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Kazal-type serine protease inhibitors (KaSPI) play important roles in insect growth, development, digestion, metabolism and immune defence. In this study, based on the transcriptome of Mythimna separata, the cDNA sequence of MsKaSPI with Kazal domain was uploaded to GenBank (MN931651). Spatial and temporal expression analysis showed that MsKaSPI was expressed at different developmental stages and different tissues, and it was induced by 20-hydroxyecdysone in third-instar larvae of M. separata. After 24 h infection by Beauveria bassiana, the expression level of MsKaSPI and the corresponding MsKaSPI content were significantly up-regulated, being 6.42-fold and 1.91-fold to the control group, respectively, while the activities of serine protease, trypsin and chymotrypsin were inhibited. After RNA interference interfered with MsKaSPI for 6 h, the expression decreased by 73.44%, the corresponding content of MsKaSPI protein decreased by 55.66% after 12 h, and the activities of serine protease and trypsin were significantly enhanced. Meanwhile, both the larval and pupal stages of M. separata were prolonged, the weights were reduced and the number of eggs per female decreased by 181. Beauveria bassiana infection also increased the mortality of MsKaSPI-silenced M. separata by 18.96%. These prove MsKaSPI can not only result in slow growth and low fecundity of M. separata by regulating the activity of related protease, but also participate in the resistance to pathogenic fungi by regulating the serine protease inhibitor content and the activities of related serine protease.
Placental trophoblastic cells play important roles in placental development and fetal health. However, the mechanism of trophoblastic cell fusion is still not entirely clear. The level of Tspan5 in the embryo culture medium was detected using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Fusion of BeWo cells was observed by immunofluorescence. Cell fusion-related factors and EMT-related factors were identified by qRT-PCR and western blotting. Notch protein repressor DAPT was used to verify the role of Tspan5 in BeWo cells. The expression of Tspan5 was significantly increased in embryo culture medium. The fusion of BeWo cells was observed after treatment with forskolin (FSK). Cell fusion-related factors (i.e. β-hCG and syncytin 1/2) and Tspan5 were significantly increased after FSK treatment. In addition, FSK treatment promoted EMT-related protein expression in BeWo cells. Knockdown of Tspan5 inhibited cell fusion and EMT-related protein levels. Notch-1 and Jagged-1 protein levels were significantly upregulated, and the EMT process was activated by overexpression of Tspan5 in FSK-treated BeWo cells. Interestingly, blocking the Notch pathway by the repressor DAPT had the opposite results. These results indicated that Tspan5 could promote the EMT process by activating the Notch pathway, thereby causing cell fusion. These findings contribute to a better understanding of trophoblast cell syncytialization and embryonic development. Tspan5 may be used as a therapeutic target for normal placental development.
HIV-1 molecular surveillance provides a new approach to explore transmission risks and targeted interventions. From January to June 2021, 663 newly reported HIV-1 cases were recruited in Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province, China. The distribution characteristics of HIV-1 subtypes and HIV-1 molecular network were analysed. Of 542 successfully subtyped samples, 12 HIV-1 strains were identified. The main strains were CRF08_BC (47.0%, 255/542), CRF01_AE (17.0%, 92/542), CRF07_BC (17.0%, 92/542), URFs (8.7%, 47/542), and CRF85_BC (6.5%, 35/542). CRF08_BC was commonly detected among Zhaotong natives, illiterates, and non-farmers and was mostly detected in Zhaoyang County. CRF01_AE was frequently detected among married and homosexual individuals and mostly detected in Weixin and Zhenxiong counties. Among the 516 pol sequences, 187 (36.2%) were clustered. Zhaotong natives, individuals aged ≥60 years, and illiterate individuals were more likely to be found in the network. Assortativity analysis showed that individuals were more likely to be genetically associated when stratified by age, education level, occupation, and reporting area. The genetic diversity of HIV-1 reflects the complexity of local HIV epidemics. Molecular network analyses revealed the subpopulations to focus on and the characteristics of the risk networks. The results will help optimise local prevention and control strategies.
In this study, we built on our previous research that discovered that autophagy activated the metaphase I stage during porcine oocytes in vitro maturation. We investigated the relationship between autophagy and oocyte maturation. First, we confirmed whether autophagy was activated differently by different media (TCM199 and NCSU-23) during maturation. Then, we investigated whether oocyte maturation affected autophagic activation. In addition, we examined whether the inhibition of autophagy affected the nuclear maturation rate of porcine oocytes. As for the main experiment, we measured LC3-II levels using western blotting after inhibition of nuclear maturation via cAMP treatment in an in vitro culture to clarify whether nuclear maturation affected autophagy. After autophagy inhibition, we also counted matured oocytes by treating them with wortmannin or a E64d and pepstatin A mixture. Both groups, which had different treatment times of cAMP, showed the same levels of LC3-II, while the maturation rates were about four times higher after cAMP 22 h treatment than that of the 42 h treatment group. This indicated that neither cAMP nor nuclear status affected autophagy. Autophagy inhibition during in vitro oocyte maturation with wortmannin treatment reduced oocyte maturation rates by about half, while autophagy inhibition by the E64d and pepstatin A mixture treatment did not significantly affect the oocyte maturation. Therefore, wortmannin itself, or the autophagy induction step, but not the degradation step, is involved in the oocyte maturation of porcine oocytes. Overall, we propose that oocyte maturation does not stand upstream of autophagy activation, but autophagy may exist upstream of oocyte maturation.
This study aimed to screen factors related to live birth outcomes of women with first frozen embryo transfer (FET). The enrolled women were divided into training and validation cohorts. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (Lasso) regression algorithm of machine learning and the multiple regression model were then used to screen factors relevant to live birth failure (LBF) for the training dataset. A nomogram risk prediction model was established on the basis of the screened factors, and the consistency index (C-index) and calibration curve were derived for evaluating the model. The validation cohort was utilized to validate the nomogram model further. In total, 2083 women who accepted the first FET in our hospital were included and 44 factors were initially screened in this study. On the basis of the training cohort, the screened risk factors via multiple regression analysis with odds ratio (OR) values were female age (OR: 3.092, 95%CI: 1.065–4.852), body mass index (BMI; OR: 1.106, 95%CI: 1.015–1.546), caesarean section (OR: 1.909, 95%CI: 1.318–2.814), number of high-quality embryos (OR: 0.698, 95%CI: 0.599–0.812), and endometrial thickness (OR: 0.957, CI: 0.904–0.980). The nomogram model was generated based on five predictors. Furthermore, favourable results with C-indexes and calibration curves close to ideal curves indicated the accurate predictive ability of the nomogram. Female age, BMI, caesarean section, number of high-quality embryos, and endometrial thickness were independent predictors for LBF. The five factors of the risk assessment model may help to identify LBF with high accuracy in women who accept FET.
We report high-precision K isotopes, apatite U–Pb ages, whole-rock elements and Sr–Nd isotopes for the Saima nephelite syenite in the North China Craton. Trace-element and Sr–Nd–Hf–O isotope data indicate the presence of subducting sediments in the source region, while K isotopic compositions show a narrow range between –0.54 ‰ and –0.28 ‰, with an average of –0.41 ± 0.06 ‰, identical to the value of the asthenosphere. The nearly identical K isotopic compositions are low probability events compared with the K isotopic compositions of island arc lavas reported previously (–1.55 ‰ to +0.2 ‰). Although crustal contamination is consistent with the Sr–Nd–K isotopic data, alternatively we propose that the isotopic data also reconcile with the interaction between cratonic roots and the underlying convective asthenosphere, if this interaction is over prolonged periods of time. Numerical simulations successfully reproduced the observed data, if the metasomatism of the lithospheric mantle root, the source of the Saima alkaline rocks, occurred 500 Ma ago. Our study reveals that the isotopic compositions of fast-diffusion components in a lithospheric mantle metasomatized by ancient subducting melts can be effectively homogenized by convective asthenosphere through diffusion over a long time interval.
Childhood maltreatment has been suggested to have an adverse impact on neurodevelopment, including microstructural brain abnormalities. Existing neuroimaging findings remain inconsistent and heterogeneous. We aim to explore the most prominent and robust cortical thickness (CTh) and gray matter volume (GMV) alterations associated with childhood maltreatment. A systematic search on relevant studies was conducted through September 2022. The whole-brain coordinate-based meta-analysis (CBMA) on CTh and GMV studies were conducted using the seed-based d mapping (SDM) software. Meta-regression analysis was subsequently applied to investigate potential associations between clinical variables and structural changes. A total of 45 studies were eligible for inclusion, including 11 datasets on CTh and 39 datasets on GMV, consisting of 2550 participants exposed to childhood maltreatment and 3739 unexposed comparison subjects. Individuals with childhood maltreatment exhibited overlapped deficits in the median cingulate/paracingulate gyri simultaneously revealed by both CTh and GM studies. Regional cortical thinning in the right anterior cingulate/paracingulate gyri and the left middle frontal gyrus, as well as GMV reductions in the left supplementary motor area (SMA) was also identified. No greater regions were found for either CTh or GMV. In addition, several neural morphology changes were associated with the average age of the maltreated individuals. The median cingulate/paracingulate gyri morphology might serve as the most robust neuroimaging feature of childhood maltreatment. The effects of early-life trauma on the human brain predominantly involved in cognitive functions, socio-affective functioning and stress regulation. This current meta-analysis enhanced the understanding of neuropathological changes induced by childhood maltreatment.
Objectives: Influenza vaccination is encouraged for all healthcare workers (HCWs) to reduce the risk of acquiring the infection and onward transmission to colleagues and patients during the influenza season. Thus, vaccination was introduced at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) in 2007 and has been offered to all HCWs at no cost. The HCW influenza vaccination program is conducted annually in October and biannually during years with vaccine mismatch. However, influenza vaccine uptake remained low among HCWs. We sought to determine the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on influenza vaccine uptake among HCWs. Methods: At SGH, 2 methods of vaccine delivery are offered: centralized (1-month drop-in system during office hours) and decentralized (administered by vaccination teams in offices or ward staff in inpatient locations). In the 4-year study period between 2018 and 2021, 6 influenza vaccination exercise campaigns were conducted during 8 influenza seasons. During each exercise, ~9,000 HCWs were eligible for vaccination. Results: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine uptake in the Southern Hemisphere was 77.6% (6,964 of 8,977) in 2018 and 84.2% (7,296 of 8,670) in 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, vaccine uptake in the Southern Hemisphere increased by 10% to 94.1% (8,361 of 8,889). In the Northern Hemisphere, vaccine uptake was 79.2% (7,114 of 8,977) in 2018, and this increased by 17.9% to 97.1% (8,926 of 9,194) during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. During the 2021 Southern Hemisphere influenza season, no vaccination program was conducted because the risk of influenza was considered low due to the closure of international borders and the implementation of public health measures. In addition, priority was given to COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Conclusions: Increased uptake of the influenza vaccination was observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety created by the respiratory disease pandemic and debate surrounding vaccines likely contributed to increased awareness and uptake in influenza vaccine among HCWs.
Coastal eutrophication and hypoxia remain a persistent environmental crisis despite the great efforts to reduce nutrient loading and mitigate associated environmental damages. Symptoms of this crisis have appeared to spread rapidly, reaching developing countries in Asia with emergences in Southern America and Africa. The pace of changes and the underlying drivers remain not so clear. To address the gap, we review the up-to-date status and mechanisms of eutrophication and hypoxia in global coastal oceans, upon which we examine the trajectories of changes over the 40 years or longer in six model coastal systems with varying socio-economic development statuses and different levels and histories of eutrophication. Although these coastal systems share common features of eutrophication, site-specific characteristics are also substantial, depending on the regional environmental setting and level of social-economic development along with policy implementation and management. Nevertheless, ecosystem recovery generally needs greater reduction in pressures compared to that initiated degradation and becomes less feasible to achieve past norms with a longer time anthropogenic pressures on the ecosystems. While the qualitative causality between drivers and consequences is well established, quantitative attribution of these drivers to eutrophication and hypoxia remains difficult especially when we consider the social economic drivers because the changes in coastal ecosystems are subject to multiple influences and the cause–effect relationship is often non-linear. Such relationships are further complicated by climate changes that have been accelerating over the past few decades. The knowledge gaps that limit our quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the human-coastal ocean nexus are identified, which is essential for science-based policy making. Recognizing lessons from past management practices, we advocate for a better, more efficient indexing system of coastal eutrophication and an advanced regional earth system modeling framework with optimal modules of human dimensions to facilitate the development and evaluation of effective policy and restoration actions.
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is related to depressive disorder, and adolescents with both present poor outcomes. However, evidence for the safety of concomitantly using a methylphenidate (MPH) and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) among adolescent ADHD patients is limited, a literature gap aimed to address through this investigation.
We conducted a new-user cohort study using a nationwide claims database in South Korea. We identified a study population as adolescents who were diagnosed both ADHD and depressive disorder. MPH-only users were compared with patients who prescribed both a SSRI and a MPH. Fluoxetine and escitalopram users were also compared to find a preferable treatment option. Thirteen outcomes including neuropsychiatric, gastrointestinal, and other events were assessed, taking respiratory tract infection as a negative control outcome. We matched the study groups using a propensity score and used the Cox proportional hazard model to calculate the hazard ratio. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were conducted in various epidemiologic settings.
The risks of all the outcomes between the MPH-only and SSRI groups were not significantly different. Regarding SSRI ingredients, the risk of tic disorder was significantly lower in the fluoxetine group than the escitalopram group [HR 0.43 (0.25–0.71)]. However, there was no significant difference in other outcomes between the fluoxetine and escitalopram groups.
The concomitant use of MPHs and SSRIs showed generally safe profiles in adolescent ADHD patients with depression. Most of the differences between fluoxetine and escitalopram, except those concerning tic disorder, were not significant.
The low maturation rate of oocytes is an important reason for female infertility and failure of assisted pregnancy. The germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) is a landmark event of oocyte maturation. In our previous studies, we found that zona pellucida 3 (ZP3) was strongly concentrated in the nuclear region of germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes and interacted with aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein-like 1 (AIPL1) and lamin A to promote GVBD. In the current study, we found that lamin A is mainly concentrated in the nuclear membrane. When ZP3 is knocked down, lamin A will be partially transferred to the nucleus of oocytes. The prelamin A is increased in both the nuclear membrane and nucleus, while phosphorylated lamin A (p-lamin A) is significantly reduced. AIPL1 was also proved to accumulate in the GV region of oocytes, and ZP3 deletion can significantly inhibit the aggregation of AIPL1 in the nuclear region. Similar to ZP3 knockdown, the absence of AIPL1 resulted in a decrease in the occurrence of GVBD, an increase in the amount of prelamin A, and a significant decrease in p-lamin A in oocytes developed in vitro. Finally, we propose the hypothesis that ZP3 can stabilize farnesylated prelamin A on the nuclear membrane of AIPL1, and promote its further processing into mature lamin A, therefore promoting the occurrence of GVBD. This study may be an important supplement for the mechanism of oocyte meiotic resumption and provide new diagnostic targets and treatment clues for infertility patients with oocyte maturation disorder.
High-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) contribute to dough elasticity and bread baking quality in wheat. In this study, wheat varieties were classified based on their HMW-GS composition into three groups: 1Dx5 (5 + 10, Gaoyou 8901, Xinmai 28, Xinmai 19, Xinmai 26 and Jinbaoyin), 1Dx2 (2 + 12, Zhoumai 24, Xinmai 9 and Yumai) and 1Dx4 (4 + 12, Aikang 58). Sequence analysis showed that 1Dx-GY8901, 1Dx-XM28, 1Dx-XM19 and 1Dx-XM26 were similar to the 1Dx5 gene and clustered on the same branch, while 1Dx-AK58, 1Dx-ZM24, 1Dx-JBY, 1Dx-YM, 1Dx-XM9 and 1Dx-JBY were more similar to the 1Dx2 gene and clustered on the same branch with 1Dx.2.2. There was a mutation of Ser to Cys at position S2, for an extra Cys in the repeat regions of 1Dx-XM19, 1Dx-XM26, 1Dx-XM28 and 1Dx-GY8901. The wheat HMW-GS genes exhibited similar percentages of α-helix, extended strand, β-turn and random coil structure, with ranges of 13.33–13.59, 4.77–5.78, 7.08–9.18 and 72.3–73.94%, respectively. Sequence conservation and the composition of HMW-GS subunits were also analysed for a series of strong gluten wheat varieties, Xinmai 9 (1, 7 + 8, 2 + 12), Xinmai 19 (1, 7 + 9, 5 + 10), Xinmai 26 (1, 7 + 8, 5 + 10) and Xinmai 28 (1, 7 + 9, 5 + 10). The results of this work should facilitate future breeding efforts and provide the theoretical basis for wheat quality improvement.
Background: Singapore General Hospital (SGH) is the largest acute tertiary-care hospital in Singapore. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk of acquiring COVID-19 in both the community and workplaces. SGH has a robust exposure management process including prompt contact tracing, immediate ring fencing, lock down of affected cubicles or single room isolation for patient contacts, and home isolation orders for staff contacts of COVID-19 cases during the containment phase of the pandemic. Contacts were also placed on enhanced surveillance with PCR testing on days 1 and 4 as well as daily antigen rapid tests (ARTs) for 10 days after exposure. Here, we describe the characteristic of HCWs with COVID-19 during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This retrospective observational study included all SGH HCWs who acquired COVID-19 during the third wave (ie, the 18-week period from September 1 to December 31, 2021) of the COVID-19 pandemic. Univariate analysis was used to compare characteristics of work-associated infection (WAI) and community-acquired infection (CAI) among HCWs. Results: Among a workforce of >10,000 at SGH, 335 HCWs acquired COVID-19 during study period. CAI (exposure to known clusters or household contact) accounted for 111 HCW infections (33.1%). Also, 48 HCWs (14.3%) had a WAI (ie, acquired at their work places where there was no patient contact). Among WAsI, only 5 HCWs had hospital-acquired infection (confirmed by phylogenetic analysis). The sources of exposure for the remaining 176 HCWs were unknown. Weekly incidence of COVID-19 among HCWs was comparable to the epidemiology curve of all cases in Singapore (Fig. 1 and 2). The mean age of HCWs with COVID-19 was 39.6 years, and most were women. At the time of positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test, 223 HCWs were symptomatic, and 67 (20.0%) of them had comorbidities. Only 16 HCWs (4.8%) required hospitalization, and all recovered fully with no mortality (Table 1). Being female was associated with community COVID-19 acquisition (OR, 4.6, P Conclusions: During the thrid wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a higher percentage of HCWs at SGH acquired the infection from the community than from the workplace. Safe management measures, such as universal masking, social distancing, and robust exposure management processes including prompt contact tracing and environmental disinfection, can reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the hospital work environment.
The parasite Fasciola hepatica is an important zoonotic parasite. The development of an animal model of F. hepatica's life cycle is critical for studying the biological characteristics of the parasite in snails and mammals. Eggs of F. hepatica of bovine origin were cultured, and metacercariae were obtained after infection of Galba pervia snails. The life cycle system of F. hepatica was initiated in 2 different animals by orally infecting rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice with the metacercariae. The animals' survival after infection, parasite migration in the animals and pathological damage to the liver were observed. We discovered that rabbits died due to acute suppurative hepatitis 60–69 days after infection, and eggs were found in the feces on day 63 of infection. The liver of SD rats showed punctate lesions on day 3 of infection, and further changes occurred as the infection progressed. However, liver repair was observed at week 9. SD rats survived for more than a year after infection and continued the F. hepatica life cycle. The liver lesions in Kunming mice after infection were similar but more severe than those in SD rats. Death was observed on the 31st post-infection day. We discovered that while rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice can all be used as animal models of F. hepatica, SD rats are more suitable experimental animals in terms of tolerance and pathological response.
Listeriosis is a rare but serious foodborne disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. This matched case–control study (1:1 ratio) aimed to identify the risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits for the occurrence of sporadic listeriosis in Beijing, China. Cases were defined as patients from whom Listeria was isolated, in addition to the presence of symptoms, including fever, bacteraemia, sepsis and other clinical manifestations corresponding to listeriosis, which were reported via the Beijing Foodborne Disease Surveillance System. Basic patient information and possible risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits were collected through face-to-face interviews. One hundred and six cases were enrolled from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020, including 52 perinatal cases and 54 non-perinatal cases. In the non-perinatal group, the consumption of Chinese cold dishes increased the risk of infection by 3.43-fold (95% confidence interval 1.27–9.25, χ2 = 5.92, P = 0.02). In the perinatal group, the risk of infection reduced by 95.2% when raw and cooked foods were well-separated (χ2 = 5.11, P = 0.02). These findings provide important scientific evidence for preventing infection by L. monocytogenes and improving the dissemination of advice regarding food safety for vulnerable populations.
Participation in online courses has become essential for training language professionals in under-resourced contexts with skills in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) (Godwin-Jones, 2014). Most online CALL courses use asynchronous computer-mediated communication (ACMC) to facilitate meaningful learning for participants. Although participants’ sustained engagement with ACMC is the target, global realities of participants interfere with their participation levels. This article investigates participants’ engagement profiles in asynchronous online discussions in an 8-week CALL-based global online course developed and implemented by a team at Iowa State University. Using a case study approach, nine focal participants’ engagement profiles have been analyzed in terms of identifying patterns of engagement in the discussion posts and their relation to the types of discussion prompts. Then, social network analysis (SNA) and thematic analysis were employed to investigate patterns of interaction among the participants in the replies. The results indicated that engagement patterns observed in discussion posts overall aligned with the primary goals of prompt types. SNA further identified two participants as social mediators to connect participants with each other. These findings are significant in that they suggest the effectiveness of using ACMC to promote co-construction of knowledge for a global audience. This article also provides implications regarding the design of discussion prompts to help maximize participant engagement with course content.
The study’s aims were (i) to identify the prevalence of health anxiety (HA) among the elderly in urban community healthcare centers and (ii) to determine whether HA is related to social, physical, or psychological factors.
It is a population-based observational study.
Data were collected from urban community healthcare centers in Chengdu, China, from October 2016 to March 2017.
A total of 893 participants aged ≥ 60 years.
The Short HA Inventory was used for HA assessment. Mental health status was assessed using the Geriatric Depression Inventory and Mini-Mental State Examination. Other information was collected through face-to-face interviews. Data analysis was performed using SPSS 19.0.
The point prevalence rate of HA was 9.53% (95%CI = 6.99%–12.07%). The number of chronic diseases was a positive factor associated with HA in a regression analysis. As compared with participants without chronic diseases, people with one (OR = 1.796; 95%CI = 0.546–5.909), two (OR = 2.922; 95%CI = 0.897–9.511), and three chronic diseases (OR = 6.448; 95%CI = 2.147–19.363) had higher odds of suffering from HA.
The prevalence of HA was high in the elderly population. Certain physical conditions, such as having chronic diseases, were significant impact factors. More attention should be paid to the situation of HA in this population.