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Toxoplasma gondii can infect almost all warm-blooded vertebrates with pathogensis being largely influenced by the host immune status. As important epidemiological hosts, rodents are globally distributed and are also commonly found infected with haemoflagellates, such as those in the genus Trypanosoma. We here address whether and how co-infection with trypanosomes can influence T. gondii infection in laboratory models. Rats of five strains, co-infected with T. lewisi and mice of four strains, co-infected with T. musculi, were found to be more or less susceptible to T. gondii infection, respectively, with corresponding increased or decreased brain cyst burdens. Downregulation of iNOS expression and decreased NO production or reverse were observed in the peritoneal macrophages of rats or mice, infected with trypanosomes, respectively. Trypanosoma lewisi and T. musculi can modulate host immune responses, either by enhancement or suppression and influence the outcome of Toxoplasma infection.
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and caused devastating epidemics during the 20th century. Due to effective control programs implemented in the last two decades, the number of reported cases has fallen to a historically low level. Although fewer than 977 cases were reported in 2018 in endemic countries, HAT is still a public health problem in endemic regions until it is completely eliminated. In addition, almost 150 confirmed HAT cases were reported in non-endemic countries in the last three decades. The majority of non-endemic HAT cases were reported in Europe, USA and South Africa, due to historical alliances, economic links or geographic proximity to disease-endemic countries. Furthermore, with the implementation of the ‘Belt and Road’ project, sporadic imported HAT cases have been reported in China as a warning sign of tropical diseases prevention. In this paper, we explore and interpret the data on HAT incidence and find no positive correlation between the number of HAT cases from endemic and non-endemic countries. This data will provide useful information for better understanding the imported cases of HAT globally in the post-elimination phase.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.
Previous studies support Beck's cognitive model of vulnerability to depression. However, the relationship between his cognitive triad and other clinical features and risk factors among those with major depression (MD) has rarely been systematically studied.
The three key cognitive symptoms of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness were assessed during their lifetime worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent MD. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression.
Compared to patients who did not endorse the cognitive trio, those who did had a greater number of DSM-IV A criteria, more individual depressive symptoms, an earlier age at onset, a greater number of episodes, and were more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for melancholia, postnatal depression, dysthymia and anxiety disorders. Hopelessness was highly related to all the suicidal symptomatology, with ORs ranging from 5.92 to 6.51. Neuroticism, stressful life events (SLEs) and a protective parental rearing style were associated with these cognitive symptoms.
During the worst episode of MD in Han Chinese women, the endorsement of the cognitive trio was associated with a worse course of depression and an increased risk of suicide. Individuals with high levels of neuroticism, many SLEs and high parental protectiveness were at increased risk for these cognitive depressive symptoms. As in Western populations, symptoms of the cognitive trio appear to play a central role in the psychopathology of MD in Chinese women.
Jankowski's Bunting Emberiza jankowskii is endemic to China, Russia and Northern Korea, and was listed as a ‘Vulnerable’ species. The population in Dagang Forestry of western Jilin is one of the small remaining discrete breeding populations in the species' range. Very little information on the nesting biology and population dynamics has previously been published. We studied the nesting biology from 1999 to 2002 and population dynamics of the bunting from 1999 to 2006 (except 2003). A total of 74 nesting attempts were monitored. Jankowski's Bunting breeding season began in late April and usually ended in late July. Both sexes participated in nest-building, feeding young and defending the nest. Mean full clutch size for three years combined was 5.26 ± 0.76 eggs, and ranged from four to seven. Clutch size decreased with nest-initiation date. Mean hatching rate was 41.2%. Overall probability of Mayfield nest success to fledging was low for the three years, averaging 0.218 ± 0.007. The factors leading to low nest success include nest parasitization, nest predation, human activities and nest abandonment. Low survival of Jankowski's Bunting nests may be a factor in declining populations and the slow recovery of populations because of low recruitment at the population and the individual level. The population of Jankowski's Bunting in the Dagang Forestry grassland was small and declined dramatically from 1999 to 2006. The main threat is habitat loss and fragmentation due to agriculture, tree planting and housing following human colonization of the region. The habitat has been reduced in extent by c. 70% since the 1960s. In addition, grazing by domestic livestock dramatically destroyed their preferred vegetation. Furthermore, the restriction to several small, discrete sites makes the bunting inherently vulnerable to catastrophic and stochastic events that can eliminate subpopulations. Jankowski's bunting is one of the most threatened species in China and faces an unpredictable future. Maintaining the structure and general composition of remaining Jankowski's Bunting nesting habitat is important to ensure continued presence of this species in western Jilin and worldwide.
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