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The aim of this study was to explore the frequency and distribution of gene mutations that are related to isoniazid (INH) and rifampin (RIF)-resistance in the strains of the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) in Beijing, China. In this retrospective study, the genotypes of 173 MDR-TB strains were analysed by spoligotyping. The katG, inhA genes and the promoter region of inhA, in which genetic mutations confer INH resistance; and the rpoB gene, in which genetic mutations confer RIF resistance, were sequenced. The percentage of resistance-associated nucleotide alterations among the strains of different genotypes was also analysed. In total, 90.8% (157/173) of the MDR strains belonged to the Beijing genotype. Population characteristics were not significantly different among the strains of different genotypes. In total, 50.3% (87/173) strains had mutations at codon S315T of katG; 16.8% (29/173) of strains had mutations in the inhA promoter region; of them, 5.5% (15/173) had point mutations at −15 base (C→T) of the inhA promoter region. In total, 86.7% (150/173) strains had mutations at rpoB gene; of them, 40% (69/173) strains had mutations at codon S531L of rpoB. The frequency of mutations was not significantly higher in Beijing genotypic MDR strains than in non-Beijing genotypes. Beijing genotypic MDR-TB strains were spreading in Beijing and present a major challenge to TB control in this region. A high prevalence of katG Ser315Thr, inhA promoter region (−15C→T) and rpoB (S531L) mutations was observed. Molecular diagnostics based on gene mutations was a useful method for rapid detection of MDR-TB in Beijing, China.
This paper presents a novel dual-band (DB) dual-polarized (DP) shared aperture antenna with high isolation by using a combination of microstrip dipoles and dielectric resonator antennas (DRAs) for S and C bands, respectively. In the S band, two sets of proximity coupled stacked microstrip dipoles which crossed at the center are employed to achieve dual-linear polarization (DLP) and obtain desired bandwidth (BW), isolation, and pure polarization. The rectangle DRA with hybrid feed is selected as the C band element for its advantages of small base area and high isolation, and a 2 × 2 array is presented with the “pair-wise” anti-phase feed technique to achieve a low cross-polarized level. Moreover, benefited from the back feed scheme, the proposed antenna has a symmetrical structure and has the potential of expanding into a larger aperture. The proposed antenna has been manufactured and measured, and the results agree well with simulations, which prove the validity of the proposed design.
The epidemiology of suicidal behaviours (SB) reflects our lack of understanding of these complex behaviours, as well as our difficulty to predict them. It is now admitted that vulnerability to SB relies on the interaction between genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Serotoninergic genes and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) dysfunction are potential biomarkers for SB.
Three groups of euthymic participants were included: 1) suicide attempters—individuals with a past history of both major depressive episode and suicidal behaviour; 2) affective comparison subjects—individuals with a past history of major depressive episode but no history of suicidal acts; 3) healthy comparison subjects—individuals with no past history of any DSM-IV axis I diagnosis. We compared neural activity using functional MRI while performing face processing (happiness, anger, sadness visualisation) and decision-making tasks (Iowa Gambling Task). We characterized of our sample for five genotypes: 5HTTLPR, TPH-1 rs1800532, TPH-1 rs7933505, MAOA u-VNTR, and TPH2 rs7305115. We performed a priori ROI analysis focused on OFC.
We found decreased activation during risky vs. safe choices and increased activation during wins vs. losses in left OFC in suicide attempters in comparison to controls. Left lateral OFC activation was correlated with IGT net score in suicide attempters. We found an increased activation of right lateral OFC cortex in suicide attempters in comparison to affective controls when viewing angry but not happy or sad faces vs. neutral faces. Lateral OFC activation was modulated by 5HTTLPR polymorphisms.
Based on OFC dysfunction, suicide attempters may overevaluate social negative signs and underevaluate deleterious consequences of short-term rewarded choices.
To investigate the difference of visual pattern memory among first-episode treatment-naive patients with deficit and nondeficit schizophrenia.
199 first-episode treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia, and 148 controls were recruited. Schedule for the Deficit Syndrome (SDS) was used to categorize the patients into deficit or nondeficit subtype. Pattern Recognition Memory (PRM) was used to test the immediate and delayed mode of visual pattern memory. Positive and Negative Symptom Scale PANSS was used to assess the degree of patients symptoms.
The PRM immediate mode and delayed mode percent correct was significant lower and time latency was significant longer in two subtypes of patients. There were no significant difference in the performance of immediate mode of PRM between deficit and nondeficit patients[(86.49 ± 15.34) vs. (87.28 ± 16.00), P=0.960]. But the impairment was more severe in patients with deficit schizophrenia [percent correct (63.10 ± 19.17) vs. (70.69 ± 15.34), P< 0.001 time latency 5086.80 ± 7528.54 vs. 3527.40 ± 3649.08 P=0.024] in the delayed mode. and PRM has no significant correlation with the negative symptoms of deficit schizophrenia.
There were significant difference in the performance of immediate and delayed mode of PRM between patients and controls. The difference between first-episode treatment-naïve deficit schizophrenia and nondeficit schizophrenia was only in delayed mode of PRM, and has no correlation with the primary negative symptoms. The deficit schizophrenia is a subtype of schizophrenia with unique impairment of cognitive functions.
Micro-RNAs are short non-coding sequences playing a major role in regulating gene expression. Peripheral levels of the micro-RNA miR-1202 have been shown to predict antidepressant response and to change during treatment. However, it is not clear to what extent these peripheral measures reflect central neural changes in vivo.
We aimed at investigating a potential link between peripheral micro-RNA and neuroimaging measures.
At baseline and after 8 weeks of desvenlafaxine (50–100 mg die), twenty depressed patients were scanned with 3 T magnetic resonance imaging, first at rest then during the Go/NoGo task, a classical test of response inhibition. Blood samples were taken for RNA extraction.
During resting state, baseline miR-1202 levels were predictive of decreased connectivity between the posterior cingulate and the prefrontal, occipital and parietal cortices. Changes in miR-1202 levels were correlated with changes in activity in right precuneus within the default-mode network, and with decreased connectivity between the posterior cingulate and the temporal and prefrontal cortices, and the precuneus. During the Go/NoGo task, baseline levels and changes in these levels were correlated with activity changes in different regions, including bilateral prefrontal, insular, cingulate, and temporal cortices. Finally, secondary analyses suggest an association between miR-1202 levels and glutamate levels measured by spectroscopy in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex.
This is the first study showing that baseline and changes in peripheral levels of one micro-RNA were associated with changes in brain activity and connectivity during an antidepressant treatment. MiR-1202 may act through the modulation of the glutamatergic system.
Both vitamin K and probiotics can promote the bone health of poultry and mammals. The present study was conducted to investigate the interactive effects between vitamin K3 (VK3) and Bacillus subtilis PB6 on the growth performance and tibia quality of broiler chickens with sex separate rearing. In a 3 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, 720 one-day-old broiler chicks (Arbor Acres) were assigned to 12 groups with three levels of dietary VK3 (0, 0.5 and 4.0 mg/kg), with or without probiotic supplementation (500 g/t) and with sex separation (male and female). Each group included 3 replicates with 20 birds per replicate. During day 1 to 21, 0.5 and 4.0 mg/kg of VK3 increased average daily gain (ADG) of all birds and average daily feed intake of male birds (P < 0.05). During day 22 to 42, probiotic supplementation increased the ADG of birds (P < 0.05). Probiotic addition increased the weight, length, diameter and strength of tibia in all birds, and 0.5 and 4.0 mg/kg of VK3 increased the tibial breaking strength of male birds at day 21 (P < 0.05). Vitamin K3 and probiotic synergistically increased tibial breaking strength at day 42 and ash content at day 21 (P < 0.05). Three factors exhibited interactive effects on the chemical composition of tibia at day 42, and female birds fed 4 mg/kg of VK3 and probiotic had the highest contents of ash, calcium and phosphorus (P < 0.05). Bacillus subtilis PB6 increased the serum phosphorus level of male birds at day 21 and serum calcium level of female ones at day 42 (P < 0.05). At day 21, in the probiotic-supplemented birds, serum osteocalcin (OCN) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BALP) were increased by 0 and 4.0 mg/kg of VK3, respectively (P < 0.05). Probiotic increased serum OCN and cooperated with VK3 to increase the serum BALP at day 42 (P < 0.05). Vitamin K3 and probiotic synergistically down-regulated the mRNA expression of Runt-related transcription factor 2 and OCN at day 21 (P < 0.05). Vitamin K3 down-regulated the alkaline phosphatase (liver/bone/kidney) expression in male birds at day 21 and 42, but probiotic up-regulated the expression of these genes at day 42 (P < 0.05). In conclusion, VK3 and B. subtilis PB6 promoted the growth performance of broilers during starter and grower phases, respectively. They synergistically improved the physical and chemical traits of tibias, especially in grower phase, by modulating calcium and phosphorus metabolism as well as osteogenic gene expression.
In this article, Si nanoparticle (NP) films were prepared by pulsed laser ablation (PLA) in the argon atmosphere of 10 Pa at room temperature under different pulse repetition rates from 1 to 40 Hz without the baffle. Different from the conventional PLA method, the substrates were placed below and parallel to the ablated plume axis. The obtained films containing NPs were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectrometer. The experimental results under constant laser fluence demonstrate the strong dependence of the mean size and the area number density of NPs on the repetition rate. Specifically, with the increase of pulse repetition rate, the mean size of the NPs in the film first decreases and reaches its minimum at 20 Hz, and then increases after 20 Hz, and decreases again till 40 Hz. The area number density shows the contrary trend versus mean size. The in situ diagnostic results of Langmuir probe denote the ablated Si ion density increases monotonously with the increase of repetition rate, while the temperature is almost constant. Combining with the nucleation probability, the growth/aggregation duration of NPs in the “nucleation region” and the effect of the baffle, the influence of pulse repetition rate on the formation of NPs is addressed. It is found that the repetition rate impacts the growth modes of NPs (i.e., growth and aggregation). 1–20, 20–30, and 30–40 Hz, respectively, correspond to growth-, aggregation-, and growth-controlled rate ranges without the baffle; however, 1–10, 10–20, and 20–40 Hz, respectively, correspond to growth-controlled, aggregation/growth-coexisted, and aggregation-controlled rate ranges with the baffle.
The fatty acid composition of chicken’s meat is largely influenced by dietary lipids, which are often used as supplements to increase dietary caloric density. The underlying key metabolites and pathways influenced by dietary oils remain poorly known in chickens. The objective of this study was to explore the underlying metabolic mechanisms of how diets supplemented with mixed or a single oil with distinct fatty acid composition influence the fatty acid profile in breast muscle of Qingyuan chickens. Birds were fed a corn-soybean meal diet supplemented with either soybean oil (control, CON) or equal amounts of mixed edible oils (MEO; soybean oil : lard : fish oil : coconut oil = 1 : 1 : 0.5 : 0.5) from 1 to 120 days of age. Growth performance and fatty acid composition of muscle lipids were analysed. LC-MS was applied to investigate the effects of CON v. MEO diets on lipid-related metabolites in the muscle of chickens at day 120. Compared with the CON diet, chickens fed the MEO diet had a lower feed conversion ratio (P < 0.05), higher proportions of lauric acid (C12:0), myristic acid (C14:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1n-7), oleic acid (C18:1n-9), EPA (C20:5n-3) and DHA (C22:6n-3), and a lower linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) content in breast muscle (P < 0.05). Muscle metabolome profiling showed that the most differentially abundant metabolites are phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholines (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), which enriched the glycerophospholipid metabolism (P < 0.05). These key differentially abundant metabolites – PC (14:0/20:4), PC (18:1/14:1), PC (18:0/14:1), PC (18:0/18:4), PC (20:0/18:4), PE (22:0/P-16:0), PE (24:0/20:5), PE (22:2/P-18:1), PE (24:0/18:4) – were closely associated with the contents of C12:0, C14:0, DHA and C18:2n-6 in muscle lipids (P < 0.05). The content of glutathione metabolite was higher with MEO than CON diet (P < 0.05). Based on these results, it can be concluded that the diet supplemented with MEO reduced the feed conversion ratio, enriched the content of n-3 fatty acids and modified the related metabolites (including PC, PE and glutathione) in breast muscle of chickens.
To investigate the association between parity and the risk of incident dementia in women.
We pooled baseline and follow-up data for community-dwelling women aged 60 or older from six population-based, prospective cohort studies from four European and two Asian countries. We investigated the association between parity and incident dementia using Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for age, educational level, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and cohort, with additional analysis by dementia subtype (Alzheimer dementia (AD) and non-Alzheimer dementia (NAD)).
Of 9756 women dementia-free at baseline, 7010 completed one or more follow-up assessments. The mean follow-up duration was 5.4 ± 3.1 years and dementia developed in 550 participants. The number of parities was associated with the risk of incident dementia (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02–1.13). Grand multiparity (five or more parities) increased the risk of dementia by 30% compared to 1–4 parities (HR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.02–1.67). The risk of NAD increased by 12% for every parity (HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.02–1.23) and by 60% for grand multiparity (HR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.00–2.55), but the risk of AD was not significantly associated with parity.
Grand multiparity is a significant risk factor for dementia in women. This may have particularly important implications for women in low and middle-income countries where the fertility rate and prevalence of grand multiparity are high.
The small intestine is an important digestive organ and plays a vital role in the life of a pig. We tested the hypothesis that the length of the small intestine is related to growth performance and intestinal functions of piglets. A total of 60 piglets (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire), weaned at day 21, were fed an identical diet during a 28-day trial. At the end of the study, all piglets were sacrificed, dissected and grouped according to small intestine lengths (SILs), either short small intestine (SSI), middle small intestine (MSI) or long small intestine (LSI), respectively. Positive relationships between SIL and BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain-to-feed ratios (G : F) were observed. Final BW, ADG, ADFI and G : F significantly increased (P < 0.05) in MSI and LSI piglets compared with SSI piglets. Short small intestine and MSI had greater jejunal mucosa sucrase and alkaline phosphatase activities (P < 0.05) than LSI piglets. The mRNA level of solute carrier family 2 member 2 (Slc2a2) in the jejunal mucosa of SSI piglets was the greatest. The MSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal villus height than other piglets and greater (P < 0.05) villus height-to-crypt depth ratios than LSI piglets. However, the LSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal crypt depth than SSI piglets. No significant differences in duodenal, jejunal, caecal and colonic morphologies were detected among the groups. Moreover, luminal acetate, propionate, butyrate and total short-chain fatty acid contents were greater (P < 0.05) in SSI and MSI piglets than those in LSI piglets. In addition, there was greater serum glucose concentration in MSI piglets than other piglets. Serum albumin concentration in SSI piglets was the lowest. In conclusion, these results indicate that SIL was significantly positively associated with growth performance, and in terms of intestinal morphology and mucosal digestive enzyme activity, the piglets with a medium length of small intestine have better digestion and absorption properties.
Small intestinal epithelium homeostasis involves four principal cell types: enterocytes, goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been shown to affect enterocyte differentiation. This study determined the effect of dietary EGF on goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglet small intestine and potential mechanisms. Forty-two weaned piglets were used in a 2 × 3 factorial design; the major factors were time post-weaning (days 7 and 14) and dietary treatment (0, 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF supplementation). The numbers of goblet and enteroendocrine cells were generally greater with the increase in time post-weaning. Moreover, the supplementation of 200 µg/kg EGF increased (P < 0.01) the number of goblet and enteroendocrine cells in villus and crypt of the piglet small intestine as compared with the control. Dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of differentiation-related genes atonal homologue 1, mucin 2 and intestinal trefoil factor 3 messenger RNA (mRNA) as compared with the control. Piglets fed 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF diet had increased (P < 0.05) abundances of growth factor-independent 1, SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 mRNA, but decreased the abundance (P < 0.01) of E74 like ETS transcription factor 3 mRNA as compared with the control. Animals receiving 400 µg/kg EGF diets had enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of neurogenin3 and SRY-box containing gene 9 mRNA as compared with the control. The mRNA abundance and protein expression of lysozyme, a marker of Paneth cell, were also increased (P < 0.05) in those animals. As compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF increased the abundance of EGF receptor mRNA and the ratio of non-phospho(p)-β-catenin/β-catenin (P < 0.05) in villus epithelial cells at days 7 and 14. This ratio in crypt epithelial cells was higher (P < 0.05) on the both 200 and 400 µg/kg EGF groups during the same period. Our results demonstrated that dietary EGF stimulated goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglets during the post-weaning period, partly through EGFR and Wnt/β-catenin signalling.
Enhancing the supply of arginine (Arg), a semi-essential amino acid, has positive effects on immune function in dairy cattle experiencing metabolic stress during early lactation. Our objective was to determine the effects of Arg supplementation on biomarkers of liver damage and inflammation in cows during early lactation. Six Chinese Holstein lactating cows with similar BW (508 ± 14 kg), body condition score (3.0), parity (4.0 ± 0), milk yield (30.6 ± 1.8 kg) and days in milk (20 ± days) were randomly assigned to three treatments in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design balanced for carryover effects. Each period was 21 days with 7 days for infusion and 14 days for washout. Treatments were (1) Control: saline; (2) Arg group: saline + 0.216 mol/day l-Arg; and (3) Alanine (Ala) group: saline + 0.868 mol/day l-Ala (iso-nitrogenous to the Arg group). Blood and milk samples from the experimental cows were collected on the last day of each infusion period and analyzed for indices of liver damage and inflammation, and the count and composition of somatic cells in milk. Compared with the Control, the infusion of Arg led to greater concentrations of total protein, immunoglobulin M and high density lipoprotein cholesterol coupled with lower concentrations of haptoglobin and tumor necrosis factor-α, and activity of aspartate aminotransferase in serum. Infusion of Ala had no effect on those biomarkers compared with the Control. Although milk somatic cell count was not affected, the concentration of granulocytes was lower in response to Arg infusion compared with the Control or Ala group. Overall, the biomarker analyses indicated that the supplementation of Arg via the jugular vein during early lactation alleviated inflammation and metabolic stress.
Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
This study aims to investigate the prevalence and genotype distribution of anal human papillomavirus (HPV) infection among men with different sexual orientations with or without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in China. A cross-sectional study was conducted during 2016–2017 in Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province. Convenient sampling was used to recruit male participants from HIV voluntary counselling and testing clinics and Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A face-to-face questionnaire interview was administered and an anal-canal swab was collected for HPV genotyping. A total of 160 HIV-positive and 113 HIV-negative men participated in the study. The prevalence of any type HPV was 30.6% for heterosexual men, 74.1% for homosexual and 63.6% for bisexual men among HIV-positive participants, while the prevalence was 8.3%, 29.2% and 23.8% respectively among HIV-negatives. The most prevalent genotypes were HPV-58 (16.9%), HPV-6 (15.6%) and HPV-11 (15.0%) among HIV-positive men, and were HPV-16 (4.4%), HPV-52 (4.4%) and HPV-6 (3.5%) among HIV-negative men. Having ever had haemorrhoids and having ever seen blood on tissue after defaecation was associated with HPV infection. One-fourth of the HPV infections in this study population can be covered by the quadrivalent vaccine in market. The highly prevalent anal HPV infection among men especially HIV-infected men calls for close observation and further investigation for anal cancer prevention.
We numerically study the impact of a compound drop on a hydrophobic substrate using a ternary-fluid diffuse-interface method, aiming to understand how the presence of the inner droplet affects the spreading dynamics and maximal spreading of the compound drop. First, it is interesting to see that the numerical results for an impacting pure drop agree well with the universal rescaling of maximal spreading ratio proposed by Lee et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 786, 2016, R4). Second, two flow regimes have been identified for an impacting compound drop: namely jammed spreading and joint rim formation. The maximal spreading ratio of the compound drop is found to depend on the volume fraction of the inner droplet
, the surface tension ratio
, the Weber number and the flow regime. Moreover, we propose a universal rescaling of maximal spreading ratio for compound drops, by integrating the one for pure drops with a corrected Weber number that takes
and the flow regime into account. The predictions of the universal rescaling are in good agreement with the numerical results for impacting compound drops.
Cereal grains treated with organic acids were proved to increase ruminal resistant starch and can relieve the risk of ruminal acidosis. However, previous study mainly focussed on acid-treated barley, the effects of organic acid-treated corn is still unknown. The objectives of this study were to evaluate whether feeding ground corn steeped in citric acid (CA) would affect ruminal pH and fermentation patterns, milk production and innate immunity responses in dairy goats. Eight ruminally cannulated Saanen dairy goats were used in a crossover designed experiment. Each experimental period was 21 day long including 14 days for adaption to new diet and 7 days for sampling and data collection. The goats were fed high-grain diet contained 30% hay and 70% corn-based concentrate. The corn was steeped either in water (control) or in 0.5% (wt/vol) CA solution for 48 h. Goats fed CA diet showed improved ruminal pH status with greater mean and minimum ruminal pH, and shorter (P<0.05) duration of ruminal pH<5.6 and less area of ruminal pH<5.6, 5.8 and 6.0. Concentration of total volatile fatty acid and molar proportion of propionate were less but the molar proportion of acetate was greater (P<0.05) in goats fed the CA diet than the control diet. Concentration of ruminal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was lower (P<0.05) and that of lactic acid also tended (P<0.10) to be lower in goats fed CA than the control. Although dry matter intake, actual milk yield, yield and content of milk protein and lactose were not affected, the milk fat content and 4% fat-corrected milk tended (P<0.10) to be greater in goats fed CA diet. For the inflammatory responses, peripheral LPS did not differ, whereas the concentration of LPS binding protein and serum amyloid A tended (P<0.10) to be less in goats fed CA diet. Similarly, goats fed CA diet had less (P<0.05) concentration of haptoglobin and tumour necrosis factor. These results indicated that feeding ground corn treated with CA effectively improved ruminal pH status, thus alleviated the risk of ruminal acidosis, reduced inflammatory response, and tend to improve milk yield and milk fat test.
Litter size has a great impact on the profit of swine producers. Uterine development is an important determinant of reproduction efficiency and could hence affect litter size. Chinese Erhualian pig is one of the most prolific breeds in the world, even though large phenotypic variation in litter size was observed within Erhualian sows. To dissect the genetic basis of the phenotypic variation, we herein conducted genome-wide association studies for total number born and number born alive (NBA) of Erhualian sows. In total, one significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (P<1.78e−06) and 11 suggestive SNPs (P<3.57e−05) were identified on 10 chromosomes, confirming seven previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) and uncovering six QTL for litter size or uterus length. One locus on Sus scrofa chromosome (SSC) 13 (79.28 to 90.43 Mb) harbored a cluster of suggestive SNPs associated with multiparous NBA. The SNP (rs81447100) within this region was confirmed to be significantly (P<0.05) associated with litter size in Erhualian (n=313), Sutai (n=173) and Yorkshire (n=488) populations. Retinol binding protein 2 and retinol binding protein 1 functionally related to the development of uterus were located in a region of 2 Mb around rs81447100. Moreover, four genes related to embryo implantation and development were also detected around other significant SNPs. Taken together, our findings provide a potential marker (rs81447100) for the genetic improvement of litter size not only in Chinese Erhualian pigs but also in European commercial pig breeds like Yorkshire, and would facilitate the final identification of causative variant(s) underlying the effect of SSC13 QTL on litter size.