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The gut microbiota plays an important role in animals’ survival in their local environments. The intertidal rocky shore is a key interface of oceanic, atmospheric and terrestrial environments, and the transmission modes of microbes between an intertidal host and the environment are complex and largely ignored. In the present study, we characterized the gut microbiota of the intertidal snail Nerita yoldii, which is experiencing a northward range shift under the combined impacts of climate change and anthropogenic seascape transformation, and also determined the nearby environmental microbiota on the rock and in the seawater at five locations along the snail's distribution range in China. The gut microbial communities were significantly different from the environmental microbial communities, and the dominant phyla were Tenericutes, Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria in the gut, rock and seawater microbial communities, respectively. At the genus level, Mycoplasma, with a relative abundance of 48.0 ± 10.2%, was the dominant genus in the gut microbial community, however, the relative abundances of this genus on the rock and in the water were low. These results imply that the gut microbial community of the intertidal snail N. yoldii is relatively independent from the environmental microbial community, and the dominant genus Mycoplasma in the gut, that is rare in the environment, can potentially assist the snail living in the harsh intertidal environment, especially at its northernmost distribution range edge.
Athetis lepigone Möschler (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) is a common maize pest in Europe and Asia. However, there is no long-term effective management strategy is available yet to suppress its population. Adults rely heavily on olfactory cues to locate their optimal host plants and oviposition sites. Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are believed to be responsible for recognizing and transporting different odorant molecules to interact with receptor membrane proteins. In this study, the ligand-binding specificities of two AlepPBPs (AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3) for sex pheromone components and host plant (maize) volatiles were measured by fluorescence ligand-binding assay. The results demonstrated that AlepPBP2 had a high affinity with two pheromones [(Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.11 ± 0.1 μM, (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate, Ki = 1.32 ± 0.15 μM] and ten plant volatiles, including (-)-limonene, α-pinene, myrcene, linalool, benzaldehyde, nonanal, 2-hexanone, 3-hexanone, 2-heptanone and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. In contrast, we found that none of these chemicals could bind to AlepPBP3. Our results clearly show no significant differences in the functional characterization of the binding properties between AlepPBP2 and AlepPBP3 to sex pheromones and host plant volatiles. Furthermore, molecular docking was employed for further detail on some crucial amino acid residues involved in the ligand-binding of AlepPBP2. These findings will provide valuable information about the potential protein binding sites necessary for protein-ligand interactions which appear as attractive targets for the development of novel technologies and management strategies for insect pests.
The present work was performed to analyse the association of dietary patterns with glycaemic control (Hb A1c < 7 %) in a large group of Chinese adults aged between 45 and 59 years.
Habitual dietary intakes in the preceding 12 months were assessed by well-trained interviewers using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ. Factor analysis with principal component method was used to obtain the dietary patterns, and the associations between dietary patterns and glycaemic control were determined using multivariable logistic regression models. Poor glycaemic control was defined as HbA1c ≥ 7·0.
Despite decades of research, data on the relationship between dietary patterns and glycaemic control (HbA1c < 7 %) in China are sparse.
A total of 1739 participants aged 45–59 years from Hangzhou were included in the final analysis.
Three dietary patterns were ascertained and labelled as traditional southern Chinese, Western and grains-vegetables patterns. After controlling of the possible confounders, participants in the highest quartile of Western pattern scores had greater OR for HbA1c ≥ 7·0 (OR = 1·05; (95 % CI 1·000, 1·095); P = 0·048) than did those in the lowest quartile. Compared with those in the lowest quartile of grains-vegetables pattern, participants in the highest quartile had lower OR for HbA1c ≥ 7·0 (OR = 0·82; (95 % CI 0·720, 0·949); P = 0·038). Besides, no significant relationship between the traditional southern Chinese pattern and HbA1c ≥ 7·0 was observed (P > 0·05).
This study indicated that the Western pattern was associated with a higher risk, and the grains-vegetables pattern was associated with a lower risk for HbA1c ≥ 7·0. Future prospective studies are needed to confirm our findings.
Nutritional Risk Screening index is a standard tool to assess nutritional risk, but epidemiological data are scarce on controlling nutritional status (CONUT) as a prognostic marker in acute haemorrhagic stroke (AHS). We aimed to explore whether the CONUT may predict a 3-month functional outcome in AHS. In total, 349 Chinese patients with incident AHS were consecutively recruited, and their malnutrition risks were determined using a high CONUT score of ≥ 2. The cohort patients were divided into high-CONUT (≥ 2) and low-CONUT (< 2) groups, and primary outcomes were a poor functional prognosis defined as the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of ≥ 3 at post-discharge for 3 months. Odds ratios (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for the poor functional prognosis at post-discharge were estimated by using a logistic analysis with additional adjustments for unbalanced variables between the high-CONUT and low-CONUT groups. A total of 328 patients (60·38 ± 12·83 years; 66·77 % male) completed the mRS assessment at post-discharge for 3 months, with 172 patients at malnutrition risk at admission and 104 patients with a poor prognosis. The levels of total cholesterol and total lymphocyte counts were significantly lower in high-CONUT patients than low-CONUT patients (P = 0·012 and < 0·001, respectively). At 3-month post discharge, there was a greater risk for the poor outcome in the high-CONUT compared with the low-CONUT patients at admission (OR: 2·32, 95 % CI: 1·28, 4·17). High-CONUT scores independently predict a 3-month poor prognosis in AHS, which helps to identify those who need additional nutritional managements.
The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is greatly threatening the public health in the world. We reconstructed global transmissions and potential demographic expansions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 based on genomic information. We found that intercontinental transmissions were rare in January and early February but drastically increased since late February. After world-wide implements of travel restrictions, the transmission frequencies decreased to a low level in April. We identified a total of 88 potential demographic expansions over the world based on the star-radiative networks and 75 of them were found in Europe and North America. The expansion numbers peaked in March and quickly dropped since April. These findings are highly concordant with epidemic reports and modelling results and highlight the significance of quarantine validity on the global spread of COVID-19. Our analyses indicate that the travel restrictions and social distancing measures are effective in containing the spread of COVID-19.
To determine if specific dietary patterns are associated with breast cancer (BC) risk in Chinese women.
Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed to identify generic dietary patterns based on daily food-frequency data.
The Chinese Wuxi Exposure and Breast Cancer Study (2013–2014).
A population-based case–control study (695 cases, 804 controls).
Four dietary patterns were identified, Prudent, Chinese traditional, Western and Picky; the proportion in the controls and cases was 0·30/0·32/0·16/0·23 and 0·29/0·26/0·11/0·33, respectively. Women in Picky class were characterised by higher extreme probabilities of non-consumption of specific foods, the highest probabilities of consumption of pickled foods and the lowest probabilities of consumption of cereals, soya foods and nuts. Compared with Prudent class, Picky class was associated with a higher risk (OR = 1·42, 95 % CI 1·06, 1·90), while the relevant association was only in post- (OR = 1·44, 95 % CI 1·01, 2·05) but not in premenopausal women. The Western class characterised by high-protein, high-fat and high-sugar foods, and the Chinese traditional class characterised by typical consumption of soya foods and white meat over red meat, both of them showed no difference in BC risk compared with Prudent class did.
LCA captures the heterogeneity of individuals embedded in the population and could be a useful approach in the study of dietary pattern and disease. Our results indicated that the Picky class might have a positive association with the risk of BC.
To strengthen the care capacity of primary facilities, China has vigorously promoted the construction of a hierarchical medical system and a family doctor care system. In July 2017, a family doctor care plan was launched in an urban district of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and two family doctor contracting service models were adopted, one provided a basic-service package and the other a paid-service package. In order to evaluate the effect of different models on diabetic patients, this study conducted a real world study based on the district healthcare database.
Diabetic patients who contracted family doctor services January 2018 to January 2019 as reported in the database were enrolled in the paid- or basic-service group. Propensity score matching (PSM) was conducted to balance the distribution of covariances between the groups. The results of the first and last examination of glycosylated hemoglobin, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the groups were compared by independent sample t-test and chi-square test.
Included were 4,871 patients in basic-service and 394 patients in paid-service. In both groups the total control rates of blood pressure, glycosylated hemoglobin and LDL-C at the last physical examination were 43.67, 79.28 and 51.11 percent, respectively, a significant increase from pre-test. The combined control rates of HbAlc, LDL-C and blood pressure in the basic- and paid-service group were 20.76% and 22.37%, respectively. After PSM, there was no significant difference between the groups.
Up to now, there is no significant difference between basic-service and paid-service family doctor contracting service models in improving the comprehensive control rate of diabetic patients. The possible reasons may be that the quality and content of paid-service is not as good as expected, the period of implementation is not long enough and the sample size of paid-service patients is limited.
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.
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.
Teenagers are important carriers of Neisseria meningitidis, which is a leading cause of invasive meningococcal disease. In China, the carriage rate and risk factors among teenagers are unclear. The present study presents a retrospective analysis of epidemiological data for N. meningitidis carriage from 2013 to 2017 in Suizhou city, China. The carriage rates were 3.26%, 2.22%, 3.33%, 3.53% and 9.88% for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. From 2014 to 2017, the carriage rate in the 15- to 19-year-old age group (teenagers) was the highest and significantly higher than that in remain age groups. Subsequently, a larger scale survey (December 2017) for carriage rate and relative risk factors (population density, time spent in the classroom, gender and antibiotics use) were investigated on the teenagers (15- to 19-year-old age) at the same school. The carriage rate was still high at 33.48% (223/663) and varied greatly from 6.56% to 52.94% in a different class. Population density of the classroom was found to be a significant risk factor for carriage, and 1.4 persons/m2 is recommended as the maximum classroom density. Further, higher male gender ratio and more time spent in the classroom were also significantly associated with higher carriage. Finally, antibiotic use was associated with a significantly lower carriage rate. All the results imply that attention should be paid to the teenagers and various measures can be taken to reduce the N. meningitidis carriage, to prevent and control the outbreak of IMD.
A higher dietary intake or serum concentration of betaine has been associated with greater lean body mass in middle-aged and older adults. However, it remains unknown whether betaine intake is associated with age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass (SMM). We assessed the association between dietary betaine intake and relative changes in SMM after 3 years in middle-aged adults. A total of 1242 participants aged 41–60 years from the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study 2011–2013 and 2014–2017 with body composition measurements by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were included. A face-to-face questionnaire was used to collect general baseline information. After adjustment for potential confounders, multiple linear regression found that energy-adjusted dietary betaine intake was significantly and positively associated with relative changes (i.e. percentage loss or increase) in SMM of legs, limbs and appendicular skeletal mass index (ASMI) over 3 years of follow-up (β 0·322 (se 0·157), 0·309 (se 0·142) and 0·303 (se 0·145), respectively; P < 0·05). The ANCOVA models revealed that participants in the highest betaine tertile had significantly less loss in SMM of limbs and ASMI and more increase in SMM of legs over 3 years of follow-up, compared with those in the bottom betaine tertile (all Ptrend < 0·05). In conclusion, our findings suggest that elevated higher dietary betaine intake may be associated with less loss of SMM of legs, limbs and ASMI in middle-aged adults.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Background/Study Concept: Acute lacunar stroke (Als) plays a role in death/disability worldwide. Aphasia refers to chronic difficulty with communication in >20% of patients post stroke. We describe pathophysiological features of white matter (WM) abnormalities and their relationship between WM changes and aphasia quotient (AQ) scores in Als.
Methods: Diffusion tensor imaging data were acquired in 37 Als patients and 28 healthy controls. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and correlation analyses were used.
Results: Consistent with the hypothesis, Als had decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) and increased mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity and radial diffusivity in the genu, body and splenium of the corpus callosum (CC), superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and corona radiata in the bilateral hemisphere. Reduced FA of SLF was correlated with AQ scores in Als patients.
Conclusion: It is hoped that TBSS could shed new insights into aphasia mechanisms in Als to help promote aging-related disease studies.
The microbiota-gut-brain axis and membrane dysfunction in the brain has attracted increasing attention in the field of psychiatric research. However, the possible interactive role of gut microbiota and brain function in the prodromal stage of schizophrenia has not been studied yet.
To explore this, we collected fecal samples and performed Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) scans in 81 high risk (HR) subjects, 19 ultra-high risk (UHR) subjects and 69 health controls (HC). Then we analyzed the differences in gut microbiota and choline concentrations in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).
Presences of the orders Clostridiales, Lactobacillales and Bacteroidales were observed at increase levels in fecal samples of UHR subjects compared to the other two groups. The composition changes of gut microbiota indicate the increased production of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs), which could activate microglia and then disrupt membrane metabolism. Furthermore, this was confirmed by an increase of choline levels, a brain imaging marker of membrane dysfunction, which is also significantly elevated in UHR subjects compared to the HR and HC groups.
Both gut microbiome and imaging studies of UHR subjects suggest the membrane dysfunction in the brain and hence might support the membrane hypothesis of schizophrenia.
Previous studies have demonstrated that betaine supplements increase lean body mass in livestock and improve muscle performance in human beings, but evidence for its effect on human lean mass is limited. Our study assessed the association of circulating betaine with lean mass and its composition in Chinese adults. A community-based study was conducted on 1996 Guangzhou residents (weight/mass: 1381/615) aged 50–75 years between 2008 and 2010. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect general baseline information. Fasting serum betaine was assessed using HPLC-MS. A total of 1590 participants completed the body composition analysis performed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry during a mean of 3·2 years of follow-up. After adjustment for age, regression analyses demonstrated a positive association of serum betaine with percentage of lean mass (LM%) of the entire body, trunk and limbs in men (all P<0·05) and LM% of the trunk in women (P=0·016). Each sd increase in serum betaine was associated with increases in LM% of 0·609 (whole body), 0·811 (trunk), 0·422 (limbs), 0·632 (arms) and 0·346 (legs) in men and 0·350 (trunk) in women. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the prevalence of lower LM% decreased by 17 % (whole body) and 14 % (trunk) in women and 23 % (whole body), 28 % (trunk), 22 % (arms) and 26 % (percentage skeletal muscle index) in men with each sd increment in serum betaine. Elevated circulating betaine was associated with a higher LM% and lower prevalence of lower LM% in middle-aged and elderly Chinese adults, particularly men.
The effect of Zn, as an adjunct to antibiotics, on the treatment of severe pneumonia in young children is still under debate; therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the therapeutic role of Zn for severe pneumonia in children younger than 5 years. PubMed, Cochrane library and Embase databases were systematically searched from inception until October 2015 for randomised-controlled trials (RCT) that assessed the effect of Zn as an adjunct to antibiotics for severe pneumonia. Random-effects model was used for calculating the pooled estimates, and intention-to-treat principle was also applied. Nine RCT involving 2926 children were included. Overall, the pooled results showed that adjunct treatment with Zn failed to reduce the time to recovery from severe pneumonia (hazard ratios (HR)=1·04; 95 % CI 0·90, 1·19; I2=39 %; P=0·58), hospital length of stay (HR=1·04; 95 % CI 0·83, 1·33; I2=57 %; P=0·74), treatment failure (relative risk (RR)=0·95; 95 % CI 0·79, 1·14; I2=20 %; P=0·58) or change of antibiotics (RR=1·07; 95 % CI 0·79, 1·45; I2=44 %; P=0·67). In addition, continuous outcomes were consistent while meta-analysed with standard mean difference, and all outcomes remained stable in intention-to-treat analysis. No significant differences were observed in the two groups between death rate, adverse events or recovery times of severe pneumonia indicators. Our results suggested that adjunct treatment with Zn failed to benefit young children in the treatment of severe pneumonia. Considering the clinical heterogeneity, baseline characteristics of children, definition of severe pneumonia and Zn supplement way should be taken into consideration in future research. This study was registered at PRESPERO as CRD42015019798.
Previous studies have suggested that vitamin E (VE) may affect bone health, but the findings have been inconclusive. We examined the relationship between VE status (in both diet and serum) and bone mineral density (BMD) among Chinese adults. This community-based study included 3203 adults (2178 women and 1025 men) aged 40–75 years from Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China. General and dietary intake information were collected using structured questionnaire interviews. The serum α-tocopherol (TF) level was quantified by reversed-phase HPLC. The BMD of the whole body, the lumbar spine and left hip sites (total, neck, trochanter, intertrochanter and Ward’s triangle) were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. In women, the dietary intake of VE was significantly and positively associated with BMD at the lumbar spine, total hip, intertrochanter and femur neck sites after adjusting for covariates (Ptrend: 0·001–0·017). Women in quartile 3 of VE intake typically had the highest BMD; the covariate-adjusted mean BMD were 2·5, 3·06, 3·41 and 3·54 % higher, respectively, in quartile 3 (v. 1) at the four above-mentioned sites. Similar positive associations were observed between cholesterol-adjusted serum α-TF levels and BMD at each of the studied bone sites (Ptrend: 0·001–0·022). The covariate-adjusted mean BMD were 1·24–4·83 % greater in quartile 4 (v. 1) in women. However, no significant associations were seen between the VE levels (dietary or serum) and the BMD at any site in men. In conclusion, greater consumption and higher serum levels of VE are associated with greater BMD in Chinese women but not in Chinese men.