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Nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) are widely used for antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), but real-world data on treatment patterns and long-term clinical outcomes are not always available. Using data from electronic medical records between January 2011 and December 2016 in Shanghai, China, we evaluated patient characteristics, treatment patterns and clinical outcomes in patients with CHB. There were 6688 patients in the study cohort. The incidences of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were 41.0‰ and 6.8‰ person-years, respectively. There were more cirrhosis and HCC cases among patients who had shorter NA treatment duration (<365 days), or who were less compliant (<80%). In addition, increased risk of cirrhosis and HCC was observed in patients who did not achieve hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss/seroconversion. Moreover, patients with cirrhosis developed after antiviral treatments had a higher incidence of HCC (adjusted hazard ratio 15.86, 95% confidence interval 7.35–34.24). Good compliance with treatment and longer treatment duration significantly decreased the risk of developing cirrhosis and HCC. HBsAg loss seemed to be a protective factor for cirrhosis/HCC in NAs-treated patients with CHB, and cirrhosis was a confirmed risk factor for HCC development as expected.
Heading date (HD) and flowering date (FD) are critical for yield potential and stability, so understanding their genetic foundation is of great significance in wheat breeding. Three related recombinant inbred line populations with a common female parent were developed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for HD and FD in four environments. In total, 25 putative additive QTL and 20 pairwise epistatic effect QTL were detected in four environments. The additive QTL were distributed across 17 wheat chromosomes. Of these, QHd-1A, QHd-1D, QHd-2B, QHd-3B, QHd-4A, QHd-4B and QHd-6D were major and stable QTL for HD. QFd-1A, QFd-2B, QFd-4A and QFd-4B were major and stable QTL for FD. In addition, an epistatic interaction test showed that epistasis played important roles in controlling wheat HD and FD. Genetic relationships between HD/FD and five yield-related traits (YRTs) were characterized and ten QTL clusters (C1–C10) simultaneously controlling YRTs and HD/FD were identified. The present work laid a genetic foundation for improving yield potential in wheat molecular breeding programmes.
Hepatitis E is an important zoonosis that is prevalent in China. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a pathogen that affects humans and animals and endangers public health in China. In this study, the detection of HEV epidemics in swine in Sichuan Province, China, was carried out by nested real-time PCR. A total of 174 stool samples and 160 bile samples from swine in Sichuan Province were examined. In addition, software was used to analyse the biological evolution of HEV. The results showed that within 2 years of swine HEV (SHEV) infection in China, SHEV was first detected in Sichuan Province. HEV was endemic in Sichuan; the positive rate for pig farms was 11.1%, and the total positive sample rate was 10.5%. The age of swine with the highest positive rate (17.9%) was 5–9 weeks. The examined swine species in order of highest to lowest HEV infection rates were Chenghua pig, Large White, Duroc, Pietrain, Landrace and Hampshire. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis showed that the HEV epidemic in swine in Sichuan Province was related to genotype IV, which had the highest homology to HEV in Beijing. Sichuan strains have greater variation than Chinese representative strains, which may indicate the presence of new HEV strains.
Dipetalonema gracile is a common parasite in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus), which can cause malnutrition and progressive wasting of the host, and lead to death in the case of massive infection. This study aimed to identify a suspected D. gracile worm from a dead squirrel monkey by means of molecular biology, and to amplify its complete mitochondrial genome by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis. The results identified the worm as D. gracile, and the full length of its complete mitochondrial genome was 13,584 bp, which contained 22 tRNA genes, 12 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, one AT-rich region and one small non-coding region. The nucleotide composition included A (16.89%), G (20.19%), T (56.22%) and C (6.70%), among which A + T = 73.11%. The 12 protein-coding genes used TTG and ATT as start codons, and TAG and TAA as stop codons. Among the 22 tRNA genes, only trnS1AGN and trnS2UCN exhibited the TΨC-loop structure, while the other 20 tRNAs showed the TV-loop structure. The rrnL (986 bp) and rrnS (685 bp) genes were single-stranded and conserved in secondary structure. This study has enriched the mitochondrial gene database of Dipetalonema and laid a scientific basis for further study on classification, and genetic and evolutionary relationships of Dipetalonema nematodes.
The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
Extensive insecticide use has led to the resistance of mosquitoes to these insecticides, posing a major barrier to mosquito control. Previous Solexa high-throughput sequencing of Culex pipiens pallens in the laboratory has revealed that the abundance of a novel microRNA (miRNA), miR-13664, was higher in a deltamethrin-sensitive (DS) strain than a deltamethrin-resistant (DR) strain. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that the miR-13664 transcript level was lower in the DR strain than in the DS strain. MiR-13664 oversupply in the DR strain increased the susceptibility of these mosquitoes to deltamethrin, whereas inhibition of miR-13664 made the DS strain more resistant to deltamethrin. Results of bioinformatic analysis, quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, luciferase assay and miR mimic/inhibitor microinjection revealed CpCYP314A1 to be a target of miR-13664. In addition, downregulation of CpCYP314A1 expression in the DR strain reduced the resistance of mosquitoes to deltamethrin. Taken together, our results indicate that miR-13664 could regulate deltamethrin resistance by interacting with CpCYP314A1, providing new insights into mosquito resistance mechanisms.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
Athetis lepigone (Möschler) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a new outbreak pest in China. Consequently, it is unclear whether the emergence and spread of the outbreak of this pest are triggered by rapid in situ population size increases in each outbreak area, or by immigrants from a potential source area in China. In order to explore the outbreak process of this pest through a population genetics approach, we developed ten novel polymorphic expressed sequence tags (EST)-derived microsatellites. These new microsatellites had moderately high levels of polymorphism in the tested population. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 19, with an average of 8.6, and the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.269 to 0.783. A preliminary population genetic analysis using these new microsatellites revealed a lack of population genetic structure in natural populations of A. lepigone. The estimates of recent migration rate revealed strong gene flow among populations. In conclusion, our study developed the first set of EST-microsatellite markers and shed a new light on the population genetic structure of this pest in China.
Information on morbidity burden of seasonal influenza in China is limited. A multiplier model was used to estimate the incidence and number of outpatient visits for seasonal influenza by age group for the 2015–2016 season in Beijing, the capital of China, based on reported numbers of influenza-like illness consultations and proportions of positive cases from influenza surveillance systems in Beijing, general consultation rates and other parameters from previous studies, surveys and surveillance systems. An estimated total of 1 190 200 (95% confidence interval (CI) 830 400–1 549 900) cases of influenza virus infections occurred in Beijing, 2015–2016 season, with an attack rate of 5·5% (95% CI 3·9–7·2%). These infections resulted in an estimated 468 280 (95% CI 70 700–606 800) outpatient visits, with an attack rate of 2·2% (95% CI 0·3–2·8%). The attack rate of influenza virus infections was highest among children aged 0–4 years (31·9% (95% CI 21·9–41·9%)), followed by children aged 5–14 years (18·7% (95% CI 12·9–24·5%)). Our study demonstrated a substantial influenza-related morbidity in Beijing, China, especially among the preschool- and school-aged children. This suggests that development or modification of seasonal influenza targeted vaccination strategies need to recognize that incidence is highest in children.
Diarrhea is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and the incidence of diarrhea in the world has changed little over the past four decades. To assess the prevalence of and healthcare practices for diarrhea, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Pudong, Shanghai, China. In October 2014, a total of 5324 community residents were interviewed. Respondents were asked if they had experienced diarrhea (defined as ⩾3 passages of watery, loose, bloody, or mucoid stools within a 24-h period) in the previous month prior to the interview. The monthly prevalence of diarrhea was 4·1% (95% CI: 3·3–4·8), corresponding to an incidence rate of 0·54 episodes per person-year. The proportion of individuals with diarrhea who sought healthcare was 21·2% (95% CI: 13·4–29·0). Diarrhea continues to impose a considerable burden on the community and healthcare system in Pudong. Young age and travel were identified as predictors of increased diarrhea occurrence.
Twenty Small Tailed Han (STH) and 20 Ujumqin (UJU) ewes naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes were randomly assigned to one of four treatments arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial design, receiving anthelmintic treatment (AT) or non-anthelmintic treatment (NonAT) prior to lambing. After lambing, the effects of AT on feed intake, digestion and milk yield in ewes, and the growth rates of lambs fed their mother's milk were assessed for 28 days. Faecal samples were collected to determine faecal egg counts (FECs), milk was collected to measure milk yield and ewes and lambs were weighed to quantify daily body weight change. The results showed that AT significantly increased ewe dry matter intake (2411 g/d for AT and 2209 g/d for NonAT) and decreased FECs (50 eggs/g for AT and 2655 eggs/g for NonAT). All ewes lost weight after lambing, but body weight loss in the AT (43 g/d) was significantly less than in NonAT (84 g/d), and STH ewes (70 g/d) lost more weight than UJU ewes (58 g/d). Anthelmintic-treated ewes produced more milk for their lambs to consume. However, the extent of these positive effects of AT differed between STH and UJU ewes. The average daily body weight gain of lambs in AT was higher than those in NonAT. In conclusion, effective AT in ewes before lambing benefits subsequent lactation in ewes and growth rate in lambs.
Flour whiteness (FW) is an important factor in assessing flour quality and determining the end product quality. It is an integrated sensory indicator reflecting flour colour and is negatively correlated with protein content. In order to dissect the genetic relationship between FW and its five related traits at the quantitative trait locus (QTL)/gene level, a recombinant inbred line population was evaluated under three environments. Quantitative trait loci for FW were analysed by unconditional and conditional QTL mapping. Four unconditional additive QTLs and 16 conditional additive QTLs were detected across the three environments. Of these QTLs, only one major additive QTL (Qfw1D1-1) was consistently identified using both unconditional and conditional QTL analysis. This QTL was independent of flour colour a* (a function of red-green with a positive a* for redness and negative for greenness) and b* (a green-blue value with positive value for yellowness and negative for blueness) and was only slightly affected by flour protein content. A minor additive QTL (Qfw4A-4) was also detected using these two QTL mapping methods, being independent of flour colour a* and b*. Five unconditional and ten conditional epistatic minor QTLs were detected, from which only one pair (Qfw3A-10/Qfw6B-6) was identified by both unconditional and conditional QTL mapping, also independent of flour colour a* and b*. The major QTL (Qfw1D1-1) identified in the current study for the first time can be used for improving wheat FW in marker-assisted breeding.
Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is a frequently occurring epidemic and has been an important cause of childhood mortality in China. Given the disease's significant impact nationwide, the epidemiological characteristics and spatio-temporal clusters in Fuyang from 2008 to 2013 were analysed in this study. The disease exhibits strong seasonality with a rising incidence. Of the reported HFMD cases, 63·7% were male and 95·2% were preschool children living at home. The onset of HFMD is age-dependent and exhibits a 12-month periodicity, with 12-, 24- and 36-month-old children being the most frequently affected groups. Across the first 60 months of life, children born in April [relative risk (RR) 8·18], May (RR 9·79) and June (RR 8·21) exhibited an elevated infection risk of HFMD relative to January-born children; the relative risk compared with the reference (January-born) group was highest for children aged 24 months born in May (RR 34·85). Of laboratory-confirmed cases, enterovirus 71 (EV71), coxsackie A16 (Cox A16) and other enteroviruses accounted for 60·1%, 7·1% and 32·8%, respectively. Spatio-temporal analysis identified one most likely cluster and several secondary clusters each year. The centre of the most likely cluster was found in different regions in Fuyang. Implications of our findings for current and future public health interventions are discussed.
Twenty-two annually banded samples of coral from 1977 to 1998 were collected from Daya Bay, South China Sea, and bomb 14C concentrations were determined. The interannual variation of coral Δ14C is controlled mainly by oceanic factors. In ENSO years, the coastwise upwelling current of the South China Sea has been intensified; hence, the coral Δ14C displays its minimum value. The interannual variation curve of Δ14C in coral bears a relationship with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) curves: the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)w is 0.43 and the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)y is 0.27. The coral Δ14C has no remarkable response to the variation of solar radiation energy. In the past 20 yr or so, the general situation and oceanic thermal structure of the South China Sea are still stable even though interannual variations in atmosphere-sea interaction and upwelling current driven by the tropical energy have occurred.
Concentrations of organic carbon, carbon isotopes (13C and 14C), atmospheric 10Be in soil, and in situ 10Be in bedrock and weathering rock were determined in a study of a profile of a grassland slope at the Heshan Hilly Land Interdisciplinary Experimental Station, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Guangdong Province, China. A good linear relationship between depth and the 14C apparent age of the organic carbon demonstrates that the rock weathering process and the accumulation process of organic matter in the slope are relatively stable. Both 14C and 10Be results show that about 34% of soil in the grassland slope has been eroded during the past 3800 yr. The 10Be results for interstitial soil from weathered rocks show that the 90-cm-thick weathering rock layer above the bedrock has evolved over a period of 1.36 Myr. The concentrations of in situ 10Be in the weathered rock and bedrock are 10.7 × 104 atoms/g and 8.31 × 104 atoms/g, respectively. The weathering rate of the bedrock, equivalent to the soil production rate, was estimated at 8.8 × 10-4 cm/yr, and the exposure ages of the weathered rock and the bedrock were 72 kyr and 230 kyr, respectively.
While radiocarbon is widely applied in dating ancient samples, recent studies reveal that 14C concentrations in modern samples can also yield precise ages due to the atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices between 1950 and 1963. 14C concentrations in both enamel and organic matter of 13 teeth from 2 areas in China were examined to evaluate and improve this method of forensic investigation. Choosing enamel near the cervix of the tooth can reduce the error caused by the difference between the sample formation time and whole enamel formation time because tooth enamel formations take a long time to complete. A proper regional data set will be helpful to get an accurate result when calculating the age of the sample (T1) by the CALIBomb program. By subtracting the enamel formation time (t), the birth date of an individual (T2) can be confirmed by enamel F14C from 2 teeth formed at different ages. Calculated enamel formation dates by 14C concentration are basically consistent with corresponding actual values, with a mean error of 1.9 yr for all results and 0.2 yr for the samples formed after AD 1960. This method is more effective for dating samples completed after AD 1960. We also found that 14C concentrations in organic matter of tooth roots are much lower than atmospheric concentrations in root formation years, suggesting that the organic material keeps turning over even after tooth formation is complete. This might be a potential tool for identification of death age to extract a proper component for 14C dating. We also observed that δ13C values between hydroxyapatite and organic matter indicate that isotopic fractionation during the biomineralization is 8–9%‰ more positive in mineral fractions than in organic matter.
The objective of this study was to determine if a moderate or high reduction of dietary CP, supplemented with indispensable amino acids (IAA), would affect growth, intestinal morphology and immunological parameters of pigs. A total of 40 barrows (initial BW=13.50±0.50 kg, 45±2 day of age) were used in a completely randomized block design, and allocated to four dietary treatments containing CP levels at 20.00%, 17.16%, 15.30% and 13.90%, respectively. Industrial AA were added to meet the IAA requirements of pigs. After 4-week feeding, blood and tissue samples were obtained from pigs. The results showed that reducing dietary CP level decreased average daily gain, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and relative organ weights of liver and pancreas (P<0.01), and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.01). Pigs fed the 13.90% CP diet had significantly lower growth performance than that of pigs fed higher CP at 20.00%, 17.16% or 15.30%. Moreover, reducing dietary CP level decreased villous height in duodenum (P<0.01) and crypt depth in duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0.01). The reduction in the dietary CP level increased plasma concentrations of methionine, alanine (P<0.01) and lysine (P<0.05), and decreased arginine (P<0.05). Intriguingly, reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 13.90% resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentration of IgG (P<0.05), percentage of CD3+T cells of the peripheral blood (P<0.01), also down-regulated the mRNA abundance of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (P<0.01) and nuclear factor kappa B (P<0.05) in the ileum. These results indicate that reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 15.30%, supplemented with IAA, had no significant effect on growth performance and had a limited effect on immunological parameters. However, a further reduction of dietary CP level up to 13.90% would lead to poor growth performance and organ development, associated with the modifications of intestinal morphology and immune function.
The University of NSW’s Automated Patrol Telescope is a modified Baker-Nunn satellite tracking camera, now used for CCD imaging of astronomical objects. The f/1 Baker-Nunn optical design gives a 30° field of view with an approximately spherical focal surface of radius ≈500 mm. While the focal plane curvature is tolerable across the 1.4° × 1.0° field of the present CCD, it becomes unacceptable when a larger CCD is used. In addition, the use of glass filters in the highly convergent beam produces intolerable spherical aberration. We present a design modification to the original Baker-Nunn which enables a 5° diameter flat field to be produced when using B, V, R or I filters. By making this modification, we plan to perform multicolour imaging, using a new large-format CCD with a 2.9° × 1.9° field of view.