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Rodents and shrews are major reservoirs of various pathogens that are related to zoonotic infectious diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate co-infections of zoonotic pathogens in rodents and shrews trapped in four provinces of China. We sampled different rodent and shrew communities within and around human settlements in four provinces of China and characterised several important zoonotic viral, bacterial, and parasitic pathogens by PCR methods and phylogenetic analysis. A total of 864 rodents and shrews belonging to 24 and 13 species from RODENTIA and EULIPOTYPHLA orders were captured, respectively. For viral pathogens, two species of hantavirus (Hantaan orthohantavirus and Caobang orthohantavirus) were identified in 3.47% of rodents and shrews. The overall prevalence of Bartonella spp., Anaplasmataceae, Babesia spp., Leptospira spp., Spotted fever group Rickettsiae, Borrelia spp., and Coxiella burnetii were 31.25%, 8.91%, 4.17%, 3.94%, 3.59%, 3.47%, and 0.58%, respectively. Furthermore, the highest co-infection status of three pathogens was observed among Bartonella spp., Leptospira spp., and Anaplasmataceae with a co-infection rate of 0.46%. Our results suggested that species distribution and co-infections of zoonotic pathogens were prevalent in rodents and shrews, highlighting the necessity of active surveillance for zoonotic pathogens in wild mammals in wider regions.
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.
To investigate the predictive ability of the previously established global cerebrovascular disease (CeVD) burden scale on long-term clinical outcomes in a longitudinal study of Asian elderly participants across the spectrum of cognitive impairment.
A case-control study was conducted over a 2-year period involving participants with no cognitive impairment, cognitive impairment-no dementia (CIND), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Annually, cognitive function was assessed with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and the clinical dementia rating (CDR) scale was used to stage disease severity.
Of 314 participants, 102 had none/very mild CeVD, 31 mild CeVD, 94 moderate CeVD, and 87 severe CeVD at baseline. There was a 1.14 and 1.42 units decline per year on global cognitive z-scores in moderate and severe CeVD groups, respectively, compared to none/very mild CeVD. Moderate-severe CeVD predicted significant functional deterioration at year 2 (HR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.2–3.4), and conversion to AD (HR = 6.3, 95% CI = 1.7–22.5), independent of medial temporal atrophy.
The global CeVD burden scale predicts poor long-term clinical outcome independent of neurodegenerative markers. Furthermore, CeVD severity affects the rate of cognitive and functional deterioration. Hence, cerebrovascular burden, which is potentially preventable, is a strong prognostic indicator, both at preclinical and clinical stages of AD, independent of neurodegenerative processes.
The validity and reliability of the informant AD8 in primary healthcare has not been established. Therefore, the present study examined the validity and reliability of the informant AD8 in government subsidized primary healthcare centers in Singapore.
Eligible patients (≥60 years old) were recruited from primary healthcare centers and their informants received the AD8. Patient-informant dyads who agreed for further cognitive assessments received the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), and a locally validated formal neuropsychological battery at a research center in a tertiary hospital.
1,082 informants completed AD8 assessment at two primary healthcare centers. Of these, 309 patients-informant dyads were further assessed, of whom 243 (78.6%) were CDR = 0; 22 (7.1%) were CDR = 0.5; and 44 (14.2%) were CDR≥1. The mean administration time of the informant AD8 was 2.3 ± 1.0 minutes. The informant AD8 demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.85); inter-rater reliability (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) = 0.85); and test–retest reliability (weighted κ = 0.80). Concurrent validity, as measured by the correlation between total AD8 scores and CDR global (R = 0.65, p < 0.001), CDR sum of boxes (R = 0.60, p < 0.001), MMSE (R = −0.39, p < 0.001), MoCA (R = −0.41, p < 0.001), as well as the formal neuropsychological battery (R = −0.46, p < 0.001), was good and consistent with previous studies. Construct validity, as measured by convergent validity (R ≥ 0.4) between individual items of AD8 with CDR and neuropsychological domains was acceptable.
The informant AD8 demonstrated good concurrent and construct validity and is a reliable measure to detect cognitive dysfunction in primary healthcare.
To investigate the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) and sub-syndromes in elderly community-dwelling Asians with varying severity of cognitive impairment.
Chinese and Malay participants (n = 613) from the Epidemiology of Dementia in Singapore (EDIS) Study aged ≥ 60 years underwent clinical examination, neuropsychological testing, and NPS assessment using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Diagnosis of no cognitive impairment (NCI), cognitive impairment-no dementia (CIND), including CIND-mild and CIND-moderate, and dementia were made using established criteria.
A significant increase in the numbers of NPS was observed accompanying with increasing severity of cognitive impairment (p < 0.001). Compared to those with NCI/CIND-mild, participants with CIND-moderate [Odds ratio (OR): 4.2, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.8–10.0] or dementia [OR: 9.2, 95% CI: 2.3–36.0] were more likely to have two or more neuropsychiatric sub-syndromes. Participants with CIND-moderate were more likely to have hyperactivity [OR: 2.0, 95% CI: 1.0–3.8] and apathy [OR: 2.9, 95% CI: 1.0–8.4] sub-syndromes, whereas patients with dementia were more likely to have psychosis [OR: 6.9, 95% CI: 2.4–20.1], affective (OR: 8.7, 95% CI: 1.8–42.9), and hyperactivity (OR: 5.4, 95% CI: 1.8–16.1). Furthermore, executive dysfunction and visual memory impairment were associated with the presence of three neuropsychiatric sub-syndromes; whist language and visuomotor speed impairment were related to the presence of two sub-syndromes. By contrast, impairment in attention, verbal memory, and visuoconstruction were not associated with any of the sub-syndromes.
The presence of NPS and sub-syndromes increase with increasing severities of cognitive impairment, and different neuropsychiatric syndromes are associated with specific impairment on cognitive domains in community-dwelling Asian elderly.
The poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE)) based ferroelectric and relaxor materials have been proved to be good electrocaloric (EC) materials. To further enhance the EC effect in ferroelectric relaxor terpolymer poly(vinylidene fluoride–trifluoroethylene-chlorofluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE-CFE)), composites such as polymer-polymer blends and nanocomposites filled with inorganic nanoparticles are fabricated and investigated. It is found that the addition of small amount of filler (such as P(VDF-TrFE) or nano-ZrO2) can increase terpolymer’s crystallinity and enhance its relaxor behavior through interface couplings. The increased crystallinity and enhanced relaxor behavior together result in enhanced electrocaloric effect. The results demonstrate the promise of composite approaches in tailoring and enhancing ECE in the relaxor terpolymers.
Using vinyl-silsesquioxane modified with various amounts of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and titanium tetrabutoxide (TTB), two kinds of hybrid films, film-vinyl-silsesquioxane-TEOS (f-VSTE) and film-vinyl-silsesquioxane-TTB (f-VSTT), were prepared. The average transparency (AT) of the modified films was measured in the ranges of the visible light region (400–750 nm) and in the near-infrared region (750–2500 nm). The AT values in these ranges are about 88% to 94%, indicating that these high-AT films can provide crops with growth energy and improvement of the photosynthetic process efficiency. The TEOS additions result in a hybrid structure (containing SiO2); an adequate addition can cause an increase in the AT radiation from sunlight. On the other hand, the TTB additions result in a hybrid structure (containing TiO2) that causes a decrease in the AT. These results were validated using molecular dynamic simulation and were calculated (with Materials Stutio software) using the density of states and the energy-band structure of the vinyl-SSO, SiO2, and TiO2 building blocks.
The statistical analysis of heating effect and the cross-correlation analysis of both electron temperature and loop voltage have been done during electron cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH). The behavior of runaway electrons in the flat-top phase during ECRH are analyzed using experimental data. It is shown that the runaway population is indeed suppressed or even quenched when the toroidal electric field ET is reduced below the threshold electric field Eth by high-power and long-duration ECRH. The physical mechanism of runaway suppression is explored by the resonant interaction between the electron cyclotron waves and the energetic runaway electrons.
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