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Guangxi, a province in southwestern China, has the second highest reported number of HIV/AIDS cases in China. This study aimed to develop an accurate and effective model to describe the tendency of HIV and to predict its incidence in Guangxi. HIV incidence data of Guangxi from 2005 to 2016 were obtained from the database of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network models, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, generalised regression neural network (GRNN) models and exponential smoothing (ES) were used to fit the incidence data. Data from 2015 and 2016 were used to validate the most suitable models. The model performances were evaluated by evaluating metrics, including mean square error (MSE), root mean square error, mean absolute error and mean absolute percentage error. The LSTM model had the lowest MSE when the N value (time step) was 12. The most appropriate ARIMA models for incidence in 2015 and 2016 were ARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 2)12 and ARIMA (2, 1, 0) (1, 1, 2)12, respectively. The accuracy of GRNN and ES models in forecasting HIV incidence in Guangxi was relatively poor. Four performance metrics of the LSTM model were all lower than the ARIMA, GRNN and ES models. The LSTM model was more effective than other time-series models and is important for the monitoring and control of local HIV epidemics.
Microorganisms are the most abundant organisms on Earth, and microbial abundance records preserved in ice cores have been connected to records of environmental change. As an alternative to high resolution abundance records, which can be difficult to recover, we used culture-dependent and culture-independent methods to examine bacteria in glacier ice from the Tibetan Plateau (TP). We recovered a total of 887 bacterial isolates from ice cores of up to 164 m in depth retrieved from seven glaciers, located across the TP. These isolates were related to 53 genera in the Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria, with 13 major genera accounting for 78% of isolates. Most of the genera were common across the geographic region covered by our sampling, but there were differences in the genera recovered from different depths in the ice, with the deepest portions of the ice cores dominated by a single genus (Sporosarcina). Because microorganisms deposited on glaciers must survive atmospheric transport under a range of temperatures, temperature tolerance should be an important survival mechanism. We tested isolate growth across a range of temperatures (0–35 °C), and found psychrotolerance to be common. Together, our results show that ice depth, and by extension age, are characterized by different types of microorganisms, providing new information about microbial records in ice.
Giardia duodenalis is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in the USA, but the risk factors for sporadic (non-outbreak) giardiasis are not well described. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado and Minnesota public health departments conducted a case-control study to assess risk factors for sporadic giardiasis in the USA. Cases (N = 199) were patients with non-outbreak-associated laboratory-confirmed Giardia infection in Colorado and Minnesota, and controls (N = 381) were matched by age and site. Identified risk factors included international travel (aOR = 13.9; 95% CI 4.9–39.8), drinking water from a river, lake, stream, or spring (aOR = 6.5; 95% CI 2.0–20.6), swimming in a natural body of water (aOR = 3.3; 95% CI 1.5–7.0), male–male sexual behaviour (aOR = 45.7; 95% CI 5.8–362.0), having contact with children in diapers (aOR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.01–2.6), taking antibiotics (aOR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.2–5.0) and having a chronic gastrointestinal condition (aOR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.1–3.0). Eating raw produce was inversely associated with infection (aOR = 0.2; 95% CI 0.1–0.7). Our results highlight the diversity of risk factors for sporadic giardiasis and the importance of non-international-travel-associated risk factors, particularly those involving person-to-person transmission. Prevention measures should focus on reducing risks associated with diaper handling, sexual contact, swimming in untreated water, and drinking untreated water.
Fermented soybean meal (FSM), which has lower anti-nutritional factors and higher active enzyme, probiotic and oligosaccharide contents than its unfermented form, has been reported to improve the feeding value of soybean meal, and hence, the growth performance of piglets. However, whether FSM can affect the bacterial and metabolites in the large intestine of piglets remains unknown. This study supplemented wet-FSM (WFSM) or dry-FSM (DFSM) (5% dry matter basis) in the diet of piglets and investigated its effects on carbon and nitrogen metabolism in the piglets’ large intestines. A total of 75 41-day-old Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire piglets with an initial BW of 13.14±0.22 kg were used in a 4-week feeding trial. Our results showed that the average daily gain of piglets in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 27.08% and 14.58% and that the feed conversion ratio improved by 18.18% and 7.27%, respectively, compared with the control group. Data from the prediction gene function of Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) based on 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing showed that carbohydrate metabolism function families in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 3.46% and 2.68% and that the amino acid metabolism function families decreased by 1.74% and 0.82%, respectively, compared with the control group. These results were consistent with those of other metabolism studies, which showed that dietary supplementation with WFSM and DFSM increased the level of carbohydrate-related metabolites (e.g. 4-aminobutanoate, 5-aminopentanoate, lactic acid, mannitol, threitol and β-alanine) and decreased the levels of those related to protein catabolism (e.g. 1,3-diaminopropane, creatine, glycine and inosine). In conclusion, supplementation with the two forms of FSM improved growth performance, increased metabolites of carbohydrate and reduced metabolites of protein in the large intestine of piglets, and WFSM exhibited a stronger effect than DFSM.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The objectives of this study were to determine the effect and mode of action of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (YST2) on enteric methane (CH4) mitigation in pigs. A total of 12 Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire male finisher pigs (60±1 kg), housed individually in open-circuit respiration chambers, were randomly assigned to two dietary groups: a basal diet (control); and a basal diet supplemented with 3 g/YST2 (1.8×1010 live cells/g) per kg diet. At the end of 32-day experiment, pigs were sacrificed and redox potential (Eh), pH, volatile fatty acid concentration, densities of methanogens and acetogens, and expression of methyl coenzyme-M reductase subunit A gene were determined in digesta contents from the cecum, colon and rectum. Results showed that S. cerevisiae YST2 decreased (P<0.05) the average daily enteric CH4 production by 25.3%, lowered the pH value from 6.99 to 6.69 in the rectum, and increased the Eh value in cecum and colon by up to −55 mV (P<0.05). Fermentation patterns were also altered by supplementation of YST2 as reflected by the lower acetate, and higher propionate molar proportion in the cecum and colon (P<0.05), resulting in lower acetate : propionate ratio (P<0.05). Moreover, there was a 61% decrease in Methanobrevibacter species in the upper colon (P<0.05) and a 19% increase in the acetogen community in the cecum (P<0.05) of treated pigs. Results of our study concluded that supplementation of S. cerevisiae YST2 at 3 g/kg substantially decreased enteric CH4 production in pigs.
To alleviate adverse effects of heavy metal toxicity, diverse range of removing methods have been suggested, that is usage of algae, agricultural by-products and microorganisms. Here, we investigated lead (Pb) biosorption efficacy by two lactic acid bacteria species (LABs) in broiler chickens. In an in vitro study, Pb was added to culture medium of LABs (Lactobacillus pentosus ITA23 and Lactobacillus acidipiscis ITA44) in the form of lead acetate. Results showed that these LABs were able to absorb more than 90% of Pb from the culture medium. In follow-up in vivo study, LABs mixture was added to diet of broiler chickens contained lead acetate (200 mg/kg). Pb exposure significantly increased lipid peroxidation and decreased antioxidant activity in liver. The changes were recovered back to normal level upon LABs supplementation. Moreover, addition of LABs eliminated the liver tissue lesion and the suppressed performance in Pb-exposed chicks. Analysis of liver and serum samples indicated 48% and 28% reduction in Pb accumulation, respectively. In conclusion, results of this study showed that L. pentosus ITA23 and L. acidipiscis ITA44 effectively biosorb and expel dietary Pb from gastrointestinal tract of chickens.
Clinical research studies of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) often use Alzheimer disease (AD) as a comparison group for control of dementia variables, using tests of cognitive function to match the groups. These two dementia syndromes, however, are very different in clinical manifestations, and the comparable severity of these dementias may not be reflected by commonly used cognitive scales such as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
We evaluated different measures of dementia severity and symptoms among 20 people with bvFTD compared to 24 with early-onset AD.
Despite similar ages, disease-duration, education, and cognitive performance on two tests of cognitive function, the MMSE and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), the bvFTD participants, compared to the AD participants, were significantly more impaired on other measures of disease severity, including function (Functional Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ)), neuropsychiatric symptoms (Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI)), and global dementia stage (Clinical Dementia Rating Scales (CDRs)). However, when we adjusted for the frontotemporal lobar degeneration-CDR (FTLD-CDR) in the analyses, the two dementia groups were comparable across all measures despite significant differences on the cognitive scales.
We found tests of cognitive functions (MMSE and MoCA) to be insufficient measures for ensuring comparability between bvFTD and AD groups. In clinical studies, the FTLD-CDR, which includes additional language and behavior items, may be a better overall way to match bvFTD and AD groups on dementia severity.
The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary fiber on methanogenic diversity and community composition in the hindgut of indigenous Chinese Lantang gilts to explain the unexpected findings reported earlier that Lantang gilts fed low-fiber diet (LFD) produced more methane than those fed high-fiber diet (HFD). In total, 12 Lantang gilts (58.7±0.37 kg) were randomly divided into two dietary groups (six replicates (pigs) per group) and fed either LFD (NDF=201.46 g/kg) or HFD (NDF=329.70 g/kg). Wheat bran was the main source of fiber for the LFD, whereas ground rice hull (mixture of rice hull and rice bran) was used for the HFD. Results showed that the methanogens in the hindgut of Lantang gilts belonged to four known species (Methanobrevibacter ruminantium, Methanobrevibacter wolinii, Methanosphaera stadtmanae and Methanobrevibacter smithii), with about 89% of the methanogens belonging to the genus Methanobrevibacter. The 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene copies of Methanobrevibacter were more than three times higher (P<0.05) for gilts fed LFD (3.31×109 copies/g dry matter (DM)) than gilts fed HFD (1.02×109 copies/g DM). No difference (P>0.05) was observed in 16S rRNA gene copies of Fibrobacter succinogenes between the two dietary groups, and 18S rRNA gene copies of anaerobic fungi in gilts fed LFD were lower than (P<0.05) those fed HFD. To better explain the effect of different fiber source on the methanogen community, a follow-up in vitro fermentation using a factorial design comprised of two inocula (prepared from hindgut content of gilts fed two diets differing in their dietary fiber)×four substrates (LFD, HFD, wheat bran, ground rice hull) was conducted. Results of the in vitro fermentation confirmed that the predominant methanogens belonged to the genus of Methanobrevibacter, and about 23% methanogens was found to be distantly related (90%) to Thermogymnomonas acidicola. In vitro fermentation also seems to suggest that fiber source did change the methanogens community. Although the density of Methanobrevibacter species was positively correlated with CH4 production in both in vivo (P<0.01, r=0.737) and in vitro trials (P<0.05, r=0.854), which could partly explain the higher methane production from gilts fed LFD compared with those in the HFD group. Further investigation is needed to explain how the rice hull affected the methanogens and inhibited CH4 emission from gilts fed HFD.
In November and December 2012, 6 patients at a hemodialysis clinic were given a diagnosis of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
To investigate the outbreak to identify risk factors for transmission.
A case patient was defined as a patient who was HCV-antibody negative on clinic admission but subsequently was found to be HCV-antibody positive from January 1, 2008, through April 30, 2013. Patient charts were reviewed to identify and describe case patients. The hypervariable region 1 of HCV from infected patients was tested to assess viral genetic relatedness. Infection control practices were evaluated via observations. A forensic chemiluminescent agent was used to identify blood contamination on environmental surfaces after cleaning.
Eighteen case patients were identified at the clinic from January 1, 2008, through April 30, 2013, resulting in an estimated 16.7% attack rate. Analysis of HCV quasispecies identified 4 separate clusters of transmission involving 11 case patients. The case patients and previously infected patients in each cluster were treated in neighboring dialysis stations during the same shift, or at the same dialysis station on 2 consecutive shifts. Lapses in infection control were identified. Visible and invisible blood was identified on multiple surfaces at the clinic.
Epidemiologic and laboratory data confirmed transmission of HCV among numerous patients at the dialysis clinic over 6 years. Infection control breaches were likely responsible. This outbreak highlights the importance of rigorous adherence to recommended infection control practices in dialysis settings.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):125–133
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has become a global public health problem. Many studies have been conducted to identify risk factors for HCV infection. However, some of these studies reported inconsistent results. Using data collected from 11 methadone clinics, we fit both a non-spatial logistical regression and a geographically weighted logistic regression to analyse the association between HCV infection and some factors at the individual level. This study enrolled 5401 patients with 30·0% HCV infection prevalence. The non-spatial logistical regression found that injection history, drug rehabilitation history and senior high-school education or above were related to HCV infection; and being married was negatively associated with HCV infection. Using the spatial model, we found that Yi ethnicity was negatively related to HCV infection in 62·0% of townships, and being married was negatively associated with HCV infection in 81·0% of townships. Senior high-school education or above was positively associated with HCV infection in 55·2% of townships of the Yi Autonomous Prefecture. The spatial model offers better understanding of the geographical variations of the risk factors associated with HCV infection. The geographical variations may be useful for customizing intervention strategies for local regions for more efficient allocation of limited resources to control transmission of HCV.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.
We derive the optical afterglow luminosity distributions at different epoches for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) from a sample of 146 GRBs that have a well-sampled optical afterglow lightcurve, then explore the luminosity function of GRB optical afterglows using the Monte Carlo simulation. We show that an intrinsic broken power-law luminosity function can well reproduced the observed magnitude distributions.
The durations (T90) of 315 GRBs detected with Fermi/GBM (8-1000 keV) by 2011 September are calculated using the Bayesian Block method. We compare the T90 distributions between this sample and that observed with previous/current GRB missions. We show that T90 is energy-band dependent and the observed bimodal T90 distribution would be due to the instrumental selection effect.
Recent developments in reactive potentials for the simulation of complex bonding and complex chemistry are reviewed. In particular, the reactive force field and charged optimized many-body methods are two paradigms that enable atoms to autonomously determine their charge state and the nature of their local bonding environments. The capabilities of these methods are illustrated by examples involving ionic-covalent systems, a metal-covalent system, a high-k dielectric gate stack, and the interaction of water with an oxide. Prospects for future development and applications are also discussed.
A thermally-activated micelle consisting of a crystallizable poly(caprolactone), PCL, core and a poly(ethylene glycol), PEG, corona was developed to contain magnetic nanoparticles and anti-cancer agent doxorubicin as well as display a targeting RGD peptide. This system has the potential to target cancer cells, deliver combination hyperthermia and chemotherapy, and offer magnetic resonance imaging contrast. The micelles self-assemble in aqueous solutions and form a crystalline core with a melting transition ranging from 40 to 50 °C, depending on the length of the PCL blocks, with dynamic light scattering showing micelle sizes typically ranging from 20 to 100 nm, depending on block lengths and added drug or nanoparticles. The micelles become unstable as they are heated above their melting point, creating a thermally-activated drug release mechanism. By adding magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles into the PCL core, the micelles can be heated using an externally applied AC magnetic field to induce hyperthermia in combination with the thermally-activated drug release. The polymers and magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were synthesized and characterized in our laboratories. The melting transitions of the PCL micelle cores were investigated using microcalorimetry. The heating of nanoparticles and magnetomicelles was conducted using a custom-built hyperthermia coil capable of generating fields of several hundred Oersteds at frequencies ranging from 50 to 450 kHz. Heating of MNPs was maximized at high field intensities. RGD peptides were attached to the PEG corona using maleimide chemistry, and the ability of the RGD-derivatized micelles to target integrin-expressing cells was investigated using fluorescent dye PKH26 to identify the localization of micelles in cultured human kidney (293) cells in vitro. The crystallizable (and meltable) cores in these micelles were designed to overcome drug leakage common in liposome systems and release the drug on demand after a period of time for localization to integrin receptors.
Given the unpredictability of Neisseria meningitidis outbreaks and the increased prevalence of serogroup C strains following the introduction of serogroup A-based vaccines, we conducted an analysis of serogroups and sequence types (STs) in disease-associated and carrier N. meningitidis isolates that have emerged in China since 2003. We used multilocus sequence-typing techniques to investigate 371 N. meningitidis strains isolated from patients with meningitis and healthy carriers. Two lineages were identified in serogroup A and C isolates, genotyped as the ST5 complex and ST4821 complex, respectively. Both clonal complexes were found throughout China, although ST4821 was more concentrated in the eastern region of the country. The ST5 complex has been persistent in China since the late 1980s and has since spread across the entire country. Isolates belonging to the ST4821 complex have been a dominant lineage since 2003.
TAGS-85 is a well-known thermoelectric material based on germanium monotelluride that exhibits a second-order displacive transformation from a high-temperature cubic to a low-temperature rhombohedral polymorph. Recent efforts to improve the thermoelectric figure-of-merit through the addition of small amounts of the rare earth elements Ce and Yb have demonstrated a 25 percent increase in ZT at 700K in materials obtained by solidification from the melt. Preliminary analysis by x-ray diffraction of the chemically-modified alloy suggests a partial stabilization of the high-temperature cubic polymorph. 125Te NMR studies confirm the incorporation of rare earth cations into the GeTe-based lattice. Solid state synthesis has been successfully applied to the processing of rare-earth-doped TAGS-85 and has resulted in a further increase in ZT beyond the levels initially observed in melt-solidified materials. This is believed to be due to improved homogeneity in the distribution of the lanthanide.