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Cysticercosis caused by the metacestode larval stage of Taenia hydatigena formerly referred to as Cysticercus tenuicollis is a disease of veterinary importance that constitutes a significant threat to livestock production worldwide, especially in endemic regions due to condemnation of visceral organs and mortality rate of infected young animals. While the genetic diversity among parasites is found to be potentially useful in many areas of research including molecular diagnostics, epidemiology and control, that of T. hydatigena across the globe remains poorly understood. In this study, analysis of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of adult worms and larval stages of T. hydatigena isolated from dogs, sheep and a wild boar in China showed that the population structure consists of two major haplogroups with very high nucleotide substitutions involving synonymous and non-synonymous changes. Compared with other cestodes such as Echinococcus spp., the genetic variation observed between the haplogroups is sufficient for the assignment of major haplotype or genotype division as both groups showed a total of 166 point-mutation differences between the 12 mitochondrial protein-coding gene sequences. Preliminary analysis of a nuclear protein-coding gene (pepck) did not reveal any peculiar changes between both groups which suggests that these variants may only differ in their mitochondrial makeup.
Shifts in the maternal gut microbiota have been implicated in the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Understanding the interaction between gut microbiota and host glucose metabolism will provide a new target of prediction and treatment. In this nested case-control study, we aimed to investigate the causal effects of gut microbiota from GDM patients on the glucose metabolism of germ-free (GF) mice. Stool and peripheral blood samples, as well as clinical information, were collected from 45 GDM patients and 45 healthy controls (matched by age and prepregnancy body mass index (BMI)) in the first and second trimester. Gut microbiota profiles were explored by next-generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and inflammatory factors in peripheral blood were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fecal samples from GDM and non-GDM donors were transferred to GF mice. The gut microbiota of women with GDM showed reduced richness, specifically decreased Bacteroides and Akkermansia, as well as increased Faecalibacterium. The relative abundance of Akkermansia was negatively associated with blood glucose levels, and the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium was positively related to inflammatory factor concentrations. The transfer of fecal microbiota from GDM and non-GDM donors to GF mice resulted in different gut microbiota colonization patterns, and hyperglycemia was induced in mice that received GDM donor microbiota. These results suggested that the shifting pattern of gut microbiota in GDM patients contributed to disease pathogenesis.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a public health emergency of international concern. The current study aims to explore whether the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) are associated with the development of death in patients with COVID-19. A total of 131 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 from 13 February 2020 to 14 March 2020 in a hospital in Wuhan designated for treating COVID-19 were enrolled in the current study. These 131 patients had a median age of 64 years old (interquartile range: 56–71 years old). Furthermore, among these patients, 111 (91.8%) patients were discharged and 12 (9.2%) patients died in the hospital. The pooled analysis revealed that the NLR at admission was significantly elevated for non-survivors, when compared to survivors (P < 0.001). The NLR of 3.338 was associated with all-cause mortality, with a sensitivity of 100.0% and a specificity of 84.0% (area under the curve (AUC): 0.963, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.911–1.000; P < 0.001). In view of the small number of deaths (n = 12) in the current study, NLR of 2.306 might have potential value for helping clinicians to identify patients with severe COVID-19, with a sensitivity of 100.0% and a specificity of 56.7% (AUC: 0.729, 95% CI 0.563–0.892; P = 0.063). The NLR was significantly associated with the development of death in patients with COVID-19. Hence, NLR is a useful biomarker to predict the all-cause mortality of COVID-19.
No studies have reported on how to relieve distress or relax in medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to establish which relaxation technique, among six, is the most feasible in first-line medical health workers wearing medical protective equipment.
This was a two-step study collecting data with online surveys. Step 1: 15 first-line medical health workers were trained to use six different relaxation techniques and reported the two most feasible techniques while wearing medical protective equipment. Step 2: the most two feasible relaxation techniques revealed by step 1 were quantitatively tested in a sample of 65 medical health workers in terms of efficacy, no space limitation, no time limitation, no body position requirement, no environment limitation to be done, easiness to learn, simplicity, convenience, practicality, and acceptance.
Kegel exercise and autogenic relaxation were the most feasible techniques according to step 1. In step 2, Kegel exercise outperformed autogenic relaxation on all the 10 dimensions among the 65 participants while wearing medical protective equipment (efficacy: 24 v. 15, no space limitation: 30 v. 4, no time limitation: 31 v. 4, no body position requirement: 26 v. 4, no environment limitation: 30 v. 11, easiness to learn: 28 v. 5, simplicity: 29 v. 7, convenience: 29 v. 4, practicality: 30 v. 14, acceptance: 32 v. 6).
Kegel exercise seems a promising self-relaxation technique for first-line medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment among COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of this study was to construct a glycyrrhetinic acid (GA)-mediated, breakable, intracellular, nanoscale drug-delivery carrier via amide and esterification reactions. The structures were identified by Fourier-transformed infrared (FTIR) and 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectrophotometry. The compatibility and safety of the carrier were evaluated using hemolysis and cytotoxicity tests. The GA-copolymer micelle was prepared using the solvent evaporation method. FTIR and 1H-NMR detection demonstrated the successful construction of the polymer. No hemolysis occurred in any concentration of polymer within 3 h, and the hemolysis rate was less than 5%. 3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) experimental results showed that the novel polymer reduced the cell survival rate and had significant cytotoxic effects. The blank nanoparticles were liquid with light blue opalescence. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the empty micelles were uniform spheres, with an average size of 62 nm and a zeta potential of −13 mV. The novel GA-mediated polymeric carrier material developed here has the potential to effectively kill human SMMC-7721 cancer cells within 3 days when the dose is above 500 ug/mL.
Outbreaks of norovirus-associated gastroenteritis have been reported in schools in recent decades in China. For early warning and response to infectious disease outbreaks, the Shanghai Infectious Diseases Bud Event Surveillance System (IDBESS) was established in 2016. Bud event is a term used for the early sign of a potential infectious disease outbreak in public settings when the first few cases appear. This study aimed to describe the epidemiological characteristics of Norovirus-associated gastroenteritis bud events from June 2016 to December 2017 and to understand factors influencing the severity of events. Data were extracted from the IDBESS, supplemented by field investigations and school absence surveillance. In total, 189 bud events of Norovirus-associated gastroenteritis were reported in schools and kindergartens, affecting 3827 individuals and 52.38% happened in primary schools. The attack rate of Norovirus-associated gastroenteritis was 3.82% on average in students in the affected schools. In each event, case numbers varied between 5 and 148, with a median of 16. The duration of bud events lasted for 2 days on average. School absence happened in 47.93% (1797/3749) of affected students and the average duration of absence was 3.07 days. It was found that a longer delay before reporting was associated with a longer-lasting duration of bud event (OR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.65, 3.07). In conclusion, ascribed to the sensitive threshold for alerting and the timely field investigation, the surveillance of bud events of Norovirus-associated gastroenteritis is effective in the control of Norovirus infection among preschool children and students in Shanghai.
To explore the epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 associated with SARS-Cov-2 in Guizhou province, and to compare the differences in epidemiology with other provinces.
The data were extracted from National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, Health Commission of Guizhou province, and Health Commission of Hubei province from January 20 to February 12, 2020. Information included such as general demographic indicators, population data and clinical outcome.
A total of 135 cases were analyzed in the study. The average age was 39.46±18.95 years. The ratio of males to females was 0.985:1. Most of COVID-19 patients were 18-45 years old (52.27%). Close contact history was the most common (37.88%), followed by residence history in Hubei (34.85%). There was no difference between males and females in age (P=0.953) and exposure condition (P=0.186). Correlation analysis showed that there was a significant positive correlation between the migration index and the number of confirmed cases (r=0.816, P=0.007).
Among the cases, most patients were young adults. Most epidemiological characteristics were no difference between males and females. Family-based transmission should not be ignored, as a close contact history was the top reason of exposure. Moreover, population movements also had significant impact on outbreaks.
Low-dimensional superconductors have been at the forefront of physics research due to their rich physical properties such as high-temperature (Tc) superconductivity. In this article, we review the field of emergent high-Tc superconductivity at interfaces of heterostructures, focusing on the experimental advances and its physical mechanism. Charge transfer between constituent materials leads to two-dimensional carrier confinement that facilitates occurrence of superconductivity at the interface. We discuss the similarities between bulk high-Tc superconductors and interface systems, as well as implications from a survey of interface superconductors. We expect that the hybrid heterostructures and the ability to manipulate them on an atomic scale could be an enormously fertile ground to explore superconductivity with higher critical temperature Tc.
Reduced graphene oxide supported titanium dioxide (GO/TiO2) heterojunction composites as highly active photocatalysts were synthesized via simple ultrasonic mixing and hydrothermal reaction using TiCl3 and GO as precursors. Their structure and morphology were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectra, UV-vis spectroscopy, and thermogravimetic analysis. The GO/TiO2 heterojunction composites were used to degrade methyl orange (MO). The adsorption and photocatalytic degradation rate of the prepared GO/TiO2 composites increased by nearly three times compared with that of pristine TiO2 or GO, which reached up 90%, to degrade MO after 4 h, which provides a simple method to obtain photocatalytic materials.
Previous studies have shown conflicting findings regarding the relationship between maternal vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and fetal growth restriction (FGR). We hypothesised that parathyroid hormone (PTH) may be an underlying factor relevant to this potential association. In a prospective birth cohort study, descriptive statistics were evaluated for the demographic characteristics of 3407 pregnancies in the second trimester from three antenatal clinics in Hefei, China. The association of the combined status of vitamin D and PTH with birth weight and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) was assessed by a multivariate linear and binary logistic regression. We found that declined status of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with lower birth weight (for moderate VDD: adjusted β = −49·4 g, 95 % CI −91·1, −7·8, P < 0·05; for severe VDD: adjusted β = −79·8 g, 95 % CI −127·2, −32·5, P < 0·01), as well as ascended levels of PTH (for elevated PTH: adjusted β = −44·5 g, 95 % CI −82·6, −6·4, P < 0·05). Compared with the non-VDD group with non-elevated PTH, pregnancies with severe VDD and elevated PTH had the lowest neonatal birth weight (adjusted β = −124·7 g, 95 % CI −194·6, −54·8, P < 0·001) and the highest risk of SGA (adjusted risk ratio (RR) = 3·36, 95 % CI 1·41, 8·03, P < 0·01). Notably, the highest risk of less Ca supplementation was founded in severe VDD group with elevated PTH (adjusted RR = 4·67, 95 % CI 2·78, 7·85, P < 0·001). In conclusion, elevated PTH induced by less Ca supplementation would further aggravate the risk of FGR in pregnancies with severe VDD through impaired maternal Ca metabolism homoeostasis.
Exosomes derived from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells are nanovesicles and are involved in the occurrence and development of HCC, they also serve as important carriers and drug targets of nanodrug delivery systems. The external shape and internal structure of exosomes are important indexes of identification, and isolated intact morphology is crucial to biological function integrity. However, given their susceptibility to various influencing factors, the external shape and internal structure of exosomes derived from HCC cells remain incompletely studied. In this study, exosomes purified from HCC cells were isolated at different centrifugation speeds and examined via multiple electron microscopy (EM) techniques. The results demonstrate that exosomes possess a nearly spherical shape and bilipid membranous vesicle with a concave cavity structure containing electron-dense and coated vesicles, suggesting the possible existence of subpopulations of exosomes with specific functions. The exosomes isolated at ultracentrifugation (UC) speed (≥110,000×g) presented irregular and diverse external morphologies, indicating the effect on the integrity of the exosomes. Transforming growth factor signaling bioactive substances (TGF-β1, S100A8, and S100A9) can be found in exosomes by performing Western blotting, showing that the internal content is associated with metastasis of HCC. These findings show that EMelectron microscopy and UC speed can affect exosome characteristics, including external shape, internal structure, and content of bioactive substances. The electron-dense and coated vesicles that had been discovered in exosomes might become new additional morphological features, which could help to improve the interpretation of experimental results and widen our understanding of exosome morphology.
The purpose of this paper is to focus directly on the phase shift. For one thing, we ask whether a New Keynesian sticky-price model economy can account for both countercyclical prices and procyclical inflation. We present findings in which the price level is countercyclical and the inflation rate is procyclical. We proceed to use the model economy as an identification mechanism. What set of individual shocks are necessary to account for the phase shift? That set contains the price markup shock. Next, we ask what set of shocks are sufficient to account for the phase shift. This set contains three elements: the price markup and wage markup shocks along with the government spending shock. The results are important as a building block. We infer that price stickiness is an important model feature; without price stickiness, we are in the real business cycle economies that Cooley and Hansen studied. But, it raises further questions. For instance, is price stickiness of the Calvo form—the one used here—necessary to explain the phase shift?
The association between milk consumption and the metabolic syndrome remains inconclusive, and data from Chinese populations are scarce. We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the association between milk consumption and the metabolic syndrome and its components among the residents of Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, China. A total of 5149 participants were included in the final analysis. A logistic regression model was applied to estimate the OR and 95 % CI for the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its components according to milk consumption. In addition, the results of our study were further meta-analysed with other published observational studies to quantify the association between the highest v. lowest categories of milk consumption and the metabolic syndrome and its components. There was no significant difference in the odds of having the metabolic syndrome between milk consumers and non-milk consumers (OR 0·86, 95 % CI 0·73, 1·01). However, milk consumers had lower odds of having elevated waist circumference (OR 0·78, 95 % CI 0·67, 0·92), elevated TAG (OR 0·83, 95 % CI 0·70, 0·99) and elevated blood pressure (OR 0·85, 95 % CI 0·73, 0·99). When the results were pooled together with other published studies, higher milk consumption was inversely associated with the risk of the metabolic syndrome (relative risk 0·80, 95 % CI 0·72, 0·88) and its components (except elevated fasting blood glucose); however, these results should be treated with caution as high heterogeneity was observed. In summary, the currently available evidence from observational studies suggests that higher milk consumption may be inversely associated with the metabolic syndrome.
Stem cells are an immortal cell population capable of self-renewal; they are essential for human development and ageing and are a major focus of research in regenerative medicine. Despite considerable progress in differentiation of stem cells in vitro, culture conditions require further optimization to maximize the potential for multicellular differentiation during expansion. The aim of this study was to develop a feeder-free, serum-free culture method for human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), to establish optimal conditions for hESC proliferation, and to determine the biological characteristics of the resulting hESCs. The H9 hESC line was cultured using a homemade serum-free, feeder-free culture system, and growth was observed. The expression of pluripotency proteins (OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, LIN28, SSEA-3, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60, and TRA-1-81) in hESCs was determined by immunofluorescence and western blotting. The mRNA expression levels of genes encoding nestin, brachyury and α-fetoprotein in differentiated H9 cells were determined by RT-PCR. The newly developed culture system resulted in classical hESC colonies that were round or elliptical in shape, with clear and neat boundaries. The expression of pluripotency proteins was increased, and the genes encoding nestin, brachyury, and α-fetoprotein were expressed in H9 cells, suggesting that the cells maintained in vitro differentiation capacity. Our culture system containing a unique set of components, with animal-derived substances, maintained the self-renewal potential and pluripotency of H9 cells for eight passages. Further optimization of this system may expand the clinical application of hESCs.
To explore whether different polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) concentrations affect the results of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a prospective study was conducted for 194 couples undergoing 210 ICSI therapy cycles. These cycles were divided into three groups (10, 7 and 5% groups) using the corresponding concentration of PVP for sperm immobilization. The main outcome measures were analyzed. Results indicated that, with a decrease in PVP concentrations, all of the main outcome measures increased. In particular, the high-quality cleavage embryo rate in the 7% group was significantly lower than in the 5% group (P < 0.01), and the cleavage, high-quality cleavage embryo, and high-quality blastocyst rates in the 5% group were significantly higher than those in the 10% group (all P < 0.001). For high-/intermediate-quality semen, all of the main outcome measures were significantly increased with 5% PVP. For the poor-quality semen, only the high-quality cleavage embryo and high-quality blastocyst rates were significantly higher in the 5% group. Therefore, lowering PVP concentrations greatly promoted the development of embryos in ICSI cycles, with an optimal concentration of 5% for ICSI.