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There is a lack of evidence related to the prevalence of mental health symptoms as well as their heterogeneities during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Latin America, a large area spanning the equator. The current study aims to provide meta-analytical evidence on mental health symptoms during COVID-19 among frontline healthcare workers, general healthcare workers, the general population and university students in Latin America.
Bibliographical databases, such as PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, PsycINFO and medRxiv, were systematically searched to identify pertinent studies up to August 13, 2021. Two coders performed the screening using predefined eligibility criteria. Studies were assigned quality scores using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. The double data extraction method was used to minimise data entry errors.
A total of 62 studies with 196 950 participants in Latin America were identified. The pooled prevalence of anxiety, depression, distress and insomnia was 35%, 35%, 32% and 35%, respectively. There was a higher prevalence of mental health symptoms in South America compared to Central America (36% v. 28%, p < 0.001), in countries speaking Portuguese (40%) v. Spanish (30%). The pooled prevalence of mental health symptoms in the general population, general healthcare workers, frontline healthcare workers and students in Latin America was 37%, 34%, 33% and 45%, respectively.
The high yet heterogenous level of prevalence of mental health symptoms emphasises the need for appropriate identification of psychological interventions in Latin America.
Soybean meal is rich in soybean isoflavones, which exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer functions in humans and animals. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soybean isoflavones on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and antioxidative properties in pigs. A total of 72 weaned piglets (7.45 ± 0.13 kg; 36 males and 36 females) were allocated into three treatments and fed corn-soybean meal (C-SBM), corn-soy protein concentrate (C-SPC) or C-SPC supplemented with equal levels of the isoflavones found in the C-SBM diet (C-SPC + ISF) for a 72-day trial. Each treatment had six replicates and four piglets per replicate, half male and half female. On day 42, one male pig from each replicate was selected and euthanized to collect intestinal samples. The results showed that compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had higher BW on day 72 (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM diet had significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) during days 14 to 28 (P < 0.05), with C-SPC + ISF being intermediate; pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P = 0.063), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P < 0.05). Moreover, compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have greater villus height (P = 0.092), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly greater villus height (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had significantly increased villus height-to-crypt depth ratio (P < 0.05). Compared with the C-SPC diet, dietary C-SPC + ISF tended to increase plasma superoxide dismutase activity on days 28 (P = 0.085) and 42 (P = 0.075) and reduce plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) content on day 42 (P = 0.089), as well as significantly decreased jejunal mucosa MDA content on day 42 (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference in the expression of tight junction genes among the three groups was found (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a long-term exposure to soybean isoflavones enhances the growth performance, protects the intestinal morphology and improves the antioxidative properties in pigs.
The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is related to dopamine degradation and has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, how this gene affects brain function properties in MDD is still unclear.
Fifty patients with MDD and 35 cognitively normal participants underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. A voxelwise and data-drive global functional connectivity density (gFCD) analysis was used to investigate the main effects and the interactions of disease states and COMT rs4680 gene polymorphism on brain function.
We found significant group differences of the gFCD in bilateral fusiform area (FFA), post-central and pre-central cortex, left superior temporal gyrus (STG), rectal and superior temporal gyrus and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC); abnormal gFCDs in left STG were positively correlated with severity of depression in MDD group. Significant disease × COMT interaction effects were found in the bilateral calcarine gyrus, right vlPFC, hippocampus and thalamus, and left SFG and FFA. Further post-hoc tests showed a nonlinear modulation effect of COMT on gFCD in the development of MDD. Interestingly, an inverted U-shaped modulation was found in the prefrontal cortex (control system) but U-shaped modulations were found in the hippocampus, thalamus and occipital cortex (processing system).
Our study demonstrated nonlinear modulation of the interaction between COMT and depression on brain function. These findings expand our understanding of the COMT effect underlying the pathophysiology of MDD.
The potential pattern of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in major depressive disorder (MDD) underlies different response to antidepressants medication remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the differences of rCBF between patients with different treatment response.
Eighty MDD patients [(44 treatment-responsive depression (RD) and 36 non-responding depression (NRD)] and 42 healthy controls (HC) underwent pulsed arterial spin labeling (PASL) scans in magnetic resonance imaging and clinical estimates. The exact rCBF values of each groups were obtained via quantification evaluation.
Compared to NRD, the RD patients showed decreased rCBF values in frontal sensorimotor network (i.e. left paracentral lobule, left medial frontal gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus and right middle frontal gyrus), and further receiver operating curve (ROC) analyses demonstrated that the altered rCBF in these four regions exhibited outstanding performance on distinguishing NRD from RD. The NRD also exhibited reduced rCBF in bilateral cerebellum posterior lobe and right middle occipital gyrus and elevated rCBF in right postcentral gyrus and right middle frontal gyrus as compared to HC.
The decreased rCBF in frontal sensorimotor network appeared to be distinct characteristics for NRD, and might be severed as promising neuroimaging markers to differentiate depressed patients with weak early response to antidepressant medication. These findings expand our understanding of neural substrate underlying the antidepressant efficacy.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The intuitive association between cognitive dysfunction in late onset depression (LOD) and the aberrant functional activity in the brain's default-mode network (DMN) has prompted interest in exploring the role of the DMN in LOD. The altered pattern of resting state voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) in cognitive processes is not yet well understood in LOD.
The study was designed to examine the implicit coupling between the alteration of interhemispheric functional coordination and cognitive impairment in LOD. Thirty-one LOD patients and 37 matched healthy controls (HC) underwent neuropsychological tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in this study.
Compared to HC group, attenuated VMHC in superior frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, posterior cerebellar lobe, postcentral and precentral gyrus was observed in LOD. Neuro-behavioral relevancy approach revealed that the imbalanced interhemispheric functional coordination in bilateral cerebellum was positively correlated with the performance of trail making test in LOD (r = 0.367, P = 0.040).
Altered linkage pattern of intrinsic homotopic connectivity and cognition was firstly investigated in LOD, and it would provide a novel clue to reveal the neural substrates underlying the cognitive dysfunction in LOD.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Psychomotor retardation (PMR) in depression is analogous to the hypokinesia in Parkinson's disease, which is associated with the unbalanced direct and indirect pathways of cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical (CBTC) circuitry. This study hypothesized PMR in major depressive disorder (MDD) should be associated with the hyperactivity of CBTC indirect pathways.
To substantiate the hypothesis that the PMR symptom of MDD might attribute to the hyperactivity of the ortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical indirect pathway which could inhibit psychomotor performance.
We investigated the intrinsic stiato-subthalamic nucleus (STN)-thalamic functional connectivity (FC), three pivotal hubs of the indirect pathway, in 30 MDD patients with PMR (PMR group) and well matched 30 patients without PMR (NPMR group) at baseline, and 11 patients of each group at follow-up who remitted after antidepressant treatment.
The results showed increased STN-striatum FC of PMR group at baseline and no more discrepancy at follow-up, and significant correlation between PMR severity and thalamo-STN FC.
Our findings suggested the increased STN- striatum FC should be considered as a state biomarker to distinguish MDD patients with PMR from patients without PMR at acute period, and thalamo-STN FC could be identified as the predictor of the PMR severity for MDD patients.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Emerging evidences indicate that the alteration of interhemispheric functional coordination may be involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). In present study, we aim to explore the potential marker by using the voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) approach, which may be contributing to predict the clinical prognosis in MDD.
Eighty-two MDD patients and 50 normal control (NC) subjects participated in this study. We divided the MDD group into unremitted and remitted group according to the reduction rate of Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD) within 2 weeks.
The study detected significantly decreased VMHC in bilateral precuneus (pCu), inferior temporal gyrus (ITG) and increased VMHC in middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and caudate nucleus when compared remitted depression (RD) group to unremitted depression (URD) group. Meanwhile, when compared with NC group, the URD group presented reduced VMHC in bilateral cerebellum anterior lobe, thalamus and postcentral gyrus. Furthermore, the VHMC in media frontal gyrus, postcentral gyrus and precentral gyrus were significantly decreased in RD group. Correlation analysis suggested that reduced VMHC in bilateral pCu was negatively correlated with the baseline HAMD score of URD (r = −0.325, P = 0.041). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve indicated that three regional VMHC changes could identify depressed patient with poorer treatment response: ITG [area under curve (AUC) = 0.699, P = 0.002, 95% CI = 0.586–0.812], MFG (AUC = 0.692, P = 0.003, 95% CI = 0.580–0.805), pCu (AUC = 0.714, P = 0.001, 95% CI = 0.603–0.825).
The current study combined with previous evidence indicates that the subdued intrinsic interhemispheric functional connectivity might represents a novel neural trait involved in the pathophysiology of MDD.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The coronal heating problem is a long-standing perplexing issue. In this study, 13 solar activity indexes are used to investigate their phase relation with the sunspot number (SSN). Only three of them are found to statistically significantly lag the SSN (large-scale magnetic activity) by about one solar rotation period; the three indexes are total solar irradiance (TSI), the modified coronal index, and the solar wind velocity; the former two indexes may represent the long-term variation of energy quantity of the heated photosphere and corona, respectively. The Mount Wilson Sunspot Index (MWSI) and the Magnetic Plage Strength Index (MPSI), which reflect the large- and small-scale magnetic field activities, respectively, are also utilised to investigate their phase relations with the three indexes. The three indexes are found to be much more intimately related to MPSI than to MWSI, and MWSI statistically significantly leads TSI by about one rotation period. The heated corona is found to pulse perfectly in step with the small-scale magnetic activity rather than the large-scale magnetic activity; furthermore, combined with observations, our statistical evidence should thus attribute coronal heating firmly to small-scale magnetic activity phenomena, such as spicules, micro-flares, nano-flares, and others. The photosphere and the corona are synchronously heated, which should seemingly prefer magnetic reconnection heating to wave heating. In the long term, such a coronal heating way is inferred effective. Statistically, it is also small-scale magnetic activity phenomena that produce TSI enhancement. Coronal heating and solar wind acceleration are found to be synchronous, as standard models require.
The small intestine is an important digestive organ and plays a vital role in the life of a pig. We tested the hypothesis that the length of the small intestine is related to growth performance and intestinal functions of piglets. A total of 60 piglets (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire), weaned at day 21, were fed an identical diet during a 28-day trial. At the end of the study, all piglets were sacrificed, dissected and grouped according to small intestine lengths (SILs), either short small intestine (SSI), middle small intestine (MSI) or long small intestine (LSI), respectively. Positive relationships between SIL and BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain-to-feed ratios (G : F) were observed. Final BW, ADG, ADFI and G : F significantly increased (P < 0.05) in MSI and LSI piglets compared with SSI piglets. Short small intestine and MSI had greater jejunal mucosa sucrase and alkaline phosphatase activities (P < 0.05) than LSI piglets. The mRNA level of solute carrier family 2 member 2 (Slc2a2) in the jejunal mucosa of SSI piglets was the greatest. The MSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal villus height than other piglets and greater (P < 0.05) villus height-to-crypt depth ratios than LSI piglets. However, the LSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal crypt depth than SSI piglets. No significant differences in duodenal, jejunal, caecal and colonic morphologies were detected among the groups. Moreover, luminal acetate, propionate, butyrate and total short-chain fatty acid contents were greater (P < 0.05) in SSI and MSI piglets than those in LSI piglets. In addition, there was greater serum glucose concentration in MSI piglets than other piglets. Serum albumin concentration in SSI piglets was the lowest. In conclusion, these results indicate that SIL was significantly positively associated with growth performance, and in terms of intestinal morphology and mucosal digestive enzyme activity, the piglets with a medium length of small intestine have better digestion and absorption properties.
Small intestinal epithelium homeostasis involves four principal cell types: enterocytes, goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been shown to affect enterocyte differentiation. This study determined the effect of dietary EGF on goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglet small intestine and potential mechanisms. Forty-two weaned piglets were used in a 2 × 3 factorial design; the major factors were time post-weaning (days 7 and 14) and dietary treatment (0, 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF supplementation). The numbers of goblet and enteroendocrine cells were generally greater with the increase in time post-weaning. Moreover, the supplementation of 200 µg/kg EGF increased (P < 0.01) the number of goblet and enteroendocrine cells in villus and crypt of the piglet small intestine as compared with the control. Dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of differentiation-related genes atonal homologue 1, mucin 2 and intestinal trefoil factor 3 messenger RNA (mRNA) as compared with the control. Piglets fed 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF diet had increased (P < 0.05) abundances of growth factor-independent 1, SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 mRNA, but decreased the abundance (P < 0.01) of E74 like ETS transcription factor 3 mRNA as compared with the control. Animals receiving 400 µg/kg EGF diets had enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of neurogenin3 and SRY-box containing gene 9 mRNA as compared with the control. The mRNA abundance and protein expression of lysozyme, a marker of Paneth cell, were also increased (P < 0.05) in those animals. As compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF increased the abundance of EGF receptor mRNA and the ratio of non-phospho(p)-β-catenin/β-catenin (P < 0.05) in villus epithelial cells at days 7 and 14. This ratio in crypt epithelial cells was higher (P < 0.05) on the both 200 and 400 µg/kg EGF groups during the same period. Our results demonstrated that dietary EGF stimulated goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglets during the post-weaning period, partly through EGFR and Wnt/β-catenin signalling.
Using an age-structured process-based simulation model for diamondback moth (DBM), we model the population dynamics of this major Brassica pest using the cropping practices and climate of Guangdong, China. The model simulates two interacting sub-populations (demes), each representing a short season crop. The simulated DBM abundance, and hence pest problems, depend on planting regime, crop hygiene and biological control. A continuous supply of hosts, a low proportion of crop harvested and long residue times between harvest and replanting each exacerbate pest levels. Biological control provided by a larval parasitoid can reduce pest problems, but not eliminate them when climate is suitable for DBM and under certain planting practices. The classic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) method of insecticide application, when pest threshold is reached, proved effective and halved the number of insecticide sprays when compared with the typical practice of weekly insecticide application.
Nitrogen (N) application and irrigation to winter wheat may decrease leaf temperature and enhance photosynthesis: as a result, more photosynthates will be allocated to the grains, resulting in higher grain yields. To investigate this hypothesis, a 2-year field study was conducted with three levels of N fertilizer application (no fertilizer, N0; 240 kg N/ha, N1; 360 kg N/ha, N2) and two different water regimes (rainfed with no irrigation, R; irrigation at the over-wintering, stem elongation and grain filling stages, W). The results show that both N application and supplemental irrigation significantly increased grain yield with increases in both grain number/m2 and the 1000-grain weight, viz., WN2>WN1>WN0>RN2>RN1>RN0. In addition, application of N under both water regimes significantly increased flag leaf area, above-ground biomass and single stem productivity and decreased leaf temperature, which led to an increase in net photosynthesis rates and ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase activity. Moreover, analysis of the chlorophyll α fluorescence transient showed that N fertilizer application and supplemental irrigation significantly increased electron donor and acceptor performance of the photosystem II reaction centre.
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.
Ectropis grisescens Warren and Ectropis obliqua (Prout) are two morphologically similar sibling species with overlapping ranges. In this study, manipulative laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the possibility of reproductive interference in sympatric populations of E. grisescens and E. obliqua and the potential consequences of the mating interaction. Our results showed that the presence of males or females of different species could incur mating interference and significant reduction of F1 offspring. The reduction was not significant relevant to the initial relative abundance of E. grisescens and E. obliqua. Detailed observations of mating opportunity showed that female mating frequencies of both species were not significantly affected by the absolute species density, but the mating success of E. obliqua females with conspecific males depended on species ratio. In addition, adding males to the other species resulted in lower number of offspring suggesting that the males’ behaviour might be linked with mating interference. Males of both E. grisescens and E. obliqua could interfere the intraspecific mating of the other species, but the impact of the mating interference differed. These combined data indicated that asymmetric reproductive interference existed in E. grisescens and E. obliqua under laboratory conditions, and the offspring of the mixed species were significantly reduced. The long term outcome of this effect is yet to be determined since additional reproductive factors such as oviposition rate and progeny survival to adulthood may reduce the probability of demographic displacement of one species by the other in overlapping niches.
A method based on the Eulerian two-phase flow theory to numerically simulate three-dimensional rime ice accretions on an aircraft wing is presented in this paper. The governing equations for supercooled droplet motion under Eulerian framework are established using the droplet pseudo-fluid model. A permeable wall boundary condition is proposed to simulate the phenomenon of droplets impinging on the wing in solving the governing equations for droplets. The local droplet collection efficiency is readily obtained from the droplet flowfield solution in the control volume adjacent to the wing surface. The rime ice accretion can be simulated under the assumption that the droplets freeze immediately as they impinge on the wing surface since the environment temperature is low enough (typically below –15°C). A method to build the ice shape is proposed based on the assumption that ice grows in the direction normal to the wing surface. The rime ice accretion on a GLC-305 swept wing model under some specific conditions has been simulated to validate the present method. Furthermore, different flight conditions, namely, different angles of attack and different angles of sideslip, have been dealt with to investigate their effects on rime ice accretion as well as the corresponding aerodynamic effects.
Insect cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) play an important role in catalysis of many reactions leading to insecticides resistance. Our previous studies on transcriptome analysis of chlorantraniliprole-resistant development in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella revealed that up-regulation of cytochrome P450s are one of the main factors leading to the development of chlorantraniliprole resistance. Here, we report for the first time a novel cytochrome P450 gene CYP321E1, which belongs to the cytochrome P450 gene family CYP321. Real-time quantitative PCR (RT–qPCR) analyses indicated that CYP321E1 was expressed at all developmental stages of P. xylostella but was highest in the fourth-instar larvae; furthermore, the relatively high expression was observed in the midgut of the fourth-instar larvae, followed by fat bodies and epidermis. The expression of CYP321E1 in P. xylostella was differentially affected by three representative insecticides, including alphamethrin, abamectin and chlorantraniliprole. Among them, the exposure to chlorantraniliprole resulted in the largest transcript level of this cytochrome P450 gene. The findings suggested potential involvement of CYP321E1 in chlorantraniliprole resistance of P. xylostella. To assess the functional link of CYP321E1 to chlorantraniliprole resistance, RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing by double stranded RNA (dsRNA) injecting was used. Results revealed that injection delivery of dsRNA can greatly reduce gene expression after 24 h. As a consequence of RNAi, a significant increment in mortality of larvae injected CYP321E1 dsRNA was observed after 24 h of exposure to chlorantraniliprole. These results strongly support our notion that this novel cytochrome P450 gene plays an important role in chlorantraniliprole detoxification in the diamondback moth and is partly responsible for its resistance.
Pedogenic alteration of illite from red earth sediments in Jiujiang in subtropical China was investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). Illite, hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite (HIV), kaolinite and mixed-layer illite-HIV (I-HIV) are present in the soils. The characteristic reflections of the clay phases were 14 Å, 10–14 Å, 10 Å, and 7 Å, respectively. After Mg-glycerol saturations, the 14 Å peak of the samples did not expand, and after heating at 350°C and 550°C it shifted to 13.8 Å and 12 Å respectively, with no residual 14 Å reflection, suggesting the occurrence of hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite. The randomly interstratified I-HIV clays were characterized by a broad peak at 10–14 Å, which did not change its position after Mg-glycerol saturation, but collapsed to 10 Å after heating at 350°C and 550°C. HRTEM analysis showed different lattice fringes of 12 Å, 10 Å and 7 Å . Mixed-layer I-HIV, HIV-K and illite-kaolinite (I-K) were observed in the HRTEM images which represented the intermediate phases during illite alteration. The merging of two 10 Å illite layers into a 12 Å HIV layer, lateral transformation of one HIV layer into one kaolinite layer and alteration of one illite layer into two kaolinite layers illustrated the mechanisms of illite-to-HIV, HIV-to-kaolinite and illite-tokaolinite transformation, respectively. The proposed pedogenic alteration of illite and the weathering sequence of the clay minerals in Jiujiang is illite → I-HIV → HIV → HIV-K → kaolinite. In addition, illite may transform directly to kaolinite.
In this study, epidemiological factors of sparganosis cases reported in mainland China from 1959 to December 2012 were analysed. A total of 1061 valid cases were distributed throughout most of the provinces of mainland China, with most cases occurring in Southern and Eastern China. The average age of patients was 29 years (range 0–80 years). Modes of transmission to humans were via contact (54·6%), mainly by application of frog meat as a poultice, foodborne (33·8%), mainly through ingesting frogs or snakes, and waterborne (11·5%) through drinking raw water. The tissue/organs involved were subcutaneous/muscle (43·1%), eyes (31·0%), central nervous system (CNS) (17·9%), urogenital system (3·9%) and visceral organs (3·2%). Obvious differences existed in main risk factors for different areas. Close correlation was found between tissue/organs and risk factors. Main modes of transmission changed during the past decades, from contact (83·8% pre-1979) to foodborne (63·9% post-2000). The tissue/organs involved also changed at the same time. Cases involving eyes fell from 50·0% pre-1979 to 8·3% post-2000, and cases involving CNS increased from 0% pre-1979 to 47·8% post-2000. These results illustrate that China is one of the main epidemic countries of sparganosis in the world. Consumption of frog/snake meat was the main risk factor, although application of frog flesh as a poultice was the main risk factor before 2000. Sparganosis has become one of the neglected but important foodborne/waterborne parasitic diseases in mainland China.
We present rational computational design of phenothiazine dyes for dye-sensitized solar cells containing different five-membered rings (thiophene, furan, and selenophene) by a combined strategy of modified conjugation order and functionalization leading to the quinoidization of the ring. We predict that it is possible to lower the excitation energy by 20% vs. the parent dye by the combination of: change in the conjugation order of the methine unit, its functionalization by the CN group, and replacement of the thiophene ring by furan.