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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.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
Using an age-structured process-based simulation model for diamondback moth (DBM), we model the population dynamics of this major Brassica pest using the cropping practices and climate of Guangdong, China. The model simulates two interacting sub-populations (demes), each representing a short season crop. The simulated DBM abundance, and hence pest problems, depend on planting regime, crop hygiene and biological control. A continuous supply of hosts, a low proportion of crop harvested and long residue times between harvest and replanting each exacerbate pest levels. Biological control provided by a larval parasitoid can reduce pest problems, but not eliminate them when climate is suitable for DBM and under certain planting practices. The classic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) method of insecticide application, when pest threshold is reached, proved effective and halved the number of insecticide sprays when compared with the typical practice of weekly insecticide application.
Iron-deficiency anemia is a public health concern that frequently occurs in pregnant mammals and neonatal offspring. Ferrous N-carbamylglycinate chelate (Fe-CGly) is a newly designed iron fortifier with proven effects in iron-deficient rats and weanling piglets. However, the effects of this new compound on pregnant mammals are unknown. Therefore, this experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Fe-CGly on sow reproductive performance and iron status of both sows and neonatal piglets. A total of 40 large-white sows after second parity were randomly assigned to two groups (n=20). They were receiving a diet including 80 mg Fe/kg as FeSO4 or Fe-CGly, respectively, from day 85 of gestation to parturition. The serum (day 110 of pregnancy) and placentas of sows were sampled. Litter size, mean weight of live born piglets, birth (live) litter weight, number of live born piglets, and the number of still-born piglets, mummies, and weak-born piglets were recorded. Once delivered, eight litters were randomly selected from the 20 litters per treatment, and one new-born male piglet (1.503±0.142 kg) from each selected litter was slaughtered within 3 h after birth from the selected litters, without colostrum ingestion. The serum, longissimus muscle, liver and kidneys of the piglets were collected. The iron status of the serum samples and the messenger RNA level of iron-related genes in the placenta, liver and kidney were analyzed. The results showed that litter weight of live born piglets was higher (P=0.030) in the Fe-CGly group (19.86 kg) than in the FeSO4 group (17.34 kg). Fe-CGly significantly increased placental iron concentration (P<0.05) of sows. It also significantly increased iron saturation and reduced the total iron-binding capacity of piglets (P<0.05) at birth. However, the results revealed that supplementation of Fe-CGly in sows reduced liver and kidney iron concentration of neonatal piglets (P<0.05), indicating decreased iron storage. In addition, the concentration of iron in the colostrum was not significantly changed. Therefore, the present results suggested that replacement of maternal FeSO4 supplement with Fe-CGly in the late-gestating period for sows could improve litter birth weight, probably via enhanced iron transportation in the placenta.
Retreatment of tuberculosis (TB) often fails in China, yet the risk factors associated with the failure remain unclear. To identify risk factors for the treatment failure of retreated pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients, we analyzed the data of 395 retreated PTB patients who received retreatment between July 2009 and July 2011 in China. PTB patients were categorized into ‘success’ and ‘failure’ groups by their treatment outcome. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression were used to evaluate the association between treatment outcome and socio-demographic as well as clinical factors. We also created an optimized risk score model to evaluate the predictive values of these risk factors on treatment failure. Of 395 patients, 99 (25·1%) were diagnosed as retreatment failure. Our results showed that risk factors associated with treatment failure included drug resistance, low education level, low body mass index (<18·5), long duration of previous treatment (>6 months), standard treatment regimen, retreatment type, positive culture result after 2 months of treatment, and the place where the first medicine was taken. An Optimized Framingham risk model was then used to calculate the risk scores of these factors. Place where first medicine was taken (temporary living places) received a score of 6, which was highest among all the factors. The predicted probability of treatment failure increases as risk score increases. Ten out of 359 patients had a risk score >9, which corresponded to an estimated probability of treatment failure >70%. In conclusion, we have identified multiple clinical and socio-demographic factors that are associated with treatment failure of retreated PTB patients. We also created an optimized risk score model that was effective in predicting the retreatment failure. These results provide novel insights for the prognosis and improvement of treatment for retreated PTB patients.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
The Erlang mixture model has been widely used in modeling insurance losses due to its desirable distributional properties. In this paper, we consider the problem of efficient estimation of the Erlang mixture model. We present a new thresholding penalty function and a corresponding EM algorithm to estimate model parameters and to determine the order of the mixture. Using simulation studies and a real data application, we demonstrate the efficiency of the EM algorithm.
Drought risk is considered to be among the main limiting factors for maize (Zea mays L.) production in the Northeast Farming Region of China (NFR). Maize yield data from 44 stations over the period 1961–2010 were combined with data from weather stations to evaluate the effects of climatic factors, drought risk and irrigation requirement on rain-fed maize yield in specific maize growth phases. The maize growing season was divided into four growth phases comprising seeding, vegetative, flowering and maturity based on observations of phenological data from 1981 to 2010. The dual crop coefficient was used to calculate crop evapotranspiration and soil water balance during the maize growing season. The effects of mean temperature, solar radiation, effective rainfall, water deficit, drought stress days, actual crop evapotranspiration and irrigation requirement in different growth phases were included in the statistical model to predict maize yield. During the period 1961–2010, mean temperature increased significantly in all growth phases in NFR, while solar radiation decreased significantly in southern NFR in the seeding, vegetative and flowering phases. Effective rainfall increased in the seeding and vegetative phases, reducing water deficit over the period, whereas decreasing effective rainfall over time in the flowering and maturity phases enhanced water deficit. An increase in days with drought stress was concentrated in western NFR, with larger volumes of irrigation needed to compensate for increased dryness. The present results indicate that higher mean temperature in the seeding and maturity phases was beneficial for maize yield, whereas excessive rainfall would damage maize yield, in particular in the seeding and flowering phases. Drought stress in any growth stage was found to reduce maize yield and water deficit was slightly better than other indicators of drought stress for explaining yield variability. The effect of drought stress was particularly strong in the seeding and flowering phases, indicating that these periods should be given priority for irrigation. The yield-reducing effects of both drought and intense rainfall illustrate the importance of further development of irrigation and drainage systems for ensuring the stability of maize production in NFR.
Crop production in the Northeast Farming Region of China (NFR) is affected considerably by variation in climatic conditions. Data on crop yield and weather conditions from a number of agro-meteorological stations in NFR were used in a mixed linear model to evaluate the impacts of climatic variables on the yield of maize (Zea mays L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) and spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in different crop growth phases. The crop growing season was divided into three growth phases based on the average crop phenological dates from records covering 1981 and 2010 at each station, comprising pre-flowering (from sowing to just prior to flowering), flowering (20 days around flowering) and post-flowering (10 days after flowering to maturity). The climatic variables were mean minimum temperature, thermal time (which is used to indicate changes in the length of growth cycles), average daily solar radiation, accumulated precipitation, aridity index (which is used to assess drought stress) and heat degree-days index (HDD) (which is used to indicate heat stress) were calculated for each growth phase and year. Over the 1961–2010 period, the minimum temperature increased significantly in each crop growth phase, the thermal time increased significantly in the pre-flowering phase of each crop and in the post-flowering phases of maize, rice and soybean, and HDD increased significantly in the pre-flowering phase of soybean and wheat. Average solar radiation decreased significantly in the pre-flowering phase of all four crops and in the flowering phase of soybean and wheat. Precipitation increased during the pre-flowering phase leading to less aridity, whereas reduced precipitation in the flowering and post-flowering phases enhanced aridity. Statistical analyses indicated that higher minimum temperature was beneficial for maize, rice and soybean yields, whereas increased temperature reduced wheat yield. Higher solar radiation in the pre-flowering phase was beneficial for maize yield, in the post-flowering phase for wheat yield, whereas higher solar radiation in the flowering phase reduced rice yield. Increased aridity in the pre-flowering and flowering phases severely reduced maize yield, higher aridity in the flowering and post-flowering phases reduced rice yield, and aridity in all growth phases reduced soybean and wheat yields. Higher HDD in all growth phases reduced maize and soybean yield and HDD in the pre-flowering phase reduced rice yield. Such effects suggest that projected future climate change may have marked effects on crop yield through effects of several climatic variables, calling for adaptation measures such as breeding and changes in crop, soil and agricultural water management.
Most previous studies on the effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in pigs focused on the body’s immune response, and few reports paid attention to body metabolism changes. To better understand the glucose metabolism changes in skeletal muscle following LPS challenge and to clarify the possible mechanism, 12 growing pigs were employed. Animals were treated with either 2 ml of saline or 15 µg/kg BW LPS, and samples were collected 6 h later. The glycolysis status and mitochondrial function in the longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle of pigs were analyzed. The results showed that serum lactate content and NADH content in LD muscle significantly increased compared with the control group. Most glycolysis-related genes expression, as well as hexokinase, pyruvate kinase and lactic dehydrogenase activity, in LD muscle was significantly higher compared with the control group. Mitochondrial complexes I and IV significantly increased, while mitochondrial ATP concentration markedly decreased. Significantly increased calcium content in the mitochondria was observed, and endoplasm reticulum (ER) stress has been demonstrated in the present study. The results showed that LPS treatment markedly changes glucose metabolism and mitochondrial function in the LD muscle of pigs, and increased calcium content induced by ER stress was possibly involved. The results provide new clues for clarifying metabolic diseases in muscle induced by LPS.
Suicide in China has declined since the 1990s. However, there has been limited investigation of the potential spatiotemporal variation and social determinants of suicide during subsequent periods.
Annual suicide counts from 2006 to 2012 stratified by county, 5-year age group (⩾15 years) and gender were obtained from the Chinese Disease Surveillance Points system. Trends and geographic differentials were examined using multilevel negative binomial regression models to explore spatiotemporal variation in suicide, and the role of key sociodemographic factors associated with suicide.
The suicide rate (per 100 000) in China decreased from 14.7 to 9.1, 2006–2012. Rates of suicide were higher in males than females and increased substantially with age. Suicide rates were higher in rural areas compared with urban areas; however, urban–rural disparities reduced over time with a faster decline for rural areas. Within both urban and rural areas, higher rates of suicide were evident in areas with lower socio-economic circumstances (SEC) [rate ratio (RR) 1.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.31–2.62]. Suicide rates varied more than twofold (median RR 2.06) across counties, and were highest in central and southwest regions of China. A high proportion of the divorced population, especially for younger females, was associated with lower suicide rates (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.46–0.79).
Geographic variations for suicide should be taken into account in policy making, particularly for older males living in rural areas and urban areas with low SEC. Measures to reduce disparities in socio-economic level and alleviate family relation stress are current priorities.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an infectious disease caused by enteroviruses, which usually occurs in children aged <5 years. In China, the HFMD situation is worsening, with increasing number of cases nationwide. Therefore, monitoring and predicting HFMD incidence are urgently needed to make control measures more effective. In this study, we applied an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model to forecast HFMD incidence in Sichuan province, China. HFMD infection data from January 2010 to June 2014 were used to fit the ARIMA model. The coefficient of determination (R2), normalized Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) and mean absolute percentage of error (MAPE) were used to evaluate the goodness-of-fit of the constructed models. The fitted ARIMA model was applied to forecast the incidence of HMFD from April to June 2014. The goodness-of-fit test generated the optimum general multiplicative seasonal ARIMA (1,0,1) × (0,1,0)12 model (R2 = 0·692, MAPE = 15·982, BIC = 5·265), which also showed non-significant autocorrelations in the residuals of the model (P = 0·893). The forecast incidence values of the ARIMA (1,0,1) × (0,1,0)12 model from July to December 2014 were 4103–9987, which were proximate forecasts. The ARIMA model could be applied to forecast HMFD incidence trend and provide support for HMFD prevention and control. Further observations should be carried out continually into the time sequence, and the parameters of the models could be adjusted because HMFD incidence will not be absolutely stationary in the future.
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.
China has recently experienced a marked increase in the incidence of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Effective spatio-temporal monitoring of HFMD incidence is important for successful implementation of control and prevention measures. This study monitored county-level HFMD reported incidence rates for Sichuan province, China by examining spatio-temporal patterns. County-level data on HFMD daily cases between January 2008 and December 2013 were obtained from the China Information System for Disease Control and Prevention. We first conducted purely temporal and purely spatial descriptive analyses to characterize the distribution patterns of HFMD. Then, the global Moran's I statistic and space–time scan statistic were used to detect the spatial autocorrelation and identify the high-risk clusters in each year, respectively. A total of 212267 HFMD cases were reported in Sichuan province during the study period (annual average incidence 43·65/100000), and the incidence seasonal peak was between April and July. Relatively high incidence rates appeared in the northeastern–southwestern belt. HFMD had positive spatial autocorrelation at the county level with global Moran's I increasing from 0·27 to 0·52 (P < 0·001). Spatio-temporal cluster analysis detected six most-likely clusters and several secondary clusters from 2008 to 2013. The centres of the six most-likely clusters were all located in the provincial capital city Chengdu. Chengdu and its neighbouring cities had always been spatio-temporal clusters, which indicated the need for further intensive space–time surveillance. Allocating more resources to these areas at suitable times might help to reduce HFMD incidence more effectively.
In this study, epidemiological factors of sparganosis cases reported in mainland China from 1959 to December 2012 were analysed. A total of 1061 valid cases were distributed throughout most of the provinces of mainland China, with most cases occurring in Southern and Eastern China. The average age of patients was 29 years (range 0–80 years). Modes of transmission to humans were via contact (54·6%), mainly by application of frog meat as a poultice, foodborne (33·8%), mainly through ingesting frogs or snakes, and waterborne (11·5%) through drinking raw water. The tissue/organs involved were subcutaneous/muscle (43·1%), eyes (31·0%), central nervous system (CNS) (17·9%), urogenital system (3·9%) and visceral organs (3·2%). Obvious differences existed in main risk factors for different areas. Close correlation was found between tissue/organs and risk factors. Main modes of transmission changed during the past decades, from contact (83·8% pre-1979) to foodborne (63·9% post-2000). The tissue/organs involved also changed at the same time. Cases involving eyes fell from 50·0% pre-1979 to 8·3% post-2000, and cases involving CNS increased from 0% pre-1979 to 47·8% post-2000. These results illustrate that China is one of the main epidemic countries of sparganosis in the world. Consumption of frog/snake meat was the main risk factor, although application of frog flesh as a poultice was the main risk factor before 2000. Sparganosis has become one of the neglected but important foodborne/waterborne parasitic diseases in mainland China.
The seasonal variation and spatial distribution of chaetognaths were studied based on samples collected from July to August 2006 (summer), December 2006 to January 2007 (winter), and in April 2007 (spring) on the north-west continental shelf of the South China Sea. A total of 19 species of chaetognaths were identified. The average chaetognath abundances (mean ±SD) were 54.0 ± 44.5, 36.8 ±16.7 and 48.9 ± 95.5 ind. m−3 in summer, winter and spring, respectively. Flaccisagitta enflata and Serratosagitta pacifica were the dominant species during the whole sampling period, and F. enflata determined the spatial distribution of total chaetognath abundance. According to the topography and hydrological conditions, the survey area was divided into three sub-regions: inshore waters of the western Guangdong (Region I), inshore waters to the east of Hainan Island (Region II) and offshore waters from the western Guangdong to Hainan Island (Region III). The community structure and abundance distribution of chaetognaths varied significantly between the three sub-regions. The species richness was significantly different among the three sub-regions, with the lowest in Region I and the highest in Region III. The species richness was correlated positively with temperature and salinity. The abundance of chaetognaths was significantly higher in Region I than in both Regions II and III in summer and spring. The increasing food availability caused by the cold eddy, coastal upwelling and the western Guangdong coastal current was able support a greater abundance of chaetognaths during warm seasons on the north-west continental shelf of the South China Sea.
Convergent studies have highlighted the dysfunction of the amygdala, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, only a few studies have investigated the functional connectivity between brain regions in PTSD patients during the resting state, which may improve our understanding of the neuropathophysiology of PTSD. The aim of this study was to investigate patterns of whole-brain functional connectivity in treatment-naive PTSD patients without co-morbid conditions who experienced the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the Sichuan province of China.
A total of 72 PTSD patients and 86 trauma-exposed non-PTSD controls participated in the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study. All these subjects were recruited from the disaster zone of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Functional connectivities between 90 paired brain regions in PTSD patients were compared with those in trauma-exposed non-PTSD controls. Furthermore, Pearson correlation analysis was performed between significantly abnormal connectivities in PTSD patients and their clinician-administered PTSD scale (CAPS) scores.
Compared with non-PTSD controls, PTSD patients showed weaker positive connectivities between the middle prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and rectus, as well as between the inferior orbitofrontal cortex and the hippocampus. In addition, PTSD patients showed stronger negative connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the insula. The CAPS scores in PTSD patients correlated negatively with the connectivity between the amygdala and the mPFC.
PTSD patients showed abnormalities in whole-brain functional connectivity, primarily affecting the connectivities between the mPFC and limbic system, and connectivity between the PCC and insula.