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Toxigenic Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) carriers represent an important source in the transmission of C. difficile infection (CDI) during hospitalisation, but its prevalence and mode in patients with hepatic cirrhosis are not well established. We investigated longitudinal changes in carriage rates and strain types of toxigenic C. difficile from admission to discharge among hepatic cirrhosis patients. Toxigenic C. difficile was detected in 104 (19.8%) of 526 hepatic cirrhosis patients on admission, and the carriage status changed in a portion of patients during hospitalisation. Approximately 56% (58/104) of patients lost the colonisation during their hospital stay. Among the remaining 48 patients who remained positive for toxigenic C. difficile, the numbers of patients who were positive at one, two, three and four isolations were 10 (55.6%), three (16.7%), two (11.1%) and three (16.7%), respectively. Twenty-eight patients retained a particular monophyletic strain at multiple isolations. The genotype most frequently identified was the same as that frequently identified in symptomatic CDI patients. A total of 25% (26/104) of patients were diagnosed with CDI during their hospital stay. Conclusions: Colonisation with toxigenic C. difficile strains occurs frequently in cirrhosis patients and is a risk factor for CDI.
We conducted a 9-d seismic experiment in October 2015 at Laohugou Glacier No. 12. We identified microseismic signals using the short-term/long-term average trigger algorithm at four stations and classified them as long and short-duration events based on waveform, frequency, duration and magnitude characteristics. Both categories show systematical diurnal trends. The long-duration events are low-frequency tremor-like events that mainly occurred during the daytime with only several events per day. These events lasted tens of seconds to tens of minutes and are likely related to resonance of daytime meltwater. The dominant short-duration events mostly occurred during the night time with a peak occurrence frequency of ~360 h−1. Their short-duration (<0.2 s), high frequency (20–100 Hz) and dominance of Rayleigh waves are typical of events for near-surface crack opening. A strong negative correlation between the hourly event number and temperature change rate suggests that the occurrence of night-time events is controlled by the rate of night-time cooling. We estimated the near-surface tensile stress due to thermal contraction at night to be tens of kilopascals, which is enough to induce opening of surface cracks with pre-existing local stress concentrations, although we cannot exclude the effect of refreezing of meltwater produced during the day.
Combining density functional theory calculations and temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments, the adsorption behavior of various sulfur containing compounds, including C2H5SH, CH3SCH3, tetrahydrothiophene, thiophene, benzothiophene, dibenzothiophene, and their derivatives on the coordinately unsaturated sites of Mo27Sx model nanoparticles, are studied systematically. Sulfur molecules with aromaticity prefer flat adsorption than perpendicular adsorption. The adsorption of nonaromatic molecules is stronger than the perpendicular adsorption of aromatic molecules, but weaker than the flat adsorption of them. With gradual hydrogenation (HYD), the binding affinity in the perpendicular adsorption modes increases, while in flat adsorption modes it increases first, then decreases. Significant steric effects on the adsorption of dimethyldibenzothiophene were revealed in perpendicular adsorption modes. The steric effect, besides weakening adsorption, could also activate the S–C bonds through a compensation effect. Finally, by comparing the theoretical adsorption energies with the TPD results, we suggest that HYD and direct-desulfurization path may happen simultaneously, but on different active sites.
The microstructure evolution of the directionally solidified NiAl–Cr(Mo) planar eutectic lamellar structure was studied at 1150 °C and times of up to 400 h. The planar eutectic lamellar structure is obtained at the withdrawal rate range of 2.5–7.5 μm/s. The interlamellar spacing decreases gradually with increasing the withdrawal rate. The lamellar termination (like angular or smooth) commonly exists in the as-DS alloy. After high temperature treatment, the lamellar structure at 2.5 μm/s (interlamellar spacing, 3.7 μm) is almost stable, only a little migration of termination occurs at 400 h. When the withdrawal rate increases to 4.5 μm/s, the coarsening and migration of termination occur at 200 h. The adjacently coarsened terminations assemble when the coarsening processes to a certain degree, thus resulting in the formation of the blocky Cr(Mo) phase. Similarly, the above instable phenomenon occurs at 7.5 μm/s. The relevant instability mechanisms are discussed.
Little is known about the combined use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants in older psychiatric patients. This study examined the prescription pattern of concurrent benzodiazepines in older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia, and explored its demographic and clinical correlates.
The data of 955 older adults with any type of psychiatric disorders were extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) project. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The proportion of benzodiazepine and antidepressant combination in this cohort was 44.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that higher doses of antidepressants, younger age (<65 years), inpatients, public hospital, major comorbid medical conditions, antidepressant types, and country/territory were significantly associated with more frequent co-prescription of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
Nearly, half of the older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia are prescribed concurrent benzodiazepines. Given the potentially adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the rationale of benzodiazepines and antidepressants co-prescription needs to be revisited.
Sexual offenses cause harm to the victims’ physical and psychological functions. This study was conducted to evaluate the risk of incident psychiatric disorders in sexual assault victims. Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database was used to conduct a nationwide population-based cohort study to assess the risk of incident psychiatric disorders in sexual assault victims and to further evaluate the respective risk estimates on the basis of diagnostic patterns. A total of 81 sexual assault victims and 324 controls matched by sex, age and residential area were included. The mean age of the sexual assault victims was 18.39 (sd 10.23) years, and 93.83% (76/81) of the sample were females. Sexual assault victims had a higher incidence density of psychiatric disorders than did the control group (9.2% per year, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–33.2% per year v. 1.1% per year, 95% CI .4–15.7% per year; p=.037). Sexual assault was an independent risk factor for incident psychiatric disorders, with an incidence rate ratio of 3.40 (95% CI 1.04–26.41) after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Assessment of psychiatric disorders should be implemented in the integrative care of sexual assault victims. Physicians providing clinical care to the sexual assault victims should receive more all-round training to understand and manage this type of violence.
A stalagmite with high 238U content from Yangkou Cave, China, revealed the evolution of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) between 49.1 and 59.5 ka, and the δ18O values recorded Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events 13–17. The Yangkou record shows a relatively gradual transition into the D/O 14 and 16 events. The discrepancy between the abrupt and gradual transitions of D/O 14 in the records from northern and southern China, respectively, suggests different responses of the ASM to climate changes in the high northern latitudes. The higher resolution δ18O record and more precise 230Th dating indicate that the timing of D/O 14 and 17 in the Hulu records at 53 and 58 ka should be shifted to 54.3 and 59 ka, respectively. The gradual strengthening of the ASM at the onsets of D/O 16 and 14 in our record is different from the abrupt temperature rise in the northern high latitudes. Some other factors must contribute to this relatively gradual ASM change in southern China, but the actual reason is still unknown.
An organic polar hydrate was obtained through cocrystallization of 2,4-diaminotoluene (2,4-DAT) and L(+)-tartaric acid (TA) from ethanol. Dehydration behavior of the obtained hydrate was investigated using variable temperature powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and thermal analysis. Proton transfer from L(+)-TA to 2,4-DAT in both hydrate and dehydrated form was revealed via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The crystal structures of both forms were determined using PXRD techniques. The similarities and differences between two crystal structures were analyzed and the role of water in the hydrate crystal structure was demonstrated.
Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and major depressive disorder
(MDD) are likely to be caused by multiple susceptibility genes, each with
small effects in increasing the risk of illness. Identifying DNA variants
associated with schizophrenia and MDD is a crucial step in understanding
the pathophysiology of these disorders.
To investigate whether the SP4 gene plays a significant
role in schizophrenia or MDD in the Han Chinese population.
We focused on nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) harbouring the
SP4 gene and carried out case–control studies in 1235
patients with schizophrenia, 1045 patients with MDD and 1235 healthy
controls recruited from the Han Chinese population.
We found that rs40245 was significantly associated with schizophrenia in
both allele and genotype distributions (Pallele = 0.0005, Pallele = 0.004 after Bonferroni correction; Pgenotype = 0.0023, Pgenotype = 0.0184 after Bonferroni correction). The rs6461563
SNP was significantly associated with schizophrenia in the allele
distributions (Pallele = 0.0033, Pallele = 0.0264 after Bonferroni correction).
Our results suggest that common risk factors in the SP4
gene are associated with schizophrenia, although not with MDD, in the Han
Two kinds of Ag/ZnO electrical contact materials were fabricated by powder metallurgy method. The electrical life testing was done to investigate the arc erosion behavior of the prepared contact materials. Their properties and morphologies were characterized and discussed in detail. Results showed that Ag/ZnO(c) with coprecipitated ZnO as the second phase had better mechanical and electrical properties compared with Ag/ZnO(a) with ZnO purchased from Aladdin Industrial, Inc. Besides, some typical morphologies, such as holes, Ag or ZnO enrichment zone, Ag skeletons and bubbling area, occurred on the surface of the contacts. Especially for Ag/ZnO(c), vertically aligned ZnO nanorod arrays were detected after the life testing without any other supporting equipment. The existence of a solid solution Zn1−xAgxO and different energy generated during arcing process were possible reasons resulting in this phenomenon. A solid–vapor–solid mechanism was put forward to analyze the phenomenon mentioned above. These evidences could also offer some valuable information desired for reducing the splashing of Ag droplet under arcing.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is known to be a natural antioxidant. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cryoprotective effect of ALA on the motility of boar spermatozoa and its antioxidant effect on boar spermatozoa during freezing–thawing. Different concentrations (2.0, 4.0, 6.0, 8.0 or 10.0 mg/ml) of ALA were added to the extender used to freeze boar semen, and the effects on the quality and endogenous antioxidant enzyme activities of frozen–thawed spermatozoa were assessed. The results indicated that the addition of ALA to the extender resulted in a higher percentage of motile spermatozoa post-thaw (P < 0.05). The activities of superoxide dismutase, lactate dehydrogenase, glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase and catalase improved after adding ALA to the extender (P < 0.05). Artificial insemination results showed that pregnancy rate and litter size were significantly higher at 6.0 mg/ml in the ALA group than in the control group (P < 0.05). In conclusion, ALA conferred a cryoprotective capacity to the extender used for boar semen during the process of freezing–thawing, and the optimal concentration of ALA for the frozen extender was 6.0 mg/ml.
Silylated kaolinites were synthesized at 80°C without the use of inert gas protection. The method presented started with mechanical grinding of kaolinite, followed by grafting with 3- aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES). The mechanical grinding treatment destroyed the ordered sheets of kaolinite, formed fine fragments and generated broken bonds (undercoordinated metal ions). These broken bonds served as new sites for the condensation with APTES. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) confirmed the existence of −CH2 from APTES. 29Si cross-polarization magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (29Si CP/MAS NMR) showed that the principal bonding mechanism between APTES and kaolinite fitted a tridentate silylation model (T3) with a chemical shift at −66.7 ppm. The silane loadings of the silylated samples were estimated from the mass loss obtained by TG-DTG curves. The results showed that the 6-hour ground kaolinite could be grafted with the most APTES (7.0%) using cyclohexane as solvent. The loaded amount of APTES in the silylated samples obtained in different solvents decreased in the order as: nonpolar solvent > polar solvent with low dielectric constant (toluene) > polar solvent with high dielectric constant (ethanol).
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.
Previous studies support Beck's cognitive model of vulnerability to depression. However, the relationship between his cognitive triad and other clinical features and risk factors among those with major depression (MD) has rarely been systematically studied.
The three key cognitive symptoms of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness were assessed during their lifetime worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent MD. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression.
Compared to patients who did not endorse the cognitive trio, those who did had a greater number of DSM-IV A criteria, more individual depressive symptoms, an earlier age at onset, a greater number of episodes, and were more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for melancholia, postnatal depression, dysthymia and anxiety disorders. Hopelessness was highly related to all the suicidal symptomatology, with ORs ranging from 5.92 to 6.51. Neuroticism, stressful life events (SLEs) and a protective parental rearing style were associated with these cognitive symptoms.
During the worst episode of MD in Han Chinese women, the endorsement of the cognitive trio was associated with a worse course of depression and an increased risk of suicide. Individuals with high levels of neuroticism, many SLEs and high parental protectiveness were at increased risk for these cognitive depressive symptoms. As in Western populations, symptoms of the cognitive trio appear to play a central role in the psychopathology of MD in Chinese women.
In Western countries, a history of major depression (MD) is associated with reports of received parenting that is low in warmth and caring and high in control and authoritarianism. Does a similar pattern exist in women in China?
Received parenting was assessed by a shortened version of the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) in two groups of Han Chinese women: 1970 clinically ascertained cases with recurrent MD and 2597 matched controls. MD was assessed at personal interview.
Factor analysis of the PBI revealed three factors for both mothers and fathers: warmth, protectiveness, and authoritarianism. Lower warmth and protectiveness and higher authoritarianism from both mother and father were significantly associated with risk for recurrent MD. Parental warmth was positively correlated with parental protectiveness and negatively correlated with parental authoritarianism. When examined together, paternal warmth was more strongly associated with lowered risk for MD than maternal warmth. Furthermore, paternal protectiveness was negatively and maternal protectiveness positively associated with risk for MD.
Although the structure of received parenting is very similar in China and Western countries, the association with MD is not. High parental protectiveness is generally pathogenic in Western countries but protective in China, especially when received from the father. Our results suggest that cultural factors impact on patterns of parenting and their association with MD.
To investigate genetic and lifestyle factors and their interactions on plasma homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations in the Boston Puerto Rican population.
Cross-sectional study. Plasma concentrations of Hcy, folate, vitamin B12 and pyridoxal phosphate were measured, and genetic polymorphisms were determined. Data on lifestyle factors were collected in interviews.
A population survey of health and nutritional measures.
A total of 994 Puerto Rican men and women residing in the Boston metropolitan area.
Smoking status was positively associated with plasma Hcy. Genetic polymorphisms MTHFR 677C→T, FOLH1 1561C→T, FOLH1 rs647370 and PCFT 928A→G interacted significantly with smoking for Hcy. MTHFR 1298A→C (P = 0·040) and PCFT 928A→G (P = 0·002) displayed significant interactions with alcohol intake in determining plasma Hcy. Subjects with PCFT928GG genotype had significantly higher plasma Hcy concentrations compared with carriers of the A allele (AA+AG; P = 0·030) among non-drinking subjects. When consuming alcohol, GG subjects had lower plasma Hcy levels compared with AA+AG subjects. Physical activity interacted significantly with MTR 2756A→G in determining plasma Hcy (P for interaction = 0·002). Smoking interacted with physical activity for plasma Hcy (P for interaction = 0·023).
Smoking and drinking were associated plasma Hcy concentrations. Genetic variants involved in folate metabolism further modify the effects of lifestyle on plasma Hcy.
The potential relationship between the establishment of Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) persistent infection and gene variation was identified by investigating the variation of VP1 and 3ABC genes from yellow cattle persistent infection isolates. Five yellow cattle were inoculated on their tongue with 1.0×104 ID50/ml of FMDV O/Akesu/58 strain. After displaying clinical or subclinical signs, they probably became asymptomatic carriers. Oesophageal–pharyngeal fluids were collected monthly from the carriers with a probang and inoculated into a baby hamster kidney cell line (BHK-21); 12 FMDV isolates were obtained. The VP1 and 3ABC genes of the 12 isolates were then amplified by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Cloning and sequencing revealed that the homology of the VP1 nucleotide and amino-acid sequence of all the isolates was above 98%, with no base deletion or insertion. When compared with the O/Akesu/58 FMDV strain, the homology of the VP1 nucleotide sequence of the isolates was only 85%, and that of the deduced amino-acid sequence only 90%.There were several nucleotide mutations in the VP1 gene of the isolates, including 16 consistent nucleotide mutations, with only two of them leading to a change in amino acid (I56→T, A210→E). Moreover, it was found that four nucleotide points and three amino-acid points had transversions among all isolates. The 3ABC gene had only 13 nucleotide transversions and five amino-acid mutations. It was presumed that persistent FMDV infection might have little connection with variation in the VP1 and 3ABC genes, and was probably related to other structural protein gene and key factors.
Microbial metabolites have been identified as a promising class of natural herbicides due to their effective control against weeds and a relatively low environmental impact. Here we report on the potency and crop safety of a natural compound with herbicidal properties, the metabolite SPRI-70014 from Streptomyces griseolus CGMCC 1370. The compound showed excellent herbicidal activities on various broadleaf and gramineous weeds in both greenhouse and field trials. In germination inhibition experiments, SPRI-70014 inhibited the emergence of both root and shoot at 1 mg L−1. At a dose of 31.3 g ai ha−1, SPRI-70014 provided effective control over most broadleaf weeds in greenhouse trials. Observations on absorption and translocation using a cucumber plant model system indicated that SPRI-70014 could be absorbed by the root but only partly by the stem. Field trials showed that SPRI-70014 provided effective control over most weed species tested at a dose of 1,000 g ai ha−1. Crop safety experiments showed that the compound had no harmful effect on peanut or wheat plants at doses up to 2,000 g ai ha−1. These results indicated that this compound could be developed as a potential POST herbicide for control of broadleaf weeds in peanut and wheat fields.