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To assess the diagnostic role of mean platelet volume in tonsillitis with and without peritonsillar abscess.
Mean platelet volume and other laboratory data were retrospectively investigated.
Mean platelet volume was significantly lower in the tonsillitis group (7.8 per cent ± 0.7 per cent) than in the control group (8.7 per cent ± 0.6 per cent; p < 0.0001), and it was significantly lower in the abscess group (7.5 per cent ± 0.6 per cent) than in the no abscess group (8.0 per cent ± 0.7 per cent; p = 0.0277). White blood cell counts and C-reactive protein levels were not significantly different between patients with an abscess and those without. The mean platelet volume cut-off values for the diagnosis of tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess were 7.95 fl and 7.75 fl, respectively.
Our results suggest that a decreased mean platelet volume is associated with the development and severity of tonsillitis. This finding provides useful diagnostic information for physicians treating patients with tonsillitis.
Climate change, by its influence on the ecology of vectors might affect the occurrence of vector-borne diseases. This study examines the effects of meteorological factors in Japan on the occurrence of scrub typhus, a mite-borne zoonosis caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi. Using negative binomial regression, we analysed the relationships between meteorological factors (including temperature, rainfall, snowfall) and spring–early summer cases of scrub typhus in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, during 1984–2014. The average temperature in July and August of the previous year, cumulative rainfall in September of the previous year, snowfall throughout the winter, and maximum depth of snow cover in January and February were positively correlated with the number of scrub typhus cases. By contrast, cumulative rainfall in July of the previous year showed a negative relationship to the number of cases. These associations can be explained by the life-cycle of Leptotrombidium pallidum, a predominant vector of spring–early summer cases of scrub typhus in northern Japan. Our findings show that several meteorological factors are useful to estimate the number of scrub typhus cases before the endemic period. They are applicable to establish an early warning system for scrub typhus in northern Japan.
Experimental Echinococcus multilocularis infection and deworming was repeated three or five times in nine dogs at various re-infection schedules. The mean number of worms decreased more than 91% in dogs with repeated infection, compared to first infection controls (n= 6). The copro-antigen assay and the egg count in the faeces suggested that the worm burden gradually decreased each time the dogs were re-infected. To examine whether such worm exclusion was a non-specific response, five dogs were sequentially infected with the parasite four times and subsequently fed freely for 6 months. Even after the 6-month interval, the five dogs that were infected five times with the parasite were still able largely to exclude the adult worms. The results suggested that the ability of worm exclusion in dogs that developed a resistance did not become rapidly extinct. Observation of the condition of faeces and the excretion of hooks in the faeces of repeatedly infected dogs revealed that the exclusion of worms started at the first week after the re-infection, and it continued during the patent period. Serum antibodies specific to the parasite antigen increased gradually until the third infection and significantly decreased during the 6-month interval. There was little enhancement of serum antibodies after the fifth infection in most dogs, although no clear correlation was observed between the antibody response and the worm burden. These findings suggested the possibility of developing a vaccine.
Three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging has been used to detect alterations in the composition of inner-ear fluid. This study investigated the association between hearing level and the signal intensity of pre- and post-contrast three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging in patients with sudden-onset sensorineural hearing loss.
Three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 18 patients with sudden-onset sensorineural hearing loss: 12 patients with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss (baseline hearing levels of 60 dB or less) and 6 patients with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss (baseline hearing levels of more than 60 dB).
High-intensity signals in the inner ear were observed in two of the six patients (33 per cent) with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss, but not in those with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss (mid-p test, p = 0.049). These signals were observed on magnetic resonance imaging scans 6 or 18 days after sensorineural hearing loss onset.
The results indicate that three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging is not a useful tool for detecting inner-ear abnormalities in patients with mild sensorineural hearing loss.
We investigated electrical and structural properties of Ta-doped SnO2 (TTO) films on anatase TiO2 seed layers with various growth parameters of pulsed laser deposition. We found that anatase TiO2 seed layers induced pseudo-epitaxial (100) growth of TTO films with enhanced mobility (μ) in a wide range of growth parameters. The highest μ of 83 cm2V-1s-1 [resistivity (ρ) of 2.8 × 10-4 Ωcm] and the lowest ρ of 1.8 × 10-4 Ωcm (μ of 60 cm2V-1s-1) were obtained at a substrate temperature of 600 °C. Amorphization and (101)-preferred growth competed with (100) growth on the TiO2 seed layer at low temperatures. Introducing sufficient process oxygen suppressed such unwanted film growth, resulting in improved transport properties.
In Russia, both alveolar and cystic echinococcoses are endemic. This study aimed to identify the aetiological agents of the diseases and to investigate the distribution of each Echinococcus species in Russia. A total of 75 Echinococcus specimens were collected from 14 host species from 2010 to 2012. Based on the mitochondrial DNA sequences, they were identified as Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), E. canadensis and E. multilocularis. E. granulosus s.s. was confirmed in the European Russia and the Altai region. Three genotypes, G6, G8 and G10 of E. canadensis were detected in Yakutia. G6 was also found in the Altai region. Four genotypes of E. multilocularis were confirmed; the Asian genotype in the western Siberia and the European Russia, the Mongolian genotype in an island of Baikal Lake and the Altai Republic, the European genotype from a captive monkey in Moscow Zoo and the North American genotype in Yakutia. The present distributional record will become a basis of public health to control echinococcoses in Russia. The rich genetic diversity demonstrates the importance of Russia in investigating the evolutionary history of the genus Echinococcus.
A case of cystic echinococcosis (CE) in a domestic cat is described from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Ultrasonography showed numerous cysts with hyperechoic walls and anechoic contents within the cat's abdominal cavity. Molecular identification based on mitochondrial DNA genes indicated that the causative agent was Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (G1 strain). This is the first report of CE in a cat caused by E. granulosus sensu stricto with molecular confirmation.
We studied the origin of peak effect in the magnetic field dependence of Jc in NdBa2Cu3O7-σ single crystals. The single crystals were grown by the slow cooling method under various partial O2 pressures(PO2) (0.04∼1%) in Ar atmosphere. We found that the peak effect depends on PO2 and it disappears for the crystals grown under low PO2∼0.04%. This result demonstrates the important role of Nd/Ba substitution for the peak effect because it is known that the Nd/Ba substitution decreases with lowering PO2. We also investigated the role of oxygen vacancies in the peak effect for the crystals with different amount of Nd/Ba substitution. We found that the main cause of peak effect in fully oxygenated crystals is due to local low Tc regions caused by the Nd/Ba substitution rather than those by the oxygen vacancies.
Amorphous (a-) Ge films were deposited on air-cleaved CaF2 (111) substrates at different deposition temperatures (Td). The films were irradiated with 0.9 MeV Ge or Si ions at low ion current intensity (1c) l00nA/cm2. Their structural changes were studied by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) -channeling technique and thin film x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurement. It was found that the films were epitaxially crystallized by Ge and Si ion irradiation although they included randomly oriented grains. Ge ion irradiation was more effective for the crystallization than Si ion irradiation. However, the amount of the randomly oriented grains was slightly higher when using Ge ions. On the other hand, ion irradiation to the films prepared at high Td also exhibited higher incidence of randomly oriented grains.
Si ion implantation followed by thermal annealing has been used to synthesize luminescent nanometer-sized Si crystals in an amorphous Si02 matrix. Transmission electron microscopy indicates the formation of Si nanocrystals by annealing at 1100 °C, and the growth in average size of Si nanocrystals with increasing annealing time. the shape of the emission spectrum of the photoluminescence is found to be independent of both excitation energy and annealing time, while the excitation spectrum of photoluminescence increases as the photon energy increases and its shape depends on annealing time. the results indicate that the photons are absorbed by Si nanocrystals, for which the band-gap energy is modified by the quantum confinement effects, and the emission of photons is not due to direct electron-hole recombination inside Si nanocrystals but is related to defects probably at the interface between Si nanocrystals and Si02.
A comprehensive study of transport properties and magnetism on β-MnO2 reveals the strong coupling between the conduction electrons and the localized spins which are supposed to form a magnetic helix below TN ∼ 92 K. We also show the direct evidences of the helical magnetism by means of the measurements of the anisotropy in the magnetic susceptibility and the observation of x ray magnetic scatterings on a single crystal of β-MnO2. These results are consistent with proper-type helix model proposed by Yoshimori [J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 14, p. 807 (1959)]. This model also qualitatively agrees with the anisotropy in magnetoresistance that appears below TN. The pitch of the magnetic helix is not commensurate to the lattice and it is slightly temperature dependent. The intensity of several Bragg peaks drastically changes at TN suggesting that the magnetic ordering is accompanied by a lattice distortion.
Crack-healing of structural ceramics is a most valuable technique to overcome their weak point such as surface cracks. Crack-healing ability appeared by admixing SiC to ceramics, because this function is to use the oxidation of SiC. Endowment of crack-healing ability as well as improvement in fracture toughness was expected to be achieved by compositing SiC whiskers. For this purpose, alumina / 30 vol% SiC whiskers and alumina/ 20vol% SiC whiskers/ 10 vol% SiC particles multi-composites were developed. Crack-healing ability and fracture toughness of these composites were investigated. Alumina/ 20 vol% SiC whiskers/ 10 vol% SiC particles multi-composite and alumina/ 30vol% SiC whiskers composite were found to have 1.43 times and 1.65 times higher fracture toughness than monolithic alumina, respectively. From the results of the strength recovery by crack-healing, alumina/ 20 vol% SiC whiskers/ 10 vol% SiC particles multi-composite and alumina / 30vol% SiC whiskers composite were found to be able to heal the pre-crack below 0.250 μm and 0.200 μm in surface length, respectively. In spite of the same SiC content, SiC particles and SiC whiskers multi-compositing enlarged the limit crack size to be able to crack-heal. On the other hand, increasing SiC whiskers content enhanced strength recovery of the specimen with the large crack above limit crack-size.
We determined the most probable atomistic structure of an ultra-low-k material (k≅ 2.5) by computer simulations. Among the candidate structures generated by a molecular-dynamics calculation, the most probable one that reproduces the observed properties was selected using a first-principles density-functional-theory calculation. The candidate structures consisted of Si-O-Si network with some silicon atoms, each of which had a CH3 group or a hydrogen atom bonded. The structure with CH3 groups but no hydrogen atom reproduced the experimental properties best. This structure was then used to investigate the behaviors of the material irradiated with ultraviolet light.
Resonant elastic X-ray scattering (RXS) at the erbium absorption edge was investigated in the orbital-ordered compound ErVO3. An RXS signal resonating near the Er L3-edge was clearly observed at (1 0 0). Using this signal, we studied the relation between the anisotropy of the Er 5d orbital and the V 3d orbital ordering because the covalency between the Er 5d and V 3d orbitals is expected to stabilize the C-type orbital ordering of the V 3d electrons.
The orbital ordering in perovskite-type vanadium oxides, RVO3 (R: rare earth), has been investigated by resonant X-ray scattering (RXS) near the V K-edge energy. The G-type orbital order, C-type orbital order and orbital disorder phases are elucidated on the basis of the azimuthal-angle and polarization dependence of the RXS signal reflecting the orbital ordering.
We have investigated the effect of the background thermal motion on the knock-on ion production and the neutron energy spectrum in deuteron–triton (D–T) fusion plasma. Under the conditions of a typical tokamak D–T plasma, it turned out that the effect is not crucial. Accordingly, it was found that the knock-on ion source strength formulated previously by Ryutov, Helander and Lisak is valid for D–T fusion plasma. The finite temperature effect would become important in knock-on ion production in D–3He fusion plasma.
The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, multi-ethnic province in northwestern China, is one of the most important foci of human cystic echinococcosis (CE) in the world. Two Echinococcus granulosus genotypes (G1 and G6) are known to infect the intermediate hosts in this area but, to date, the source of the human infection remains unclear. The current study aimed to genetically analyse 67 hydatid cysts removed from 47 CE patients for which epidemiological, clinical and serological data were also recorded. Mitochondrial cox 1 gene sequencing suggested that the E. granulosus G1 genotype is the major source of infection (45/47 CE patients). Nevertheless, for the first time in China, 2 patients were found with hydatid cysts of the G6 genotype. In addition, 45 E. granulosus gravid tapeworms, isolated from 13 dogs, were genotyped. The majority of adult worms (42/45) exhibited the G1 genotype, whereas 3 adult tapeworms with the G6 genotype were found in one dog, that also harboured E. granulosus tapeworms of the G1 genotype. This sympatric occurrence of G1 and G6 genotypes of E. granulosus, not only in the same area but also in the same definitive host, raises the interesting question of putative genetic recombination between these E. granulosus genotypes.
Serology (ELISA and immunoblot) using native glycoproteins, affinity purified glycoproteins, and a recombinant antigen is known to be highly specific to Taenia solium cysticercosis in humans and pigs. These techniques were applied for dogs in the highly endemic area of cysticercosis in Papua (Irian Jaya), Indonesia. Analysis of dog sera by both ELISA and immunoblot revealed 7 of 64 dogs were highly positive. Examination of two sero-positive dogs revealed cysticerci of T. solium in the brain and heart of these dogs. Mitochondrial DNA analysis confirmed that they were the same as T. solium previously confirmed from pigs and biopsies from local people from Irian Jaya. It is suggested that the life cycle of T. solium may be completed not only between humans and pigs but also between humans and dogs.