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The global transition towards diets high in calories has contributed to 2.1 billion people becoming overweight, or obese, which damages male reproduction and harms offspring. Recently, more and more studies have shown that paternal exposure to stress closely affects the health of offspring in an intergenerational and transgenerational way. SET Domain Containing 2 (SETD2), a key epigenetic gene, is highly conserved among species, is a crucial methyltransferase for converting histone 3 lysine 36 dimethylation (H3K36me2) into histone 3 lysine 36 trimethylation (H3K36me3), and plays an important regulator in the response to stress. In this study, we compared patterns of SETD2 expression and the H3K36me3 pattern in pre-implantation embryos derived from normal or obese mice induced by high diet. The results showed that SETD2 mRNA was significantly higher in the high-fat diet (HFD) group than the control diet (CD) group at the 2-cell, 4-cell, 8-cell, and 16-cell stages, and at the morula and blastocyst stages. The relative levels of H3K36me3 in the HFD group at the 2-cell, 4-cell, 8-cell, 16-cell, morula stage, and blastocyst stage were significantly higher than in the CD group. These results indicated that dietary changes in parental generation (F0) male mice fed a HFD were traceable in SETD2/H3K36me3 in embryos, and that a paternal high-fat diet brings about adverse effects for offspring that might be related to SETD2/H3K36me3, which throws new light on the effect of paternal obesity on offspring from an epigenetic perspective.
My 5 moments (M5M) was used less frequently among cleaning staff members, suggesting that a poor compliance score in this group may not indicate deficient handwashing. This quasi-experimental study compared hand hygiene compliance (HHC), hand hygiene (HH) moments, and HH time distribution in the control group (no HH intervention; n = 21), case group 1 (normal M5M intervention; n = 26), case group 2 (extensive novel six moments (NSM) training; n = 24), and case group 3 (refined NSM training; n = 18). The intervention’s effect was evaluated after 3 months. The HHC gap among the four groups gradually increased in the second intervention month (control group, 31.43%; case group 1, 38.74%; case group 2, 40.19%; case group 3, 52.21%; p < 0.05). After the intervention period, the HHC of case groups 2 and 3 improved significantly from the baseline (23.85% vs. 59.22%, 27.41% vs. 83.62%, respectively; p < 0.05). ‘After transferring medical waste from the site’ had the highest HHC in case group 3, 90.72% (95% confidence interval, 0.1926–0.3967). HH peak hours were from 6 AM to 9 AM and 2 PM to 3 PM. The study showed that the implementation of an NSM practice can serve as an HHC monitoring indicator and direct relevant training interventions to improve HH among hospital cleaning staff.
Suppose you need to complete a task of 5 steps, each of which has equal difficulty and pass rate. You somehow have a privilege that can ensure you pass one of the steps, but you need to decide which step to be privileged before you start the task. Which step do you want to privilege? Mathematically speaking, the effect of each step on the final outcome is identical, and so there seems to be no prima facie reason for a preference. Five studies were conducted to explore this issue. In Study 1, participants could place the privilege on any of steps 1–5. Participants were most inclined to privilege step 5. In Study 2, participants needed to pay some money to purchase the privilege for steps 1–5, respectively. Participants would pay most money for step 5. Study 3 directly reminded participants that the probability of success of the whole task is mathematically the same, no matter on which step the privilege is placed, but most of the participants still prefer to privilege the final step. Study 4 supposed that the outcomes of all steps were not announced until all steps were finished, and asked how painful participants would feel if they passed all steps but one. People thought they would feel most painful when they failed at the final step. In Study 5, an implicit association test showed that people associated the first step with easy and the final step with hard. These results demonstrated the phenomenon of the final step effect and suggested that both anticipated painfulness and stereotype may play a role in this phenomenon.
Taeniasis and cysticercosis, which are caused by Taenia saginata, Taenia solium and Taenia asiatica, are zoonotic parasitic infections with a significant disease burden worldwide. There is consensus amongst experts that T. saginata is a common tapeworm that causes taeniasis in humans as opposed to cysticercosis. This case study of a middle-aged Tibetan man conducted in 2021 challenges the prevailing notion that T. saginata exclusively causes taeniasis and not cysticercosis by documenting symptoms and laboratory studies related to both taeniasis and multiple cysticercosis. The patient's medical record with the symptoms of taeniasis and cysticercosis was reviewed, and the tapeworm's proglottids and cyst were identified from the patient by morphological evaluation, DNA amplification and sequencing. The patient frequently experienced severe headaches and vomiting. Both routine blood screenings and testing for antibodies against the most common parasites were normal. After anthelmintic treatment, an adult tapeworm was found in feces, and medical imaging examinations suggested multiple focal nodules in the brain and muscles of the patient. The morphological and molecular diagnosis of the proglottids revealed the Cestoda was T. saginata. Despite the challenges presented by the cyst's morphology, the molecular analysis suggested that it was most likely T. saginata. This case study suggests that T. saginata infection in humans has the potential to cause human cysticercosis. However, such a conclusion needs to be vetted by accurate genome-wide analysis in patients with T. saginata taeniasis associated with cysts. Such studies shall provide new insights into the pathogenicity of T. saginata.
We report a laboratory study on the scattering, energy dissipation and mean flow induced by internal gravity waves incident upon slopes with varying surface roughness. The experiment was performed in a rectangular box filled with thermally stratified water. The roughness of the slope surface, $\lambda$, defined as the height of a roughness element over its base width, and the off-criticality $\gamma =(\alpha -\beta )/\beta$, with $\alpha$ and $\beta$ being the angles of the incident wave and the slope, are used as two control parameters. The distribution of energy dissipation in the direction normal to the slope is found to be more uniform in the rough surface cases. Counter-intuitively, both the maximum value in the dissipation profile and the total energy dissipation near the slope are reduced by surface roughness under most circumstances. The measured peak width (the full width at half-maximum of the peaks) of the dissipation profile is found to be broadened significantly in the rough surface cases. We also observed that there exists a non-zero optimal off-criticality ($\gamma =0.17$ for the present measurement resolution) for the normalized average dissipation and total dissipation, which may be due to the strongest wave energy near the slope at this $\gamma$. Unlike surface roughness, the off-criticality has a small effect on the distribution of energy dissipation. Moreover, surface roughness is also found to change the structure of the scattering-induced mean flow and enhance its strength. The present study provides new perspectives on how the surface roughness on topographic features influences energy dissipation.
There is increasing attention on the association of socioeconomic status and individual behaviors (SES/IB) with mental health. However, the impacts of SES/IB on mental disorders are still unclear. To provide evidence for establishing feasible strategies on disease screening and prevention, we implemented Mendelian randomization (MR) design to appraise causality between SES/IB and mental disorders.
We conducted a two-sample MR study to assess the causal effects of SES and IB (dietary habits, habitual physical activity, smoking behaviors, drinking behaviors, sleeping behaviors, leisure sedentary behaviors, risky behaviors, and reproductive behaviors) on three mental disorders, including bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. A series of filtering steps were taken to select eligible genetic instruments robustly associated with each of the traits. Inverse variance weighted was used for primary analysis, with alternative MR methods including MR-Egger, weighted median, and weighted mode estimate. Complementary methods were further used to detect pleiotropic bias.
After Bonferroni correction and rigorous quality control, we identified that SES (educational attainment), smoking behaviors (smoking initiation, number of cigarettes per day), risky behaviors (adventurousness, number of sexual partners, automobile speeding propensity) and reproductive behavior (age at first birth) were causally associated with at least one of the mental disorders.
MR study provides robust evidence that SES/IB play broad impacts on mental disorders.
Mounting evidence showed that insula contributed to the neurobiological mechanism of suicidal behaviors in bipolar disorder (BD). However, no studies have analyzed the dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) of insular Mubregions and its association with personality traits in BD with suicidal behaviors. Therefore, we investigated the alterations of dFC variability in insular subregions and personality characteristics in BD patients with a recent suicide attempt (SA).
Thirty unmedicated BD patients with SA, 38 patients without SA (NSA) and 35 demographically matched healthy controls (HCs) were included. The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate whole-brain dFC for each insular subregion seed. We assessed between-group differences of psychological characteristics on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2. Finally, a multivariate regression model was adopted to predict the severity of suicidality.
Compared to NSA and HCs, the SA group exhibited decreased dFC variability values between the left dorsal anterior insula and the left anterior cerebellum. These dFC variability values could also be utilized to predict the severity of suicidality (r = 0.456, p = 0.031), while static functional connectivity values were not appropriate for this prediction. Besides, the SA group scored significantly higher on the schizophrenia clinical scales (p < 0.001) compared with the NSA group.
Our findings indicated that the dysfunction of insula–cerebellum connectivity may underlie the neural basis of SA in BD patients, and highlighted the dFC variability values could be considered a neuromarker for predictive models of the severity of suicidality. Moreover, the psychiatric features may increase the vulnerability of suicidal behavior.
Evidence of couples’ BMI and its influence on birth weight is limited and contradictory. Therefore, this study aims to assess the association between couple’s preconception BMI and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA)/large for gestational age (LGA) infant, among over 4·7 million couples in a retrospective cohort study based on the National Free Pre-pregnancy Checkups Project between 1 December 2013 and 30 November 2016 in China. Among the live births, 256 718 (5·44 %) SGA events and 506 495 (10·73 %) LGA events were documented, respectively. After adjusting for confounders, underweight men had significantly higher risk (OR 1·17 (95 % CI 1·15, 1·19)) of SGA infants compared with men with normal BMI, while a significant and increased risk of LGA infants was obtained for overweight and obese men (OR 1·08 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·09); OR 1·19 (95 % CI 1·17, 1·20)), respectively. The restricted cubic spline result revealed a non-linear decreasing dose–response relationship of paternal BMI (less than 22·64) with SGA. Meanwhile, a non-linear increasing dose–response relationship of paternal BMI (more than 22·92) with LGA infants was observed. Moreover, similar results about the association between maternal preconception BMI and SGA/LGA infants were obtained. Abnormal preconception BMI in either women or men were associated with increased risk of SGA/LGA infants, respectively. Overall, couple’s abnormal weight before pregnancy may be an important preventable risk factor for SGA/LGA infants.
Previous studies have demonstrated structural and functional changes of the hippocampus in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, no studies have analyzed the dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) of hippocampal subregions in melancholic MDD. We aimed to reveal the patterns for dFC variability in hippocampus subregions – including the bilateral rostral and caudal areas and its associations with cognitive impairment in melancholic MDD.
Forty-two treatment-naive MDD patients with melancholic features and 55 demographically matched healthy controls were included. The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate whole-brain dFC for each hippocampal subregions seed. We assessed between-group differences in the dFC variability values of each hippocampal subregion in the whole brain and cognitive performance on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Finally, association analysis was conducted to investigate their relationships.
Patients with melancholic MDD showed decreased dFC variability between the left rostral hippocampus and left anterior lobe of cerebellum compared with healthy controls (voxel p < 0.005, cluster p < 0.0125, GRF corrected), and poorer cognitive scores in working memory, verbal learning, visual learning, and social cognition (all p < 0.05). Association analysis showed that working memory was positively correlated with the dFC variability values of the left rostral hippocampus-left anterior lobe of the cerebellum (r = 0.338, p = 0.029) in melancholic MDD.
These findings confirmed the distinct dynamic functional pathway of hippocampal subregions in patients with melancholic MDD, and suggested that the dysfunction of hippocampus-cerebellum connectivity may be underlying the neural substrate of working memory impairment in melancholic MDD.
This study aimed to evaluate the performance of Cobas human papillomavirus (HPV) test in cervical cancer screening. A total of 3442 women aged ⩾20 years used Cobas HPV and hybrid capture 2 (HC2) tests were included in this study. Women with any positive result were examined by liquid-based cytology (LBC) test. Then subjects with abnormal LBC or positive Cobas HPV16/18 were further checked by colposcopy to observe the visible lesions to perform the pathological examination. Of these 3442 women, 328 cases were Cobas HPV positive, and the positive rate was 9.53% (95% confidence interval (CI) 8.50–10.53). The positive rate of HPV16, HPV18, and other 12 types of high-risk HPV were 1.54% (95% CI 1.12–1.95), 0.55% (95% CI 0.30–0.80), and 7.44% (95% CI 6.56–8.32), respectively. The coincidence rate of Cobas HPV test and HC2 test was 90% (95% CI 89.00–91.00; Kappa = 0.526) in the primary screening. Age had a non-linear relationship with Cobas HPV positive rate (χ2 = 4.240, P = 0.040) and HPV16/18 typing positive rate (χ2 = 6.610, P = 0.010). Compared with the LBC test, the Cobas HPV test had higher sensitivity when detecting patients with high cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2+ and CIN3+).
A recently developed pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 has quickly spread across the world. Unfortunately, a simplified risk score that could easily be used in primary care or general practice settings has not been developed. The objective of this study is to identify a simplified risk score that could easily be used to quickly triage severe COVID-19 patients. All severe and critical adult patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 on the West campus of Union Hospital, Wuhan, China, from 28 January 2020 to 29 February 2020 were included in this study. Clinical data and laboratory results were obtained. CURB-65 pneumonia score was calculated. Univariate logistic regressions were applied to explore risk factors associated with in-hospital death. We used the receiver operating characteristic curve and multivariate COX-PH model to analyse risk factors for in-hospital death. A total of 74 patients (31 died, 43 survived) were finally included in the study. We observed that compared with survivors, non-survivors were older and illustrated higher respiratory rate, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, D-dimer and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), but lower SpO2 as well as impaired liver function, especially synthesis function. CURB-65 showed good performance for predicting in-hospital death (area under curve 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71–0.91). CURB-65 ⩾ 2 may serve as a cut-off value for prediction of in-hospital death in severe patients with COVID-19 (sensitivity 68%, specificity 81%, F1 score 0.7). CURB-65 (hazard ratio (HR) 1.61; 95% CI 1.05–2.46), LDH (HR 1.003; 95% CI 1.001–1.004) and albumin (HR 0.9; 95% CI 0.81–1) were risk factors for in-hospital death in severe patients with COVID-19. Our study indicates CURB-65 may serve as a useful prognostic marker in COVID-19 patients, which could be used to quickly triage severe patients in primary care or general practice settings.
For the guarantee of the long-distance transport of the bunches of China Initiative Accelerator Driven System (CIADS), a new scheme is proposed that extra magnetic field is used in the accelerator-target coupling section before the windowless target to minimize the self-modulation (SM) mechanism. Particle-in-cell simulations are carried out to study the influence of the solenoidal magnetic field on the self-modulation mechanism when long proton bunches move in the background plasmas. The long proton bunches used in the simulations are similar to these in the linear accelerator of CIADS. It is found that the presence of the solenoidal magnetic field will significantly inhibit the self-modulation process. For the strong magnetic field, the longitudinal separation and transverse focusing of the long bunches disappear. We attribute these phenomena to the reason that the strong solenoidal magnetic field restricts the transverse movement of plasma electrons. Thus, there are not enough electrons around the bunch to compensate the space charge effect. Moreover, without transverse current, the longitudinal pinched effect disappears, and the long bunch can not be separated into small pulses anymore.
Evidence on the relationship between maternal Hb concentration and spontaneous abortion (SA) risk is limited and conflicting. The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether maternal preconception anaemia or high Hb concentration is associated with risk of SA.
A population-based cohort study established between 2013 and 2017.
Local maternal and child care service centres in each county.
In total, 3 971 428 women aged 20–49 years, who participated in National Free Pre-Pregnancy Checkups Project from 2013 to 2016 and successfully got pregnant before 2017 in rural China.
A total of 101 700 (2·56 %) women were recorded having SA, with highest SA rate in women with severe anaemia (4·58 %). Compared with women with Hb of 110–149 g/l, the multivariable-adjusted OR for SA was 1·52 (95 % CI: 1·25, 1·86) for women with Hb < 70 g/l, 0·92 (0·84, 1·01) for 70–99 g/l, 0·80 (0·77, 0·83) for 100–109 g/l, 1·11 (1·08, 1·15) for 150–159 g/l, 1·12 (1·04, 1·20) for 160–169 g/l and 1·02 (0·93, 1·12) for ≥ 170 g/l, respectively. An approximate U-shaped curve for the risk of SA with Hb concentrations was observed when Hb concentrations less than 145 g/l, above which the association plateaued (Pnon-linear < 0·001).
Severe anaemia and high Hb concentration before pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of SA. Women with mild anaemia prior to pregnancy had lower risk of SA. Underlying mechanisms need to be further studied.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
Evidence on the association between maternal Hb concentration and preterm birth (PTB) risk is inconclusive. This paper aimed to explore whether women with anaemia or high Hb level before pregnancy would be at higher risk of PTB. We conducted a population-based cohort study with 2 722 274 women aged 20–49 years, who participated in National Free Pre-Pregnancy Checkups Project between 2013 and 2015 and delivered a singleton before 2016 in rural China. Logistic models were used to estimate OR and 95 % CI after adjusting for confounding variables. Restricted cubic spline models were applied to evaluate the dose–response relationships. A total of 192 819 (7·08 %) women had preterm deliveries. Compared with women with Hb of 110–149 g/l, the multivariable-adjusted OR for PTB was 1·19 (95 % CI 0·98, 1·44) for women with Hb<70 g/l, 1·01 (95 % CI 0·97, 1·03) for 70–99 g/l, 0·96 (95 % CI 0·95, 0·98) for 100–109 g/l, 1·04 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·06) for 150–159 g/l, 1·11 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·17) for 160–169 g/l and 1·19 (95 % CI 1·11, 1·27) for ≥170 g/l, respectively. The multivariable-adjusted OR for very PTB (VPTB) was 1·07 (95 % CI 1·03, 1·12) and 1·06 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·12) for women with Hb <110 and ≥150 g/l, compared with those with Hb of 110–149 g/l, respectively. Our study identified a U-shaped relationship between maternal preconception Hb concentration and PTB risk. Both preconception anaemia and high Hb level can significantly increase VPTB risk. Appropriate intervention for women with abnormal Hb levels before pregnancy is very necessary.
Flower-like AgI/Bi5O7I hybrid photocatalysts were fabricated via a hydrothermal method and the subsequent heating process with AgI/Bi4O5I2 as the intermediate. X-ray powder diffraction, Raman, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, diffuse reflectance spectra, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, photoluminescence, and electrochemical methods were used to reveal the structure, elemental content, morphology, and charge separation capabilities of the as-prepared samples. The photocatalytic test showed that the AgI/Bi5O7I composites own much higher photoactivity than pure AgI and Bi5O7I. Based on the result of XPS analysis, the composite is believed to be the Ag/AgI/Bi5O7I system. Due to the suitable band potentials of AgI and Bi5O7I, the ternary system can form a heterojunction structure which works in a Z-scheme mechanism with Ag nanoparticles as the transfer media. The guided charge transfer in the composite prolongs the life time of charge carriers and eventually leads to the high photocatalytic activity of AgI/Bi5O7I. Additionally, the flower-like structure of the composite also contributes to the photocatalytic reaction.
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.
Many shorebird populations are in decline along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The rapid loss of coastal wetlands in the Yellow Sea, which provide critical stop-over sites during migration, is believed to be the cause of the alarming trends. The Yalu Jiang coastal wetland, a protected area in the north Yellow Sea, supports the largest known migratory staging populations of Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica (menzbieri and baueri subspecies) and Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris. Monitoring of the macrozoobenthos food for these shorebirds from 2011 to 2016 showed declines of over 99% in the densities of the bivalve Potamocorbula laevis, the major food here for both Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots. The loss of the bivalve might be caused by any combination of, but not limited to: (1) change in hydrological conditions and sediment composition due to nearby port construction, (2) run-off of agrochemicals from the extensive shoreline sea cucumber farms, and (3) parasitic infection. Surprisingly, the numbers of birds using the Yalu Jiang coastal wetland remained stable during the study period, except for the subspecies of Bar-tailed Godwit L. l. menzbieri, which exhibited a 91% decline in peak numbers. The lack of an overall decline in the number of bird days in Great Knots and in the peak numbers of L. l. baueri, also given the published simultaneous decreases in their annual survival, implies a lack of alternative habitats that birds could relocate to. This study highlights that food declines at staging sites could be an overlooked but important factor causing population declines of shorebirds along the Flyway. Maintaining the quality of protected staging sites is as important in shorebird conservation as is the safeguarding of staging sites from land claim. Meanwhile, it calls for immediate action to restore the food base for these beleaguered migrant shorebirds at Yalu Jiang coastal wetland.