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Coated copper sulphate (CCS) could be used as a Cu supplement in cows. To investigate the influences of copper sulphate (CS) and CCS on milk performance, nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, fifty Holstein dairy cows were arranged in a randomised block design to five groups: control, CS addition (7·5 mg Cu/kg DM from CS) or CCS addition (5, 7·5 and 10 mg Cu/kg DM from CCS, respectively). When comparing Cu source at equal inclusion rates (7·5 mg/kg DM), cows receiving CCS addition had higher yields of fat-corrected milk, milk fat and protein; digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF); ruminal total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration; activities of carboxymethyl cellulase, cellobiase, pectinase and α-amylase; populations of Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Fibrobacter succinogenes; and liver Cu content than cows receiving CS addition. Increasing CCS addition, DM intake was unchanged, yields of milk, milk fat and protein; feed efficiency; digestibility of DM, OM, NDF and acid-detergent fibre; ruminal total VFA concentration; acetate:propionate ratio; activity of cellulolytic enzyme; populations of total bacteria, protozoa and dominant cellulolytic bacteria; and concentrations of Cu in serum and liver increased linearly, but ruminal propionate percentage, ammonia-N concentration, α-amylase activity and populations of Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus decreased linearly. The results indicated that supplement of CS could be substituted with CCS and addition of CCS improved milk performance and nutrient digestion in dairy cows.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed serious challenges. It is vitally important to further clarify the epidemiological characteristics of the COVID-19 outbreak for future study and prevention and control measures. Epidemiological characteristics and spatial−temporal analysis were performed based on COVID-19 cases from 21 January 2020 to 1 March 2020 in Shandong Province, and close contacts were traced to construct transmission chains. A total of 758 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported in Shandong. The sex ratio was 1.27: 1 (M: F) and the median age was 42 (interquartile range: 32–55). The high-risk clusters were identified in the central, eastern and southern regions of Shandong from 25 January 2020 to 10 February 2020. We rebuilt 54 transmission chains involving 209 cases, of which 52.2% were family clusters, and three widespread infection chains were elaborated, occurring in Jining, Zaozhuang and Liaocheng, respectively. The geographical and temporal disparity may alert public health agencies to implement specific measures in regions with different risk, and should attach importance on how to avoid household and community transmission.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
The meat quality of chicken is an important factor affecting the consumer’s health. It was hypothesized that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) could be effectively deposited in chicken, by incorporating antioxidation of soybean isoflavone (SI), which led to improved quality of chicken meat for good health of human beings. Effects of partial or complete dietary substitution of lard (LA) with linseed oil (LO), with or without SI on growth performance, biochemical indicators, meat quality, fatty acid profiles, lipid-related health indicators and gene expression of breast muscle were examined in chickens. A total of 900 males were fed a corn–soybean meal diet supplemented with 4% LA, 2% LA + 2% LO and 4% LO and the latter two including 30 mg SI/kg (2% LA + 2% LO + SI and 4% LO + SI) from 29 to 66 days of age; each of the five dietary treatments included six replicates of 30 birds. Compared with the 4% LA diet, dietary 4% LO significantly increased the feed efficiency and had no negative effect on objective indices related to meat quality; LO significantly decreased plasma triglycerides and total cholesterol (TCH); abdominal fat percentage was significantly decreased in birds fed the 4% LO and 4% LO + SI diets. Chickens with LO diets resulted in higher contents of α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3), EPA (C20:5n-3) and total n-3 PUFA, together with a lower content of palmitic acid (C16:0), lignoceric acid (C24:0), saturated fatty acids and n-6:n-3 ratio in breast muscle compared to 4% LA diet (P < 0.05); they also significantly decreased atherogenic index, thrombogenic index and increased the hypocholesterolemic to hypercholesterolemic ratio. Adding SI to the LO diets enhanced the contents of EPA and DHA (C22:6n-3), plasma total superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione and muscle GSH content, while decreased plasma total triglyceride and TCH and malondialdehyde content in plasma and breast muscle compared to its absence (P < 0.05). Expression in breast muscle of fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), FADS2, elongase 2 (ELOVL2) and ELOVL5 genes were significantly higher with the LO diets including SI than with the 4% LA diet. Significant interactions existed between LO level and inclusion of SI on EPA and TCH contents. These findings indicate that diet supplemented with LO combined with SI is an effective alternative when optimizing the nutritional value of chicken meat for human consumers.
Endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) is effective in reducing disability in selected patients with stroke and large vessel occlusion (LVO), but access to this treatment is suboptimal.
We examined the proportion of patients with LVO who did not receive EVT, the reasons for non-treatment, and the association between time from onset and probability of treatment.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients with acute stroke and LVO presenting between January 2017 and June 2018. We used multivariable log-binomial models to determine the association between time and probability of treatment with and without adjustment for age, sex, dementia, active cancer, baseline disability, stroke severity, and evidence of ischemia on computerized tomography.
We identified 256 patients (51% female, median age 74 [interquartile range, IQR 63.5, 82.5]), of whom 59% did not receive EVT. The main reasons for not treating with EVT were related to occlusion characteristics or infarct size. The median time from onset to EVT center arrival was longer among non-treated patients (218 minutes [142, 302]) than those who were treated (180 minutes [104, 265], p = 0.03). Among patients presenting within 6 hours of onset, the relative risk (RR) of receiving EVT decreased by 3% with every 10-minute delay in arrival to EVT center (adjusted RR 0.97 CI95 [0.95, 0.99]). This association was not found in the overall cohort.
The proportion of patients with acute stroke and confirmed LVO who do not undergo EVT is substantial. Minimizing delays in arrival to EVT center may optimize the delivery of this treatment.
Porphyromonas gingivalis has been linked to the development and progression of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and is considered to be a high-risk factor for ESCC. Currently, the commonly used methods for P. gingivalis detection are culture or DNA extraction-based, which are either time and labour intensive especially for high-throughput applications. We aimed to establish and evaluate a rapid and sensitive direct quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) protocol for the detection of P. gingivalis without DNA extraction which is suitable for large-scale epidemiological studies. Paired gingival swab samples from 192 subjects undergoing general medical examinations were analysed using two direct and one extraction-based qPCR assays for P. gingivalis. Tris-EDTA buffer-based direct qPCR (TE-direct qPCR), lysis-based direct qPCR (lysis-direct qPCR) and DNA extraction-based qPCR (kit-qPCR) were used, respectively, in 192, 132 and 60 of these samples for quantification of P. gingivalis. The sensitivity and specificity of TE-direct qPCR was 95.24% and 100% compared with lysis-direct qPCR, which was 100% and 97.30% when compared with kit-qPCR; TE-direct qPCR had an almost perfect agreement with lysis-direct qPCR (κ = 0.954) and kit-qPCR (κ = 0.965). Moreover, the assay time used for TE-direct qPCR was 1.5 h. In conclusion, the TE-direct qPCR assay is a simple and efficient method for the quantification of oral P. gingivalis and showed high sensitivity and specificity compared with routine qPCR.
The modelling of edge carbon transport and emission on EAST tokamak under resonant magnetic perturbation (RMP) fields has been conducted with the three-dimensional edge transport code EMC3-EIRENE. The measured vertical distribution of CVI emission by the extreme ultraviolet spectrometer system for the perturbed case shows a reduction in the CVI emission by 20 % compared to the equilibrium case. The chord-integrated CVI emission can be reconstructed by EMC3-EIRENE modelling, which presents an increase in the CVI emission with RMP fields. The discrepancy between experiments and simulations has been investigated by parameter study to examine the sensitivity of the simulation results on the edge plasma conditions and the impurity perpendicular transport. It is found that the variation of edge plasma conditions for the equilibrium case cannot resolve the discrepancy in the CVI emission between simulations and measurements. The simulations with enhanced impurity perpendicular transport coefficient allows a reasonable agreement with the measured reduction of CVI emission.
Se can enhance lactation performance by improving nutrient utilization and antioxidant status. However, sodium selenite (SS) can be reduced to non-absorbable elemental Se in the rumen, thereby reducing the intestinal availability of Se. The study investigated the impacts of SS and coated SS (CSS) supplementation on lactation performance, nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation and microbiota in dairy cows. Sixty multiparous Holstein dairy cows were blocked by parity, daily milk yield and days in milk and randomly assigned to five treatments: control, SS addition (0.3 mg Se/kg DM as SS addition) or CSS addition (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg Se/kg DM as CSS addition for low CSS (LCSS), medium CSS (MCSS) and high CSS (HCSS), respectively). Experiment period was 110 days with 20 days of adaptation and 90 days of sample collection. Dry matter intake was higher for MCSS and HCSS compared with control. Yields of milk, milk fat and milk protein and feed efficiency were higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Digestibility of DM and organic matter was highest for CSS addition, followed by SS addition and then control. Digestibility of CP was higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Higher digestibility of ether extract, NDF and ADF was observed for SS or CSS addition. Ruminal pH decreased with dietary Se addition. Acetate to propionate ratio and ammonia N were lower, and total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentration was greater for SS, MCSS and HCSS than control. Ruminal H ion concentration was highest for MCSS and HCSS and lowest for control. Activities of cellobiase, carboxymethyl-cellulase, xylanase and protease and copies of total bacteria, fungi, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus amylophilus increased with SS or CSS addition. Activity of α-amylase, copies of protozoa, Ruminococcus albus and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and serum glucose, total protein, albumin and glutathione peroxidase were higher for SS, MCSS and HCSS than for control and LCSS. Dietary SS or CSS supplementation elevated blood Se concentration and total antioxidant capacity activity. The data implied that milk yield was elevated due to the increase in total tract nutrient digestibility, total VFA concentration and microorganism population with 0.2 or 0.3 mg Se/kg DM from CSS supplementation in dairy cows. Compared with SS, HCSS addition was more efficient in promoting lactation performance of dairy cows.
Earlier studies examining structural brain abnormalities associated with cognitively derived subgroups were mainly cross-sectional in design and had mixed findings. Thus, we obtained cross-sectional and longitudinal data to characterize the extent and trajectory of brain structure abnormalities underlying distinct cognitive subtypes (“preserved,” “deteriorated,” and “compromised”) seen in psychotic spectrum disorders.
Data from 364 subjects (225 patients with psychotic conditions and 139 healthy controls) were first used to determine the relationship of cognitive subtypes with cross-sectional measures of subcortical volume and cortical thickness. To probe neurodevelopmental abnormalities, brain structure laterality was examined. To examine whether neuroprogressive abnormalities persist, longitudinal brain structural changes over 5 years were examined within a subset of 101 subjects. Subsequent discriminant analysis using the identified brain measures was performed on an independent subject group.
Cross-sectional comparisons showed that cortical thinning and limbic volume reductions were most widespread in “deteriorated” cognitive subtype. Laterality comparisons showed more rightward amygdala lateralization in “compromised” than “preserved” subtype. Longitudinal comparisons revealed progressive hippocampal shrinkage in “deteriorated” compared with healthy controls and “preserved” subtype, which correlated with worse negative symptoms, cognitive and psychosocial functioning. Post-hoc discrimination analysis on an independent group of 52 subjects using the identified brain structures found an overall accuracy of 71% for classification of cognitive subtypes.
These findings point toward distinct extent and trajectory of corticolimbic abnormalities associated with cognitive subtypes in psychosis, which can allow further understanding of the biological course of cognitive functioning over illness course and with treatment.
To investigate the executive function and learning ability of the patients with first-episode schizophrenia, and its relationship with the patients’ clinical symptoms.
50 schizophrenia patients and 50 healthy controls were tested by the Tower of London (TOL). All the subjects received two phases of the test of TOL continuously, with a break of 1 minute. And Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS) was used to assess the clinical symptoms of the patients.
Compared with the control group, the number of reply during the 1st phase (x1) and the 2nd phase (x2)of the patients group, was lower (P<0.01); the reaction time during the 1st phase (t1) and the 2nd phase (t2) was longer (P<0.01); while the rate of correct answer during the 1st phase (p1) and the 2nd phase (p2) do not differ. For the control group, x2 was higher than x1 (P<0.01), and t2 was shorter than t1 (P<0.01). However, for the schizophrenia group, there were no difference between x1 and x2, t1 and t2. The value of x1, p1, x2 of the patients were correlated negatively with the PANSS negative subscale score (P< 0.05), and t1 and t2 were correlated positively with the the negative subscale score (P< 0.01). The performance of the TOL did not correlated with the PANSS positive subscale score and general psychopathology subscale score.
The executive function and learning ability of the schizophrenics are impaired and the impairment of the cognitive function is significantly correlated with the negative symptoms of schizophrenia patients.
Cognitive dysfunction was thought to be one of the core features of schizophrenia. And the executive function of the patients was paid more attention by more and more researchers and clinicians.
To investigate the executive function and the learning ability of the patients with first-episode schizophrenia, and their relationships with psychiatric symptoms.
Fifty cases of first-episode schizophrenia patients and fifty age- and gender-matched healthy controls were tested by a computerized version of Tower of London (TOL) test. The scores of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale(PANSS) in the group of schizophrenia patients were over 60.
The numbers of the correct answer [x1 :(14.62 ± 4.12), x2: (14.80 ± 4.70)] during the first session and the second session of the TOL test of the patients group were significantly lower than that of the control group [x1: (17.48 ± 3.79), x2:(18.68 ± 3.19)], and the reaction times [t1: (9.27 ± 4.37) seconds, t2: (9.51 ± 5.58) seconds] of the two sessions of TOL were longer than the control group [t1: (7.28 ± 2.04) seconds, t2: (6.67 ± 1.51) seconds], P < 0.01. For the control group, x2 was significantly greater than x1, and t2 shorter than t1 (P < 0.01), while for the patients group, there was no difference between the performances of the first session and the second session. The scores of TOL in the schizophrenia patients were correlated with the negative symptom score of PANSS (P < 0.05) and were not correlated with the scores of other subscales of PANSS (P > 0.05).
The executive function and the learning ability of schizophrenia are impaired and the cognitive dysfunction is correlated with negative symptoms.
An increasing number of studies have described the relationship between velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) and schizophrenia. in a family-based study, we found that rs10314, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) present in the 3’-flanking region of the CLDN5 gene, was associated with schizophrenia among a Chinese population. High false positive rate is a common problem with the association study of human diseases. It is very important to replicate an initial finding with different samples and experimental designs.
A total of 749 patients with schizophrenia and 383 age and sex matched healthy control subjects in Chinese population were recruited. PCR-based RFLP protocol was applied to genotype rs10314 to see its disease association.
The χ2 goodness-of-fit test showed that the genotypic distributions of rs10314 were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in both the patient group (χ2=1.12, P=0.289) and the control group (χ2=0.22, P=0.639). rs10314 was associated with schizophrenia with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.32 in the male subjects (χ2=5.45, P=0.02, 95% CI 1.05-1.67) but not in the female subjects (χ2=0.64, P=0.425, OR=1.14, 95% CI 0.83-1.57). the χ2 test showed a genotypic association only for combined samples (χ2=7.80, df=2, P=0.02). SNP rs10314 is a G to C base change. Frequency of the genotypes containing the C allele was significantly higher in the patient group than in the control group.
The present work shows that the CLDN5 gene polymorphism is more likely to be involved in schizophrenic men than women, suggesting that this gene may contribute to the gender differences in schizophrenia.
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.
Planning ability as a critical component of executive function has been used to investigate prefrontal cortex (PFC) function in Schizophrenia patients by several neuroimaging studies. However, the changes of PFC activation after effective antipsychotic treatment are still unclear.
The aim of this study is to explore whether there is any variation in the prefrontal hemodynamic response during Tower of London test after 6 weeks’ antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia patients, and the relationship between the changes in PFC activation and some demographic factors as well as the severity of the patients’ psychiatric symptoms.
40 patients with first-episode schizophrenia were recruited for the present study. 28-channel NIRS (near infrared spectroscopy) was used to measure changes in hemoglobin concentration in the prefrontal cortical surface area during Tower of London (TOL) test—a classic neuropsychological test for planning abilities. The patients were examined before treatment and after six weeks’ treatment with second-generation antipsychotic medicines.
After the short-term treatment, the patients’ TOL test performance and the activations in PFC during the task period did not differ from baseline (P>0.05), although the psychiatric symptoms of the patients were improved significantly(positive subscale score 18.25±2.86 & 12.75±2.60; general psychopathology 33.67±3.65 & 27.00±3.67; PANSS total score 72.25±7.07 & 55.42±7.53; P<0.001).
It suggests that the impairment of cognitive function and the function of the PFC of schizophrenia patients would not be improved with the improvement of psychiatric symptoms, as further support the hypothesis that PFC damage is a durable impairment for schizophrenia.
Recently, a triple-network model suggested the abnormal interactions between the executive-control network (ECN), default-mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN) are important characteristics of addiction, in which the SN plays a critical role in allocating attentional resources toward the ECN and DMN. Although increasing studies have reported dysfunctions in these brain networks in Internet gaming disorder (IGD), interactions between these networks, particularly in the context of the triple-network model, have not been investigated in IGD. Thus, we aimed to assess alterations in the inter-network interactions of these large-scale networks in IGD, and to associate the alterations with IGD-related behaviors.
DMN, ECN and SN were identified using group-level independent component analysis (gICA) in 39 individuals with IGD and 34 age and gender matched healthy controls (HCs). Then alterations in the SN-ECN and SN-DMN connectivity, as well as in the modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN, using a resource allocation index (RAI) developed and validated previously in nicotine addiction, were assessed. Further, associations between these altered network coupling and clinical assessments were also examined.
Compared with HCs, IGD had significantly increased SN-DMN connectivity and decreased RAI in right hemisphere (rRAI), and the rRAI in IGD was negatively associated with their scores of craving.
These findings suggest that the deficient modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN might provide a mechanistic framework to better understand the neural basis of IGD and might provide novel evidence for the triple-network model in IGD.
Immigration stress appears to augment the risk for suicide behaviors for Latinos. Yet, specific risk factors that contribute to suicidal ideation (SI) among diverse Latino immigrant populations are not well established.
Data were collected in Boston, Madrid and Barcelona using a screening battery assessing mental health, substance abuse risk, trauma exposure, demographics, and sociocultural factors. Prevalence rates of lifetime and 30-day SI were compared across sites. Logistic regression modeling was used to identify sociodemographic, clinical, and sociocultural-contextual factors associated with 30-day SI.
Five hundred and sixty-seven Latino patients from primary care, behavioral health and HIV clinics and community agencies participated. Rates of lifetime SI ranged from 29–35%; rates for 30-day SI were 21–23%. Rates of SI were not statistically different between sites. Factors associated with SI included exposure to discrimination, lower ethnic identity, elevated family conflict, and low sense of belonging (P < 0.01). In the adjusted model, higher scores on depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and trauma exposure were significantly associated with 30-day SI (OR = 1.14, 1.04, and 7.76, respectively). Greater number of years living in the host country was significantly associated with increased odds of having SI (OR = 2.22) while having citizenship status was associated with lower odds (OR = 0.45).
Latinos suffering depression, trauma exposure, and immigration stressors are more likely to experience SI. Despite differences in country of origin, education, and other demographic factors between countries, rates of SI did not differ. Recommendations for prevention and clinical practice for addressing suicidal ideation risk among Latino immigrants are discussed.
The present study identified the neural mechanism of risky decision-making in Internet gaming disorder (IGD) under a probability discounting task.
Independent component analysis was used on the functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 19 IGD subjects (22.2 ± 3.08 years) and 21 healthy controls (HC, 22.8 ± 3.5 years).
For the behavioral results, IGD subjects prefer the risky to the fixed options and showed shorter reaction time compared to HC. For the imaging results, the IGD subjects showed higher task-related activity in default mode network (DMN) and less engagement in the executive control network (ECN) than HC when making the risky decisions. Also, we found the activities of DMN correlate negatively with the reaction time and the ECN correlate positively with the probability discounting rates.
The results suggest that people with IGD show altered modulation in DMN and deficit in executive control function, which might be the reason for why the IGD subjects continue to play online games despite the potential negative consequences.
As an epigenetic modification, DNA methylation may reflect the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in the development of schizophrenia (SCZ). Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is a promising candidate gene of SCZ. In the present study, we investigate the association of COMT methylation with the risk of SCZ using bisulfite pyrosequencing technology. Significant association between DNA methylation of COMT and the risk of SCZ is identified (P = 1.618e−007). A breakdown analysis by gender shows that the significance is driven by males (P = 3.310e−009), but not by females. DNA methylation of COMT is not significantly associated with SCZ clinical phenotypes, including p300 and cysteine level. No interaction is found between COMT genotypes and the percent methylation of this gene. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve shows that DNA methylation of COMT is able to predict the SCZ risk in males (area under curve [AUC] = 0.802, P = 1.91e−007). The current study indicates the clinical value of COMT methylation as a potential male-specific biomarker in SCZ diagnosis.
Tuberculosis (TB) is generally considered a disease that principally afflicts the low-income segments of a population. In the Nanshan District of Shenzhen, China, with the economic transformation and a new Headquarters Economy (HE) emerging, there are now more cases in office workers than in manufacturing workers. To illustrate this trend, we describe a small TB outbreak in an office building located in the centre of the rapidly growing HE district. Two active pulmonary tuberculosis cases were found in workers who shared an office, and whole genome sequencing showed that the genetic distance between the strains of the two cases was just one single nucleotide polymorphism, consistent with intra-office transmission. Investigation of 30 other workers in the same or adjacent offices with interviews, interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) and chest X-rays, identified one new TB case and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in 40.0% (12/30) of the contacts. The offices were under-ventilated. None of the IGRA positive, asymptomatic contacts agreed to receive treatment for LTBI, presumably due to TB stigma, and over the next 2 years 69.0% (20/29) of the contacts were lost to follow-up. Treatment for LTBI and stigma of TB remain challenges here. Office workers in the HE of rapidly economic developing areas should be targeted with increased vigilance by TB control programmes.