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Adolescents have been largely neglected from tuberculosis control efforts. In low- to medium burden settings much of the tuberculosis burden in this age group occurs from school outbreaks. We report on a large tuberculosis outbreak in adolescents from a boarding high school in Jiangsu Province, China. From March to June 2018, a tuberculosis outbreak occurred in a boarding high school. We conducted an outbreak investigation involving clinical diagnostic tests and molecular analysis to determine the outbreak origin. Cases were detected through symptom screening, tuberculin skin testing (TST), chest radiography, sputum smear, solid sputum culture and GeneXpert MTB/RIF. Mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit-variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping and spoligotyping methods were performed on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) isolates to identify the outbreak origin. A total of 845 students and 131 teachers/staff attended a TST screening for tuberculosis infection. The prevalence of elevated tuberculin reactions at ≥5, ≥10 and ≥15 mm was 12.19% (119/976), 6.35% (62/976) and 3.28% (32/976), respectively. Radiographic abnormalities were present in 5.73% (56 of 976) individuals, 40 students and 16 teachers/staff. Of these, 12 students were diagnosed with confirmed tuberculosis. In total, 14 students (two index cases and 12 confirmed cases) were diagnosed and reported in the tuberculosis outbreak, an attack rate of 1.7% (14/847) among students (two index cases and 845 screened students). Results from MIRU-VNTR typing and spoligotyping analyses demonstrated that three M. tuberculosis strains belong to the Beijing family with corresponding MIRU-VNTR alleles. This school-based tuberculosis outbreak among adolescents demonstrates that transmission among individuals in this age group is common and must be prioritised. It suggests that identifying and timely diagnosis of smear-positive cases, especially in the early phase of outbreaks, is the key to preventing further spread among close contacts.
Some studies have shown that the excessive metabolic heat production is the primary cause for dead chicken embryos during late embryonic development. Increasing heat shock protein (HSP) expression and adjusting metabolism are important ways to maintain body homeostasis under heat stress. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of in ovo injection (IOI) of vitamin C (VC) at embryonic age 11th day (E11) on HSP and metabolic genes expression. A total of 320 breeder eggs were randomly divided into normal saline and VC injection groups. We detected plasma VC content and rectal temperature at chick’s age 1st day, and the mRNA levels of HSP and metabolic genes in embryonic livers at E14, 16 and 18, analysed the promoter methylation levels of differentially expressed genes and predicted transcription factors at the promoter regions. The results showed that IOI of VC significantly increased plasma VC content and decreased rectal temperature (P < 0.05). In ovo injection of VC significantly increased heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) genes expression at E16 and PDK4 and secreted frizzled related protein 1 (SFRP1) at E18 (P < 0.05). At E16, IOI of VC significantly decreased the methylation levels of total CpG sites and −336 CpG site in HSP60 promoter and −1137 CpG site in PDK4 promoter (P < 0.05). Potential binding sites for nuclear factor-1 were found around −389 and −336 CpG sites in HSP60 promoter and potential binding site for specificity protein 1 was found around −1137 CpG site in PDK4 promoter. Our results suggested that IOI of VC increased HSP60, PDK4 and SFRP1 genes expression at E16 and 18, which may be associated with the demethylation in gene promoters. Whether IOI of VC could improve hatchability needs to be further verified by setting uninjection group.
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.
The role of vegetable and fruit intake in reducing falls risk in elderly populations is uncertain. This study examined the associations of vegetable and fruit intake with falls-related hospitalisations in a prospective cohort study of elderly women (n 1429, ≥70 years), including effects on muscular function, which represented a potential causal pathway. Muscular function, measured using grip strength and timed-up-and-go (TUG), and vegetable and fruit intake, quantified using a validated FFQ, were assessed at baseline (1998). Incident falls-related hospitalisation over 14·5-year follow-up was captured by the Hospital Morbidity Data Collection, linked via the Western Australian Data Linkage System. Falls-related hospitalisation occurred in 568 (39·7 %) of women. In multivariable-adjusted models, falls-related hospitalisations were lower in participants consuming more vegetables (hazard ratio (HR) per 75 g serve: 0·90 (95 % CI 0·82, 0·99)), but not fruit intake (per 150 g serve: 1·03 (95 % CI 0·93, 1·14)). Only total cruciferous vegetable intake was inversely associated with falls-related hospitalisation (HR: per 20 g serve: 0·90 (95 % CI 0·83, 0·97)). Higher total vegetable intake was associated with lower odds for poor grip strength (OR: 0·87 (95 % CI 0·77, 0·97)) and slow TUG (OR: 0·88 (95 % CI 0·78, 0·99)). Including grip strength and TUG in the multivariable-adjusted model attenuated the association between total vegetable intake and falls-related hospitalisations. In conclusion, elderly women with higher total and cruciferous vegetable intake had lower injurious falls risk, which may be explained in a large part by better physical function. Falls reduction may be considered an additional benefit of higher vegetable intake in older women.
The golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) is an endangered species endemic to China. Relatively little is known about the taxonomic status of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) in these monkeys. Trichuris spp. (syn. Trichocephalus) are among the most important STHs, causing significant socio-economic losses and public health concerns. To date, five Trichuris species have been reported in golden monkeys, including a novel species, T. rhinopiptheroxella, based on morphology. In the present study, molecular and morphological analysis was conducted on adult Trichuris worms obtained from a dead golden snub-nosed monkey, to better understand their taxonomic status. Morphology indicated that the adult Trichuris worms were similar to T. rhinopiptheroxella. To further ascertain their phylogenetic position, the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of these worms was sequenced and characterized. The mt genome of T. rhinopiptheroxella is 14,186 bp, encoding 37 genes. Phylogenetic analysis based on the concatenated amino acids of 12 protein-coding genes (with the exception of atp8) indicated that T. rhinopiptheroxella was genetically distinct and exhibited 27.5–27.8% genetic distance between T. rhinopiptheroxella and other Trichuris spp. Our results support T. rhinopiptheroxella as a valid Trichuris species and suggest that mt DNA could serve as a marker for future studies on the classification, evolution and molecular epidemiology of Trichuris spp. from golden snub-nosed monkeys.
Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec) is an investigational, conditionally lytic, retroviral replicating vector (RRV). RRVs selectively infect cancer cells due to innate and adaptive immune response defects in cancers that allow virus replication, and the requirement for cell division for virus integration into the genome. Toca 511 spreads through tumors, stably delivering an optimized yeast cytosine deaminase gene that converts the prodrug Toca FC (investigational, extended-release 5-FC) into 5-FU within the tumor microenvironment. 5-FU kills infected dividing cancer cells and surrounding tumor, myeloid derived suppressor cells, and tumor associated macrophages, resulting in long-term tumor immunity in preclinical models. Data from a Phase 1 resection trial showed six durable CRs and extended mOS compared to historical controls. The FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Toca 511 & Toca FC in the treatment of patients with rHGG. Toca 5 is an international, randomized, open-label Phase 3 trial (NCT02414165) of Toca 511 & Toca FC versus SOC in patients undergoing resection for first or second recurrence of rHGG. Patients will be stratified by IDH1 status, KPS, and geographic region. Primary endpoint is OS, and secondary endpoints are durable response rate, durable clinical benefit rate, duration of durable response, and 12-month survival rate. Key inclusion criteria are histologically proven GBM or AA, tumor size ≥1cm and ≤5cm, and KPS ≥70. Immune monitoring and molecular profiling will be performed. Approximately 380 patients will be randomized. An IDMC is commissioned to review the safety and efficacy data which includes 2 interim analyses. Enrollment is ongoing.
Litter size has a great impact on the profit of swine producers. Uterine development is an important determinant of reproduction efficiency and could hence affect litter size. Chinese Erhualian pig is one of the most prolific breeds in the world, even though large phenotypic variation in litter size was observed within Erhualian sows. To dissect the genetic basis of the phenotypic variation, we herein conducted genome-wide association studies for total number born and number born alive (NBA) of Erhualian sows. In total, one significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (P<1.78e−06) and 11 suggestive SNPs (P<3.57e−05) were identified on 10 chromosomes, confirming seven previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) and uncovering six QTL for litter size or uterus length. One locus on Sus scrofa chromosome (SSC) 13 (79.28 to 90.43 Mb) harbored a cluster of suggestive SNPs associated with multiparous NBA. The SNP (rs81447100) within this region was confirmed to be significantly (P<0.05) associated with litter size in Erhualian (n=313), Sutai (n=173) and Yorkshire (n=488) populations. Retinol binding protein 2 and retinol binding protein 1 functionally related to the development of uterus were located in a region of 2 Mb around rs81447100. Moreover, four genes related to embryo implantation and development were also detected around other significant SNPs. Taken together, our findings provide a potential marker (rs81447100) for the genetic improvement of litter size not only in Chinese Erhualian pigs but also in European commercial pig breeds like Yorkshire, and would facilitate the final identification of causative variant(s) underlying the effect of SSC13 QTL on litter size.
The icing wind tunnel can simulate the air flow at a high altitude; such an air flow contains supercooled droplets moving at certain velocities. An integrated experiment method was proposed, and it included the icing test and shear stress measurements in the simulated environment of the icing wind tunnel. The error caused by the change in experimental environments was completely eliminated with this novel method. Thus, there was no discrepancy between the real-time and experimental values of shear stress between the ice and substrate. The experiments of icing and shear stress measurements are carried out by varying the following parameters: icing temperature, mean volume diameter (MVD) of droplets, and surface roughness of the substrate. The results indicate that the shear stress between the ice and the substrate increases with the decrease in temperature provided the temperature is relatively high. When the MVD value is 22 μm, the liquid water content is about 1 g/m3 and surface roughness is 2 μm. Under these conditions, the shear stress reaches its maximum value at a temperature of –15°C. The shear stress is also affected by the MVD values of droplets, and the surface roughness of substrate.
The role of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the pathogenesis of liver disease has recently gained much interest. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in patients with liver disease from three cities in Shandong and Henan provinces, China. A case–control study was conducted from December 2014 to November 2015 and included 1142 patients with liver disease and 1142 healthy controls. Serum samples were collected from all individuals and were examined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies. Information on the demographics, clinical, and lifestyle characteristics of the participants was collected from the medical records and by the use of a questionnaire. The prevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG was 19·7% in patients with liver disease compared with 12·17% in the controls. Only 13 patients had anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies compared with 12 control individuals (1·14% vs. 1·05%, respectively). The highest seroprevalence was detected in patients with liver cancer (22·13%), followed by hepatitis patients (20·86%), liver cirrhosis patients (20·42%), and steatosis patients (20%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that consumption of raw meat (odds ratio (OR) = 1·32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·01–1·71; P = 0·03) and source of drinking water from wells (OR = 1·56; 95% CI 1·08–2·27; P = 0·01) were independent risk factors for T. gondii infection in liver disease patients. These findings indicate that T. gondii infection is more likely to be present in patients with liver disease. Therefore, efforts should be directed toward health education of populations at high risk of T. gondii infection and measures should be taken to protect vulnerable patients with liver disease.
Serpins are a broadly distributed family of proteases found in various organisms that play an important role in regulating the immune response. Here, we identified a serpin-1 gene from Antheraea pernyi that encodes a 279 amino acid protein with a molecular weight of 30.8 kDa. We expressed the recombinant Ap-serpin-1 protein in Escherichia coli and used the purified protein to prepare rabbit anti-Ap-serpin-1 polyclonal antibodies. We calculated the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay titer of the antibody as 1:128000. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that Ap-serpin-1 was expressed in all examined tissues, including hemolymph, malpighian tubules, midgut, silk gland, integument and the fat body; the highest Ap-serpin-1 expression levels was detected in the fat body. We next investigated the expression patterns of Ap-serpin-1 in both fat body and hemolymph samples, following treatment with E. coli, Beauveria bassiana, Micrococcus luteus and nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV). We reported that NPV and M. luteus significantly enhanced Ap-serpin-1 expression in the fat body. While, in the hemolymph samples, treatment with B. bassiana and M. luteus was shown to upregulate Ap-serpin-1 expression at 24 h induction. Altogether, our results suggest that Ap-serpin-1 is involved in the innate immunity of A. pernyi.
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.
We carried out a pivot experiment to select distant luminous late-type stars on the basis on their 2MASS and GLIMPSE photometry. Low-resolution infrared spectra enabled us to measure the equivalent widths (EWs) of their CO band-heads at 2.293 μm, and to confirm an extraordinarily high detection rate of red supergiants (RSGs), i.e. 61% (Messineo et al. (2016)).
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
In tritrophic ‘plants–herbivores–natural enemies’ systems, there are relatively few reports concerning the role(s) of kairomones in pupal parasitism. Chouioia cunea Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), an endoparasitic chalcid wasp, parasitizes pupae of the fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea Drury). The role of host-related kairomones was investigated using electroantennogram (EAG) and behavioral techniques. Chemicals from some host stages (pupae) and host by-products (frass), induced arrestment behavior of female parasitoids, while chemicals from prepupae, were inactive. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of volatiles collected from pupae, frass and prepupae using solid-phase microextration revealed seven compounds with carbon chain lengths ranging from C4 to C20. All of the chemicals elicited significant EAG responses in C. cunea. Y-tube olfactometer bioassays demonstrated a significant positive response of mated female C. cunea to 1-dodecene. These data provide a better understanding of the host location mechanisms of pupal parasitoid.
Laser-driven relativistic electrons can be focused onto a high-Z convertor for generating high-brightness γ-rays, which in turn can be used to induce photonuclear reactions. In this work, photo-transmutation of long-lived radionuclide 135Cs induced by laser–plasma–interaction-driven electron source is demonstrated using Geant4 simulation (Agostinelli et al., 2003 Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A506, 250). High-energy electron generation, bremsstrahlung, as well as photonuclear reaction are observed at four different laser intensities: 1020, 5 × 1020, 1021, and 5 × 1021 W/cm2. The transmutation efficiency depends on the laser intensity and target size. An optimum laser intensity, namely 1021 W/cm2, was found, with the corresponding photonuclear reaction yield reaching 108 J−1 of the laser energy. Laser-generated electrons can therefore be a promising tool for transmutation reactions. Potential application in nuclear waste management is suggested.
Anthrax is still a severe public health problem and threat to human health. A cutaneous anthrax outbreak occurred in Jiangsu Province, a non-endemic anthrax region of eastern China, from July to August 2012. Epidemiological and laboratory investigation were initiated to trace the source of infection and identify the risk factors of the outbreak. On 25 July 2012, 17 persons were exposed to a sick cow, which had been imported from northeast China a few days previously. Of the 17 exposed, eight developed symptoms between 1 and 8 days and were diagnosed as cutaneous anthrax cases. Three main genes of Bacillus anthracis were detected from both human and cow meat samples, indicating that the outbreak was associated with this infected cow. A retrospective cohort study showed that contact with blood and presence of skin damage contributed to the case infection with B. anthracis. The outbreak highlights the need to enhance quarantine for imported livestock, which should have been vaccinated prior to importation, the significance of education for high-risk individuals, and training for primary healthcare workers even in anthrax-free areas.
Much progress has been made in recent years towards understanding how early-type galaxies (ETGs) form and evolve. SAURON (Bacon et al. 2001) integral-field spectroscopy from the ATLAS3D survey (Cappellari et al. 2011) has suggested that less massive ETGs are linked directly to spirals, whereas the most massive objects appear to form from a series of merging and accretion events (Cappellari et al. 2013). However, the ATLAS3D data typically only extends to about one half-light radius (or effective radius, Re), making it unclear if this picture is truly complete.
The behaviour of runaway electrons have been investigated in lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) and electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD) plasmas as well as the LHCD only plasmas in the HL-2A tokamak. The fast electrons generated by lower hybrid waves (LHWs) and electron cyclotron waves (ECWs) can act as a seed population for runaway electrons. In the LHCD only discharges, a large number of runaway electrons are produced after the termination of lower hybrid (LH) power by conversion of fast electrons into runaway electrons due to the fast electron tail which extends above the runaway critical energy. However, in contrast to LHCD only discharges, during the simultaneous application of LHCD and ECCD discharges, runaway electrons cannot be created by the termination of LH power when the ECCD is on duty. The runaway production is observed to be enhanced until the EC power termination. The loop voltage increase due to the termination of EC power gives rise to a decline in the critical runaway energy, which leads to some of the energetic fast electrons converting into runaway electrons via the acceleration from the toroidal electric field. That is, the fast electrons created by waves can be accelerated into the runaway regime due to the Dreicer process.