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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether and when the world can reach herd immunity and return to normal life and a strategy for accelerating vaccination programmes constitute major concerns. We employed Metropolis–Hastings sampling and an epidemic model to design experiments based on the current vaccinations administered and a more equitable vaccine allocation scenario. The results show that most high-income countries can reach herd immunity in less than 1 year, whereas low-income countries should reach this state after more than 3 years. With a more equitable vaccine allocation strategy, global herd immunity can be reached in 2021. However, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants means that an additional 83 days will be needed to reach global herd immunity and that the number of cumulative cases will increase by 113.37% in 2021. With the more equitable vaccine allocation scenario, the number of cumulative cases will increase by only 5.70% without additional vaccine doses. As SARS-CoV-2 variants arise, herd immunity could be delayed to the point that a return to normal life is theoretically impossible in 2021. Nevertheless, a more equitable global vaccine allocation strategy, such as providing rapid vaccine assistance to low-income countries/regions, can improve the prevention of COVID-19 infection even though the virus could mutate.
As city residents eat out more frequently, it is unknown that if iodised salt is still required in home cooking. We analysed the relationship of household salt and eating out on urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in pregnant women. A household condiment weighing method was implemented to collect salt data for a week. A household salt sample was collected. A urine sample was taken at the end of the week. Totally, 4640 participants were investigated. The median UIC was 139·1 μg/l in pregnant women and 148·7, 140·0 and 122·9 μg/l in the first, second and third trimesters. Median UIC in the third trimester was lower than in the other trimesters (P < 0·001). The usage rates of iodised (an iodine content ≥ 5·0 mg/kg) and qualified-iodised (an iodine content ≥ 21·0 mg/kg) salt were 73·9 and 59·3 %. The median UIC in the qualified-iodised salt group was higher than in the non-iodised group (P = 0·037). The median UIC in the non-iodised group who did not eat out was lower than in qualified-salt groups who both did and did not eat out (P = 0·007, <0·001). The proportion of qualified-iodised salt used in home cooking is low, but foods eaten out have universal salt iodisation according to the national compulsory policy. Household iodised salt did not play a decisive role in the iodine status of pregnant women. Pregnant women in their third trimester who are not eating out and using non-iodised salt at home require extra iodine.
The spore wall of Nosema bombycis plays an important role in microsporidian pathogenesis. Protein fractions from germinated spore coats were analysed by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. Three protein spots were identified as the hypothetical spore wall protein NbHSWP12. A BAR-2 domain (e-value: 1.35e-03) was identified in the protein, and an N-terminal protein-heparin interaction motif, a potential N-glycosylation site, and 16 phosphorylation sites primarily activated by protein kinase C were also predicted. The sequence analysis suggested that Nbhswp12 and its homologous genes are widely distributed among microsporidia. Additionally, Nbhswp12 gene homologues share similar sequence features. An indirect immunofluorescence analysis showed that NbHSWP12 localized to the spore wall, and thus we renamed it spore wall protein 12 (NbSWP12). Moreover, NbSWP12 could adhere to deproteinized N. bombycis chitin coats that were obtained by hot alkaline treatment. This novel N. bombycis spore wall protein may function in a structural capacity to facilitate microsporidial spore maintenance.
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