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To investigate the influences of dietary riboflavin (RF) addition on nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, eight rumen cannulated Holstein bulls were randomly allocated into four treatments in a repeated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Daily addition level of RF for each bull in control, low RF, medium RF and high RF was 0, 300, 600 and 900 mg, respectively. Increasing the addition level of RF, DM intake was not affected, average daily gain tended to be increased linearly and feed conversion ratio decreased linearly. Total tract digestibilities of DM, organic matter, crude protein (CP) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) increased linearly. Rumen pH decreased quadratically, and total volatile fatty acids (VFA) increased quadratically. Acetate molar percentage and acetate:propionate ratio increased linearly, but propionate molar percentage and ammonia-N content decreased linearly. Rumen effective degradability of DM increased linearly, NDF increased quadratically but CP was unaltered. Activity of cellulase and populations of total bacteria, protozoa, fungi, dominant cellulolytic bacteria, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus increased linearly. Linear increase was observed for urinary total purine derivatives excretion. The data suggested that dietary RF addition was essential for rumen microbial growth, and no further increase in performance and rumen total VFA concentration was observed when increasing RF level from 600 to 900 mg/d in dairy bulls.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
To evaluate the impacts of guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) and coated folic acid (CFA) on growth performance, nutrient digestion and hepatic gene expression, fifty-two Angus bulls were assigned to four groups in a 2 × 2 factor experimental design. The CFA of 0 or 6 mg/kg dietary DM folic acid was supplemented in diets with GAA of 0 (GAA−) or 0·6 g/kg DM (GAA+), respectively. Average daily gain (ADG), feed efficiency and hepatic creatine concentration increased with GAA or CFA addition, and the increased magnitude of these parameters was greater for addition of CFA in GAA− diets than in GAA+ diets. Blood creatine concentration increased with GAA or CFA addition, and greater increase was observed when CFA was supplemented in GAA+ diets than in GAA− diets. DM intake was unchanged, but rumen total SCFA concentration and digestibilities of DM, crude protein, neutral-detergent fibre and acid-detergent fibre increased with the addition of GAA or CFA. Acetate:propionate ratio was unaffected by GAA, but increased for CFA addition. Increase in blood concentrations of albumin, total protein and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) was observed for GAA or CFA addition. Blood folate concentration was decreased by GAA, but increased with CFA addition. Hepatic expressions of IGF-1, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, protein kinase B, mammalian target of rapamycin and ribosomal protein S6 kinase increased with GAA or CFA addition. Results indicated that the combined supplementation of GAA and CFA could not cause ADG increase more when compared with GAA or CFA addition alone.
A disruption database characterizing the current quench of disruptions with ITER-like tungsten divertor has been developed on EAST. It provides a large number of plasma parameters describing the predisruptive plasma, current quench time, eddy current, and mitigation by massive impurity injection, which shows that the current quench time strongly depends on magnetic energy and post-disruption electron temperature. Further, the energy balance and magnetic energy dissipation during the current quench phase has been well analysed. Magnetic energy is also demonstrated to be dissipated mainly by ohmic reheating and inductive coupling, and both of the two channels have great effects on current quench time. Also, massive gas injection is an efficient method to speed up the current quench and increase the fraction of impurity radiation.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
Phytase has long been used to decrease the inorganic phosphorus (Pi) input in poultry diet. The current study was conducted to investigate the effects of Pi supplementation on laying performance, egg quality and phosphate–calcium metabolism in Hy-Line Brown laying hens fed phytase. Layers (n = 504, 29 weeks old) were randomly assigned to seven treatments with six replicates of 12 birds. The corn–soybean meal-based diet contained 0.12% non-phytate phosphorus (nPP), 3.8% calcium, 2415 IU/kg vitamin D3 and 2000 FTU/kg phytase. Inorganic phosphorus (in the form of mono-dicalcium phosphate) was added into the basal diet to construct seven experimental diets; the final dietary nPP levels were 0.12%, 0.17%, 0.22%, 0.27%, 0.32%, 0.37% and 0.42%. The feeding trial lasted 12 weeks (hens from 29 to 40 weeks of age). Laying performance (housed laying rate, egg weight, egg mass, daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio) was weekly calculated. Egg quality (egg shape index, shell strength, shell thickness, albumen height, yolk colour and Haugh units), serum parameters (calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, calcitonin and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D), tibia quality (breaking strength, and calcium, phosphorus and ash contents), intestinal gene expression (type IIb sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporter, NaPi-IIb) and phosphorus excretion were determined at the end of the trial. No differences were observed on laying performance, egg quality, serum parameters and tibia quality. Hens fed 0.17% nPP had increased (P < 0.01) duodenum NaPi-IIb expression compared to all other treatments. Phosphorus excretion linearly increased with an increase in dietary nPP (phosphorus excretion = 1.7916 × nPP + 0.2157; R2 = 0.9609, P = 0.001). In conclusion, corn–soybean meal-based diets containing 0.12% nPP, 3.8% calcium, 2415 IU/kg vitamin D3 and 2000 FTU/kg phytase would meet the requirements for egg production in Hy-Line Brown laying hens (29 to 40 weeks of age).
Childhoods in urban or rural environments may differentially affect risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we leveraged on dramatic urbanization and rural-urban migration since the 1980s in China to explore the hypothesis that rural or urban childhoods may differentially influence memory processing and neural responses to neutral and aversive stimuli.
Explore the underlying mechanisms of childhood environment effect on brain function and neuropsychiatric risk.
We examined 420 adult subjects with similar current socioeconomic status and living in Beijing, China, but with differing rural (n = 227) or urban (n = 193) childhoods. In an episodic memory paradigm scanned in a 3 T GE MRI, subjects viewed blocks of neutral or aversive pictures in the encoding and retrieval sessions.
Episodic memory accuracy for neutral stimuli was less than for aversive stimuli (P < 0.001). However, subjects with rural childhoods apparently performed less accurately for memory of aversive but not neutral stimuli (P < 0.01). In subjects with rural childhoods, there was relatively increased engagement of bilateral striatum at encoding, increased engagement of bilateral hippocampus at retrieval of neutral and aversive stimuli, and increased engagement of amygdala at aversive retrieval (P < 0.05 FDR corrected, cluster size > 50).
Rural or urban childhoods appear associated with physiological and behavioural differences, particularly in the neural processing of aversive episodic memory at medial temporal and striatal brain regions. It remains to be explored the extent to which these effects relate to individual risk for neuropsychiatric or stress-related disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a major public health concern all over the world. Little is known about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population. This study aimed to assess the mental health problems and associated factors among a large sample of college students during the COVID-19 outbreak in China.
This cross-sectional and nation-wide survey of college students was conducted in China from 3 to 10 February 2020. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess psychosocial factors, COVID-19 epidemic related factors and mental health problems. Acute stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms were measured by the Chinese versions of the impact of event scale-6, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, respectively. Univariate and hierarchical logistic regression analyses were performed to examine factors associated with mental health problems.
Among 821 218 students who participated in the survey, 746 217 (90.9%) were included for the analysis. In total, 414 604 (55.6%) of the students were female. About 45% of the participants had mental health problems. The prevalence rates of probable acute stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms were 34.9%, 21.1% and 11.0%, respectively. COVID-19 epidemic factors that were associated with increased risk of mental health problems were having relatives or friends being infected (adjusted odds ratio = 1.72–2.33). Students with exposure to media coverage of the COVID-19 ≥3 h/day were 2.13 times more likely than students with media exposure <1 h/day to have acute stress symptoms. Individuals with low perceived social support were 4.84–5.98 times more likely than individuals with high perceived social support to have anxiety and depressive symptoms. In addition, senior year and prior mental health problems were also significantly associated with anxiety or/and depressive symptoms.
In this large-scale survey of college students in China, acute stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms are prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple epidemic and psychosocial factors, such as family members being infected, massive media exposure, low social support, senior year and prior mental health problems were associated with increased risk of mental health problems. Psychosocial support and mental health services should be provided to those students at risk.
Although numerous studies have investigated the individual effects of salinity, irrigation and fertilization on soil microbial communities, relatively less attention has been paid to their combined influences, especially using molecular techniques. Based on the field of orthogonal designed test and deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing technology, the effects of saline water irrigation amount, salinity level of irrigation water and nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate on soil bacterial community structure were investigated. The results showed that the irrigation amount was the most dominant factor in determining the bacterial richness and diversity, followed by the irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The values of Chao1 estimator, abundance-based coverage estimator and Shannon indices decreased with an increase in irrigation amount while increased and then decreased with an increase in irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The highest soil bacterial richness and diversity were obtained under the least irrigation amount (25 mm), medium irrigation water salinity (4.75 dS/m) and medium N fertilizer rate (350 kg/ha). However, different bacterial phyla were found to respond distinctively to these three factors: irrigation amount significantly affected the relative abundances of Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi; irrigation water salinity mostly affected the members of Actinobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and Acidobacteria; and N fertilizer rate mainly influenced the Bacteroidetes' abundance. The results presented here revealed that the assessment of soil microbial processes under combined irrigation and fertilization treatments needed to be more careful as more variable consequences would be established by comparing with the influences based on an individual factor, such as irrigation amount or N fertilizer rate.
The association between eosinophil count and cholelithiasis among people with Clonorchis sinensis infection is still uncertain. We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the associations among Clonorchis sinensis infection, eosinophil count and cholelithiasis. The study included 4628 participants from January to December 2018. The levels of eosinophil count were divided into four groups according to the quartiles of eosinophil count. Spearman's rank correlation was performed to assess the association between eosinophil counts and Clonorchis sinensis egg counts. Multiple regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationships among C. sinensis infection, eosinophil count and cholelithiasis after adjusting for three models. The prevalence of C. sinensis infection was 38.72% (1792/4628), and the prevalence of cholelithiasis was 6.03% (279/4628). The infection rate of C. sinensis was higher in the cholelithiasis group than in the non-cholelithiasis group (63.08% vs. 37.16%, P < 0.001). Significant differences were found among various eosinophil count quartiles for C. sinensis infection, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (γ-GT), triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), creatinine (CRE), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), uric acid (UA) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) (all P < 0.001). A significant positive correlation was found between eosinophil count and log-transformed C. sinensis egg count (r = 0.9477, P < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that light and moderate intensities of C. sinensis infection were associated with cholelithiasis (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively), and C. sinensis infection with eosinophil count ranging from 0.05 to 0.5 × 109/l were associated with cholelithiasis (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our findings suggest that the light and moderate infections of C. sinensis with eosinophil count ranging from 0.05 to 0.5 × 109/l may be associated with a higher risk of cholelithiasis.
Fluid–structure interaction is fundamental to the characteristics of the induced flows due to the motion of structures in fluids and also is crucial to the performance of submerged structures. This paper presents a three-dimensional analytical study of the intrinsic free vibration of an elastic multilayered hollow sphere interacting with an exterior non-Newtonian fluid medium. The fluid is assumed to be characterized by a compressible linear viscoelastic model accounting for both the shear and compressional relaxation processes. For small-amplitude vibrations, the equations governing the viscoelastic fluid can be linearized, which are then solved by introducing appropriate potential functions. The solid is assumed to exhibit a particular material anisotropy, i.e. spherical isotropy, which includes material isotropy as a special case. The equations governing the anisotropic solid are solved in spherical coordinates using the state-space formalism, which finally establishes two separate transfer relations correlating the state vectors at the innermost surface with those at the outermost surface of the multilayered hollow sphere. By imposing the continuity conditions at the fluid–solid interface, two separate analytical characteristic equations are derived, which characterize two independent classes of vibration. Numerical examples are finally conducted to validate the theoretical derivation as well as to investigate the effects of various factors, including fluid viscosity and compressibility, fluid viscoelasticity, solid anisotropy and surface effect, as well as solid intrinsic damping, on the vibration characteristics of the submerged hollow sphere. Particularly, our theoretically predicted vibration frequencies and quality factors of gold nanospheres with intrinsic damping immersed in water agree exceptionally well with the available experimentally measured results. The reported analytical solution is truly and fully three-dimensional, covering from the purely radial breathing mode to the torsional mode to any general spheroidal mode as well as being applicable to various simpler situations, and hence can be a broad-spectrum benchmark in the study of fluid–structure interaction.
Quantifying reasonable crop yield gaps and determining potential regions for yield improvement can facilitate regional plant structure adjustment and promote crop production. The current study attempted to evaluate the yield gap in a region at multi-scales through model simulation and farmer investigation. Taking the winter wheat yield gap in the Huang-Huai-Hai farming region (HFR) for the case study, 241 farmers’ fields in four typical high-yield demonstration areas were surveyed to determine the yield limitation index and attainable yield. In addition, the theoretical and realizable yield gap of winter wheat in 386 counties of the HFR was assessed. Results showed that the average field yield of the demonstration plots was 8282 kg/ha, accounting for 0.72 of the potential yield, which represented the highest production in the region. The HFR consists of seven sub-regions designated 2.1–2.7: the largest attainable yield gap existed in the 2.6 sub-region, in the southwest of the HFR, while the smallest was in the 2.2 sub-region, in the northwest of the HFR. With a high irrigated area rate, the yield gap in the 2.2 sub-region could hardly be reduced by increasing irrigation, while a lack of irrigation remained an important limiting factor for narrowing the yield gap in 2.3 sub-region, in the middle of the HFR. Therefore, a multi-scale yield gap evaluation framework integrated with typical field survey and crop model analysis could provide valuable information for narrowing the yield gap.
Experiments are presented on the deformation of free surface induced by water exit of axisymmetric bodies, particular at the moment before body detaching from water. A set of experimental apparatus is designed to provide driving force for the bodies. A high-speed camera is adopted to capture the motion and deformation of the free surface. Bodies of various shapes, including a stretched spheroid, a sphere, a circular cone and a combination of cylinder and circular cone, are lifted out of water with different velocities, by using a straight rod attached on the top of models. It is found that free-surface deformation is affected by the moving velocity a lot. Three wake flow or free-surface spike patterns are generated corresponding to different velocities. When the velocity is larger than a critical velocity, cavitation incepts and bubble is entrapped inside the water spike, which changes the flow pattern and shape of the spike. It is aimed to explore the spike phenomenon of free surface and explain the reasons behind it.
Estimating the feed intake of grazing herbivores is critical for determining their nutrition, overall productivity and utilization of grassland resources. A 17-day indoor feeding experiment was conducted to evaluate the potential use of Medicago sativa as a natural supplement for estimating the total feed intake of sheep. A total of 16 sheep were randomly assigned to four diets (four sheep per diet) containing a known amount of M. sativa together with up to seven forages common to typical steppes. The diets were: diet 1, M. sativa + Leymus chinensis + Puccinellia distans; diet 2, species in diet 1 + Phragmites australis; diet 3, species in diet 2 + Chenopodium album + Elymus sibiricus; and diet 4, species in diet 3 + Artemisia scoparia + Artemisia tanacetifolia. After faecal marker concentrations were corrected by individual sheep recovery, treatment mean recovery or overall recovery, the proportions of M. sativa and other dietary forages were estimated from a combination of alkanes and long-chain alcohols using a least-square procedure. Total intake was the ratio of the known intake of M. sativa to its estimated dietary proportion. Each dietary component intake was obtained using total intake and the corresponding dietary proportions. The estimated values were compared with actual values to assess the estimation accuracy. The results showed that M. sativa exhibited a distinguishable marker pattern in comparison to the other dietary forage species. The accuracy of the dietary composition estimates was significantly (P < 0.001) affected by both diet diversity and the faecal recovery method. The proportion of M. sativa and total intake across all diets could be accurately estimated using the individual sheep or the treatment mean recovery methods. The largest differences between the estimated and observed total intake were 2.6 g and 19.2 g, respectively, representing only 0.4% and 2.6% of the total intake. However, they were significantly (P < 0.05) biased for most diets when using the overall recovery method. Due to the difficulty in obtaining individual sheep recovery under field conditions, treatment mean recovery is recommended. This study suggests that M. sativa, a natural roughage instead of a labelled concentrate, can be utilized as a dietary supplement to accurately estimate the total feed intake of sheep indoors and further indicates that it has potential to be used in steppe grassland of northern China, where the marker patterns of M. sativa differ markedly from commonly occurring plant species.
Imprinted genes uniquely drive and support fetoplacental growth by controlling the allocation of maternal resources to the fetus and affecting the newborn’s growth. We previously showed that alterations of the placental imprinted gene expression are associated with suboptimal perinatal growth and respond to environmental stimuli including socio-economic determinants. At the same time, maternal psychosocial stress during pregnancy (MPSP) has been shown to affect fetal growth. Here, we set out to test the hypothesis that placental imprinted gene expression mediates the effects of MPSP on fetal growth in a well-characterized birth cohort, the Stress in Pregnancy (SIP) Study. We observed that mothers experiencing high MPSP deliver infants with lower birthweight (P=0.047). Among the 109 imprinted genes tested, we detected panels of placental imprinted gene expression of 23 imprinted genes associated with MPSP and 26 with birthweight. Among these genes, five imprinted genes (CPXM2, glucosidase alpha acid (GAA), GPR1, SH3 and multiple ankyrin repeat domains 2 (SHANK2) and THSD7A) were common to the two panels. In multivariate analyses, controlling for maternal age and education and gestational age at birth and infant gender, two genes, GAA and SHANK2, each showed a 22% mediation of MPSP on fetal growth. These data provide new insights into the role that imprinted genes play in translating the maternal stress message into a fetoplacental growth pattern.
Globally, human immune deficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) continues to be a major public health issue. With improved survival, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is increasing, with over 2 million among pregnant women. Investigating adverse pregnant outcomes of HIV-infected population and associated factors are of great importance to maternal and infant health. A cross-sectional data collected from hospital delivery records of 4397 mother–infant pairs in southwestern China were analysed. Adverse pregnant outcomes (including low birthweight/preterm delivery/low Apgar score) and maternal HIV status and other characteristics were measured. Two hundred thirteen (4.9%) mothers were HIV positive; maternal HIV infection, rural residence and pregnancy history were associated with all three indicators of adverse pregnancy outcomes. This research suggested that maternal population have high prevalence in HIV infection in this region. HIV-infected women had higher risks of experiencing adverse pregnancy outcomes. Rural residence predisposes adverse pregnancy outcomes. Findings of this study suggest social and medical support for maternal-infant care needed in this region, selectively towards rural areas and HIV-positive mothers.
The association between opportunistic infection (OI) and anaemia among HIV-infected patients remains to be studied. We investigated the prevalence and risk factors of anaemia in hospitalised HIV-infected patients to reveal the association between OI and anaemia. We conducted a retrospective study of HIV-positive hospitalised patients from June 2016 to December 2017 in Mengchao Hepatobiliary Hospital of Fujian Medical University. Patients’ information on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics were carefully collected. The comparison of anaemia prevalence between groups was conducted with χ2 test. A logistic regression model was carried out to analyse the predictors of anaemia. The total prevalence of anaemia in hospitalised HIV-infected patients was 55.15%. The prevalence of mild, moderate and severe anaemia was 41.42%, 11.08% and 2.64%, respectively. Predictors independently associated with anaemia were: CD4 counts <50 cells/μl (odds ratio (OR): 6.376, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.916–21.215, P = 0.003), CD4 counts 50–199 cells/μl (OR: 6.303, 95% CI = 1.874–21.203, P = 0.003), co-infection with tuberculosis (TB) (OR: 2.703, 95% CI = 1.349–5.414, P = 0.005) or Penicillium marneffei (PM) (OR: 7.162, 95% CI = 3.147–15.299, P < 0.001). In Fujian, China, more than half inpatients with HIV were anaemic, but severe anaemia is infrequent. Lower CD4 counts, co-infection with TB or PM were independent risk factors for anaemia. Chinese HIV patients especially with TB, PM infection and low CD4 level should be routinely detected for anaemia to improve therapy.
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.
To investigate the effects of soybean isoflavone (SI) on immunity in infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV)-infected broilers, chicks were fed the same basal diet supplemented with 0 (non-infected control), 0 (infected control), 10, 20 or 40 mg/kg SI for 44 days. At 21 days old, chickens were inoculated with bursal infectious dose causing 50% morbidity of the IBDV BC 6/85 strain by the eye-drop and nasal route (except for non-infected controls). Results showed that, over 1–23 days post-infection (dpi), there was a significant interaction between SI supplementation level and time: high-level SI supplementation increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio, serum concentrations of IgA, IgM and IgG, and IBDV antibody titres. Except for serum IgA and IgM, these variables increased over time with far higher values at 23 dpi than earlier. Compared with non-infected controls, IBDV inoculation decreased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, and serum IgG, IgM concentration at 23 dpi, and increased IBDV antibody titres at 7, 15 and 23 dpi. Supplemental SI quadratically increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio and serum IgA concentration at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes at 3 and 23 dpi, and serum IgM concentration and IBDV antibody titres at 23 dpi. These results indicate that dietary SI improved cellular and humoral immunity of IBDV-infected birds and may enhance resistance of Yellow-feathered broilers to infectious diseases.