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Critical shortages of personal protective equipment especially N95 respirators during the COVID- 19 pandemic continues to be a source of concern. Novel methods of N95 filtering facepiece respirator decontamination that can be scaled-up for in-hospital use can help address this concern and keep HCWs safe.
A multidisciplinary pragmatic study was conducted to evaluate the use of an ultrasonic room high-level disinfection system (HLDS) that generates aerosolized peracetic acid (PAA) and hydrogen peroxide for decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators. A cycle duration that consistently achieved disinfection of N95 respirators (defined as ≥6 log10 reductions in bacteriophage MS2 and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores inoculated onto respirators) was identified. The treated masks were assessed for changes to their hydrophobicity, material structure, strap elasticity, and filtration efficiency (FE). PAA and hydrogen peroxide off-gassing from treated masks were also assessed.
The PAA room HLDS was effective for disinfection of bacteriophage MS2 and G. stearothermophilus spores on respirators in a 2447 cubic feet room with aerosol deploy and dwell times of 16 and 32 minutes, respectively. The total cycle time was 1 hour and 16 minutes. After 5 treatment cycles, no adverse effects were detected on filtration efficiency, structural integrity, or strap elasticity. There was no detectable off-gassing of PAA and hydrogen peroxide from the treated masks at 20 and 60 minutes after the disinfection cycle respectively.
The PAA room disinfection system provides a rapidly scalable solution for in-hospital decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators during the COVID- 19 pandemic.
The objective of this study was to evaluate, by means of RNA-sequencing, the direct and transgenerational effect of a reduced balanced protein diet on broiler breeder metabolism. Chickens of the F0 generation were fed a control (C) or reduced balanced protein (RP) diet and their F1 progeny was fed a C or RP diet as well, resulting in four groups of chickens, C/C, C/RP, RP/C and RP/RP. While both a direct and a maternal effect were seen on body weight, breast muscle weight and abdominal fat weight in the F1 generation, the direct effect was the most dominant one. The liver transcriptome in the F1 generation showed that amino acid metabolism was upregulated in chickens that received control feed when compared to their respective contemporaries that received the reduced protein diet. Interestingly, chickens hatched from control fed hens but reared on reduced protein diet (C/RP group) activated a fatty acid metabolism, expressing more FADS1, FADS2 and ELOVL2, when compared to control fed chickens hatched from control fed hens (C/C group), while chickens hatched from reduced protein fed hens that received themselves the same reduced protein diet (RP/RP group) triggered their glucose metabolism more, showing elevated levels of PFKL, PFKFB4 and ALDOC mRNA compared to the chickens hatched from reduced protein fed hens but reared on a control diet (RP/C group). This suggests that the maternal protein diet has an impact on the metabolism of broilers when they are reared on a reduced balanced protein diet.
The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a ‘Critically Endangered’ migratory shorebird. The species faces an array of threats in its non-breeding range, making conservation intervention essential. However, conservation efforts are reliant on identifying the species’ key stopover and wintering sites. Using Maximum Entropy models, we predicted Spoon-billed Sandpiper distribution across the non-breeding range, using data from recent field surveys and satellite tracking. Model outputs suggest only a limited number of stopover sites are suitable for migrating birds, with sites in the Yellow Sea and on the Jiangsu coast in China highlighted as particularly important. All the previously known core wintering sites were identified by the model including the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Nan Thar Island and the Gulf of Mottama. In addition, the model highlighted sites subsequently found to be occupied, and pinpointed potential new sites meriting investigation, notably on Borneo and Sulawesi, and in parts of India and the Philippines. A comparison between the areas identified as most likely to be occupied and protected areas showed that very few locations are covered by conservation designations. Known sites must be managed for conservation as a priority, and potential new sites should be surveyed as soon as is feasible to assess occupancy status. Site protection should take place in concert with conservation interventions including habitat management, discouraging hunting, and fostering alternative livelihoods.
Tobacco smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable illness and death and is heritable with complex underpinnings. Converging evidence suggests a contribution of the polygenic risk for smoking to the use of tobacco and other substances. Yet, the underlying brain mechanisms between the genetic risk and tobacco smoking remain poorly understood.
Genomic, neuroimaging, and self-report data were acquired from a large cohort of adolescents from the IMAGEN study (a European multicenter study). Polygenic risk scores (PGRS) for smoking were calculated based on a genome-wide association study meta-analysis conducted by the Tobacco and Genetics Consortium. We examined the interrelationships among the genetic risk for smoking initiation, brain structure, and the number of occasions of tobacco use.
A higher smoking PGRS was significantly associated with both an increased number of occasions of tobacco use and smaller cortical volume of the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Furthermore, reduced cortical volume within this cluster correlated with greater tobacco use. A subsequent path analysis suggested that the cortical volume within this cluster partially mediated the association between the genetic risk for smoking and the number of occasions of tobacco use.
Our data provide the first evidence for the involvement of the OFC in the relationship between smoking PGRS and tobacco use. Future studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying tobacco smoking should consider the mediation effect of the related neural structure.
On coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wards, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid was frequently detected on high-touch surfaces, floors, and socks inside patient rooms. Contamination of floors and shoes was common outside patient rooms on the COVID-19 wards but decreased after improvements in floor cleaning and disinfection were implemented.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global health threat. A hospital in Zhuhai adopted several measures in Fever Clinic Management (FCM) to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19. FCM has been proved to be effective in preventing nosocomial cross infection. Faced with the emergency, the hospital undertook creative operational steps in relation to the control and spread of COVID-19, with special focuses on physical and administrative layout of buildings, staff training and preventative procedures. The first operational step was to set up triaging stations at all entrances and then complete a standard and qualified fever clinic, which was isolated from the other buildings within our hospital complex. Secondly, the hospital established its human resource reservation for emergency response and the allocation of human resources to ensure strict and standardised training methods through the hospital for all medical staff and ancillary employees. Thirdly, the hospital divided the fever clinic into partitioned areas and adapted a three-level triaging system. The experiences shared in this paper would be of practical help for the facilities that are encountering or will encounter the challenges of COVID-19, i.e. to prevent nosocomial cross infection among patients and physicians.
Trichosporon is a yeast-like basidiomycete, a conditional pathogenic fungus that is rare in the clinic but often causes fatal infections in immunocompromised individuals. Trichosporon asahii is the most common pathogenic fungus in this genus and the occurrence of infections has dramatically increased in recent years. Here, we report a systematic literature review detailing 140 cases of T. asahii infection reported during the past 23 years. Statistical analysis shows that T. asahii infections were most frequently reported within immunodeficient or immunocompromised patients commonly with blood diseases. Antibiotic use, invasive medical equipment and chemotherapy were the leading risk factors for acquiring infection. In vitro susceptibility, clinical information and prognosis analysis showed that voriconazole is the primary drug of choice in the treatment of T. asahii infection. Combination treatment with voriconazole and amphotericin B did not show superiority over either drug alone. Finally, we found that the types of infections prevalent in China are significantly different from those in other countries. These results provide detailed information and relevant clinical treatment strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of T. asahii infection.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has greatly impacted health-care systems worldwide, leading to an unprecedented rise in demand for health-care resources. In anticipation of an acute strain on established medical facilities in Dallas, Texas, federal officials worked in conjunction with local medical personnel to convert a convention center into a Federal Medical Station capable of caring for patients affected by COVID-19. A 200,000 square foot event space was designated as a direct patient care area, with surrounding spaces repurposed to house ancillary services. Given the highly transmissible nature of the novel coronavirus, the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) was of particular importance for personnel staffing the facility. Furthermore, nationwide shortages in the availability of PPE necessitated the reuse of certain protective materials. This article seeks to delineate the procedures implemented regarding PPE in the setting of a COVID-19 disaster response shelter, including workspace flow, donning and doffing procedures, PPE conservation, and exposure event protocols.
To describe the laboratory findings of cases of death with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to establish a scoring system for predicting death, we conducted this single-centre, retrospective, observational study including 336 adult patients (≥18 years old) with severe or critically ill COVID-19 admitted in two wards of Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, who had definite outcomes (death or discharge) between 1 February 2020 and 13 March 2020. Single variable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify mortality-related factors. We combined multiple factors to predict mortality, which was validated by receiver operating characteristic curves. As a result, in a total of 336 patients, 34 (10.1%) patients died during hospitalisation. Through multivariable logistic regression, we found that decreased lymphocyte ratio (Lymr, %) (odds ratio, OR 0.574, P < 0.001), elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) (OR 1.513, P = 0.009), and raised D-dimer (DD) (OR 1.334, P = 0.002) at admission were closely related to death. The combined prediction model was developed by these factors with a sensitivity of 100.0% and specificity of 97.2%. In conclusion, decreased Lymr, elevated BUN, and raised DD were found to be in association with death outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19. A scoring system was developed to predict the clinical outcome of these patients.
In recent years, men who have sex with men (MSM) constitute a major group of HIV transmission in China. High primary drug-resistance (PDR) rate in MSM also represents a serious challenge for the Chinese antiretroviral therapy (ART) program. To assess the efficiency of ART in controlling HIV/AIDS infection among MSM, we developed a compartmental model for the annually reported HIV/AIDS MSM from 2007 to 2019 in the Zhejiang Province of China. R0 was 2.3946 (95% CI (2.2961–2.4881)). We predict that 90% of diagnosed HIV/AIDS individuals will have received treatment till 2020, while the proportion of the diagnosed remains as low as 40%. Even when the proportion of the diagnosed reaches 90%, R0 is still larger than the level of AIDS epidemic elimination. ART can effectively control the spread of HIV, even in the presence of drug resistance. The 90-90-90 strategy alone may not eliminate the HIV epidemic in Chinese MSM. Behavioural and biologic interventions are the most effective interventions to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic among MSM.
To determine the clinical significance of arachnoid cysts.
The scans of 6978 patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging of the internal acoustic meatus for unilateral cochleovestibular symptoms were retrospectively reviewed. We identified the scans with arachnoid cysts, and assessed the statistical associations between the laterality, location and size of the arachnoid cyst, the laterality of symptoms, the patients’ age and gender.
In a total of 37 arachnoid cysts identified in 36 patients (0.5 per cent), no associations were identified between the laterality of symptoms and the laterality of the arachnoid cyst, regardless of its size or location. There were no significant associations between the location of the arachnoid cyst and the age (p = 0.99) or gender of the patient (p = 0.13), or size (p = 0.656) or side of the cyst (p = 0.61). None of the cysts with repeat imaging scans (17 cysts) demonstrated growth.
Our results suggest that most, if not all, arachnoid cysts are of no clinical significance. Given their indolent behaviour, even serial imaging is not essential.
There seems to be geographical differences in decisions about breast conserving surgery (BCS) in breast cancer patients. This study was to evaluate patients’ attitude to BCS and to assess the factors affecting cancer practice in West China.
A structured questionnaire was distributed to 184 patients, eliciting information about the patients’ characteristics, occupation, education, family life, recognition of illness, knowledge about BCS, the main means of gaining surgery information, selecting surgery approaches, preferences to breast reservation.
In all, 163 patients completed the questionnaire. The results indicated that only 7.4% of patients received BCS and 23% of the remaining patients desired to have BCS and the affecting factors were significantly associated with their family life, recognition of illness and the main means of gaining surgery information (P < 0.05). No associations were between BCS selecting and the other variables studied. The most frequent reasons for selecting BCS were keeping the female shape and improving quality of life (71%), the second most were postoperative recovery, minimal influence of physical function (47%) and patients’ knowledge about BCS (42%). The most frequent reasons for not selecting BCS were uncertainty about BCS results and worry about recurrence (81%), the second most was the elderly age unnecessary for BCS (40%).
The findings indicate that breast cancer patients in West China do not take BCS as the first choice as the best treatment method. It is warranted that further study of more patients, attitude of patients’ partners and physicians to BCS.
Studies revealed that prenatal stress (PS) may increase the vulnerability to depression in their offspring, and ERK-CREB signal system might play a role in its mechanism.
Objectives and aims
The present study investigated the effect of MK-801 on depressive-like behavior and its impacts on ERK2, CREB, Bcl-2 mRNA expression in PS female rat offspring.
The pregnant rats were randomly divided into three groups, the control group (Con) was left undisturbed, the PS-saline group (PS-saline) and the PS-MK-801 group (PS-MK-801) were subjected to restraint stress on days 14–20 of pregnancy three times daily for 45 min, and received an i.p. administration of saline or MK-801(sigma, 0.2 mg/kg) 30 min before the first stress respectively. Forced swimming test was undertaken to assess depressive-like behavior in one month female offspring. ERK2, CREB, Bcl-2 mRNA in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and striatum were detected by RT-PCR.
PS-saline spent significantly more immobile time compared to Con and PS-MK-801 (P < 0.05). ERK2 and CREB mRNA expression in hippocampus and frontal cortex was significantly decreased in PS-saline compared to Con and PS-MK-801 (P < 0.05), while in striatum CREB mRNA expression in PS-saline was lower than Con (P < 0.05). Bcl-2 mRNA expression in hippocampus and striatum was significantly decreased in PS-saline (P < 0.05), and in frontal cortex, its expression was significantly lower in PS-saline and PS-MK-801 (P < 0.05).
PS may suppress ERK-CREB signal pathway in female offspring rats, which could be partly prevented by MK- 801. (Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, No: 30970952).
Previous studies have shown that the polymorphisms in COMT gene and environmental factors affect the risk of drug dependence, but there’s no research shown in relapse of heroin dependence, and the mechanism underlying remains uncertain.
Examine the interaction between allelic variants of the catechol-O- methlytransferase (COMT) gene and environmental factors (encountering drug-related environmental situations, social support) in contribution to relapse in heroin dependence.
Construct the gene-environment interaction model in order to understand the mechanism for relapse in heroin dependence.
The 249 heroin dependent subjects who followed up at one year after abstinent by using the natural history interview (NHI), social support rateing Scale (SSRS), and other questionnaires were genotyped for eight tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on the COMT gene. General Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (GMDR) was used to construct the gene-environment interaction model which impacting relapse in heroin dependence.
The relapse group had higher frequencies of encountering drug-related environment (EDE) and G allele and GG genotype frequencies on COMT gene rs4680 locus and less Social Support Scale scores than that in the abstinence group. Logistic regression analysis showed that encountering more drug-related environment and GG genotype carriers were the risk factors for relapse in heroin dependence. GMDR analysis showed that the COMT gene was interact with the frequency of EDE and social support level to impact the relapse in heroin dependence.
Gene-environment interaction between COMT gene and the frequency of EDE and social support were related to heroin dependence relapse.
Studies have convinced that the rodents' exposure to prenatal stress (PNS) may induce depression and anxiety to their offspring. We focused on the glutamatergic system to explore the mechanisms.
Objectives and aims:
By examining EAAT2,EAAT3 (Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 2,3), which are the only substances to inactivate glutamate in nervous system, we explored the effect of PNS on glutamatergic system.
Pregnant rats were assigned to Control group (CON), Middle period of PNS group (MPS) and Late period of PNS group (LPS). MPS and LPS rats were exposed to restraint stress on days 7–13, 14–20 of pregnancy three times daily for 45 min. EAAT2 and EAAT3 mRNA expression in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and striatum of one month rat offspring were checked by RT-PCR.
For the female offspring, EAAT2 mRNA expression of hippocampus in LPS and MPS was significantly lower compared to CON(P = 0.008,p = 0.003); EAAT2 and EAAT3 mRNA expression of frontal cortex in LPS were significantly lower than CON (p = 0.003,p = 0.013). for the male offspring, EAAT2 and EAAT3 mRNA expression of hippocampus in LPS and MPS were significantly lower (p = 0.005, p = 0.05); EAAT2 mRNA expression of frontal cortex was significantly lower in LPS (p = 0.022); EAAT2 mRNA in LPS group and MPS were significantly lower (p = 0.009, p = 0.014), and EAAT3 mRNA expression of striatum in MPS was significantly lower (p = 0.049).
Decreased EAAT2 and EAAT3 of PNS may explain the increase of glutamate in synaptic cleft and its downstream excitotoxicity. (Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, No: 30970952)
Ketamine exerts fast acting, robust, and lasting antidepressant effects in a sub-anesthetic dose, however, the underlying mechanisms are still not fully elucidated. Recent studies have suggested that ketamine's antidepressant effects are probably attributed to the activation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors. The present study aimed to observe the effects of AMPA receptor modulators on mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression during the procedure of ketamine exerting antidepressant effects. Therefore, we pretreated rats with NBQX, an AMPA receptor antagonist, or CX546, an AMPA receptor agonist, and subsequently observed the immobility time during the forced swimming test (FST) and the hippocampal and prefrontal cortical levels of mTOR and BDNF. The results showed ketamine decreased the immobility time of rats during the FST and increased the hippocampal and prefrontal cortical mTOR and BDNF. NBQX pretreatment significantly increased the immobility time and decreased the levels of mTOR and BDNF when compared with vehicle 1 (DMSO) pretreatment. CX546 pretreatment significantly decreased the immobility time and increased the levels of mTOR and BDNF when compared with vehicle 2 (DMSO + ethanol) pretreatment. Our results suggest ketamine-induced antidepressant effects are associated with AMPA receptors-mediated upregulation of mTOR and BDNF in rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
The implementation of advanced multi-level modulation schemes such as quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK) in contrast to the conventional on–off keying is crucial to further boost the terahertz (THz) communications speed. Thereby, carrier phase noise reduction in the THz range is one of the key goals that need to be urgently achieved. In this paper, the photonic-based THz sources and the phase noise problem are briefly summarized. Then, a low phase-noise photonic source based on the stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) optical fiber cavity is first applied for a 300-GHz-band QPSK wireless communication link. The highest data rate at forward-error-correction limited condition was 15 Gbaud utilizing the SBS-based photonic source with a small transmit power of ~ −36 dBm. Its transmission characteristics are evaluated and compared with the conventional optical frequency comb generator (OFCG)-based source at 5 Gbaud. The proposed SBS-based photonic source has been proven to offer better performances than the OFCG-based source with respect to the phase noise, optical carrier to noise ratio, and bit error rate in communications.
Cigarette smoking is strongly associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, any genetic etiology of such comorbidity and causal relations is poorly understood, especially at the genome-wide level.
In the present in silico research, we analyzed summary data from the genome-wide association study of the Psychiatric Genetic Consortium for MDD (n = 191 005) and UK Biobank for smoking (n = 337 030) by using various biostatistical methods including Bayesian colocalization analysis, LD score regression, variant effect size correlation analysis, and Mendelian randomization (MR).
By adopting a gene prioritization approach, we identified 43 genes shared by MDD and smoking, which were significantly enriched in membrane potential, gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor activity, and retrograde endocannabinoid signaling pathways, indicating that the comorbid mechanisms are involved in the neurotransmitter system. According to linkage disequilibrium score regression, we found a strong positive correlation between MDD and current smoking (rg = 0.365; p = 7.23 × 10−25) and a negative correlation between MDD and former smoking (rg = −0.298; p = 1.59 × 10−24). MR analysis suggested that genetic liability for depression increased smoking.
These findings inform the concomitant conditions of MDD and smoking and support the use of self-medication with smoking to counteract depression.
We conduct the first broad-based international study on bank-level failures covering 92 countries over 2000–2014, investigating national cultural variables as failure determinants. We find individualism and masculinity are positively associated with bank failure, but they operate through different channels. Managers in individualist countries assume more portfolio risk, while governments in masculine countries allow banks to operate with less liquidity and less often bail out troubled institutions. Findings are robust to accounting for endogeneity, different techniques and measures, and additional controls. Results have implications for prudential policies, including regulation, supervision, and bailout strategies, that may partially mitigate some negative effects of culture.