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The gut is composed of a single layer of intestinal epithelial cells and plays important roles in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, immune and barrier functions and amino acid metabolism. Weaning stress impairs piglet intestinal epithelium structural and functional integrities, which results in reduced feed intake, growth rates and increased morbidity and mortality. Several measures are needed to maintain swine gut development and growth performance after weaning stress. A large body of evidence indicates that, in weaning piglets, glutamine, a functional amino acid, may improve growth performance and intestinal morphology, reduce oxidative damage, stimulate enterocyte proliferation, modulate cell survival and death and enhance intestinal paracellular permeability. This review focuses on the effects of glutamine on intestinal health in piglets. The aim is to provide evidentiary support for using glutamine as a feed additive to alleviate weaning stress.
Although application of organic fertilizers has become a recommended way for developing sustainable agriculture, it is still unclear whether above-ground and below-ground crops have similar responses to chemical fertilizers (CF) and organic manure (OM) under the same farming conditions. The current study investigated soil quality and crop yield response to fertilization of a double-cropping system with rapeseed (above-ground) and sweet potato (below-ground) in an infertile red soil for 2 years (2014–16). Three fertilizer treatments were compared, including CF, OM and organic manure plus chemical fertilizer (MCF). Organic fertilizers (OM and MCF) increased the yield of both above- and below-ground crops and improved soil biochemical properties significantly. The current study also found that soil-chemical properties were the most important and direct factors in increasing crop yields. Also, crop yield was affected indirectly by soil-biological properties, because no significant effects of soil-biological activities on yield were detected after controlling the positive effects of soil-chemical properties. Since organic fertilizers could not only increase crop yield, but also improve soil nutrients and microbial activities efficiently and continuously, OM application is a reliable agricultural practice for both above- and below-ground crops in the red soils of China.
The current experiment aimed at assessing the effects of dietary supplementation of guanidino acetic acid (GAA) on growth performance, thigh meat quality and development of small intestine in broilers. A total of 360 1-day-old female broiler chicks were distributed randomly to four groups of 90 birds each, and each group received GAA dosages of 0, 0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 g/kg of feed dry matter. During the whole experiment of 60 days, broilers had ad libitum access to water and feed and the feed intake was recorded daily. All broilers were weighed before and after the experiment, and 30 broilers of each group were selected randomly to slaughter at the end. Increasing dietary supplementation of GAA increased final live weight and daily body weight gain, gain-to-feed ratio, thigh muscle pH value and fibre diameter of broilers, but decreased daily feed intake, drip loss, cooking loss, shear force value, hardness, gumminess and chewiness of thigh meat. In addition, increasing supplementation of GAA quadratically increased duodenal, jejunal and ileal villus height and width and ratio of villus height to crypt depth, but decreased crypt depth. The results indicated that GAA as a feed additive may support better development of small intestine, thereby resulting in improvement of growth performance and meat quality of broilers.
Compared with conventional identification methods, DNA-based genetic approaches such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and satellites are much more reliable for pig identification and meat traceability. In this study, multiallelic amplification fragments with multiple SNPs, incorporating the advantages of both SNPs and microsatellites, were explored for the first time for pig identification and meat traceability. Primer pairs for multiallelic fragments and their optimal SNPs were successfully selected and used for identification of individuals from Suzhong and Duroc populations. Meanwhile, the combined panel of the above mentioned primer pairs together with their optimal SNPs for Suzhong and/or Duroc pigs were validated for identification of the hybrids (Suzhong×Duroc). Therefore, we have successfully selected multiallelic amplification fragments with multiple SNPs to identify pigs and their meat samples from Suzhong, Duroc or their hybrids. Our study demonstrates that our method is more powerful for pig identification or meat traceability than SNPs or microsatellites.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity associated with liver disease. Risk factors identified for the transmission of HCV include contaminated blood products, intravenous drug use, body piercing, an infected mother at birth, sexual activity, and dental therapy, among others. However, the exact diversity of the HCV genotype and genetic variation among patients with low-risk factors is still unknown. In this study, we briefly described and analysed the genotype distribution and genetic variation of HCV infections with low-risk factors using molecular biology techniques. The results suggested that genotype 1b was predominant, followed by genotypes 2a and 1a. Genetic variations in the 5′ UTR sequences of HCV were identified, including point mutations, deletions, and insertions. The frequency of genetic variations in 1b was higher than in 2a. This study provides considerable value for the prevention and treatment of liver disease caused by HCV among patients with low-risk factors and for the development of HCV diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
Dislocation/grain-boundary (GB) interactions have been studied in situ in polycrystalline ice using synchrotron X-ray topography in the temperature range 0° to –15°C GBs were observed to act both as sources of lattice dislocations and as strong obstacles to dislocation motion. Dislocations were observed to form pile-ups at GBs upon loading. Generally the basal slip system with the highest Schmid factor was found to be the most active, and dislocations were emitted from GB facets as semi-hexagonal loops in order to relieve the stress build-up from GB sliding. When the relative orientation of two adjacent grains and the orientation of the GB between them with respect to the loading direction discouraged GB sliding, thus suppressing dislocation nucleation at the GB, dislocations originating in one grain piled up at the GB and led to slip transmission through the GB The latter geometrical arrangement is rarely encountered, suggesting that slip transmission through grain boundaries in ice is a rare event. When basal slip was suppressed, i.e. when the loading direction lay in the basal plane, slip occurred by the glide of a fast edge segment on non-basal planes.
This study aimed to define the characteristics and use of ocular and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials for evaluating paediatric cochlear implant candidates.
Ocular and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials of 34 paediatric cochlear implant candidates were analysed. All patients also underwent a routine audiological examination, including computed tomography.
In all, 27 patients with normal inner-ear structures had absent or impaired vestibular evoked myogenic potential responses. In paediatric candidates with inner-ear malformations, ocular and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials had lower thresholds and higher amplitudes. Vestibular evoked myogenic potential responses in this cohort were classified into three groups. There was significant concordance between vestibular evoked myogenic potentials and temporal bone computed tomography findings.
Ocular and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential waveforms were different in paediatric candidates with normal and abnormal inner-ear structures. Therefore, vestibular evoked myogenic potential responses can indicate temporal bone structure.
At the end of 2013, China reported a countrywide outbreak of measles. From January to May 2014, we investigated the clinical and immunological features of the cases of the outbreak admitted to our hospital. In this study, all 112 inpatients with clinically diagnosed measles were recruited from the 302 Military Hospital of China. The virus was isolated from throat swabs from these patients, and cytokine profiles were examined. By detecting the measles virus of 30 of the 112 patients, we found that this measles outbreak was of the H1 genotype, which is the major strain in China. The rates of complications, specifically pneumonia and liver injury, differed significantly in patients aged <8 months, 8 months to 18 years, and >18 years: pneumonia was more common in children, while liver injury was more common in adults. Pneumonia was a significant independent risk factor affecting measles duration. Compared to healthy subjects, measles patients had fewer CD4+IL-17+, CD4+IFN-γ+, and CD8+IFN-γ+ cells in both the acute and recovery phases. In contrast, measles patients in the acute phase had more CD8+IL-22+ cells than those in recovery or healthy subjects. We recommend that future studies focus on the age-related distribution of pneumonia and liver injury as measles-related complications as well as the association between immunological markers and measles prognosis.
The objective of this study was to determine if a moderate or high reduction of dietary CP, supplemented with indispensable amino acids (IAA), would affect growth, intestinal morphology and immunological parameters of pigs. A total of 40 barrows (initial BW=13.50±0.50 kg, 45±2 day of age) were used in a completely randomized block design, and allocated to four dietary treatments containing CP levels at 20.00%, 17.16%, 15.30% and 13.90%, respectively. Industrial AA were added to meet the IAA requirements of pigs. After 4-week feeding, blood and tissue samples were obtained from pigs. The results showed that reducing dietary CP level decreased average daily gain, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and relative organ weights of liver and pancreas (P<0.01), and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.01). Pigs fed the 13.90% CP diet had significantly lower growth performance than that of pigs fed higher CP at 20.00%, 17.16% or 15.30%. Moreover, reducing dietary CP level decreased villous height in duodenum (P<0.01) and crypt depth in duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0.01). The reduction in the dietary CP level increased plasma concentrations of methionine, alanine (P<0.01) and lysine (P<0.05), and decreased arginine (P<0.05). Intriguingly, reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 13.90% resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentration of IgG (P<0.05), percentage of CD3+T cells of the peripheral blood (P<0.01), also down-regulated the mRNA abundance of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (P<0.01) and nuclear factor kappa B (P<0.05) in the ileum. These results indicate that reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 15.30%, supplemented with IAA, had no significant effect on growth performance and had a limited effect on immunological parameters. However, a further reduction of dietary CP level up to 13.90% would lead to poor growth performance and organ development, associated with the modifications of intestinal morphology and immune function.
While oral antidepressants reach efficacy after weeks, single-dose intravenous (i.v.) ketamine has rapid, yet time-limited antidepressant effects. We aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of single-dose i.v. ketamine augmentation of escitalopram in major depressive disorder (MDD).
Thirty outpatients with severe MDD (17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression total score ⩾24) were randomized to 4 weeks double-blind treatment with escitalopram 10 mg/day+single-dose i.v. ketamine (0.5 mg/kg over 40 min) or escitalopram 10 mg/day + placebo (0.9% i.v. saline). Depressive symptoms were measured using the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology – Self-Report (QIDS-SR). Suicidal ideation was evaluated with the QIDS-SR item 12. Adverse psychopathological effects were measured with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)-positive symptoms, Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and Clinician Administered Dissociative States Scale (CADSS). Patients were assessed at baseline, 1, 2, 4, 24 and 72 h and 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Time to response (⩾50% MADRS score reduction) was the primary outcome.
By 4 weeks, more escitalopram + ketamine-treated than escitalopram + placebo-treated patients responded (92.3% v. 57.1%, p = 0.04) and remitted (76.9% v. 14.3%, p = 0.001), with significantly shorter time to response [hazard ratio (HR) 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01–0.22, p < 0.001] and remission (HR 0.11, 95% CI 0.02–0.63, p = 0.01). Compared to escitalopram + placebo, escitalopram + ketamine was associated with significantly lower MADRS scores from 2 h to 2 weeks [(peak = 3 days–2 weeks; effect size (ES) = 1.08–1.18)], QIDS-SR scores from 2 h to 2 weeks (maximum ES = 1.27), and QIDS-SR suicidality from 2 to 72 h (maximum ES = 2.24). Only YMRS scores increased significantly with ketamine augmentation (1 and 2 h), without significant BPRS or CADSS elevation.
Single-dose i.v. ketamine augmentation of escitalopram was safe and effective in severe MDD, holding promise for speeding up early oral antidepressant efficacy.
Association mapping based on linkage disequilibrium (LD) is a promising tool to identify genes responsible for quantitative variations underlying complex traits. The present paper presents an association mapping panel consisting of 172 upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) accessions. The panel was phenotyped for five cotton plant architecture traits across multiple environments and genotyped using 386 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Of these markers, 101 polymorphic SSR markers were used in the final analysis. There were abundant phenotypic variations within this germplasm panel and a total of 267 alleles ranging from two to seven per locus were identified in all collections. The threshold of LD decay was set to r2 = 0·1 and 0·2, and the genome-wide LD extended up to about 13–14 and 6–7 cM, respectively, providing the potential for association mapping of agronomically important traits in upland cotton. A total of 66 marker–trait associations were detected based on a mixed linear model, of which 35 were found in more than one environment. The favourable alleles from 35 marker loci can be used in marker-assisted selection of target traits. Both the synergistic alleles and the negative alleles for some traits, especially plant height and fruit branch angle, can be utilized in plant architecture breeding programmes according to specific breeding objectives.
This study characterized Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C strains in China in order to establish their genetic relatedness and describe the use of multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) to provide useful epidemiological information. A total of 215 N. meningitidis serogroup C strains, obtained from 2003 to 2012 in China, were characterized by MLVA with different published schemes as well as multilocus sequence typing. (i) Based on the MLVA scheme with a combination of five highly variable loci, 203 genotypes were identified; this level of discrimination supports its use for resolving closely related isolates. (ii) Based on a combination of ten low variable loci, clear phylogenetic relationships were established within sequence type complexes. In addition, there was evidence of microevolution of VNTR loci over the decade as strain lineages spread from Anhui to other provinces, the more distant the provinces from Anhui, the higher the genetic variation.
To understand the clinical epidemiology and molecular characteristics of human bocavirus (HBoV) infection in children with diarrhoea in Guangzhou, South China, we collected 1128 faecal specimens from children with diarrhoea from July 2010 to December 2012. HBoV and five other major enteric viruses were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Human rotavirus (HRV) was the most prevalent pathogen, detected in 250 (22·2%) cases, followed by enteric adenovirus (EADV) in 76 (6·7%) cases, human astrovirus (HAstV) in 38 (3·4%) cases, HBoV in 17 (1·5%) cases, sapovirus (SaV) in 14 (1·2%) cases, and norovirus (NoV) in 9 (0·8%) cases. Co-infections were identified in 3·7% of the study population and 23·5% of HBoV-positive specimens. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 14 HBoV strains to be clustered into species HBoV1 with only minor variations among them. Overall, the detection of HBoV appears to partially contribute to the overall detection gap for enteric infections, single HBoV infection rarely results in severe clinical outcomes, and HBoV sequencing data appears to support conserved genomes across strains identified in this study.
Insect cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) play an important role in catalysis of many reactions leading to insecticides resistance. Our previous studies on transcriptome analysis of chlorantraniliprole-resistant development in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella revealed that up-regulation of cytochrome P450s are one of the main factors leading to the development of chlorantraniliprole resistance. Here, we report for the first time a novel cytochrome P450 gene CYP321E1, which belongs to the cytochrome P450 gene family CYP321. Real-time quantitative PCR (RT–qPCR) analyses indicated that CYP321E1 was expressed at all developmental stages of P. xylostella but was highest in the fourth-instar larvae; furthermore, the relatively high expression was observed in the midgut of the fourth-instar larvae, followed by fat bodies and epidermis. The expression of CYP321E1 in P. xylostella was differentially affected by three representative insecticides, including alphamethrin, abamectin and chlorantraniliprole. Among them, the exposure to chlorantraniliprole resulted in the largest transcript level of this cytochrome P450 gene. The findings suggested potential involvement of CYP321E1 in chlorantraniliprole resistance of P. xylostella. To assess the functional link of CYP321E1 to chlorantraniliprole resistance, RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing by double stranded RNA (dsRNA) injecting was used. Results revealed that injection delivery of dsRNA can greatly reduce gene expression after 24 h. As a consequence of RNAi, a significant increment in mortality of larvae injected CYP321E1 dsRNA was observed after 24 h of exposure to chlorantraniliprole. These results strongly support our notion that this novel cytochrome P450 gene plays an important role in chlorantraniliprole detoxification in the diamondback moth and is partly responsible for its resistance.
In 2006 we initiated an enhanced laboratory-based surveillance of Salmonella and Shigella infections in Shanghai, China. A total of 4483 Salmonella and 2226 Shigella isolates were recovered from stool specimens by 2012. In 80 identified Salmonella serovars, Enteritidis (34·5%) and Typhimurium (26·2%) were the most common. Shigella (S.) sonnei accounted for 63·9% of human Shigella infections over the same time period, and replaced S. flexneri to become the primary cause of shigellosis since 2010. Overall, a high level of antimicrobial resistance was observed in Salmonella and Shigella, particularly to nalidixic acid, ampicillin, and tetracycline. Ciprofloxacin resistance was common in Salmonella Typhimurium (21·0%) and S. flexneri (37·6%). The cephalosporin resistance in both pathogens also increased over the years, ranging from 3·4% to 7·0% in Salmonella, and from 10·4% to 28·6% in Shigella. Resistance to multiple antimicrobials was also identified in a large number of the isolates. This study provides insight into the distribution of Salmonella and Shigella in diarrhoeal diseases.
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 idea is tested that the evolution of the Chalk’s clay mineral assemblage during diagenesis can be deduced by examining the relationships between its clay mineralogy, particle size distribution pattern, and the timing and trace element chemistry of the calcite cement. The preliminary results from five different examples of cementation developed at different stages of diagenesis in chalks with smectite-dominated clay assemblages suggest that this is a promising line of investigation. Soft chalks with minor amount of anoxic series calcite cement poor in Mg, Fe and Mn are associated with neoformed trioctahedral smectite and/or dioctahedral nontronite and talc. Hard ground chalk with extensive anoxic series calcite cement enriched in Mg and relatively high Fe, Mn and Sr are associated with neoformed glauconite sensu lato, berthierine and dioctahedral smectite, possibly enriched in Fe. The chalk associated with large ammonites shows extensive suboxic series calcite cement enriched in Mg, Mn and Fe that show no obvious correlation with its clay mineralogy. Nodular chalks with patchy suboxic series calcite cement enriched in Fe are associated with neoformed dioctahedral smectite, possibly enriched in Al, and berthierine. Regionally hardened chalk with extensive suboxic calcite cement and relatively high trace element contents contain pressure dissolution seams enriched in kaolin and berthierine. Laser-based particle-size distribution patterns suggest that each type of lithification has a typical complex clay mineral population, indicating that subtleties in mineralogy are not being identified and that there could be some control on the size and shape of the clay crystals by the different types of cementation.
Detrital, volcanic and diagenetic origins have been used to explain the smectite clay assemblage that characterizes the Upper Cretaceous Chalk of Europe. To further the understanding of how clays of different origins may have converged to this characteristic clay mineral assemblage a new approach is put forward for their investigation. This is based upon (1) the correlation that exists between the trace element and stable isotope geochemistry of the calcite cements preserved within Chalk brachiopods and the various diagenetic phases of early lithification and cementation recognized in the Chalk, and (2) an understanding of the process of late diagenetic cementation that has caused regional differences in the hardness of the Chalk. It is suggested that each phase of lithification and associated calcite cementation may preserve the different clay assemblages at various stages in their convergence to the characteristic Chalk smectite assemblage.