes in soil bulk density and pore-size volumes affected the ability of soil to fulfil essential soil functions in relation to organic matter turnover. Soil pore-size distribution, especially small macropores greatly affected LLWR and there was a significant correlation between LLWR, which was calculated based on soil bulk density, and the proportion of small macropores. The proportion of small macropores were used to calculate LLWR instead of soil bulk density and the values for NT and MP soils ranged from 0·073 to 0·148 m3 water/m3 soil. Using the proportion of small macropores rather than bulk density in the calculation of LLWR resulted in more sensitive indications of SOC mineralization. Variation in the proportion of small macropores can help characterize the impacts of tillage practices on dynamics of LLWR and SOC sequestration.
Scrub typhus is emerging and re-emerging in many areas: climate change may affect its spread. To explore the effects of meteorological factors on scrub typhus, monthly cases of scrub typhus from January 2006 to December 2012 in the Laiwu district of temperate northern China were analysed. We examined the correlations between scrub typhus and meteorological factors (and their delayed effects). We built a time-series adjusted negative binomial model to reflect the relationships between climate variables and scrub typhus cases. The key determinants of scrub typhus transmission were temperature, relative humidity and precipitation. Each 1°C increase in monthly average temperature in the previous 3 months, each 1% increase in monthly relative humidity in the previous 2 months and each 1 mm increase in monthly precipitation in the previous 3 months induced 15·4%, 12·6% and 0·7% increases in the monthly number of cases, respectively. In conclusion, scrub typhus is affected by climate change in temperate regions.
A novel allergy biosensor is designed and fabricated by using thin film bulk acoustic resonator (TFBAR) devices with shear mode ZnO piezoelectric thin films. To fabricate TFBAR devices, the off-axis RF magnetron sputtering method for the growth of piezoelectric ZnO piezoelectric thin films is adopted. The influences of the relative distance and sputtering parameters are investigated. In this report, the piezoelectric ZnO thin films with tilting angle are set by controlling the deposition parameters. The properties of the shear mode ZnO thin films are investigated by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The frequency response is measured using an HP8720 network analyzer with a CASCADE probe station. The resonance frequency of the shear mode is 796.75 MHz. The sensitivity of the shear mode is calculated to be 462.5 kHz·cm2/ng.
The mutualism between fig trees and their wasp pollinators is a model system for many ecological and evolutionary studies. However, the immature stages of pollinating fig wasps have rarely been studied. We monitored developing fig wasps of known ages and performed a series of dissections at 24 h intervals to identify key developmental traits of Ceratosolen solmsi marchali Mayr (Hymenoptera: Agaonidae), a pollinator of Ficus hispida L. (Moraceae). We identified where in the Ficus ovary eggs were deposited and time to hatch. We were also able to identify the timing and key underlying characters of five larval instars, three sub-pupal stages, and a single prepupal stage. We provide detailed morphological descriptions for the key stages and report some behavioral observations of the wasps in the several developmental stages we recorded. Scanning electron microscope images were taken.