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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) enters latency after primary infection and can reactivate periodically with virus excreted in body fluids which can be called shedding. CMV shedding during the early stage of pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. The shedding pattern in healthy seropositive women who plan to have babies has not been well characterised. Vaginal swabs, urine and blood were collected from 1262 CMV IgG-positive women who intended to have babies and tested for CMV DNA by fluorogenic quantitative PCR method. Serum IgM was also detected. The association between sociodemographic characteristics and CMV shedding prevalence was analysed. Among 1262 seropositive women, 12.8% (161/1262) were detected CMV DNA positive in at least one body fluid. CMV DNA was more frequently detected in vaginal secretion (10.5%) than in urine (3.2%) and blood (0.6%) also with higher viral loads (P < 0.00). CMV shedding was more likely detected in IgM-positive women than IgM-negative women (29.5% (13/44) vs. 12.2% (148/1218); OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.55–5.93; P = 0.001). CMV shedding in vaginal secretion was highly correlated with shedding in urine, the immune state of IgM, the adverse pregnant history and younger age. CMV shedding was more commonly detected in vaginal secretion than in urine or blood with higher viral loads among healthy seropositive women of reproductive age. Further studies are needed to figure out whether the shedding is occasional or continuous and whether it is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Multiple lines of evidence suggest the presence of altered neuroimmune processes in patients with schizophrenia (Sz) and severe mood disorders. Recent studies using a novel free water diffusion tensor imaging (FW DTI) approach, proposed as a putative biomarker of neuroinflammation, atrophy, or edema, have shown significantly increased FW in patients with Sz. However no studies to date have investigated the longitudinal stability of FW alterations during the early course of psychosis, nor have studies focused separately on FE psychosis patients with Sz or bipolar disorder (BD) with psychotic features.
The current study included 188 participants who underwent diffusion magnetic resonance imaging scanning at baseline. Sixty-four participants underwent follow-up rescanning after 12 months. DTI-based alterations in patients were calculated using voxelwise tract-based spatial statistics and region of interest analyses.
Patients with FE psychosis, both Sz and BD, exhibited increased FW at illness onset which remained unchanged over the 12-month follow-up period. Preliminary analyses suggested that antipsychotic medication exposure was associated with higher FW in gray matter that reached significance in the BD group. Higher FW in white matter correlated with negative symptom severity.
Our results support the presence of elevated FW at the onset of psychosis in both Sz and BD, which remains stable during the early course of the illness, with no evidence of either progression or remission.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
Optimal nitrogen (N) management for maize in the film-mulched production systems that are widely used in dryland agriculture is difficult because top-dressing N is impractical. The current research determined how matching N supply and demand was achieved before and after silking stages, when single applications of controlled release urea (CRU) were combined with conventional urea in film-mulched maize production. The CRU: urea mixture was applied in a 1 : 2 or 2 : 1 ratio and all three fertilizer regimes (urea alone and CRU: urea at 1 : 2 or 2 : 1) were applied at N rates of 180 and 240 kg/ha over 2 years. The 1 : 2 CRU: urea mixture, applied once at 180 kg N/ha, was found to synchronize N supply with demand, thereby reducing N losses. The highest grain yields (11·8–12·0 t/ha), N uptake (232–239 kg/ha), N recovery (65·8–67·7%) and high net economic return were achieved with this regime. These results indicate that a single application of a mixture of CRU and urea can synchronize N supply with demand and provide higher yields and profits than conventional N fertilization in film-mulched maize systems.
Lutein benefits human health significantly, including that of the eyes, skin and heart. Therefore, increasing lutein content in soybean seeds is an important objective for breeding programmes. However, no information about soybean lutein-related quantitative trait loci (QTL) has been reported, as of 2016. The aim of the present study was to identify QTLs underlying the lutein content in soybean seeds. A population including 129 recombinant inbred lines was developed from the cross between ‘Dongnong46’ (lutein 13·10 µg/g) and ‘L-100’ (lutein 23·96 µg/g), which significantly differed in seed lutein contents. This population was grown in ten environments including Harbin in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015; Hulan in 2013, 2014 and 2015; and Acheng in 2013, 2014 and 2015. A total of 213 simple sequence repeat markers were used to construct the genetic linkage map, which covered approximately 3623·39 cM, with an average distance of 17·01 cM between markers. In the present study, eight QTLs associated with lutein content were found initially, which could explain 1·01–19·66% of the observed phenotypic variation in ten different tested environments. The phenotypic contribution of qLU-1 (located near BARC-Satt588 on chromosome 9 (Chr 9; linkage group (LG) K)) was >10% across seven tested environments, while qLU-2 (located near Satt192 of Chr 12 (LG H)) and qLU-3 (located near Satt353 of Chr12 (LGH)) could explain 5–10% of the observed phenotypic variation in more than seven environments, respectively. qLU-5, qLU-6, qLU-7 and qLU-8 could be detected in more than four environments. These eight QTLs were novel, and have considerable potential value for marker-assistant selection of higher lutein content in soybean lines.
Worldwide 350 million people suffer from major depression, with the majority of cases occurring in low- and middle-income countries. We examined the patterns, correlates and care-seeking behaviour of adults suffering from major depressive episode (MDE) in China.
A nationwide study recruited 512 891 adults aged 30–79 years from 10 provinces across China during 2004–2008. The 12-month prevalence of MDE was assessed by the Modified Composite International Diagnostic Interview-short form. Logistic regression yielded adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of MDE associated with socio-economic, lifestyle and health-related factors and major stressful life events.
Overall, 0.7% of participants had MDE and a further 2.4% had major depressive symptoms. Stressful life events were strongly associated with MDE [adjusted OR 14.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 13.7–15.7], with a dose–response relationship with the number of such events experienced. Family conflict had the highest OR for MDE (18.9, 95% CI 16.8–21.2) among the 10 stressful life events. The risk of MDE was also positively associated with rural residency (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.4–1.7), low income (OR 2.3, 95% CI 2.1–2.4), living alone (OR 2.6, 95% CI 2.3–3.0), smoking (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.3–1.6) and certain other mental disorders (e.g. anxiety, phobia). Similar, albeit weaker, associations were observed with depressive symptoms. Among those with MDE, about 15% sought medical help or took psychiatric medication, 15% reported having suicidal ideation and 6% reported attempting suicide.
Among Chinese adults, the patterns and correlates of MDE were generally consistent with those observed in the West. The low rates of seeking professional help and treatment highlight the great gap in mental health services in China.
Chinese psychiatrists have gradually started to focus on those who are deemed to be at ‘clinical high-risk (CHR)’ for psychosis; however, it is still unknown how often those individuals identified as CHR from a different country background than previously studied would transition to psychosis. The objectives of this study are to examine baseline characteristics and the timing of symptom onset, help-seeking, or transition to psychosis over a 2-year period in China.
The presence of CHR was determined with the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) at the participants' first visit to the mental health services. A total of 86 (of 117) CHR participants completed the clinical follow-up of at least 2 years (73.5%). Conversion was determined using the criteria of presence of psychotic symptoms (in SIPS). Analyses examined baseline demographic and clinical predictors of psychosis and trajectory of symptoms over time. Survival analysis (Kaplan–Meier) methods along with Log-rank tests were performed to illustrate the relationship of baseline data to either conversion or non-conversion over time. Cox regression was performed to identify baseline predictors of conversion by the 2-year follow-up.
In total 25 (29.1%) of 86 completers transitioned to a psychotic disorder over the course of follow-up. Among the CHR sample, the mean time between attenuated symptom onset and professional help-seeking was about 4 months on average, and converters developed fully psychotic symptoms about 12 months after symptom onset. Compared with those CHR participants whose risk syndromes remitted over the course of the study, converters had significantly longer delays (p = 0.029) for their first visit to a professional in search of help. At baseline assessment, the conversion subgroup was younger, had poorer functioning, higher total SIPS positive symptom scores, longer duration of untreated prodromal symptoms, and were more often given psychosis-related diagnoses and subsequently prescribed antipsychotics in the clinic.
Chinese CHR identified primarily by a novel clinical screening approach had a 2-year transition rate comparable with those of specialised help-seeking samples world-wide. Early clinical intervention with this functionally deteriorating clinical population who are suffering from attenuated psychotic symptoms, is a next step in applying the CHR construct in China.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease that was caused by a novel bunyavirus, SFTSV. The study aimed to disclose the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of SFTSV infection in China so far. An integrated clinical database comprising 1920 SFTS patients was constructed by combining first-hand clinical information collected from SFTS sentinel hospitals (n = 1159) and extracted data (n = 761) from published literature. The considered variables comprised clinical manifestations, routine laboratory tests of acute infection, hospitalization duration and disease outcome. SFTSV-IgG data from 19 119 healthy subjects were extracted from the published papers. The key clinical variables, case-fatality rate (CFR) and seroprevalence were estimated by meta-analysis. The most commonly seen clinical manifestations of SFTSV infection were fever, anorexia, myalgia, chill and lymphadenopathy. The major laboratory findings were elevated lactate dehydrogenase, aminotransferase, followed by thrombocytopenia, lymphocytopenia, elevated alanine transaminase and creatine kinase. A CFR of 12·2% was estimated, significantly higher than that obtained from national reporting data, but showing no geographical difference. In our paper, the mortality rate was about 1·9 parts per million. Older age and longer delay to hospitalization were significantly associated with fatal outcome. A pooled seroprevalence of 3·0% was obtained, which increased with age, while comparable for gender. This study represents a clinical characterization on the largest group of SFTS patients up to now. A higher than expected CFR was obtained. A wider spectrum of clinical index was suggested to be used to identify SFTSV infection, while the useful predictor for fatal outcome was found to be restricted.
A comparative study of the effect of dietary nitrogen (N) content [Low: 11·0; Medium-Low (MLow): 16·7; Medium-High (Mhigh): 23·1; High: 29·2 N g/kg dry matter (DM)] on apparent digestibilities, rumen fermentation and N balance was conducted in coarse wool Tibetan sheep and Gansu Alpine fine-wool sheep at Wushaoling in the northeast of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. It was hypothesized that responses would differ between breeds and that responses would favour Tibetan over fine-wool sheep at low N intakes. Eight wethers [four Tibetan sheep and four fine-wool sheep, 20–24 months old; body weight ± standard deviation was 52 ± 3·2 kg] were used in two concurrent 4 × 4 Latin square designs. Dry matter, organic matter, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre digestibilities were higher in Tibetan than fine-wool sheep when fed the Low, MLow and High N diets while N retention was higher when the animals were fed the Low and MLow N diets. Tibetan sheep had a higher rumen pH than fine-wool sheep; however, total volatile fatty acids were similar between breeds. Molar proportions of acetate were higher but propionate and butyrate lower in Tibetan than fine-wool sheep. In addition, Tibetan sheep had higher concentrations of ruminal free amino acid-N and soluble protein-N than fine-wool sheep. Plasma and saliva urea-N concentrations were higher in Tibetan than fine-wool sheep when supplied with the Low N diet. It was concluded that Tibetan sheep were better able to cope with low N feed than fine-wool sheep because of the higher N retention and higher DM and fibre digestibilities with Low and MLow diets.
Meta-analyses support the efficacy of cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) for schizophrenia in western cultures. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of CBT and supportive therapy (ST) for patients with schizophrenia in China.
A multicentre randomized controlled, single-blinded, parallel-group trial enrolled a sample of 192 patients with schizophrenia. All patients were offered 15 sessions of either CBT or ST over 24 weeks and followed up for an additional 60 weeks. All measures used were standardized instruments with good reliability and validity. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was used to assess symptoms of schizophrenia. The Schedule for Assessing Insight (SAI) was used to assess patients’ insight and the Personal and Social Performance Scale (PSP) was used to assess their social functioning.
Effect-size analysis showed that patients made rapid improvements in all symptoms, insight and social functioning as measured by the PANSS, SAI and PSP at 12 and 24 weeks and maintained these improvements over the course of the study to 84 weeks. Patients in the CBT group showed significantly greater and more durable improvement in PANSS total score (p = 0.045, between-group d = 0.48), positive symptoms (p = 0.018, between-group d = 0.42) and social functioning (p = 0.037, between-group d = 0.64), with significant differences emerging after completion of therapy.
Both CBT and ST combined with medication had benefits on psychopathology, insight and social functioning of patients with schizophrenia. CBT was significantly more effective than ST on overall, positive symptoms and social functioning of patients with schizophrenia in the long term.
Active symptom surveillance was applied to three selected communities ( 160 147 persons) in Tianjin from 2010 to 2012. We examined 1089 individuals showing pertussis-like symptoms, of which 1022 nasopharyngeal specimens were tested for pertussis by polymerase chain reaction and 802 sera for anti-pertussis toxin antibodies. Of the total cases tested, 113 were confirmed, and their demographic, clinical, and vaccination-related data were collected. The annual incidence was 23·52 cases/100 000 persons among communities, which was 16·22 times that obtained via hospital reports for the same period (P < 0·001). The actual incidence in the 15–69 years age group was most significantly underestimated by hospitals, given that it was 43·08 times that of the reported hospital rate. Among the cases aged <15 years, 84·5% were individuals who had been fully vaccinated. The misdiagnosis rate was as high as 94·69%, and only 5·31% of the confirmed pertussis cases were properly diagnosed as pertussis at their first medical visit. Pertussis incidence in China has been severely underestimated and this was in part due to a high misdiagnosis rate. Adolescents and adults have become new high-risk populations. Future work should focus on reinforcing immunization programmes, especially among adolescents and adults.
A suspected dengue fever outbreak occurred in 2010 at a solitary construction site in Shenzhen city, China. To investigate this epidemic, we used serological, molecular biological, and bioinformatics techniques. Of nine serum samples from suspected patients, we detected seven positive for dengue virus (DENV) antibodies, eight for DENV-1 RNA, and three containing live viruses. The isolated virus, SZ1029 strain, was sequenced and confirmed as DENV-1, showing the highest E-gene homology to D1/Malaysia/36000/05 and SG(EHI)DED142808 strains recently reported in Southeast Asia. Further phylogenetic tree analysis confirmed their close relationship. At the epidemic site, we also detected 14 asymptomatic co-workers (out of 291) positive for DENV antibody, and DENV-1-positive mosquitoes. Thus, we concluded that DENV-1 caused the first local dengue fever outbreak in Shenzhen. Because no imported case was identified, the molecular fingerprints of the SZ1029 strain suggest this outbreak may be due to vertical transmission imported from Southeast Asia.
The relationship between recurrent major depression (MD) in women and suicidality is complex. We investigated the extent to which patients who suffered with various forms of suicidal symptomatology can be distinguished from those subjects without such symptoms.
We examined the clinical features of the worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV MD between the ages of 30 and 60 years from across China. Student's t tests, and logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between suicidality and other clinical features of MD.
Suicidal symptomatology is significantly associated with a more severe form of MD, as indexed by both the number of episodes and number of MD symptoms. Patients reporting suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts experienced a significantly greater number of stressful life events. The depressive symptom most strongly associated with lifetime suicide attempt was feelings of worthlessness (odds ratio 4.25, 95% confidence interval 2.9–6.3). Excessive guilt, diminished concentration and impaired decision-making were also significantly associated with a suicide attempt.
This study contributes to the existing literature on risk factors for suicidal symptomatology in depressed women. Identifying specific depressive symptoms and co-morbid psychiatric disorders may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients. These findings could be helpful in identifying those who need more intense treatment strategies in order to prevent suicide.
Stimulating the maternal immune system before or during pregnancy can dramatically improve morphologic outcome in mice that have been exposed to teratogens. For example, maternal immune stimulation in mice reduced craniofacial and palate defects, heart defects, digit and limb defects, tail malformations and neural tube defects caused by diverse teratogens that included chemical agents, hyperthermia, X-rays and diabetes mellitus. Several different procedures of immune stimulation were effective and included footpad injection with Freund's Complete Adjuvant, intraperitoneal (IP) injection with inert particles or attenuated Bacillus Calmette–Guerin, intrauterine injection with allogenic or xenogenic lymphocytes, or intravascular, intrauterine or IP injection with immunomodulatory cytokines. Limited information is available regarding mechanisms by which such immune stimulation reduces fetal dysmorphogenesis; however, cytokines of maternal origin have been suggested as effector molecules that act on the placenta or fetus to improve development. These collective data raise novel questions about the possibility of unrecognized maternal immune system regulatory activity in normal fetal development. This manuscript reviews the literature showing maternal immune protection against morphologic birth defects. Potential operating mechanisms are discussed, and the possibility is considered that a suppressed maternal immune system may negatively impact fetal development.
Tight networks of interwoven carbon nanotube bundles are formed in our highly conductive composite. The composite possesses properties suggesting a two-dimensional percolative network rather than other reported dispersions displaying three-dimensional networks. Binding nanotubes into large but tight bundles dramatically alters the morphology and electronic transport dynamics of the composite. This enables it to carry higher levels of charge in the macroscale leading to conductivities as high as 1600 S/cm. We now discuss in further detail, the electronic and physical properties of the nanotube composites through Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy analysis. When controlled and used appropriately, the interesting properties of these composites reveal their potential for practical device applications. For instance, we used this composite to fabricate coatings, which improve the properties of an electromagnetic antenna/amplifier transducer. The resulting transducer possesses a broadband range up to GHz frequencies. A strain gauge transducer was also fabricated using changes in conductivity to monitor structural deformations in the composite coatings.