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Host density is a key regulatory factor in parasite transmission. The goldfish (Carassius auratus)-Gyrodactylus kobayashii model was used to investigate effects of host density on population growth of gyrodactylids. A donor fish infected by five gravid gyrodactylids was mixed with 11 parasite-free goldfish at five host densities. There was a significant positive correlation between host density and mean abundance of G. kobayashii throughout the 58-day experiment. During early infection (days 15–24), mean abundance in medium high (0.5 fish L−1) and high host density groups (1 and 2 fish L−1) was significantly higher than that in the low host density groups (0.125 and 0.25 fish L−1). At high host density, prevalence increased more rapidly, and the peak prevalence was higher. Fitting of an exponential growth model showed that the population growth rate of the parasite increased with host density. A hypothesis was proposed that higher host density contributed to increased reinfection of detached gyrodactylids. A reinfection experiment was designed to test this hypothesis. Both mean abundance and prevalence at a host density of 1 fish L−1 were significantly higher than those at 0.25 fish L−1 on days 1 and 3, which suggested that more reinfections of G. kobyashii occurred at the higher host density. Density-dependent transmission during the early infection was an important contributor of population growth of G. kobayashii, as well as density-dependent reinfection of the detached gyrodactylids.
Neuroimaging- and machine-learning-based brain-age prediction of schizophrenia is well established. However, the diagnostic significance and the effect of early medication on first-episode schizophrenia remains unclear.
To explore whether predicted brain age can be used as a biomarker for schizophrenia diagnosis, and the relationship between clinical characteristics and brain-predicted age difference (PAD), and the effects of early medication on predicted brain age.
The predicted model was built on 523 diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance imaging scans from healthy controls. First, the brain-PAD of 60 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 60 healthy controls and 21 follow-up patients from the principal data-set and 40 pairs of individuals in the replication data-set were calculated. Next, the brain-PAD between groups were compared and the correlations between brain-PAD and clinical measurements were analysed.
The patients showed a significant increase in brain-PAD compared with healthy controls. After early medication, the brain-PAD of patients decreased significantly compared with baseline (P < 0.001). The fractional anisotropy value of 31/33 white matter tract features, which related to the brain-PAD scores, had significantly statistical differences before and after measurements (P < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). Correlation analysis showed that the age gap was negatively associated with the positive score on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in the principal data-set (r = −0.326, P = 0.014).
The brain age of patients with first-episode schizophrenia may be older than their chronological age. Early medication holds promise for improving the patient's brain ageing. Neuroimaging-based brain-age prediction can provide novel insights into the understanding of schizophrenia.
The aim of the present study was to compare the rate of preterm birth (PTB) and growth from birth to 18 years between twins conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and twins conceived by spontaneous conception (SC) in mainland China. The retrospective cohort study included 1164 twins resulting from IVF and 25,654 twins conceived spontaneously, of which 494 from IVF and 6338 from SC were opposite-sex twins. PTB and low birth weight (LBW), and growth, including length/height and weight, were compared between the two groups at five stages: infancy (0 year), toddler period (1–2 years), preschool (3–5 years), primary or elementary school (6–11 years), and adolescence (10–18 years). Few statistically significant differences were found for LBW and growth between the two groups after adjusting for PTB and other confounders. Twins born by IVF faced an increased risk of PTB compared with those born by SC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 8.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] [3.19, 21.13], p < .001 in all twins and aOR 10.12, 95% CI [2.32, 44.04], p = .002 in opposite-sex twins). Twins born by IVF experienced a similar growth at five stages (0–18 years old) when compared with those born by SC. PTB risk, however, is significantly higher for twins conceived by IVF than those conceived by SC.
Echinococcus shiquicus is currently limited to the Qinghai–Tibet plateau, a large mountainous region in China. Although the zoonotic potential remains unknown, progress is being made on the distribution and intermediate host range. In this study, we report E. shiquicus within Gansu and Qinghai provinces in regions located not only around the central areas but also the southeast edge of the plateau and describe their genetic relationship with previous isolates from the plateau. From 1879 plateau pikas examined, 2.39% (95% CI 1.79–3.18) were infected with E. shiquicus. The highest prevalence of 10.26% (4.06–23.58) was recorded in Makehe town, Qinghai province. Overall the prevalence was marginally higher in Qinghai (2.5%, CI 1.82–3.43) than in Gansu (2%, CI 1.02–3.89). The cox1 and nad1 genes demonstrated high and low haplotype and nucleotide diversities, respectively. The median-joining network constructed by the cox1–nad1 gene sequences demonstrated a star-like configuration with a median vector (unsampled haplotype) occupying the centre of the network. No peculiar distinction or common haplotype was observed in isolates originating from the different provinces. The presence of E. shiquicus in regions of the southeast and northeast edges of the Qinghai–Tibet plateau and high genetic variation warrants more investigation into the haplotype distribution and genetic polymorphism by exploring more informative DNA regions of the mitochondrial genome to provide epidemiologically useful insight into the population structure of E. shiquicus across the plateau and its axis.
This study aimed to evaluate to what extent the different interval times between trophectoderm (TE) biopsy and vitrification influence the clinical outcomes in preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) cycles. Patients who underwent frozen embryo transfer (FET) after PGT between 2015 and 2019 were recruited. In total, 297 cycles with single day 5 euploid blastocyst transfer were included. These cycles were divided into three groups according to the interval times: <1 h group, 1–2 h group, and ≥2 h group. Blastocyst survival, clinical pregnancy, miscarriage, and ongoing pregnancy rates were compared. The results showed that, in PGT-SR cycles, survival rate in the ≥2 h group (96.72%) was significantly lower than in the <1 h group (100%, P = 0.047). The clinical pregnancy rate in the ≥2 h group was 55.93%, significantly lower than in the <1 h group (74.26%, P = 0.017). The ongoing pregnancy rates in the 1–2 h group and the ≥2 h group were 48.28% and 47.46%, respectively, significantly lower than that in the <1 h group (67.33%, P < 0.05). The miscarriage rate in the 1–2 h group was 18.42%, significantly higher than that in the <1 h group (5.33%, P = 0.027). In PGT-A cycles, the clinical pregnancy and ongoing pregnancy rates in the <1 h group were 67.44% and 53.49%, respectively, higher than that in the 1–2 h group (52.94%, 47.06%, P > 0.05) and the ≥2 h group (52.63%, 36.84%, P > 0.05). In conclusion, vitrification of blastocysts beyond 1 h after biopsy significantly influences embryo survival and clinical outcomes and is therefore not recommended.
A study was conducted to identify whether composted manure and straw amendments (replacement of a portion of chemical fertilizer [50% of the total nitrogen application] with composted pig manure, and straw return [all straw from the previous rice crop] combined with chemical fertilizer) compared with no fertilization and chemical fertilizer only would change the dominant species of wheat-associated weeds as well as influence their growth and seed yield in a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system. The study was initiated in 2010, and the treatment effects on the species, density, plant height, shoot biomass, seed yield of dominant weeds, and wheat yields were assessed in 2017 and 2018. Fertilization significantly increased the height, density, and yield of wheat, as well as the shoot biomass of wheat-associated weeds, but decreased the weed species number. A total of 17 and 14 weed species were recorded in the experimental wheat fields in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The most dominant weed species were American sloughgrass [Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fernald] and catchweed bedstraw (Galium aparine L.), which made up more than 64% of the weed community in all treatments. When the chemical fertilizer application was amended with pig manure compost and straw return, the relative abundance of B. syzigachne significantly decreased, while the relative abundance of G. aparine significantly increased. The application of the chemical fertilizer-only treatment resulted in increases in the density, shoot biomass, and seed yield of B. syzigachne, while the composted manure and straw amendments applied together with chemical fertilizer led to significant increases in the density, shoot biomass, and seed yield of G. aparine. Consequently, further research on ways to promote greater cropping system diversity will be needed to prevent the selection of weed species that are adapted to a limited suite of crop management practices.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REMs) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off this mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimensional particle-in-cell (2D-PIC) simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapidly expanding. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and the corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selectively adjusting of the corresponding spectra.
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a common adverse drug reaction leading to the interruption of tuberculosis (TB) therapy. We aimed to identify whether the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection would increase the risk of DILI during first-line TB treatment. A meta-analysis of cohort studies searched in PubMed, Web of Science and China National Knowledge Infrastructure was conducted. Effect sizes were reported as risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and calculated by R software. Sixteen studies with 3960 TB patients were eligible for analysis. The risk of DILI appeared to be higher in TB patients co-infected with HBV (RR 2.66; 95% CI 2.13–3.32) than those without HBV infection. Moreover, patients with positive hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) were more likely to develop DILI (RR 3.42; 95% CI 1.95–5.98) compared to those with negative HBeAg (RR 2.30; 95% CI 1.66–3.18). Co-infection with HBV was not associated with a higher rate of anti-TB DILI in latent TB patients (RR 4.48; 95% CI 0.80–24.99). The effect of HBV infection on aggravating anti-TB DILI was independent of study participants, whether they were newly diagnosed with TB or not. Besides, TB and HBV co-infection patients had a longer duration of recovery from DILI compared to non-co-infected patients (SMD 2.26; 95% CI 1.87–2.66). To conclude, the results demonstrate that HBV infection would increase the risk of DILI during TB therapy, especially in patients with positive HBeAg, and close liver function monitoring is needed for TB and HBV co-infection patients.
The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle, and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD. A total of 370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia and the outcome liver histological severity was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology. Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 2·79, 95 % CI 1·31, 5·95, P = 0·008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43·8 v. 17·2 %, P = 0·031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (P value for interaction = 0·006). Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
Cysticercosis caused by the metacestode larval stage of Taenia hydatigena formerly referred to as Cysticercus tenuicollis is a disease of veterinary importance that constitutes a significant threat to livestock production worldwide, especially in endemic regions due to condemnation of visceral organs and mortality rate of infected young animals. While the genetic diversity among parasites is found to be potentially useful in many areas of research including molecular diagnostics, epidemiology and control, that of T. hydatigena across the globe remains poorly understood. In this study, analysis of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of adult worms and larval stages of T. hydatigena isolated from dogs, sheep and a wild boar in China showed that the population structure consists of two major haplogroups with very high nucleotide substitutions involving synonymous and non-synonymous changes. Compared with other cestodes such as Echinococcus spp., the genetic variation observed between the haplogroups is sufficient for the assignment of major haplotype or genotype division as both groups showed a total of 166 point-mutation differences between the 12 mitochondrial protein-coding gene sequences. Preliminary analysis of a nuclear protein-coding gene (pepck) did not reveal any peculiar changes between both groups which suggests that these variants may only differ in their mitochondrial makeup.
Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry protein TgROP18 is a polymorphic virulence effector that targets immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) in rodents. Given that IRGs are uniquely diversified in rodents and not in other T. gondii intermediate hosts, the role of TgROP18 in manipulating non-rodent cells is unclear. Here we show that in human cells TgROP18I interacts with the interferon-gamma-inducible protein N-myc and STAT interactor (NMI) and that this is a property that is unique to the type I TgROP18 allele. Specifically, when expressed ectopically in mammalian cells only TgROP18I co-immunoprecipitates with NMI in IFN-γ-treated cells, while TgROP18II does not. In parasites expressing TgROP18I or TgROP18II, NMI only co-immunoprecipitates with TgROP18I and this is associated with allele-specific immunolocalization of NMI on the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM). We also found that TgROP18I reduces NMI association with IFN-γ-activated sequences (GAS) in the IRF1 gene promoter. Finally, we determined that polymorphisms in the C-terminal kinase domain of TgROP18I are required for allele-specific effects on NMI. Together, these data further define new host pathway targeted by TgROP18I and provide the first function driven by allelic differences in the highly polymorphic ROP18 locus.
The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.
A new, modified version of the cable-suspended Ice and Bedrock Electromechanical Drill (IBED) was designed for drilling in firn, ice, debris-rich ice and rock. The upper part of the drill is almost the same for all drill variants and comprises four sections: cable termination, a slip-ring section, an antitorque system and an electronic pressure chamber. The lower part of the IBED comprises an auger core barrel, reamers, a core barrel for ice/debris-ice drilling and a conventional geological single-tube core barrel or custom-made double-tube core barrel. First, the short and full-scale field versions of the IBED were tested at an outdoor testing stand and a testing facility with a 12.5 m-deep ice well. Then, in the 2018–2019 summer season, the IBED was tested in the field at a site ~12 km south of Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, and a ~6 cm bedrock core was recovered from a 198 m-deep borehole. A total of 18 d was required to penetrate the ice sheet. The retrieved core samples of blue ice, basal ice and bedrock provided valuable information regarding the Earth's paleo-environment.
In many cases, the efficiency and safety of a drilling project depend on the reliability of the electrical and electronic control system, as the process progresses without visual access of the operator. The electrical and electronic system provides and regulates the power supply for the drill, collects and monitors the drill data during the whole operating process, and sends and receives the control instructions and feedback signals. The entire system is composed of the surface, borehole and software subsystems. The surface subsystem serves for operating the drilling process, transmitting the drilling and environmental data, and supplying power for the drill motor and downhole control system. The borehole subsystem is generally intended for borehole data acquisition, drill motor control, power regulation and communication. The software subsystem is designed for human–computer interaction, data processing and storage, and programming of signal acquisition and transmission of data. The control system of Antarctic subglacial drilling rig was tested during the 2018–2019 summer season near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, in the course of drilling to the bedrock at a depth of 198 m. It exhibited a steady and efficient performance without significant system failures.
The antidepressant effect of low-dose ketamine infusion on Taiwanese patients with anxious vs nonanxious treatment-resistant depression (ANX-TRD vs NANX-TRD) has remained unknown.
In total, 71 patients with TRD were randomized to three groups. Each group had participants who received saline infusions mixed with 0 (a normal saline infusion), 0.2, and 0.5 mg/kg of ketamine. Participants were followed up for 2 weeks. Anxious depression was defined as major depressive disorder with a total score of 7 or more on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Anxiety-Somatization factor. Generalized estimating equation models were used to investigate the effects of treatment (ketamine vs placebo) and depression type (ANX-TRD vs NANX-TRD) in the reduction of depressive symptoms during the follow-up period.
Patients with ANX-TRD were less likely to respond to a single low-dose ketamine infusion than those with NANX-TRD. Among patients with NANX-TRD, low-dose ketamine infusion was significantly superior to placebo for reducing depressive symptoms. However, among patients with ANX-TRD, ketamine was not superior to placebo; nonetheless, approximately 30% of the patients responded to ketamine infusion compared to 13% who responded to the placebo.
Low-dose ketamine infusion was effective for Taiwanese patients with NANX-TRD but not so effective for those with ANX-TRD. A higher level of anxiety severity accompanying depression was related to greater depression severity. This may confound and reduce the antidepressant effect of ketamine infusion.
Bioinformatic investigations indicate that has-mir-206 (microRNA-206, miRNA-206) could regulate BDNF protein synthesis by interfering with BDNF mRNA translation, which is disrupted in bipolar disorder (BPD).
This study is to investigate whether miRNA-206 gene variants were associated with BPD susceptibility in a Han Chinese population.
342 patients who met DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder type I (BPD-I) or type II (BPD-II) and 386 matched health controls were enrolled into this study. the miRNA-206 gene and +/-500bp were selected for gene sequencing. for the case-control genetic comparisons, differences in the genotype and allele distributions between patients and controls were examined using Pearson's χ2 test.
Gene sequencing showed that there are two polymorphisms rs16882131(C/T) and rs62408583 (A/C) located at the upstream of miRNA-206 gene, which are complete linkage disequilibrium. the association analysis showed that there was no significant difference for genotype frequencies (χ2 = 2.075, df = 2, P = 0.354) or for allele frequencies (χ2 = 0.041, df = 1, P = 0.839) between BPD patients and controls. Similarly, no significant difference was found between BPD-I patients and controls (genotype χ2 = 1.411, df = 2, P = 0.494; allele χ2 = 0.380, df = 1, P = 0.538). However, there was significant difference between BPD-II patients and controls (genotype χ2 = 7.933, df = 2, P = 0.019; allele χ2 = 5.403, df = 1, P = 0.020).
Our findings do not support that BPD susceptibility was associated with miRNA-206 gene polymorphisms in the studied Han Chinese population. the association between miRNA-206 gene polymorphisms and bipolar disorder type II is needed to be carefully interpreted. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the involvement miRNA-206 in the pathophysiology of BPD.
Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatry disorder with high heritability. Schizophrenic patients with early age at onset trend to have more genetic component and thus may be an attractive subpopulation for genetic studies. Brain-derived neurotrophimc factor (BDNF) is considered as candidate gene for schizophrenia. A single nucleotide polymorphism (BDNF Val66Met) was reported to be associated with schizophrenia, although discrepancy remains. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and schizophrenia using an early onset sample in Chinese Han population. Our sample consisted of 353 schizophrenic patients with onset before age 18 and 394 healthy age and sex matched controls. All subjects were ethnically homogenous Han Chinese origin. No significant differences of genotype or allele distribution were identified between the patients and controls. However, the Met allele was significantly associated with an earlier age at onset in male schizophrenic patients (Kaplan-Meier log-rank test P = 0.005), but not in females (P = 0.289). The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has an important effect on the age at onset of schizophrenia in a gender-specific manner, and this may provided a significant genetic clue for the etiology of schizophrenia. Therefore, further studies are required to uncover the exact role of BDNF in the development of schizophrenia.