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To describe the laboratory findings of cases of death with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to establish a scoring system for predicting death, we conducted this single-centre, retrospective, observational study including 336 adult patients (≥18 years old) with severe or critically ill COVID-19 admitted in two wards of Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, who had definite outcomes (death or discharge) between 1 February 2020 and 13 March 2020. Single variable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify mortality-related factors. We combined multiple factors to predict mortality, which was validated by receiver operating characteristic curves. As a result, in a total of 336 patients, 34 (10.1%) patients died during hospitalisation. Through multivariable logistic regression, we found that decreased lymphocyte ratio (Lymr, %) (odds ratio, OR 0.574, P < 0.001), elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) (OR 1.513, P = 0.009), and raised D-dimer (DD) (OR 1.334, P = 0.002) at admission were closely related to death. The combined prediction model was developed by these factors with a sensitivity of 100.0% and specificity of 97.2%. In conclusion, decreased Lymr, elevated BUN, and raised DD were found to be in association with death outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19. A scoring system was developed to predict the clinical outcome of these patients.
In evaluating the quality of table eggs and the developmental stages of embryonic eggs, spectroscopic techniques provide greater efficiency than traditional, time-consuming and laborious approaches. This review summarises recent developments in the spectroscopic analysis of table eggs, including the determination of the chemical composition (ratios of performance to standard deviation of 4.38, 2.25, 2.28, 2.31, and 3.03 for fat, moisture, and protein in egg yolk and moisture and protein in egg albumen, respectively, have been reported). A Haugh unit detection accuracy RMSEP (root mean square error of prediction) for quality of 6.29 was obtained by hyperspectral imaging) for table eggs and fertility detection (for white-shell eggs, fertility detection has been realised at a promising rate of 93.5%) and gender determination in hatching eggs. In conclusion, hyperspectral imaging generally outperforms visible or near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy when evaluating both consumption eggs and hatching eggs, and near-infrared reflectance Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy exhibit a strong potential for gender determination prior to hatching. Scientists have attained a correct sexing rate above 90% at 3.5 d of egg incubation without removing the inner shell membrane. In the detection of blood-spot eggs or fertile eggs, eggshell colour proved to be a negative factor.
The strong-coupling mode, called the “quasimode”, is excited by stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) in high-intensity laser–plasma interactions. Also SBS of the quasimode competes with SBS of the fast mode (or slow mode) in multi-ion species plasmas, thus leading to a low-frequency burst behavior of SBS reflectivity. Competition between the quasimode and the ion-acoustic wave (IAW) is an important saturation mechanism of SBS in high-intensity laser–plasma interactions. These results give a clear explanation of the low-frequency periodic burst behavior of SBS and should be considered as a saturation mechanism of SBS in high-intensity laser–plasma interactions.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
The study investigated whether different dietary energy and protein sources affect laying performance, antioxidant status, fresh yolk fatty acid profile and quality of salted yolks in laying ducks. In all, 360 19-week-old Longyan ducks were randomly assigned to four diets in a factorial arrangement (2×2). The four diets consisted of two energy sources, corn (CO) or sorghum (SO) and two protein sources, soybean meal (SM) and rapeseed meal with corn distillers dried grains with solubles (RMD), and each treatment contained six replicates of 15 birds each. The experimental diets were isocaloric (metabolizable energy, 10.84 MJ/kg) and isonitrogenous (CP, 17%). The results showed that egg production, average egg weight, egg mass and feed conversion ratio were not affected by diets (P>0.05). Plasma contents of reduced glutathione (GSH), GSH/oxidized glutathione and total antioxidant capacity were lower (P<0.05) in ducks fed the RMD diets compared with those fed SM diets with a substantial increase (P=0.006) in plasma content of malondialdehyde (MDA). Egg yolks from ducks fed SO diets had higher proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and lower saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids compared with CO diets (P<0.001). Similarly, ducks fed RMD diets had a higher content of PUFA and n-6/n-3 ratio in fresh yolks (P<0.001), and increased salted yolk MDA, carbonylated proteins content and incidence of hard salted yolks (P<0.05) compared with SM diets. Scanning electron microscopy showed that salted yolks contained rougher polyhedral granules and fewer fat droplets, and were surrounded with a layer of bunchy fibers in ducks fed SO+RMD than those fed CO+SM diet. In conclusion, the current study showed that feeding laying ducks with diets containing SO or RMD reduced antioxidant capacity and increased egg yolk concentrations of PUFA. It appeared that egg yolks from ducks fed these diets were more sensitive to lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation during salting, and reduced the quality of salted yolks.
The bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) is one of the most important wheat pests with polyphagia and autumn migrants. And, chemosensory genes were thought to play a key role in insect searching their hosts, food and mate. However, a systematic identification of the chemosensory genes in this pest has not been reported. Thus, in this study, we identified 14 odorant-binding proteins, nine chemosensory proteins, one sensory neuron membrane protein, 15 odorant receptors, 19 gustatory receptors and 16 ionotropic receptors from R. padi transcriptomes with a significantly similarity (E-value < 10−5) to known chemosensory genes in Acyrthosiphon pisum and Aphis gossypii. In addition, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was employed to determine the expression profiles of obtained genes. Among these obtained genes, we selected 23 chemosensory genes to analyze their expression patterns in different tissues, wing morphs and host plants. We found that except RpOBP1, RpOBP3, RpOBP4 and RpOBP5, the rest of the selected genes were highly expressed in the head with antennae compared with body without head and antennae. Besides that, the stimulation and depression of chemosensory genes by plant switch indicated that chemosensory genes might be involved in the plant suitability assessment. These results not only provide insights for the potential roles of chemosensory genes in plant search and perception of R. padi but also provide initial background information for the further research on the molecular mechanism of the polyphagia and autumn migrants of it. Furthermore, these chemosensory genes are also the candidate targets for pest management control in future.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity associated with liver disease. Risk factors identified for the transmission of HCV include contaminated blood products, intravenous drug use, body piercing, an infected mother at birth, sexual activity, and dental therapy, among others. However, the exact diversity of the HCV genotype and genetic variation among patients with low-risk factors is still unknown. In this study, we briefly described and analysed the genotype distribution and genetic variation of HCV infections with low-risk factors using molecular biology techniques. The results suggested that genotype 1b was predominant, followed by genotypes 2a and 1a. Genetic variations in the 5′ UTR sequences of HCV were identified, including point mutations, deletions, and insertions. The frequency of genetic variations in 1b was higher than in 2a. This study provides considerable value for the prevention and treatment of liver disease caused by HCV among patients with low-risk factors and for the development of HCV diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and miRNAs have been proven to play vital roles in skeletal muscle development. The miRNA-499-5p has been reported to be negatively related with the expression of Sox6, a critical transcription factor for the maintenance of fast-twitch skeletal muscle. In this study, we amplified a length of 2012-bp mRNA that contains a 1512-bp porcine Sox6 (pSox6) 3'UTR from skeletal muscle of a Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire pig. By luciferase reporter assay we verified that pSox6 is a target of miR-499-5p. In extensor digitorum longus and Soleus muscles of pigs, the expression levels of miR-499-5p and pSox6 mRNA were also inversely correlated. Besides, overexpression of miR-499-5p in porcine satellite cells promoted the expression of MyHC I and MyHC IIa mRNA, along with a reduction of pSox6 mRNA. Taken together, these results indicate that miR-499-5p may facilitate the oxidative myofibers formation by downregulating pSox6 expression.
Worldwide 350 million people suffer from major depression, with the majority of cases occurring in low- and middle-income countries. We examined the patterns, correlates and care-seeking behaviour of adults suffering from major depressive episode (MDE) in China.
A nationwide study recruited 512 891 adults aged 30–79 years from 10 provinces across China during 2004–2008. The 12-month prevalence of MDE was assessed by the Modified Composite International Diagnostic Interview-short form. Logistic regression yielded adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of MDE associated with socio-economic, lifestyle and health-related factors and major stressful life events.
Overall, 0.7% of participants had MDE and a further 2.4% had major depressive symptoms. Stressful life events were strongly associated with MDE [adjusted OR 14.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 13.7–15.7], with a dose–response relationship with the number of such events experienced. Family conflict had the highest OR for MDE (18.9, 95% CI 16.8–21.2) among the 10 stressful life events. The risk of MDE was also positively associated with rural residency (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.4–1.7), low income (OR 2.3, 95% CI 2.1–2.4), living alone (OR 2.6, 95% CI 2.3–3.0), smoking (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.3–1.6) and certain other mental disorders (e.g. anxiety, phobia). Similar, albeit weaker, associations were observed with depressive symptoms. Among those with MDE, about 15% sought medical help or took psychiatric medication, 15% reported having suicidal ideation and 6% reported attempting suicide.
Among Chinese adults, the patterns and correlates of MDE were generally consistent with those observed in the West. The low rates of seeking professional help and treatment highlight the great gap in mental health services in China.
There are six strains of the complete genomic sequences of black queen cell virus (BQCV) published in the GenBank, including South Africa (AF183905), South Korea (JX149531), Hungary 10 (EF517515), Poland 4 (EF517519), Poland 5 (EF517520) and Poland 6 (EF517521). Based on the six BQCV strains published in the GenBank, ten pairs of primers were designed in the present study using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction to obtain the first complete genome sequence of a BQCV strain in China, called the BQCV China-JL1 strain (KP119603). A phylogenetic tree was then built to analyse their genetic relationships. The BQCV China-JL1 strain showed 86–93% similarity with the six strains published in the GenBank. The BQCV China-JL1 strain consisted of 8358 nucleotides (nt). The 5′-proximal open reading frame (ORF1) initiated at nt position 546 and terminated at nt position 4676, ORF3 initiated at nt position 4891 and terminated at nt position 5433, and the 3′-proximal ORF (ORF2) was located between nt positions 5750 and 8203.
Mitochondria plays an important role in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Moreover, mitochondrial biogenesis accompanies skeletal myogenesis, and we previously reported that maternal high-energy diet repressed skeletal myogenesis in pig fetuses. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of moderately increased maternal energy intake on skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and function of the pig fetuses. Primiparous purebred Large White sows were allocated to a normal energy intake group (NE) as recommended by the National Research Council (NRC) and a high energy intake group (HE, 110% of NRC recommendations). On day 90 of gestation, fetal umbilical vein blood and longissimus (LM) muscle were collected. Results showed that the weight gain of sows fed HE diet was higher than NE sows on day 90 of gestation (P<0.05). Maternal HE diet increased fetal umbilical vein serum triglyceride and insulin concentrations (P<0.05), and tended to increase the homeostasis model assessment index (P=0.08). Furthermore, HE fetuses exhibited increased malondialdehyde concentration (P<0.05), and decreased activities of antioxidative enzymes (P<0.05) and intracellular NAD+ level (P<0.05) in LM muscle. These alterations in metabolic traits of HE fetuses were accompanied by reduced mitochondrial DNA amount (P<0.05) and down-regulated messenger RNA expression levels of genes responsible for mitochondrial biogenesis and function (P<0.05). Our results suggest that moderately increased energy supply during gestation decreases mitochondrial biogenesis, function and antioxidative capacity in skeletal muscle of pig fetuses.
Both growth and immune capacity are important traits in animal breeding. The animal quantitative trait loci (QTL) database is a valuable resource and can be used for interpreting the genetic mechanisms that underlie growth and immune traits. However, QTL intervals often involve too many candidate genes to find the true causal genes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to provide an effective annotation pipeline that can make full use of the information of Gene Ontology terms annotation, linkage gene blocks and pathways to further identify pleiotropic genes and gene sets in the overlapping intervals of growth-related and immunity-related QTLs. In total, 55 non-redundant QTL overlapping intervals were identified, 1893 growth-related genes and 713 immunity-related genes were further classified into overlapping intervals and 405 pleiotropic genes shared by the two gene sets were determined. In addition, 19 pleiotropic gene linkage blocks and 67 pathways related to immunity and growth traits were discovered. A total of 343 growth-related genes and 144 immunity-related genes involved in pleiotropic pathways were also identified, respectively. We also sequenced and genotyped 284 individuals from Chinese Meishan pigs and European pigs and mapped the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to the pleiotropic genes and gene sets that we identified. A total of 971 high-confidence SNPs were mapped to the pleiotropic genes and gene sets that we identified, and among them 743 SNPs were statistically significant in allele frequency between Meishan and European pigs. This study explores the relationship between growth and immunity traits from the view of QTL overlapping intervals and can be generalized to explore the relationships between other traits.
The aim of this study was to investigate the variations in meat quality, lipid metabolism-related genes, myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform genes and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) gene mRNA expressions in longissimus dorsi muscle (LM) of two different pig breeds. Six Rongchang and six Landrace barrows were slaughtered at 161 days of age. Subsequently, meat quality traits and gene expression levels in LM were observed. Results showed that Rongchang pigs not only exhibited greater pH, CIE a*24 h and intramuscular fat content but also exhibited lower body weight, carcass weight, dressing percentage, LM area and CIE b*24 h compared with Landrace pigs (P<0.05). Meanwhile, the mRNA expression levels of the lipogenesis (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase) and fatty acid uptake (lipoprotein lipase)-related genes were greater in the Rongchang (P<0.05), whereas the lipolysis (adipose triglyceride lipase and hormone sensitive lipase) and fatty acid oxidation (carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1B)-related genes were better expressed in the Landrace. Moreover, compared with the Landrace, the mRNA expression levels of MyHCI, MyHCIIa and MyHCIIx were greater, whereas the mRNA expression levels of MyHCIIb were lower in the Rongchang pigs (P<0.05). In addition, the mRNA expression levels of PGC-1α were greater in Rongchang pigs than in the Landrace (P<0.05), which can partly explain the differences in MyHC isoform gene expressions between Rongchang and Landrace pigs. Although the small number of samples does not allow to obtain a definitive conclusion, we can suggest that Rongchang pigs possess better meat quality, and the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the better meat quality in fatty pigs may be partly due to the higher mRNA expression levels of lipogenesis and fatty acid uptake-related genes, as well as the oxidative and intermediate muscle fibers, and due to the lower mRNA expression levels of lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation-related genes, as well as the glycolytic muscle fibers.
Tai'an, a famous cultural tourist district, is a new endemic foci of scrub typhus in northern China. Frequent reports of travel-acquired cases and absence of effective vaccine indicated a significant health problem of scrub typhus in Tai'an. Thus, descriptive epidemiological methods and spatial-temporal scan statistics were used to describe the epidemic characteristics and detect the significant clusters of the high incidence of scrub typhus at the town level in Tai'an. Results of descriptive epidemiological analysis showed a total of 490 cases were reported in Tai'an with the annual average incidence ranging from 0·48 to 2·27/100 000 during 2006–2013. Females, the elderly and farmers are the high-risk groups. Monthly changes of scrub typhus cases indicated an obvious epidemic period in autumn. Spatial-temporal distribution analysis, showed significant clusters of high incidence mainly located in eastern and northern Tai'an. Our study suggests that more effective, targeted measures for local residents should be implemented in the eastern and northern areas of Tai'an in autumn. Meanwhile, it may prove beneficial for health policy makers to advise travellers to take preventive measures in order to minimize the risk of infection of scrub typhus in Tai'an.
The first human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus was reported in Shanghai, China in March 2013. An additional 32 cases of human H7N9 infection were identified in the following months from March to April 2013 in Shanghai. Here we conducted a case-control study of the patients with H7N9 infection (n = 25) using controls matched by age, sex, and residence to determine risk factors for H7N9 infection. Our findings suggest that chronic disease and frequency of visiting a live poultry market (>10 times, or 1–9 times during the 2 weeks before illness onset) were likely to be significantly associated with H7N9 infection, with the odds ratios being 4·07 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·32–12·56], 10·61 (95% CI 1·85–60·74), and 3·76 (95% CI 1·31–10·79), respectively. Effective strategies for live poultry market control should be reinforced and ongoing education of the public is warranted to promote behavioural changes that can help to eliminate direct or indirect contact with influenza A(H7N9) virus.
MicroRNAs are endogenous ~22nt RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level via binding to the 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR) of target mRNAs. The microRNA miR-27a was reported to depress the expression of myostatin, a critical inhibitor of skeletal myogenesis, by binding to its 3′UTR in mouse. In this study, we cloned the full-length 3′UTR of porcine myostatin by rapid amplification of 3′-cDNA ends (3′-RACE) and demonstrated that the 3′UTR of porcine myostatin is targeted by miR-27a. The phenomenon that the level of myostatin inversely correlated with miR-27a was observed in fat and heart of pigs and also in proliferating porcine myoblasts. Besides, overexpression of miR-27a in porcine myoblasts promoted cell proliferation by reducing the expression of myostatin. Our data suggest that miR-27a positive regulates porcine myoblast proliferation via targeting myostatin.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) has been prevalent for some time in China and it was first identified in 2010. However, the seroprevalence of SFTSV in the general population in southeastern China and risk factors associated with the infection are currently unclear. Blood samples were collected from seven counties across Zhejiang province and tested for the presence of SFTSV-specific IgG antibodies by ELISA. A total of 1380 blood samples were collected of which 5·51% were seropositive for SFTSV with seroprevalence varying significantly between sites. Seroprevalence of SFTSV in people who were family members of the patient, lived in the same village as the patient, or lived in a different village than the patient varied significantly. There was significant difference in seroprevalence between participants who bred domestic animals and participants who did not. Domestic animals are probably potential reservoir hosts and contact with domestic animals may be a transmission route of SFTSV.
We studied seasonal patterns of swine hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in China. From 2008 to 2011, 4200 swine bile specimens were collected for the detection of HEV RNA. A total of 92/2400 (3·83%) specimens in eastern China and 47/1800 (2·61%) specimens in southwestern China were positive for HEV. Seasonal patterns differing by geographical area were suggested. In eastern China, the major peak of HEV RNA prevalence was during March–April, with a minor peak during September–October, and a dip during July–August. In southwestern China, the peak was during September–October and the dip during March–April. The majority of subtype 4a cases (63/82, 76·83%) were detected in the first half of the year, while the majority of subtype 4b cases (26/29, 89·66%) were concentrated in the second half of the year, suggesting that different subtypes contribute to different peaks. Our results indicate that the distribution of HEV subtypes is associated with seasonal patterns.
The pathogenesis of angiostrongyliasis, resulting from Angiostrongylus cantonensis invasion of the human central nervous system, remains elusive. Anthelmintics are usually used to kill worms, although dead worms in the brain may cause severe inflammation which will lead to central nervous system damage. Therefore, combination therapy with anthelmintics and anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of human angiostrongyliasis needs further study. To evaluate the efficacy of albendazole combined with a marine fungal extract (m2-9) in A. cantonensis infection, BALB/c mice infected by the third-stage larvae of A. cantonensis were divided into three groups: mice treated with albendazole or m2-9 alone or in combination from day 5 post-inoculation (PI). Several efficacy parameters were recorded, including weight change, worm recovery, neurological function, behavioural analysis, eosinophil and leucocyte counts. The results showed that combination therapy increased body weight, reduced worm burden, improved learning ability, memory and action, decreased neurological dysfunction and leucocyte response in these mice. The combination of albendazole and m2-9 treatment significantly decreased leucocyte response and increased the frequency of rearing, compared to infected mice treated with either drug alone. Therefore, m2-9 is a natural product with potentially significant therapeutic value for angiostrongyliasis and is worthy of further study.
Saunders's Gull Larus saundersi is a breeding endemic of Common Seepweed Suaeda glauca habitats on the east coast of China and south-west coast of South Korea. Much of this habitat has been lost and degraded due to human land use and expansion of the introduced Smooth Cordgrass Spartina alterniflora. Yancheng National Nature Reserve (NNR) is one of three breeding and wintering areas in China. We used satellite images from 1992 to 2007 and visual interpretation combined with ground truthing to classify the land cover and quantify changes in land use and land cover (LULC) in areas of Yancheng NNR used by Saunders's Gull. The Common Seepweed habitat, in which this species nests, decreased in area by 79.1% (27,358 ha) over 15 years, predominantly as a result of conversion to aquaculture ponds (18,929 ha), and is now centred in the south-east of Yancheng NNR. The total population size of Saunders's Gull was maintained at over 900 individuals from 1999 to 2006 in Yancheng NNR, but was only 575 in 2007, and the number of breeding sites decreased from eight in 1992 and 1994 to a single site in 2000–2006 and two sites in 2007. From 1999 to 2007, the breeding population in the core area of Yancheng NNR accounted for 94.93% of the total population, and its nest-site spatial turnover rate was 0.84 ± 0.08 (n = 7 years), but it tended to decrease by about 40% in 2007 because of degradation of the Common Seepweed community. The conversion of Common Seepweed habitats to other habitat types and expansion of introduced Smooth Cordgrass were the major and direct reasons for the loss and degradation of breeding habitats of Saunders's Gull. Smooth Cordgrass habitats increased in area by 321.9% (11,057 ha) during this period and centred on the east, gradually occupying the mudflats, except the beach from Liangduo River to the south of Yancheng NNR, where potential breeding sites for the Saunders's Gull could be located. We discuss the implications of our results for the conservation this species and management of its habitats.