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An acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak caused by a norovirus occurred at a hospital in Shanghai, China, was studied for molecular epidemiology, host susceptibility and serological roles. Rectal and environmental swabs, paired serum samples and saliva specimens were collected. Pathogens were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Histo-blood group antigens (HBGA) phenotypes of saliva samples and their binding to norovirus protruding proteins were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The HBGA-binding interfaces and the surrounding region were analysed by the MegAlign program of DNAstar 7.1. Twenty-seven individuals in two care units were attacked with AGE at attack rates of 9.02 and 11.68%. Eighteen (78.2%) symptomatic and five (38.4%) asymptomatic individuals were GII.6/b norovirus positive. Saliva-based HBGA phenotyping showed that all symptomatic and asymptomatic cases belonged to A, B, AB or O secretors. Only four (16.7%) out of the 24 tested serum samples showed low blockade activity against HBGA-norovirus binding at the acute phase, whereas 11 (45.8%) samples at the convalescence stage showed seroconversion of such blockade. Specific blockade antibody in the population played an essential role in this norovirus epidemic. A wide HBGA-binding spectrum of GII.6 supports a need for continuous health attention and surveillance in different settings.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
GABRB2, the gene for β2 subunit of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor, is known to display two splicing isoforms in the brain, namely β2L containing Exon 10 and β2S devoid of Exon 10. Previously, the expressions of these isoforms were correlated with both schizophrenia and various sequence polymorphisms of the gene. in the present study, a series of deletions made on Intron 9 of a minigene construct affected the expression of Exon 10, and generated additional splicing variations suggesting the existence of additional splicing variants of β2subunit. A search among brain cDNAs uncovered the two novel short forms: β2S1which is devoid of Exons 10 and 11 and bears an extended Exon 9, and β2S2 which is devoid of Exon 10 and bears a shortened Exon 11.Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, performed with a cohort of 31 schizophrenics, 30 bipolar disorder and 31 controls of US population, showed that the level of β2S2 was significantly decreased in bipolar disorder, and marginally decreased in schizophrenia, while β2S1 was marginally increased in both of these psychotic disorders. Significant genotypic effects of rs1816071, rs1816072 and rs187269 on β2S2 level were observed in male schizophrenic and bipolar patients. These findings pointed to the neighborhood of Exon 10 as an alternate-splicing hot-spot, and underlined the relevance of β2 subunit isoforms to the etiology of psychotic disorders.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a major public health concern all over the world. Little is known about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population. This study aimed to assess the mental health problems and associated factors among a large sample of college students during the COVID-19 outbreak in China.
This cross-sectional and nation-wide survey of college students was conducted in China from 3 to 10 February 2020. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess psychosocial factors, COVID-19 epidemic related factors and mental health problems. Acute stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms were measured by the Chinese versions of the impact of event scale-6, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, respectively. Univariate and hierarchical logistic regression analyses were performed to examine factors associated with mental health problems.
Among 821 218 students who participated in the survey, 746 217 (90.9%) were included for the analysis. In total, 414 604 (55.6%) of the students were female. About 45% of the participants had mental health problems. The prevalence rates of probable acute stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms were 34.9%, 21.1% and 11.0%, respectively. COVID-19 epidemic factors that were associated with increased risk of mental health problems were having relatives or friends being infected (adjusted odds ratio = 1.72–2.33). Students with exposure to media coverage of the COVID-19 ≥3 h/day were 2.13 times more likely than students with media exposure <1 h/day to have acute stress symptoms. Individuals with low perceived social support were 4.84–5.98 times more likely than individuals with high perceived social support to have anxiety and depressive symptoms. In addition, senior year and prior mental health problems were also significantly associated with anxiety or/and depressive symptoms.
In this large-scale survey of college students in China, acute stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms are prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple epidemic and psychosocial factors, such as family members being infected, massive media exposure, low social support, senior year and prior mental health problems were associated with increased risk of mental health problems. Psychosocial support and mental health services should be provided to those students at risk.
Formulated, processed, and dried Aloe polysaccharides thin film sandwiched between ITO as bottom electrode and Au as top electrode has been adopted as an artificial synapse to emulate behavior of neuromorphic computing. The synaptic plasticity or weight has been modulated with this simple metal-insulator-metal structure by applying voltage sweep and voltage pulse, with excitatory postsynaptic current being monitored. Synaptic potentiation and depression has been demonstrated by applying 6 consecutive sweeps of voltage in positive and negative polarity, respectively. By varying number (10 – 50) of voltage pulses, variable synaptic weight has been measured with paired pulse facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation indexes of 2.61x10-6and 1.45x10-4, respectively. The short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation can be clearly revealed when applying 40 pulses and beyond, with extracted time constants of approximately 28 s at 40 pulses and 90 s at 50 pulses.
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.
Background: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic scaffolding gene SHANK2 are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, their impact on the function of human neurons is unknown. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from affected individuals permits generation of live neurons to answer this question. Methods: We generated iPSCs by reprogramming dermal fibroblasts of neurotypic and ASD-affected donors. To isolate the effect of SHANK2, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to knock out SHANK2 in control iPSCs and correct a heterozygous nonsense mutation in ASD-affected donor iPSCs. We then derived cortical neurons from SOX1+ neural precursor cells differentiated from these iPSCs. Using a novel assay that overcomes line-to-line variability, we compared neuronal morphology, total synapse number, and electrophysiological properties between SHANK2 mutants and controls. Results: Relative to controls, SHANK2 mutant neurons have increased dendrite complexity, dendrite length, total synapse number (1.5-2-fold), and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency (3-7.6-fold). Conclusions: ASD-associated heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in SHANK2 increase synaptic connectivity among human neurons by increasing synapse number and sEPSC frequency. This is partially supported by increased dendrite length and complexity, providing evidence that SHANK2 functions as a suppressor of dendrite branching during neurodevelopment.
Superior and inferior rice grains have different weights and are located on the upper primary branch and lower secondary branches of the panicle, respectively. To study differences in germination vigour of these two types of grain, a number of factors were investigated from 0 to 48 h of germination. The present study demonstrated that in inferior grains the starch granule structure was looser at 0 h, with full water absorption at 48 h, while in superior grains the structure was tight and dense. Relative water content increased, and dry matter decreased, more rapidly in inferior grains than in superior ones. Abscisic acid and gibberellin levels, as well as α-amylase activity, also changed more rapidly in inferior grains, while soluble sugar content and amylase coding gene expression increased more rapidly in inferior than superior grains during early germination. The expression of OsGAMYB was higher in inferior grains at 24 h but higher in superior grains at 48 h. The phenotypic index of seedlings was higher in seedlings from superior grains at the two-leaf stage. However, the thousand-grain weight and yield per plant in superior and inferior plants showed no significant difference at harvest. The present study indicates that inferior grains germinate faster than superior ones in the early germination stage. Although inferior grains produced weaker seedlings, it is worthwhile using them in rice production due to their comparative yield potential over that of superior grains.
Bacillary dysentery continues to be a major health issue in developing countries and ambient temperature is a possible environmental determinant. However, evidence about the risk of bacillary dysentery attributable to ambient temperature under climate change scenarios is scarce. We examined the attributable fraction (AF) of temperature-related bacillary dysentery in urban and rural Hefei, China during 2006–2012 and projected its shifting pattern under climate change scenarios using a distributed lag non-linear model. The risk of bacillary dysentery increased with the temperature rise above a threshold (18·4 °C), and the temperature effects appeared to be acute. The proportion of bacillary dysentery attributable to hot temperatures was 18·74% (95 empirical confidence interval (eCI): 8·36–27·44%). Apparent difference of AF was observed between urban and rural areas, with AF varying from 26·87% (95% eCI 16·21–36·68%) in urban area to −1·90% (95 eCI −25·03 to 16·05%) in rural area. Under the climate change scenarios alone (1–4 °C rise), the AF from extreme hot temperatures (>31·2 °C) would rise greatly accompanied by the relatively stable AF from moderate hot temperatures (18·4–31·2 °C). If climate change proceeds, urban area may be more likely to suffer from rapidly increasing burden of disease from extreme hot temperatures in the absence of effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.
It is well known that energy plays an important role in sow growth and development. Increasing the utilization of lipids will be beneficial to sows. Emulsifiers are substances which stabilize mixtures and prevent oil and water from separating, thereby enhancing the digestion of lipids. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary emulsifier (lysophospholipids (LPL)) supplementation in diets differing in fat contents on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and milk composition in lactating sows, as well as performance and fecal score in piglets. A total of 32 multiparous sows (Landrace×Yorkshire) were used in a 21-day experiment. On day 110 of gestation, sows were weighed and moved into the farrowing facility, randomly assigned in a 2×2 factorial arrangement according to their BW with two levels of LPL (0 and 30 mg/kg) and two levels of fat (4.75% and 2.38% fat; 13.66 and 13.24 MJ/kg). BW loss and backfat thickness loss were decreased (P<0.05) by LPL supplementation. Backfat thickness at weaning was higher (P<0.05) in sows fed LPL supplementation diets. The apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter, nitrogen, gross energy and crude fat in sows fed LPL diets was increased (P<0.05) compared with those fed non-LPL diets. Sows fed the high-fat diets had higher (P<0.05) milk fat on day 10 and milk lactose on day 20 than those fed the low-fat diets. Milk fat and lactose concentrations in LPL supplementation treatments was increased (P<0.05) compared with non-LPL treatments on day 10 and day 20, respectively. Positive interaction effects (P<0.05) between fat and LPL were observed for milk fat concentration on day 10. In conclusion, LPL addition decreased BW loss and backfat thickness loss, improved nutrient digestibility and milk fat as well as milk lactose concentrations. In addition, there was a complementary positive effect of dietary fat and LPL supplementation on milk fat concentration in lactating sows.
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.
Toxocariasis is a very prevalent zoonotic disease worldwide. Recently, investigators have focused more on Toxocara spp. seroprevalence in humans. Information regarding Toxocara seroprevalence in people from different ethnic backgrounds in China is limited. For this study, blood samples were collected from a total of 802 Han, 520 Korean, 303 Manchu, and 217 Mongol subjects from Jilin and Shandong provinces. The overall Toxocara seroprevalence was 16·07% (14·21% Han, 20·58% Korean, 11·22% Manchu, 18·89% Mongol). Living in suburban or rural areas, having dogs at home, exposure to soil, and consumption of raw/undercooked meat were risk factors for Toxocara infection. Exposure to soil was identified as the major risk factor for Toxocara seropositivity in all of the tested ethnicities. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report concerning Toxocara infection in Manchus and Mongols in China. The present study provided baseline data for effective prevention strategies of toxocariasis in northeast China and recommends improvements in personal hygiene standards to achieve this goal.
Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are believed to be involved in the recognition of semiochemicals. In the present study, western blot analysis, fluorescence-binding characteristics and immunolocalization of CmedPBP4 from the rice leaffolder, Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, were investigated. Western blot analysis revealed that CmedPBP4 showed obvious antenna-specific expression patterns in female and male antenna, and made a clearly different sex-biased expression. Immunocytochemical labeling revealed that CmedPBP4 showed specific expression in the trichoid sensilla. Competitive fluorescence binding assays indicated that CmedPBP4 could selectively recognize three sex pheromone components (Z13-18:Ac, Z11-16:Al and Z13-18:OH) and eleven rice plant volatiles, including cyclohexanol, nerolidol, cedrol, dodecanal, ionone, (−)-α-cedrene, (Z)-farnesene, β-myrcene, R-(+)-limonene, (−)-limonene, and (+)-3-carene. Meanwhile the CmedPBP4 detection of sex pheromones and host odorants was pH-dependent. Our results, for the first time, provide further evidence that trichoid sensilla might be play an important role in detecting sex pheromones and host plant volatiles in the C. medinalis moth. Our systematic studies provided further detailed evidence for the function of trichoid sensilla in insect semiochemical perception.
At the end of 2013, China reported a countrywide outbreak of measles. From January to May 2014, we investigated the clinical and immunological features of the cases of the outbreak admitted to our hospital. In this study, all 112 inpatients with clinically diagnosed measles were recruited from the 302 Military Hospital of China. The virus was isolated from throat swabs from these patients, and cytokine profiles were examined. By detecting the measles virus of 30 of the 112 patients, we found that this measles outbreak was of the H1 genotype, which is the major strain in China. The rates of complications, specifically pneumonia and liver injury, differed significantly in patients aged <8 months, 8 months to 18 years, and >18 years: pneumonia was more common in children, while liver injury was more common in adults. Pneumonia was a significant independent risk factor affecting measles duration. Compared to healthy subjects, measles patients had fewer CD4+IL-17+, CD4+IFN-γ+, and CD8+IFN-γ+ cells in both the acute and recovery phases. In contrast, measles patients in the acute phase had more CD8+IL-22+ cells than those in recovery or healthy subjects. We recommend that future studies focus on the age-related distribution of pneumonia and liver injury as measles-related complications as well as the association between immunological markers and measles prognosis.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a type of pathogenic bacteria that cause diarrhea in piglets through colonizing pig small intestine epithelial cells by their surface fimbriae. Different fimbriae type of ETEC including F4, F18, K99 and F41 have been isolated from diarrheal pigs. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study to map the loci associated with the susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 using 39454 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 667 F2 pigs from a White Duroc×Erhualian F2 cross. The most significant SNP (ALGA0022658, P=5.59×10−13) located at 6.95 Mb on chromosome 4. ALGA0022658 was in high linkage disequilibrium (r2>0.5) with surrounding SNPs that span a 1.21 Mb interval. Within this 1.21 Mb region, we investigated ZFAT as a positional candidate gene. We re-sequenced cDNA of ZFAT in four pigs with different susceptibility phenotypes, and identified seven coding variants. We genotyped these seven variants in 287 unrelated pigs from 15 diverse breeds that were measured with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype. Five variants showed nominal significant association (P<0.05) with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype in International commercial pigs. This study provided refined region associated with susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 than that reported previously. Further works are needed to uncover the underlying causal mutation(s).
Residual feed intake (RFI), defined as the difference between an animal’s actual feed intake and expected feed intake over a specific period, is an inheritable character of feed conversion efficiency in dairy cows. Research has shown that a lower RFI could improve the profitability of milk production. This study explored variation in RFI by comparing the differences in body size, milk performance, feeding behavior, and serum metabolites in 29 Holstein cows in mid lactation. The cows were selected from a total of 84 animals based on their RFI following feedlot tests. Selected cows were ranked into high RFI (RFI >1 SD above the mean, n=14) and low RFI (RFI<1 SD below the mean, n=15). The low RFI cows (more efficient) consumed 1.59 kg/day less dry matter than the high RFI group (P<0.01), while they produced nearly equal 4% fat-corrected milk. The milk : feed ratio was higher for the low RFI group than for the high RFI group (P<0.05). The levels of milk protein (P<0.01), total solids (P<0.05), and nonfat solids (P<0.05) were also higher for the low RFI group, whereas milk urea nitrogen was lower (P<0.01). The daily feeding duration was shorter for the low RFI group than for the high RFI group (P<0.01). No significant differences were found in levels of glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate, prolactin, insulin, IGF-1, growth hormone or ghrelin, but the level of neuropeptide Y was higher (P<0.01) and levels of leptin and non-esterified fatty acid (P<0.05) were lower for the low RFI group than for the high RFI group. There were substantial differences between cows with different RFI, which might affect the efficiency of milk protein metabolism and fat mobilization.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from June 2013 to August 2015 to determine the seroprevalence and possible risk factors for human Toxoplasma gondii infection in Korean, Manchu, Mongol and Han ethnic groups in eastern and northeastern China. A total of 1842 serum samples, including Han (n = 802), Korean (n = 520), Manchu (n = 303) and Mongol (n = 217) groups, were analysed using enzyme-linked immunoassays to detect IgG and IgM T. gondii antibodies. The overall T. gondii IgG and IgM seroprevalences were 13·79% and 1·25%, respectively. Of these groups, Mongol ethnicity had the highest T. gondii seroprevalence (20·74%, 45/217), followed by Korean ethnicity (16·54%, 86/520), Manchu ethnicity (13·86%, 42/303) and Han ethnicity (11·35%, 98/802). Multiple analysis showed that the consumption of raw vegetables and fruits, the consumption of raw/undercooked meat and the source of drinking water were significantly associated with T. gondii infection in the Han group. Likewise, having a cat at home was identified as being associated with T. gondii infection in the Korean, Manchu and Mongol groups. Moreover, the consumption of raw/undercooked meat was identified as another predictor of T. gondii seropositivity in the Mongol group. The results of this survey indicate that T. gondii infection is prevalent in Korean, Manchu, Mongol and Han ethnic groups in the study region. Therefore, it is essential to implement integrated strategies with efficient management measures to prevent and control T. gondii infection in this region of China. Moreover, this is the first report of T. gondii infection in Korean, Manchu, and Mongol ethnic groups in eastern and northeastern China.
The herbicide chlorsulfuron is commonly applied to cereals and may persist in alkaline soil long enough to damage subsequent sensitive crops. Sewage water, a potential source of the heavy metal cadmium (Cd), is used to irrigate agricultural soils in many developing countries. The current work evaluated the effects of the residual herbicide chlorsulfuron and Cd on maize seedlings, with particular attention to the mechanism of their action on plant growth. Maize seeds were planted in soil that had been sprayed with chlorsulfuron and Cd, after which residues in both seedlings and the soil were measured. The chlorsulfuron dose was correlated with the amount of residue found in seedlings but not in the soil. In all, 39 metabolites were identified in seedlings using the Automated Mass spectral Deconvolution and Identification System software program and the retention index method. The combination of chlorsulfuron and Cd significantly reduced multiple metabolites in the shikimate pathway, malic acid and citric acid production in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and lactic acid, glucose, aspartic acid, asparagine and 3-glycerophosphoric acid production. In addition, chlorsulfuron caused an increase in multiple amino acids, including tyrosine, methionine and asparagine, and a marked decrease in caffeic and cinnamic acids (the secondary metabolites derived from the shikimate pathway and galactose). Finally, chlorsulfuron and Cd stress markedly increased shikimate acid, decreased 3-glycerophosphoric acid and caused negative correlations between the amounts of phenylalanine and tyrosine and those of quinic- and cinnamic-acid. In conclusion, chlorsulfuron and Cd did not have a synergistic effect on maize seedlings; rather, the combination of these pollutants had an antagonistic effect on some amino acids.
Nursing homes (NHs) have been implicated as significant reservoirs of antibiotic-resistant organisms causing severe infectious disease. We investigated the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of, and risk factors for, faecal carriage of extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E). A multicentre cross-sectional study was conducted in seven NHs in Shanghai between March 2014 and May 2014. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing and polymerase chain reaction were used to detect genes coding for ESBLs and carbapenemases. NH records at individual-resident level and facility level were examined for potential risk factors. Four hundred and fifty-seven Enterobacteriaceae isolates were collected of which 183 (46·92%) were colonized by ESBL-E. CTX-M enzymes (198/200, 99%) predominated, with CTX-M-14 (84/200, 42%) the most common types. Two carbapenemase producers harboured blaKPC-2. Resistance rates to carbapenems, TZP, AK, FOS, CL and TGC were low. History of invasive procedures [odds ratio (OR) 2·384, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·318–4·310, P = 0·004], narrow-spectrum cephalosporins (OR 1·635, 95% CI 1·045–2·558, P = 0·031) and broad-spectrum cephalosporins (OR 3·276, 95% CI 1·278–8·398, P = 0·014) were independently associated with ESBL-E carriage. In conclusion, NH residents have a very high prevalence of faecal carriage of ESBL-E. Continuous and active surveillance is important, as are prudent infection control measures and antibiotic use to prevent and control the spread of these antibiotic-resistant strains.