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Hepatitis E is an important zoonosis that is prevalent in China. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a pathogen that affects humans and animals and endangers public health in China. In this study, the detection of HEV epidemics in swine in Sichuan Province, China, was carried out by nested real-time PCR. A total of 174 stool samples and 160 bile samples from swine in Sichuan Province were examined. In addition, software was used to analyse the biological evolution of HEV. The results showed that within 2 years of swine HEV (SHEV) infection in China, SHEV was first detected in Sichuan Province. HEV was endemic in Sichuan; the positive rate for pig farms was 11.1%, and the total positive sample rate was 10.5%. The age of swine with the highest positive rate (17.9%) was 5–9 weeks. The examined swine species in order of highest to lowest HEV infection rates were Chenghua pig, Large White, Duroc, Pietrain, Landrace and Hampshire. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis showed that the HEV epidemic in swine in Sichuan Province was related to genotype IV, which had the highest homology to HEV in Beijing. Sichuan strains have greater variation than Chinese representative strains, which may indicate the presence of new HEV strains.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
Advances in infrared astronomy and in computing power have recently opened up an interesting area of the solar system for dynamical exploration. The survey of the sky made by The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) in 1983 revealed the complex structure of the zodiacal dust cloud. We now know the inclination and nodes of the plane of symmetry of the cloud with respect to the ecliptic and we have evidence that the cloud is not rotationally symmetric with respect to the Sun. Of even more interest is the discovery by IRAS of prominent dust bands that circle the Sun in planes near-parallel to the ecliptic. In 1984, we suggested (Dermott et al., Nature, 312, 505-509) that the solar system dust bands discovered by IRAS are produced by the gradual comminution of the asteroids in the major Hirayama asteroid families. The confirmation of this hypothesis has involved: (1) The development of a new secular perturbation theory that includes the effects of Poynting-Robertson light drag on the evolution of the dust particle orbits; (2) The production of a new high resolution Zodiacal History File by IPAC (the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech); (3) The development of the SIMUL code: a three-dimensional numerical model that allows the calculation of the thermal flux produced by any particular distribution of dust particle orbits. SIMUL includes the effects of planetary perturbations and PR drag on the dust particle orbits and reproduces the exact viewing geometry of the IRAS telescope. We report that these tools allow us to account in detail for the observed structure of the dust bands. They also allow us to show that there is evidence in the IRAS data for the transport of asteroidal dust from the main belt to the Earth by Poynting-Robertson light drag.
Bacillary dysentery continues to be a major health issue in developing countries and ambient temperature is a possible environmental determinant. However, evidence about the risk of bacillary dysentery attributable to ambient temperature under climate change scenarios is scarce. We examined the attributable fraction (AF) of temperature-related bacillary dysentery in urban and rural Hefei, China during 2006–2012 and projected its shifting pattern under climate change scenarios using a distributed lag non-linear model. The risk of bacillary dysentery increased with the temperature rise above a threshold (18·4 °C), and the temperature effects appeared to be acute. The proportion of bacillary dysentery attributable to hot temperatures was 18·74% (95 empirical confidence interval (eCI): 8·36–27·44%). Apparent difference of AF was observed between urban and rural areas, with AF varying from 26·87% (95% eCI 16·21–36·68%) in urban area to −1·90% (95 eCI −25·03 to 16·05%) in rural area. Under the climate change scenarios alone (1–4 °C rise), the AF from extreme hot temperatures (>31·2 °C) would rise greatly accompanied by the relatively stable AF from moderate hot temperatures (18·4–31·2 °C). If climate change proceeds, urban area may be more likely to suffer from rapidly increasing burden of disease from extreme hot temperatures in the absence of effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Omics research has indicated that heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) is a potential biomarker of meat quality. However, the specific changes and the potential role of HSP70 in postmortem meat quality development need to be further defined. In this study, Arbor Acres broiler chickens (n=126) were randomly categorized into three treatment groups of unstressed control (C), 0.5-h transport (T) and subsequent water shower spray following transport (T/W). Each treatment consisted of six replicates with seven birds each. The birds were transported according to a designed protocol. The pectoralis major (PM) muscles of the transport-stressed broilers were categorized as normal and pale, soft and exudative (PSE)-like muscle samples according to L* and pH24 h values to test the expression and location of HSP70. Results revealed that the activities of plasma creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase increased significantly (P<0.05) in normal and PSE-like muscle samples after transportation. The mRNA expression of HSP70 in normal muscle samples increased significantly (P<0.05) compared with that in the controls after stress. The protein expression of HSP70 increased significantly in normal muscle samples and decreased significantly (P<0.05) in PSE-like muscles. Immuno-fluorescence showed that HSP70 was present in the cytoplasm and on surface membranes of PM muscle cells in the normal samples following stress. Meanwhile, HSP70 was present on the surface membranes and extracellular matrix but was barely visible in the cytoplasm of the PSE-like samples. Principal component analysis showed high correlations between HSP70 and meat quality and stress indicators. In conclusion, this research suggests that the variation in HSP70 expression may provide a novel insight into the pathways underlying meat quality development.
Insect defensins, are cationic peptides that play an important role in immunity against microbial infection. In the present study, an anionic defensin from Plutella xylostella, (designated as PxDef) was first cloned and characterized. Amino acid sequence analysis showed that the mature peptide owned characteristic six-cysteine motifs with predicted isoelectric point of 5.57, indicating an anionic defensin. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that PxDef was significantly induced in epidermis, fat body, midgut and hemocytes after injection of heat-inactivated Bacillus thuringiensis, while such an induction was delayed by the injection of live B. thuringiensis in the 4th instar larvae of P. xylostella. Knocking down the expression of nuclear transcription factor Dorsal in P. xylostella by RNA interference significantly decreased the mRNA level of PxDef, and increased the sensitivity of P. xylostella larvae to the infection by live B. thuringiensis. The purified recombinant mature peptide (PxDef) showed higher activity against Gram-positive bacteria, with the minimum inhibition concentrations of 1.6 and 2.6 µM against B. thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report about an anionic PxDef, which may play an important role in the immune system of P. xylostella against B. thuringiensis.
One of the outstanding problems in solar system science is the source of the particles that constitute the zodiacal cloud. The zodiacal dust bands discovered by IRAS have a pivotal role in this debate because, without doubt, they are the small, tail end products of asteroidal collisions. Geometrical arguments are probably the strongest and the plane of symmetry of the dust bands places their source firmly in the asteroid belt. A cometary source, Comet Encke for example, could exist at the distance of the mainbelt, but the dynamics of cometary orbits makes the formation of cometary dust bands impossible, unless, of course, there is a significant (comparable in volume to the asteroidal families) source of comets interior to the orbit of Jupiter with low (asteroidal) orbital eccentricities. We have suggested that the dust bands are associated with the prominent asteroidal families. The link with the Themis and Koronis families is good but the link with Eos remains to be proved. We show here by detailed modeling that even though the filtered infrared flux in the 25μm waveband associated with the dust bands is only ~1% of the total signal, this is only the “tip of the iceberg” and that asteroidal dust associated with the bands constitutes ~10% of the zodiacal cloud. This result, plus the observed size-frequency distribution of mainbelt asteroids and the observed ratio of the number of family to non-family asteroids allows us to estimate that asteroidal dust accounts for about one third of the zodiacal cloud. The discovery of the “leading-trailing” asymmetry of the zodiacal cloud in the IRAS data and our interpretation of this asymmetry in terms of a ring of asteroidal particles in resonant lock with the Earth is important for two reasons. (1) The existence of the ring strongly suggests that large (diameter ≥ 12μm) asteroidal particles (or particles with low orbital eccentricities) are transported to the inner solar system by drag forces. (2) The observed ratio of the trailing-leading asymmetry allows an independent estimate of the contribution of asteroidal particles to the zodiacal cloud. These new results have important implications for the source of the interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) collected at the Earth. Because asteroidal particles constitute about one third of the zodiacal cloud and are transported to the inner solar system by drag forces, gravitational focussing by the Earth that results in the preferential capture of particles from orbits with low inclinations and low eccentricities and the possible “funneling” effect of the ring itself, imply that nearly all of the unmelted IDPs collected at the Earth are asteroidal.
Cattleyak (hybrid of cattle and yak) exhibit higher capability in adaptability and production than cattle and yak, while the infertility of F1 males greatly restricts the effective utilization of this hybrid and little progress has been made on investigating the mechanisms of the cattleyak infertility. Cattleyak individuals at three development stages (10, 12 and 14-month old) were sampled in this work and the isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification method was employed to identify differences between their testicular proteomes. The proteomic analysis identified 318 proteins differentially expressed with significance at 12-month stage and 327 at 14-month compared with 10-month stage, respectively. Compared with the testicular proteome from 10-month cattleyak, the gene ontology (GO) annotations of the differentially expressed proteins at 12 months did not indicate significant differences from those at 14 months, which confirmed the histological observation that germ cell reduction was more obvious and spermatogenic arrest may become more serious in 12-month-old cattleyak. On the other hand, 56 differentially expressed proteins were coexpressed at 12 and 14-month stage compared with 10-month stage, in which 32 proteins were upregulated and 24 downregulated. GO analysis revealed that most of the differently expressed proteins were involved in the molecular function of catalytic activity, transporter activity, oxidoreductase activity and protein binding. Further analysis indicated that the differently expressed proteins including testis-expressed protein 101 precursor, RNA-binding motif protein, X chromosome, putative RNA-binding protein 3, heparin-binding proteins, tudor domain-containing protein 1, glutathione S-transferases (GSTA2, GSTP1), heat shock-related 70 kDa protein 2, estradiol 17-β-dehydrogenase11, 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase and peroxiredoxin-2 were possibly associated with testis development and spermatogenesis, which could be selected as candidate proteins in future study to examine the mechanisms of cattleyak infertility.
At the end of 2013, China reported a countrywide outbreak of measles. From January to May 2014, we investigated the clinical and immunological features of the cases of the outbreak admitted to our hospital. In this study, all 112 inpatients with clinically diagnosed measles were recruited from the 302 Military Hospital of China. The virus was isolated from throat swabs from these patients, and cytokine profiles were examined. By detecting the measles virus of 30 of the 112 patients, we found that this measles outbreak was of the H1 genotype, which is the major strain in China. The rates of complications, specifically pneumonia and liver injury, differed significantly in patients aged <8 months, 8 months to 18 years, and >18 years: pneumonia was more common in children, while liver injury was more common in adults. Pneumonia was a significant independent risk factor affecting measles duration. Compared to healthy subjects, measles patients had fewer CD4+IL-17+, CD4+IFN-γ+, and CD8+IFN-γ+ cells in both the acute and recovery phases. In contrast, measles patients in the acute phase had more CD8+IL-22+ cells than those in recovery or healthy subjects. We recommend that future studies focus on the age-related distribution of pneumonia and liver injury as measles-related complications as well as the association between immunological markers and measles prognosis.
The objective of this study was to determine if a moderate or high reduction of dietary CP, supplemented with indispensable amino acids (IAA), would affect growth, intestinal morphology and immunological parameters of pigs. A total of 40 barrows (initial BW=13.50±0.50 kg, 45±2 day of age) were used in a completely randomized block design, and allocated to four dietary treatments containing CP levels at 20.00%, 17.16%, 15.30% and 13.90%, respectively. Industrial AA were added to meet the IAA requirements of pigs. After 4-week feeding, blood and tissue samples were obtained from pigs. The results showed that reducing dietary CP level decreased average daily gain, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and relative organ weights of liver and pancreas (P<0.01), and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.01). Pigs fed the 13.90% CP diet had significantly lower growth performance than that of pigs fed higher CP at 20.00%, 17.16% or 15.30%. Moreover, reducing dietary CP level decreased villous height in duodenum (P<0.01) and crypt depth in duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0.01). The reduction in the dietary CP level increased plasma concentrations of methionine, alanine (P<0.01) and lysine (P<0.05), and decreased arginine (P<0.05). Intriguingly, reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 13.90% resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentration of IgG (P<0.05), percentage of CD3+T cells of the peripheral blood (P<0.01), also down-regulated the mRNA abundance of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (P<0.01) and nuclear factor kappa B (P<0.05) in the ileum. These results indicate that reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 15.30%, supplemented with IAA, had no significant effect on growth performance and had a limited effect on immunological parameters. However, a further reduction of dietary CP level up to 13.90% would lead to poor growth performance and organ development, associated with the modifications of intestinal morphology and immune function.
Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinases (PI3K)-Protein kinase B (Akt)-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway plays an important role in the synthesis and secretion of triacylglycerol. However, the mechanism of PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway in regulating lipid metabolism of goose liver was poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to determine how PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway regulating lipid metabolic homeostasis in goose hepatocytes. Goose primary hepatocytes were treated with different PI3K-Akt-mTOR signal inhibitors (LY294002, rapamycin and NVP-BEZ235) for 24 h. The results showed that these inhibitors evidently inhibited PI3K-Akt-mTOR downstream signaling. Meanwhile, these PI3K-Akt-mTOR inhibitors reduced intracellular lipid accumulation, decreased the mRNA expression and protein content of genes involved in the de novo fatty acid synthesis, while increased the transcriptional and protein level of key factors involved in fatty acid oxidation and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) assembly and secretion. Conclusion: These findings suggested that the reduction of lipids accumulation induced-by inhibiting PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway was closely linked to the decrease of lipogenesis, the increase of fatty acids oxidation, and the increase of VLDL assembly and secretion in goose hepatocytes.
Two independent programs have collected and analyzed atmospheric CO2 samples from Point Barrow, Alaska, for radiocarbon content (Δ14C) over the period 2003–2007. In one program, flask collection, stable isotope analysis, and CO2 extraction are performed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography's CO2 Program and CO2 is graphitized and measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In the other program, the University of California, Irvine, performs flask collection, sample preparation, and AMS. Over 22 common sample dates spanning 5 yr, differences in measured Δ14C are consistent with the reported uncertainties and there is no significant bias between the programs.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have long been considered potential endophenotypes for schizophrenia. However, few studies have investigated the heritability and familiality of NSS. The present study examined the heritability and familiality of NSS in healthy twins and patient–relative pairs.
The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory was administered to 267 pairs of monozygotic twins, 124 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 75 pairs of patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic first-degree relatives.
NSS were found to have moderate but significant heritability in the healthy twin sample. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia correlated closely with their first-degree relatives on NSS.
Taken together, the findings provide evidence on the heritability and familiality of NSS in the Han Chinese population.
The issue on the muzzle blast flow with gas-particle mixtures was numerically investigated in this paper. The propellant gas in the cannon was assumed to be gas-particle mixtures consisting of a variety of gaseous species and particles. The model made use of the Eulerian-Eulerican approach, where the particle were modeled as a second fluid with parameters like bulk density, velocity and temperature, interacting with the gas flow. A high-resolution upwind scheme(AUSMPW+) and detailed reaction kinetics model were employed to solve the chemical non-equilibrium Euler equations for gas phase. The Euler equations for particle phase were solved by MacCormack scheme. The particle diameter and the mass fraction of particle were tested to show their effects on the development process of muzzle blast flow with gas-particle mixtures. The distribution of the main flow parameters of both gas and particle were obtained at different time intervals. The results show the evolution of the muzzle blast flow with gas-particle mixtures and demonstrate the effects of key parameter on the flow field of the gas-particle flow. This paper is a significant investigation for understanding the muzzle blast flow with gas-particle mixtures, which can provide valuable reference for the research on the muzzle blast flow.
Angiopoietin-like protein 3 (ANGPTL3) is a secreted protein that regulates lipid, glucose and energy metabolism. This study was conducted to better understand the effect of ANGPTL3 on important economic traits in cattle. First, transcript profiles for ANGPTL3 were measured in nine different Jiaxian cattle tissues. Second, polymorphisms were identified in the complete coding region and promoter region of the bovine ANGPTL3 gene in 707 cattle samples. Finally, an association study was carried out utilizing these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to determine the effect of these SNPs on the growth and meat quality traits. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that ANGPTL3 was mainly expressed in the liver. The promoter of the bovine ANGPTL3 contained several putative transcription factor binding sites (SF1, HNF-1, LXRα, NFκβ, HNF-3 and C/EBP). In total, four SNPs of the bovine ANGPTL3 gene were identified by direct sequencing. SNP1 (rs469906272: g.−38T>C) was identified in the promoter, SNP2 (rs451104723:g.104A>T) and SNP3 (rs482516226: g.509A>G) were identified in exon 1, and SNP4 (rs477165942: g.8661T>C) was identified in exon 6. Changes in predicted protein structures due to non-synonymous SNPs were analyzed. Haplotype frequencies and linkage disequilibrium were also investigated. Analysis of four SNPs in cattle from different native Chinese breeds (Nanyang (NY) and Jiaxian (JX)) and commercial breeds (Angus (AG), Hereford (HF), Limousin (LM), Luxi (LX), Simmental (ST) and Jinnan (JN)) revealed a significant association with growth traits (including: BW and hipbone width) and meat quality traits (including: Warner–Bratzler shear force and ribeye area). Therefore, implementation of these four mutations in selection indices in the beef industry may be beneficial in selecting individuals with superior growth and meat quality traits.
Our objective was to determine whether a Symbol Search paradigm developed for functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) is a reliable and valid measure of cognitive processing speed (CPS) in healthy older adults. As all older adults are expected to experience cognitive declines due to aging, and CPS is one of the domains most affected by age, establishing a reliable and valid measure of CPS that can be administered inside an MR scanner may prove invaluable in future clinical and research settings. We evaluated the reliability and construct validity of a newly developed FMRI Symbol Search task by comparing participants’ performance in and outside of the scanner and to the widely used and standardized Symbol Search subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). A brief battery of neuropsychological measures was also administered to assess the convergent and discriminant validity of the FMRI Symbol Search task. The FMRI Symbol Search task demonstrated high test–retest reliability when compared to performance on the same task administered out of the scanner (r=.791; p<.001). The criterion validity of the new task was supported, as it exhibited a strong positive correlation with the WAIS Symbol Search (r=.717; p<.001). Predicted convergent and discriminant validity patterns of the FMRI Symbol Search task were also observed. The FMRI Symbol Search task is a reliable and valid measure of CPS in healthy older adults and exhibits expected sensitivity to the effects of age on CPS performance. (JINS, 2015, 22, 1–8)
The enteric pathogens causing diarrhoea impair children's health severely. This study retrospectively analysed 1577 pathogens isolated from inpatients and outpatients in six hospitals located in Northern (Inner Mongolia), Northeastern (Hebei), Eastern (Shanghai and Jiangsu), Southern (Hainan) and Central (Hubei) China between 2008 and 2013. Of the 1577 enteric pathogens, Salmonella presented with the highest frequency (36·0%), followed by diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (23·7%), Staphylococcus aureus (15·0%), Shigella (13·1%), and Aeromonas (4·6%). The predominant pathogens varied in different regions of China, with Salmonella most prevalent in Shanghai and Hainan, diarrhoeagenic E. coli most prevalent in Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu and Hubei, and Shigella most prevalent in Hebei. Enteric pathogens were more frequently isolated in males (56·9%) than in females (43·1%). The highest proportion of all enteric pathogens was found in infants (67·6%) with a peak in summer and autumn (68·5%). Antimicrobial susceptibility assay demonstrated that Shigella was more resistant to ampicillin, ceftriaxone and sulfamethoxazole than Salmonella. Of the top two serotypes in Salmonella, Typhimurium was more resistant to ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole and chloramphenicol than Enteritidis (P < 0·001). Meanwhile, the resistance rates of Shigella flexneri against ampicillin/sulbactam, ciprofloxacin, and chloramphenicol were significantly higher than those of Shigella sonnei (P < 0·001). Multidrug resistance was apparent in 58·2% of Shigella and 45·9% of Salmonella, and this phenomenon was more pronounced in S. flexneri.
Ag–reduced graphene oxide (Ag/rGO) nanoparticle composites were synthesized through a facile one-step hydrothermal reaction using GO and silver carbonate (Ag2CO3) as raw materials. The homogeneous silver nanospheres with an average size of 50 nm well dispersed on the surface of rGO were obtained without other additives. During the formation process, GO both promotes the dispersion of Ag2CO3 in aqueous solution and acts as the substrate of silver cations, and the hydrolysis of Ag2CO3 provides silver cations and alkaline condition. Moreover, GO further serves as reducing agent to generate elemental silver in the alkaline condition. The as-prepared materials exhibit excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering activities when used to detect the Raman signals of R6G absorbed on the Ag/rGO substrate.
Some studies have found a significant relationship between birth weight (BW) and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in adulthood, but results were inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to characterize the association between BW and the risk of CHD in adults. Among 144 papers detected by our search, 27 papers provided data on the relationship between BW and CHD, of which 23 papers considered BW as a continuous variable, and 14 articles considered BW as a categorical variable for this meta-analysis. Based on 23 papers, the mean weighted estimate for the association between BW and the combined outcome of non-fatal and fatal CHD was 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.80–0.86] per kilogram of BW (P<0.0001). Low birth weight (LBW<2500 g) was associated with increased risk of CHD [odds ratio (OR), 1.19; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11–1.27] compared with subjects with BW⩾2500 g. LBW, as compared with normal BW (2500–4000 g), was associated with increased risk of CHD (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.08–1.25). High birth weight (HBW⩾4000 g) was associated with decreased risk of CHD (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.81–0.98) compared with subjects with BW<4000 g. In addition, there was an indication (not quite significant) that HBW was associated with a lower risk of CHD (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.79–1.01), as compared with normal BW. No significant evidence of publication bias was present. These results suggest that LBW is significantly associated with increased risk of CHD and a 1 kg higher BW is associated with a 10–20% lower risk of CHD.
We have studied four radio-loud Narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxies with extreme optical emission-line shifts, indicating radial outflow velocities of up 2450 km s−1. The shifts are accompanied by strong line broadening, up to 2270 km s−1 in [NeV]. A significant ionization stratification (higher line shift at higher ionization potential) of most ions implies that we see a large-scale wind rather than single, localized jet-cloud interactions. The observations are consistent with a scenario, where the signatures of outflows are maximized because of a pole-on view into the central engine of these radio-loud NLS1 galaxies.