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Developing alternatives to antibiotics is an urgent need in livestock production. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are regarded as powerful antibiotic substitutes (ASs) because AMPs have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and growth-promoting ability. Here, we aimed to comprehensively assess the effects of AMPs on the growth performance, diarrhea rate, intestinal morphology and immunity of healthy or challenged piglets, compared with an antibiotics group or negative control group. We performed a set of meta-analyses of feeding trials from database inception to 27 May 2019. Among the 1379 identified studies, 20 were included in our meta-analyses (56 arms and 4067 piglets). The meta-analyses revealed that (1) compared with the negative control group, AMPs significantly improved the healthy piglets’ average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), gain : feed ratio (G/F), levels of immune globulin (Ig) IgM and IgG, and intestinal villus height : crypt depth ratio (V/C) (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, AMPs significantly increased the challenged piglets’ ADG, ADFI, G/F and V/C of the jejunum and ileum, and notably deceased the diarrhea rate (P < 0.05); (2) compared with antibiotics group, the effects of AMPs were slightly weaker than those of antibiotics in the healthy piglets, but AMPs have similar effects to those of antibiotics in challenged piglets. In a higher purity, the optimal dose of AMPs may be approximately 0.01%. Our findings indicate that AMPs can improve piglet growth performance, enhance immunity, benefit intestinal morphology and decrease the diarrheal rate. AMPs could be great ASs especially under infection conditions.
Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection has been a major public health threat globally. Monitoring and prediction of CT epidemic status and trends are important for programme planning, allocating resources and assessing impact; however, such activities are limited in China. In this study, we aimed to apply a seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model to predict the incidence of CT infection in Shenzhen city, China. The monthly incidence of CT between January 2008 and June 2019 in Shenzhen was used to fit and validate the SARIMA model. A seasonal fluctuation and a slightly increasing pattern of a long-term trend were revealed in the time series of CT incidence. The monthly CT incidence ranged from 4.80/100 000 to 21.56/100 000. The mean absolute percentage error value of the optimal model was 8.08%. The SARIMA model could be applied to effectively predict the short-term CT incidence in Shenzhen and provide support for the development of interventions for disease control and prevention.
In the livestock husbandry compensatory growth may be explored as a means to improve nutrient utilization, to reduce gut health problems due to excess protein intake, to simplify feeding strategies and thus to improve production efficiencies. This study investigated the effects of early protein restriction (EPR) and early antibiotic intervention (EAI) on growth performance, intestinal morphology, colonic bacteria, metabolites and mucosal gene expressions during the restriction phase and re-alimentation phase. A total of 64 piglets (10.04 ± 0.73 kg) were randomly divided into four treatment groups according to a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with two levels of proteins (14% v. 20%) and two levels of antibiotics (0 v. 50 mg/kg kitasamycin and 20 mg/kg colistin sulphate). After a 30-day restriction phase with four kinds of diets, all groups were fed the same diets for another 74 days. The results showed that EPR decreased BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake in the restriction phase (P < 0.01) and increased ADG on days 66 to 104 of the late re-alimentation phase. Early protein restriction could decrease the villus height in the jejunum (P < 0.05), while shifting to the same diets restored the villus height. Meanwhile, during the re-alimentation phase, pigs in the protein restriction groups had increased concentrations of total short chain fatty acids (P < 0.05), and modified the abundances of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the colon. Furthermore, the lower microbial diversity caused by EPR was improved, and gene expression analysis indicated a better barrier function in the colon. During the whole trial, EAI had no interaction with EPR and played a dispensable role in compensatory growth. Collectively, the retardation of growth caused by EPR can be compensated for in the later stages of pig raising, and accompanied by altered intestinal morphology, microbial composition.
Dietary delivery of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) has a great potential for management of Leptinotarsa decemlineata. An important first step is to discover possible RNA-interference (RNAi)-target genes effective against larvae, especially the old larvae. In the present paper, five putative Broad-Complex (BrC) cDNAs (Z1-Z4, and Z6) were identified in L. decemlineata. The expression of the five LdBrC isoforms was suppressed by juvenile hormone signaling, whereas the transcription was upregulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone signaling at the fourth (final) instar larval stage. Feeding of bacterially expressed dsBrC (derived from a common fragment of the five LdBrC variants) in the third- and fourth-instar larvae successfully knocked down the target mRNAs. For the fourth-instar LdBrC RNAi hypomorphs, they had a higher larval mortality compared with the controls. Moreover, most dsBrC-fed beetles did not pupate normally. After removal of the apolysed larval cuticle, a miniature adult was found. The adult head, compound eyes, prothorax, mesothorax, metathorax were found on the dorsal view. Distinct adult cuticle pigmentation was seen on the prothorax. The mouthparts, forelegs, midlegs, and hindlegs could be observed on the ventral view of the miniature adults. For the third-instar LdBrC RNAi specimens, around 20% moribund beetles remained as prepupae and finally died. Therefore, LdBrC is among the most attractive candidate genes for RNAi to control the fourth-instar larvae in L. decemlineata.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) play a regulatory role in various physiological processes in mammals and act as endogenous ligands for the G protein-coupled receptors (GPR) 41 and 43. The role of GPR41 and GPR43 in mediating SCFA signaling in the rabbit remains unclear. The present study was to investigate the sequence of the GPR41 and GPR43 messenger RNA (mRNA) and their expression pattern in different tissues and developmental stages in New Zealand rabbit. Comparison of genomic sequences in GenBank using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool program suggested that the New Zealand rabbit GPR41 mRNA has high similarities with the human (84%), bovine (84%) and Capra hircus (84%) genes. Similarly, GPR43 mRNA has high similarity with the rat (84%) and mouse (84%) genes. Real-time PCR results indicated that GPR41 and GPR43 mRNA were expressed throughout rabbit’s whole development and were expressed in several tissues. G protein-coupled receptor 41 and GPR43 mRNA were most highly expressed in pancreas (P<0.05) and s.c. adipose tissue (P<0.05), respectively. The expression levels of GPR41 mRNA was down-regulated in duodenum, cecum (P<0.05) and pancreas and up-regulated in jejunum, ileum, adipose tissue and spleen during growth. G protein-coupled receptor 43GPR43 mRNA was highly expressed in the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, cecum and lung at 15th day (P<0.05), whereas the expression levels in the pancreas and spleen increased later after birth, with the highest expression at 60th day (P<0.05).
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
Association mapping based on linkage disequilibrium is an effective approach for dissecting the inheritance of complex multi-gene traits. In the present study, association mapping was performed for yield traits based on 172 popular Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) cultivars in China and 331 polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The gene diversity index of 331 markers ranged from 0·0387 to 0·7799 with an average of 0·4002, and the polymorphism information content ranged from 0·0379 to 0·7473 with an average of 0·3375. A total of 93 significantly associated markers for seven yield traits were identified across more than one environment, among which 11 were for seed cotton yield, 12 for lint yield, 11 for boll number per plant, 13 for boll weight, 21 for lint percentage, 14 for lint index and 11 for seed index. The corresponding ranges in phenotypic variation explained by markers across four environments for these seven traits were 1·75–10·49, 1·75–9·34, 2·84–11·80, 2·59–9·89, 2·38–13·97, 2·73–14·82 and 2·50–11·88%, respectively. Some of the yield-associated markers detected were found to be linked to or associated with the same traits identified in previous studies. Furthermore, elite alleles for yield traits were also mined. The present study can provide useful information for further understanding the genetic basis of yield traits, and facilitate high-yield breeding by molecular design in Upland cotton.
A total of 1145 samples were collected from chicken breeder farms, hatcheries, broiler farms, a slaughterhouse and retail refrigerated chicken stores in an integrated broiler supply chain in Guangdong Province, China, in 2013. One-hundred and two Salmonella enterica strains were isolated and subjected to serotyping, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, virulence profile determination and molecular subtyping by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The contamination rates in samples from breeder farms, hatcheries, broiler farms, the slaughterhouse and retail stores were 1·46%, 4·31%, 7·00%, 62·86% and 54·67%, respectively. The isolated strains of S. enterica belonged to 10 serotypes; most of them were S. Weltevreden (46·08%, 47/102) and S. Agona (18·63%, 19/102). Isolates were frequently resistant to streptomycin (38·2%), tetracycline (36·3%), sulfisoxazole (35·3%) and gentamicin (34·3%); 31·4% of isolates were multidrug resistant. The isolates were screened for 10 virulence factors. The Salmonella pathogenicity island genes avrA, ssaQ, mgtC, siiD, and sopB and the fimbrial gene bcfC were present in 100% of the strains. PFGE genotyping of the 102 S. enterica isolates yielded 24 PFGE types at an 85% similarity threshold. The PFGE patterns show that the genotypes of S. enterica in the production chain are very diverse, but some strains have 100% similarity in different parts of the production chain, which indicates that some S. enterica persist throughout the broiler supply chain.
Limitations in sample size, overly inclusive antibiotic classes, lack of adjustment of key risk variables, and inadequate assessment of cases contribute to widely ranging estimates of risk factors for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
To incorporate all key CDI risk factors in addition to 27 antibiotic classes into a single comprehensive model.
Retrospective cohort study.
Kaiser Permanente Southern California.
Members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California at least 18 years old admitted to any of its 14 hospitals from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2012.
Hospital-acquired CDI cases were identified by polymerase chain reaction assay. Exposure to major outpatient antibiotics (10 classes) and those administered during inpatient stays (27 classes) was assessed. Age, sex, self-identified race/ethnicity, Charlson Comorbidity Score, previous hospitalization, transfer from a skilled nursing facility, number of different antibiotic classes, statin use, and proton pump inhibitor use were also assessed. Poisson regression estimated adjusted risk of CDI.
A total of 401,234 patients with 2,638 cases of incident CDI (0.7%) were detected. The final model demonstrated highest CDI risk associated with increasing age, exposure to multiple antibiotic classes, and skilled nursing facility transfer. Factors conferring the most reduced CDI risk were inpatient exposure to tetracyclines and first-generation cephalosporins, and outpatient macrolides.
Although type and aggregate antibiotic exposure are important, the factors that increase the likelihood of environmental spore acquisition should not be underestimated. Operationally, our findings have implications for antibiotic stewardship efforts and can inform empirical and culture-driven treatment approaches.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1409–1416
Hippocampal abnormalities have been demonstrated in schizophrenia. It is
unclear whether these abnormalities worsen with age, and whether they
affect cognition and function.
To determine whether hippocampal abnormalities in chronic schizophrenia
are associated with age, cognition and socio-occupational function.
Using 3 T magnetic resonance imaging we scanned 100 persons aged 19–82
years: 51 were out-patients with stable schizophrenia at least 2 years
after diagnosis and 49 were healthy volunteers matched for age and
gender. Automated analysis was used to determine hippocampal volume and
There were differential effects of age in the schizophrenia and control
samples on total hippocampal volume (group×age interaction:
F(1,95) = 6.57, P = 0.012), with steeper
age-related reduction in the schizophrenia group. Three-dimensional shape
analysis located the age-related deformations predominantly in the
mid-body of the hippocampus. In the schizophrenia group similar patterns
of morphometric abnormalities were correlated with impaired cognition and
poorer socio-occupational function.
Hippocampal abnormalities are associated with age in people with chronic
schizophrenia, with a steeper decline than in healthy individuals. These
abnormalities are associated with cognitive and functional deficits,
suggesting that hippocampal morphometry may be a biomarker for cognitive
decline in older patients with schizophrenia.
Dysfunctional attitudes are a feature of depression that has been correlated with receptor binding abnormalities in limbic and cortical regions. We sought to investigate the functional neuroanatomy of dysfunctional attitudes in major depressive disorder (MDD) and the effects of treatment with cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT).
Participants were 16 patients with unipolar depression in an acute depressive episode (mean age 40.0 years) and 16 matched healthy controls (mean age 39.9 years). Patients were medication free and received a course of treatment with CBT. All participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans at baseline and at week 16, prior to the initiation of therapy and following the course of CBT for patients. During each fMRI scan, participants indicated their attributions to statements from a modified Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale (mDAS-48).
MDD patients in an acute depressive episode endorsed a greater number of extreme responses to DAS statements, which normalized following CBT treatment. Extreme attributions were associated with greater activation in the left hippocampal region, inferior parietal lobe and precuneus in MDD patients as compared with healthy controls as a main effect of group. An interaction effect was found in the left parahippocampal region, which showed less attenuation in MDD patients at the follow-up scan relative to healthy controls.
Attenuation of activity in the parahippocampal region may be indicative of an improvement in dysfunctional thinking following CBT treatment in depression, while persistent engagement of regions involved in attentional processing and memory retrieval with extreme attributions reflects a trait feature of depression.
Weather conditions and social contact patterns provide some clues to understanding year-round influenza epidemics in the tropics. Recent studies suggest that contact patterns may direct influenza transmission in the tropics as critically as the aerosol channel in temperate regions. To examine this argument, we analysed a representative nationwide survey dataset of contact diaries with comprehensive weather data in Taiwan. Methods we used included model-free estimated relative changes in reproduction number, R0; relative changes in the number of contacts; and model-based estimated relative changes in mean contacts using zero-inflated negative binomial regression models. Overall, social contact patterns clearly differ by demographics (such as age groups), personal idiosyncrasies (such as personality and happiness), and social institutions (such as the division of weekdays and weekend days). Further, weather conditions also turn out to be closely linked to contact patterns under various circumstances. Fleeting contacts, for example, tend to diminish when it rains hard on weekdays, while physical contacts also decrease during weekend days with heavy rain. Frequent social contacts on weekdays and under good weather conditions, including high temperature and low absolute humidity, all might facilitate the transmission of infectious diseases in tropical regions.
Flexible electronics and microsystems are an emerging technology with a tremedous impact to the future electronics and information technology and widespread applications. Various devices and microsystems have been developed. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices are a type of essential device for electronics, microsensors and microsystems; however there is no activity on the development of flexible SAW devices yet. This paper reports the development of flexible SAW devices on cheap, bendable and disposable plastic films. Flexible SAW devices with resonant frequency of 198.1 MHz and 447 MHz for the Rayleigh and Lamb waves respectively have been obtained with a large transmission signal up to 18dB. The flexible SAW devices have also demonstrated their ability for acoustic streaming with a velocity up to 3.4 cm/s and for particle concentration. The results have clearly demonstrated that the flexible SAW devices have great potential for applications in electronics and microsystems.
For economizing the space of equipment and increasing the throughput of product, a vertical transportation is usually used for manufacturing a large and thin glass substrate. Due to the fragile characteristic of the large and thin glass substrate, investigation of a method for maintaining the glass substrate stably and safely on a supporting frame during manufacturing processes becomes an important subject. This subject belongs to a kind of moving boundary problem and the method of Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian (ALE) with a finite element scheme is suitably used to solve it. Also, related methods of the generalized minimal residual method (GMRES) and pressure convection diffusion method are adopted to calculate pneumatic pressures distributed on the glass substrate. The results show that under a low frequency of the vertical transportation the glass substrate stably lies on the supporting frame, oppositely under a high frequency of the vertical transportation the glass substrate has possibility to depart from the supporting frame. The later situation is disadvantageous to the glass substrate and should be avoided as much as possible.
Gattini and CSTAR have been installed at Dome A, Antarctica, which provide time-series photometric data for a large number of pulsating variable stars. We present the study for several variable stars with the data collected with the two facilities in 2009 to demonstrate the scientific potential of observations from Dome A for asteroseismology.
Enhancement of a heat transfer rate of mixed convection flow in a three-dimensional vertical channel with insertion of a moving slender block is investigated numerically. A slender block is installed along the direction of the channel flow, and the movement of the slender block is in periodic motion and transverse to the channel flow. The interaction between the moving block and the channel flow destroys and suppresses the velocity and thermal boundary layers on the heat surface periodically. Various ratios of the Richardson numbers (Gr/Re2) are simulated. The results show that under a higher velocity of the channel flow and a lower magnitude of Gr/Re2, the enhancement of heat transfer rate is better. Oppositely, under a lower velocity of the channel flow and a higher magnitude of Gr/Re2, the effect of natural convection driven by the buoyancy force is stronger and it is unfavorable to the heat transfer. A counter effect of the heat transfer rate is observed. These phenomena which are seldom analyzed before by numerical simulation are carried out in this study.
This work clearly demonstrates that the X Ray Reflectometry technique (XRR), extensively used to assess the quality of microelectronic devices can be a useful tool to study the first stages of ion beam mixing. This technique allows measuring the evolution of the Si concentration profile in irradiated Cr/Si layers. From the analysis of the XRR profiles, it clearly appears that the Si profile cannot be described by a simple error function.