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The present study aimed to compare the anti-biofilm activities of four commonly available antiseptic eardrops against biofilms from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and quinolone-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro.
The anti-biofilm activities of 50 per cent Burow's solution, vinegar with water (1:1), 2 per cent acetic acid solution, and 4 per cent boric acid solution were evaluated using biofilm assays. Additionally, the anti-biofilm activities of the four antiseptic solutions against tympanostomy tube biofilms were compared using a scanning electron microscope.
The inhibition of biofilm formation from methicillin-resistant S aureus and quinolone-resistant P aeruginosa occurred after treatment with 4 per cent boric acid solution, 2 per cent acetic acid solution, and vinegar with water (1:1). However, 50 per cent Burow's solution did not exhibit effective anti-biofilm activity.
The results indicate that 4 per cent boric acid solution and vinegar with water (1:1) are potent inhibitors of biofilms from methicillin-resistant S aureus and quinolone-resistant P aeruginosa, and provide safe pH levels for avoiding ototoxicity.
Human bocaviruses (HBoVs) have been detected in human gastrointestinal infections worldwide. In 2005, HBoV was also discovered in infants and children with infections of the lower respiratory tract. Recently, several genotypes of this parvovirus, including HBoV genotype 2 (HBoV2), genotype 3 (HBoV3) and genotype 4 (HBoV4), were discovered and found to be closely related to HBoV. HBoV2 was first detected in stool samples from children in Pakistan, followed by detection in other countries. HBoV3 was detected in Australia and HBoV4 was identified in stool samples from Nigeria, Tunisia and the USA. Recently, HBoV infection has been on the rise throughout the world, particularly in countries neighbouring South Korea; however, there have been very few studies on Korean strains. In this study, we characterised the whole genome and determined the phylogenetic position of CUK-BC20, a new clinical HBoV strain isolated in South Korea. The CUK-BC20 genome of 5184 nucleotides (nt) contains three open-reading frames (ORFs). The genotype of CUK-BC20 is HBoV2, and 98.77% of its nt sequence is identical with those of other HBoVs, namely Rus-Nsc10-N386. Especially, the ORF3 amino acid sequences from positions 212–213 and 454 corresponding to a variable region (VR)1 and VR5, respectively, showed genotype-specific substitutions that distinguished the four HBoV genotypes. As the first whole-genome sequence analysis of HBoV in South Korea, this information will provide a valuable reference for the detection of recombination, tracking of epidemics and development of diagnosis methods for HBoV.
We report on the astrometric registration of VLBI images of the SiO and H2O masers in OH 231.8+4.2, the iconic Proto-Planetary Nebula also known as the Calabash nebula, using the KVN and Source/Frequency Phase Referencing. This, for the first time, robustly confirms the alignment of the SiO masers, close to the AGB star, which drives the bi-lobe structure with the water masers in the out-flow.
Noroviruses (NoVs) are major causal agents of acute gastroenteritis in humans. NoV GII.4 is the predominant genotype globally. However, uncommon and minor types of NoVs are consistently detected and some have been shown to dominate over GII.4. Therefore, the prevalence of dominant and uncommon NoVs makes the identification of these viruses important for the prediction and prevention of pandemics. In this study, the full-genome sequence of a NoV (strain JW) detected in Korea was extensively characterized. The full-length genome was 7510 nucleotides long, and phylogenetic analysis based on the whole-genome sequences, including open reading frame (ORF)1, ORF2, and ORF3, indicated that it belonged to the GII.21 genotype. Strain JW showed maximum identity with strain YO284; however, comparison of the amino acid sequence of ORF2, which functions as an antigen, showed substitutions in several amino acids. GII.21 is not a prevalent epidemiological agent of acute gastroenteritis in humans, but it is consistently found in gastroenteritis patients from several countries. The present study provides the first full-genome sequence analysis of NoV GII.21 isolated from a patient in Korea. Our findings provide not only valuable genome information but also data for epidemiology studies, epidemic prevention, and vaccine development strategies.
Sparganosis is one of the top three tissue-dwelling heterologous helminthic diseases, along with cysticercosis and paragonimiasis, in Korea. Due to a lack of effective early diagnosis and treatment methods, this parasitic disease is regarded as a public health threat. This study evaluated reactivity, against sparganum extracts, of sera from inhabitants of Cheorwon-gun, Goseong-gun and Ongjin-gun in Korea. The sera from 836 subjects were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblot analysis. The sera from 18 (5.8%) and 15 (5.1%) inhabitants in Cheorwon-gun (n = 312) and Goseong-gun (n = 294), respectively, exhibited highly positive reactions to the sparganum antigen, whereas only two (0.9%) inhabitants in Ongjin-gun (n = 230) showed positivity. We sought antigenic proteins for serodiagnosis of positive sera by immunoproteomic approaches. Total sparganum lysates were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis and then subjected to immunoblot analysis with mixed sparganosis-positive sera. We found seven antigenic spots and identified paramyosin as an antigenic protein by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. By two-dimensional (2D)-based mass analysis and immunoblotting against sparganosis-positive sera, paramyosin was identified as a candidate antigen for serodiagnosis of sparganosis.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
An acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak was reported in May 2013 in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. Eight students who had eaten breakfast on 21 May 2013 at a high-school restaurant exhibited AGE symptoms. Our case-control study showed that a strong association was observed between AGE symptoms and fermented oyster consumption. Virological studies also indicated that noroviruses (NoVs) were detected from both clinical samples and fermented oyster samples, and multiple different genotypes (genogroups GII.4, GII.11 and GII.14) of NoVs were present in both samples. The nucleotide sequence similarity between the strains found in the clinical samples and those in the fermented oysters was more than 99·5%. Therefore, to prevent further outbreaks, proper management of raw oysters is necessary and the food industry should be aware of the risk of viral gastroenteritis posed by fermented oysters contaminated with NoVs.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has been associated with abnormal cognitive and emotional functions and these dysfunctions may be dependent on the disruption of dynamic interactions within neuronal circuits associated with emotion regulation. Although several studies have shown the aberrant cognitive–affective processing in OCD patients, little is known about how to characterize effective connectivity of the disrupted neural interactions. In the present study, we applied effective connectivity analysis using dynamic causal modeling to explore the disturbed neural interactions in OCD patients.
A total of 20 patients and 21 matched healthy controls performed a delayed-response working memory task under emotional or non-emotional distraction while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging.
During the delay interval under negative emotional distraction, both groups showed similar patterns of activations in the amygdala. However, under negative emotional distraction, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) exhibited significant differences between groups. Bayesian model averaging indicated that the connection from the DLPFC to the OFC was negatively modulated by negative emotional distraction in patients, when compared with healthy controls (p < 0.05, Bonferroni-corrected).
Exaggerated recruitment of the DLPFC may induce the reduction of top-down prefrontal control input over the OFC, leading to abnormal cortico-cortical interaction. This disrupted cortico-cortical interaction under negative emotional distraction may be responsible for dysfunctions of cognitive and emotional processing in OCD patients and may be a component of the pathophysiology associated with OCD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, highly heritable psychiatric disorder. Additionally, environmental factors such as perinatal stress and early adversities contribute to the occurrence and severity of ADHD. Recently, DNA methylation has emerged as a mechanism that potentially mediates gene–environmental interaction effects in the aetiology and phenomenology of psychiatric disorders. Here, we investigated whether serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) methylation patterns were associated with clinical characteristics and regional cortical thickness in children with ADHD.
In 102 children with ADHD (age 6–15 years), the methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was measured. Brain magnetic resonance imaging was obtained and ADHD symptoms were evaluated.
A higher methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was significantly associated with worse clinical presentations (more hyperactive-impulsive symptoms and more commission errors). Additionally, a negative correlation was observed between SLC6A4 methylation levels and cortical thickness values in the right occipito-temproral regions.
Our results suggest that the SLC6A4 methylation status may be associated with certain symptoms of ADHD, such as behavioural disinhibition, and related brain changes. Future studies that use a larger sample size and a control group are required to corroborate these results.
Previous studies have implicated the relationship between environmental phthalate exposure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms of childhood, but no studies have been conducted in children who have a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD obtained through meticulous diagnostic testing. We aimed to determine whether phthalate metabolites in urine would be higher in children with ADHD than in those without ADHD and would correlate with symptom severity and cortical thickness in ADHD children.
A cross-sectional examination of urine phthalate metabolite concentrations was performed; scores for ADHD symptoms, externalizing problems, and continuous performance tests were obtained from 180 children with ADHD, and brain-imaging data were obtained from 115 participants. For the control group, children without ADHD (N = 438) were recruited. Correlations between phthalate metabolite concentrations and clinical measures and brain cortical thickness were investigated.
Concentrations of phthalate metabolites, particularly the di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) metabolite, were significantly higher in boys with ADHD than in boys without ADHD. Concentrations of the di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) metabolite were significantly higher in the combined or hyperactive-impulsive subtypes compared to the inattentive subtype, and the metabolite was positively correlated with the severity of externalizing symptoms. Concentrations of the DEHP metabolite were negatively correlated with cortical thickness in the right middle and superior temporal gyri.
The results of this study suggest an association between phthalate concentrations and both the diagnosis and symptom severity of ADHD. Imaging findings suggest a negative impact of phthalates on regional cortical maturation in children with ADHD.
The effect of In on the structural and optical properties of InxGa1−xN/GaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) was investigated. These were five-period MQWs grown on sapphire by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. Increasing the In composition caused broadening of the high-resolution x-ray diffraction superlattice satellite peak and the photoluminescence-excitation bandedge. This indicates that the higher In content degrades the interface quality because of nonuniform In incorporation into the GaN layer. However, the samples with higher In compositions have lower room temperature (RT) stimulated (SE) threshold densities and lower nonradiative recombination rates. The lower RT SE threshold densities of the higher In samples show that the suppression of nonradiative recombination by In overcomes the drawback of greater interface imperfection.
Single and multi-mode room temperature laser action was observed in GaN pyramids under strong optical pumping. The 5- and 15-micron-wide hexagonal-based pyramids were laterally overgrown on a patterned GaN/AlN seeding layer grown on a (111) silicon substrate by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. The pyramids were individually pumped, imaged, and spectrally analyzed through a high magnification optical system using a high density pulsed excitation source. We suggest that the cavity formed in a pyramid is of a ring type, formed by total internal reflections of light off the pyramids’ surfaces. The mode spacing of the laser emission was found to be correlated to the size of pyramids. The effects of pyramid geometry and pulse excitation on the nature of laser oscillations inside of the pyramids is discussed. Practical applications of the results for the development of light-emitting pixels and laser arrays are suggested.
InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) were grown on c-plane sapphire substrates using a multi-wafer MOCVD system. The threshold current for pulsed lasing was 1.6 A for a gain-guided laser diode with a stripe of 10 × 800 μm2. The threshold current density was 20.3 kA cm−2 and the threshold voltage was 16.5 V. The optical power ratio of transverse electric mode to transverse magnetic mode was found to be greater than 50. The characteristic temperature measured from the plot of threshold current versus measurement temperature was between 130 and 150K.
Ototoxicity due to cisplatin therapy interferes with treatment and often forces a reduction in the dosage, duration and frequency of the cisplatin therapy. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate is known to have the highest antioxidant potency among all tea catechins. This study aimed to investigate the effect of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate on cisplatin ototoxicity in an auditory cell line: House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 cells.
Cultured House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 cells were exposed to cisplatin with or without pre-treatment with (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Cell viability was evaluated using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Hoechst 33258 staining was used to identify cells undergoing apoptosis. Western blot analysis was conducted to determine whether (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibited cisplatin-induced caspase activation. Intracellular reactive oxygen species production was examined to investigate whether (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate was capable of scavenging cisplatin-induced reactive oxygen species accumulation.
Cell viability significantly increased in cells pre-treated with (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate compared with cells exposed to cisplatin alone. Cisplatin increased cleaved caspase-3 on Western blot analysis; however, pre-treatment with (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibited the expression of caspase-3. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate attenuated reactive oxygen species production and apoptosis in House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 cells.
(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate protected against cisplatin cytotoxicity through anti-apoptotic and anti-oxidative effects. Therefore, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate could play a preventive role in cisplatin-induced ototoxicity.
Epidemiological and virological studies indicate that noroviruses-contaminated groundwater was the primary source of four acute gastroenteritis outbreaks in South Korea between 2008 and 2012. Furthermore, cabbage kimchi was first identified as the vehicle of transmission between groundwater and infected patients in an outbreak in 2011. The proper treatment of groundwater sources prior to use for drinking or in food preparation is necessary to prevent further outbreaks.
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of post-operative voice therapy after phonomicrosurgery for vocal polyp removal.
The study retrospectively enrolled 55 consecutive patients who had undergone voice therapy after phonomicrosurgery for vocal polyp removal occurring between June 2010 and June 2011. A historical group of 63 similar patients not receiving voice therapy was used as an external control. We compared voice analysis parameters and Voice Handicap Index scores for the two groups.
Most objective and subjective voice outcome parameters were significantly improved after surgical treatment. Although the study and control groups showed no significant difference regarding objective parameters (using acoustic and aerodynamic analysis) or the subjective parameters assessed using the grade-roughness-breathiness-asthenia-strain scale, the study group had significantly better final Voice Handicap Index scores.
Following surgery for vocal polyps, post-operative voice therapy can improve patients' vocal discomfort, emotional responses and everyday self-perception.