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We report key learning from the public health management of the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 identified in the UK. The first case imported, and the second associated with probable person-to-person transmission within the UK. Contact tracing was complex and fast-moving. Potential exposures for both cases were reviewed, and 52 contacts were identified. No further confirmed COVID-19 cases have been linked epidemiologically to these two cases. As steps are made to enhance contact tracing across the UK, the lessons learned from earlier contact tracing during the country's containment phase are particularly important and timely.
To perform a validation assessment of a novel porcine ex vivo model for otoplasty training.
A total of nine otolaryngology trainees performed a standard approach otoplasty on a porcine ear. They completed a series of tasks including posterior skin incision, anterior scoring, Mustardé suture placement and concha–mastoid suture placement. Trainees completed a post-task questionnaire assessing face validity, global content validity and task-specific content validity.
Trainees’ median scores for the porcine model were: 4 for face validity (interquartile range, 3–4), 5 for global content validity (interquartile range, 4–5) and 4 for task-specific content validity (interquartile range, 4–4).
This study is the first to formally validate the ex vivo porcine auricular model as a useful tool for training in otoplasty. The model should be incorporated into simulation training for otoplasty in order to improve learning, enable acquisition of specific surgical skills and improve operative outcomes.
Previous work led to the proposal that the precision feeding of a high-concentrate diet may represent a potential method with which to enhance feed efficiency (FE) when rearing dairy heifers. However, the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying this approach remain unclear. This study used metabolomics analysis to investigate the changes in plasma metabolites of heifers precision-fed diets containing a wide range of forage to concentrate ratios. Twenty-four half-sib Holstein heifers, with a similar body condition, were randomly assigned into four groups and precision fed with diets containing different proportions of concentrate (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% based on DM). After 28 days of feeding, blood samples were collected 6 h after morning feeding and gas chromatography time-of-ﬂight/MS was used to analyze the plasma samples. Parameters of oxidative status were also determined in the plasma. The FE (after being corrected for gut fill) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing level of dietary concentrate. Significant changes were identified for 38 different metabolites in the plasma of heifers fed different dietary forage to concentrate ratios. The main pathways showing alterations were clustered into those relating to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism; all of which have been previously associated with FE changes in ruminants. Heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher (P < 0.01) plasma total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase but lower (P ≤ 0.02) hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide than heifers fed with a low-concentrate diet, which might indicate a lower plasma oxidative status in the heifers fed a high-concentrate diet. Thus, heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher FE and antioxidant capacity but a lower plasma oxidative status as well as changed carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide a better understanding of how forage to concentrate ratios affect FE and metabolism in the precision-fed growing heifers.
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.
The meat quality of chicken is an important factor affecting the consumer’s health. It was hypothesized that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) could be effectively deposited in chicken, by incorporating antioxidation of soybean isoflavone (SI), which led to improved quality of chicken meat for good health of human beings. Effects of partial or complete dietary substitution of lard (LA) with linseed oil (LO), with or without SI on growth performance, biochemical indicators, meat quality, fatty acid profiles, lipid-related health indicators and gene expression of breast muscle were examined in chickens. A total of 900 males were fed a corn–soybean meal diet supplemented with 4% LA, 2% LA + 2% LO and 4% LO and the latter two including 30 mg SI/kg (2% LA + 2% LO + SI and 4% LO + SI) from 29 to 66 days of age; each of the five dietary treatments included six replicates of 30 birds. Compared with the 4% LA diet, dietary 4% LO significantly increased the feed efficiency and had no negative effect on objective indices related to meat quality; LO significantly decreased plasma triglycerides and total cholesterol (TCH); abdominal fat percentage was significantly decreased in birds fed the 4% LO and 4% LO + SI diets. Chickens with LO diets resulted in higher contents of α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3), EPA (C20:5n-3) and total n-3 PUFA, together with a lower content of palmitic acid (C16:0), lignoceric acid (C24:0), saturated fatty acids and n-6:n-3 ratio in breast muscle compared to 4% LA diet (P < 0.05); they also significantly decreased atherogenic index, thrombogenic index and increased the hypocholesterolemic to hypercholesterolemic ratio. Adding SI to the LO diets enhanced the contents of EPA and DHA (C22:6n-3), plasma total superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione and muscle GSH content, while decreased plasma total triglyceride and TCH and malondialdehyde content in plasma and breast muscle compared to its absence (P < 0.05). Expression in breast muscle of fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), FADS2, elongase 2 (ELOVL2) and ELOVL5 genes were significantly higher with the LO diets including SI than with the 4% LA diet. Significant interactions existed between LO level and inclusion of SI on EPA and TCH contents. These findings indicate that diet supplemented with LO combined with SI is an effective alternative when optimizing the nutritional value of chicken meat for human consumers.
Porphyromonas gingivalis has been linked to the development and progression of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and is considered to be a high-risk factor for ESCC. Currently, the commonly used methods for P. gingivalis detection are culture or DNA extraction-based, which are either time and labour intensive especially for high-throughput applications. We aimed to establish and evaluate a rapid and sensitive direct quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) protocol for the detection of P. gingivalis without DNA extraction which is suitable for large-scale epidemiological studies. Paired gingival swab samples from 192 subjects undergoing general medical examinations were analysed using two direct and one extraction-based qPCR assays for P. gingivalis. Tris-EDTA buffer-based direct qPCR (TE-direct qPCR), lysis-based direct qPCR (lysis-direct qPCR) and DNA extraction-based qPCR (kit-qPCR) were used, respectively, in 192, 132 and 60 of these samples for quantification of P. gingivalis. The sensitivity and specificity of TE-direct qPCR was 95.24% and 100% compared with lysis-direct qPCR, which was 100% and 97.30% when compared with kit-qPCR; TE-direct qPCR had an almost perfect agreement with lysis-direct qPCR (κ = 0.954) and kit-qPCR (κ = 0.965). Moreover, the assay time used for TE-direct qPCR was 1.5 h. In conclusion, the TE-direct qPCR assay is a simple and efficient method for the quantification of oral P. gingivalis and showed high sensitivity and specificity compared with routine qPCR.
Acute change in mental status (ACMS), defined by the Confusion Assessment Method, is used to identify infections in nursing home residents. A medical record review revealed that none of 15,276 residents had an ACMS documented. Using the revised McGeer criteria with a possible ACMS definition, we identified 296 residents and 21 additional infections. The use of a possible ACMS definition should be considered for retrospective nursing home infection surveillance.
To provide information about psychiatric comorbidity and suicidal behavior in people with epilepsy compared to those without epilepsy from a community sample in Brazil.
An attempt was made to evaluate all 174 subjects with epilepsy (cases) identified in a previous community survey. For every case identified, an individual without epilepsy (control) and matched by sex and age was selected in the same neighborhood. A structured interview with validated psychiatric scales was performed. 153 cases and 154 controls were enrolled in the study.
People with epilepsy had more frequently anxiety (39.4% versus 23.8%, OR 2.1 [95% CI 1.2 - 3.5]; p=0.006), depression (24.4% versus 14.7%, OR 1.9 [95% CI 1.01 - 3.5]; p=0.04) and anger (55.6% versus 39.7%, OR 1.9 [95% CI 1.2 - 3.1]; p=0.008). They also reported more suicidal thoughts (36.7% versus 23.8%, OR 1.8 [95% CI 1.1 - 3.1]; p=0.02), plans (18.2% versus 3.3%, OR 2.0 [95% CI 1.0 - 4.0]; p=0.04) and attempts (12.1% versus 5.3%, OR 2.4 [95% CI 1.1 - 3.2], p=0.04) during life than controls.
These findings call attention for psychiatric comorbidity and suicidal behavior associated with epilepsy. Suicide risk assessment, mental evaluation and treatment may improve quality of life in epilepsy and ultimately prevent suicide.
Attention, working memory (WM), information processing and memory deficits are important features of schizophrenia. WM functions appear to be mediated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Functional imaging studies have shown a failure to activate the DLPFC during working memory tasks in patients with chronic schizophrenia. The primary aim of this study is to determine whether there are brain activation changes in the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as a result of engaging in a randomized, controlled 12 week course of cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) in inpatients with chronic schizophrenia.
Patients with DSM IV schizophrenia are randomized to a 12 week trial of Cognitive Remediation (CR) using a Computerized CR program (COGPACK) or to a 12-week control condition. Patients receive at baseline and endpoint an fMRI scan with a cognitive task (N-back task), a neuropsychological test battery (MATRICS), functional and symptom assessments.
Preliminary results of this ongoing study show that patients after 12 weeks of CR showed (1) significantly more improvement in WM functions than patients who participated in the control group and (2) improvement in accuracy on the verbal letter 2-back task during the fMRI scan. Signal difference between 2-back and 0-back was not present or only present minimally at baseline (Pre-CR); however, at endpoint (Post-CR) there was signal difference present, which corresponds to an increase in activation in the areas of the DLPFC. This increase in activation pattern may be reflective of the effects of the exposure to the CR intervention.
Although the deviations of brain volume deficits in sporadic and familial first-episode schizophrenia patients (FEP) had been presented, the difference of brain asymmetries remained unidentified.
To assess the potential differences of volumetric asymmetries of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) between groups.
To find out the different injury alteration of sporadic FEP and familial FEP.
42 sporadic and 30 familiar drug-naïve FEP with and 72 matched normal controls (NC) were recruited. Participants were assessed with neuropsychological tests and scanned by a 3.0T MRI to obtain T1-weighted and DTI images. Lateralization distribution maps of GM and WM volume were generated by employing optimized voxel-based morphometry. The asymmetries were analyzed by comparing calculating Laterality Index (LI) voxel by voxel.
All three groups showed similar overall brain torque. Familiar FEP have more regional extensive GM asymmetry brain lesions compared to sporadic FEP. There was no shared regional lesion between two groups. LIGM and LIWM in right superior temporal were negatively correlated. Significant negative correlations were also found between LIGM of left superior parietal lobule and LIWM of right superior parietal lobule, and between LIGM of right inferior parietal lobule and LIWM of left inferior parietal lobule. The asymmetry in distinct brain regions were related to cognitive deficits especially in the domains of language and memory.
The two patient groups had different alteration in injuries of brain asymmetry. Familiar FEP has more GM extensive asymmetry brain region, which may correlate with their high genetic burdens.
There are strong links between circadian disturbance and some of the most characteristic symptoms of clinical major depressive disorder (MDD). However there are no published studies of changes in expression of clock genes or of other neuropeptides related to circadian-rhythm regulation, which may influence recurrent susceptibility after treatment with antidepressant in MDD.
Blood samples were collected from twelve healthy controls and twelve male major depressive patients pre- and post- treated with escitalopram for eight weeks at 4-hour intervals for 24 hours. Outcome measures were the relative expression of mRNA of clock genes (hPERIOD1, hPERIOD2, hPERIOD3, hCRY1, hBMAL1, hNPAS2 and hGSK-3beta) and the levels of serum melatonin, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP), cortisol, Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH), Insulin-like Growth Factor-1(IGF-1) and growth hormone (GH) in twelve healthy controls and twelve pre- and post- treated MDD patients.
Compared with healthy controls, MDD patients showed disruptions in diurnal rhythms of expression of hPERIOD1, hPERIOD2, hCRY1, hBMAL1, hNPAS2 and hGSK-3beta, along with disruptions in diurnal rhythms of release of melatonin, VIP, cortisol, ACTH, IGF-1, and GH. Several of these disruptions (hPER1, hCRY1, melatonin, VIP, cortisol, ACTH, and IGF-1) persisted after eight weeks escitalopram treatment, as did elevation of 24-hour levels of VIP and decreases in 24-hour levels of cortisol and ACTH.
These persisted neurobiological changes may play a role in MDD symptoms that are thought to contribute to recurrence vulnerability and in maintenance therapy for a long term.
Cognitive impairment is central to many psychiatric conditions and is a determinant factor of functioning. The evaluation of cognition is time-consuming and recourse to it limited by cost, accessibility of expertise, and, in the case of computerized batteries, equipment. The SCIP is a 15 minute paper and pencil evaluation of cognitive function which can be integrated into clinical practice. It is thus a tool which can assist in determining which patients require a more extensive evaluation and can inform the elaboration of a personalized treatment plan. Our group (Groupe Comorbidité psychiatrique et Dimensions) has validated a french translation of the SCIP and is testing the acceptability of its integration into clinical practice in selected clinical populations. We will present preliminary data regarding the use of the SCIP in adult attention deficit disorder. Forty adult patients with attention deficit disorder were invited to participate in the study. In order to maintain a sample representative of clinical practice the only exclusion criteria were inability to speak french and inability to give informed consent. Demographic characteristics were collected, and a multiaxial DSM-IV diagnosis determined by the treating physician, SCIP was administered. The time to administer the SCIP was recorded, and a qualitative questionnaire of patient impressions was completed. We will present preliminary results of this study.
The present study compared the expression profile and made the classification with the leukocytes by using whole-genome cRNA microarrays among patients with SSD, major depressive disorder (MDD) and healthy controls.
Gene expression profiling was conducted in peripheral blood leucocytes from drug-free first-episode subjects with SSD, MDD, and matched controls (8 subjects in each group) using global mRNA expression arrays. Support vector machines (SVMs) were utilized for training and testing on candidate signature expression profiles from signature selection step.
We identified SSD and MDD gene signatures from blood-based gene expression profile and build a SSD- MDD disorder model with higher predictive power. Firstly, we identified 63 differentially expressed SSD signatures in contrast to control (P <= 5.0E-4) and 30 differentially expressed MDD signatures in contrast to control, respectively. Then, 123 gene signatures were identified with significantly differential expression level between SSD and MDD. Secondly, in order to conduct priority selection for biomarkers for SSD and MDD together, we selected top gene signatures from each group of pair-wise comparison results, and merged the signatures together to generate better profiles used for clearly classify SSD and MDD sets in the same time. In details, we tried different combination of signatures from the three pair-wise compartmental results and finally determined 48 gene expression signatures with 100% accuracy.
Blood cell-derived RNA may have significant value for performing diagnostic functions and identifying disease biomarkers in SSD and MDD. These 48 gene model could classify SSD, MDD, and healthy controls.
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.
The fatty acid composition of chicken’s meat is largely influenced by dietary lipids, which are often used as supplements to increase dietary caloric density. The underlying key metabolites and pathways influenced by dietary oils remain poorly known in chickens. The objective of this study was to explore the underlying metabolic mechanisms of how diets supplemented with mixed or a single oil with distinct fatty acid composition influence the fatty acid profile in breast muscle of Qingyuan chickens. Birds were fed a corn-soybean meal diet supplemented with either soybean oil (control, CON) or equal amounts of mixed edible oils (MEO; soybean oil : lard : fish oil : coconut oil = 1 : 1 : 0.5 : 0.5) from 1 to 120 days of age. Growth performance and fatty acid composition of muscle lipids were analysed. LC-MS was applied to investigate the effects of CON v. MEO diets on lipid-related metabolites in the muscle of chickens at day 120. Compared with the CON diet, chickens fed the MEO diet had a lower feed conversion ratio (P < 0.05), higher proportions of lauric acid (C12:0), myristic acid (C14:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1n-7), oleic acid (C18:1n-9), EPA (C20:5n-3) and DHA (C22:6n-3), and a lower linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) content in breast muscle (P < 0.05). Muscle metabolome profiling showed that the most differentially abundant metabolites are phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholines (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), which enriched the glycerophospholipid metabolism (P < 0.05). These key differentially abundant metabolites – PC (14:0/20:4), PC (18:1/14:1), PC (18:0/14:1), PC (18:0/18:4), PC (20:0/18:4), PE (22:0/P-16:0), PE (24:0/20:5), PE (22:2/P-18:1), PE (24:0/18:4) – were closely associated with the contents of C12:0, C14:0, DHA and C18:2n-6 in muscle lipids (P < 0.05). The content of glutathione metabolite was higher with MEO than CON diet (P < 0.05). Based on these results, it can be concluded that the diet supplemented with MEO reduced the feed conversion ratio, enriched the content of n-3 fatty acids and modified the related metabolites (including PC, PE and glutathione) in breast muscle of chickens.
Self-monitoring biases and overconfidence in incorrect judgments have been suggested as playing a role in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Little is known about whether self-monitoring biases may contribute to early risk factors for psychosis. In this study, action self-monitoring (i.e., discrimination between imagined and performed actions) was investigated, along with confidence in judgments among ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis individuals and first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients.
Thirty-six UHR for psychosis individuals, 25 FEP patients and 33 healthy controls (CON) participated in the study. Participants were assessed with the Action memory task. Simple actions were presented to participants verbally or non-verbally. Some actions were required to be physically performed and others were imagined. Participants were asked whether the action was presented verbally or non-verbally (action presentation type discrimination), and whether the action was performed or imagined (self-monitoring). Confidence self-ratings related to self-monitoring responses were obtained.
The analysis of self-monitoring revealed that both UHR and FEP groups misattributed imagined actions as being performed (i.e., self-monitoring errors) significantly more often than the CON group. There were no differences regarding performed actions as being imagined. UHR and FEP groups made their false responses with higher confidence in their judgments than the CON group. There were no group differences regarding discrimination between the types of actions presented (verbal vs non-verbal).
A specific type of self-monitoring bias (i.e., misattributing imagined actions with performed actions), accompanied by high confidence in this judgment, may be a risk factor for the subsequent development of a psychotic disorder.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
The small intestine is an important digestive organ and plays a vital role in the life of a pig. We tested the hypothesis that the length of the small intestine is related to growth performance and intestinal functions of piglets. A total of 60 piglets (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire), weaned at day 21, were fed an identical diet during a 28-day trial. At the end of the study, all piglets were sacrificed, dissected and grouped according to small intestine lengths (SILs), either short small intestine (SSI), middle small intestine (MSI) or long small intestine (LSI), respectively. Positive relationships between SIL and BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain-to-feed ratios (G : F) were observed. Final BW, ADG, ADFI and G : F significantly increased (P < 0.05) in MSI and LSI piglets compared with SSI piglets. Short small intestine and MSI had greater jejunal mucosa sucrase and alkaline phosphatase activities (P < 0.05) than LSI piglets. The mRNA level of solute carrier family 2 member 2 (Slc2a2) in the jejunal mucosa of SSI piglets was the greatest. The MSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal villus height than other piglets and greater (P < 0.05) villus height-to-crypt depth ratios than LSI piglets. However, the LSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal crypt depth than SSI piglets. No significant differences in duodenal, jejunal, caecal and colonic morphologies were detected among the groups. Moreover, luminal acetate, propionate, butyrate and total short-chain fatty acid contents were greater (P < 0.05) in SSI and MSI piglets than those in LSI piglets. In addition, there was greater serum glucose concentration in MSI piglets than other piglets. Serum albumin concentration in SSI piglets was the lowest. In conclusion, these results indicate that SIL was significantly positively associated with growth performance, and in terms of intestinal morphology and mucosal digestive enzyme activity, the piglets with a medium length of small intestine have better digestion and absorption properties.
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.