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To evaluate the impact of a vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) screening policy change on the incidence of healthcare-associated (HA)-VRE bacteremia in an endemic hospital setting.
A quasi-experimental before-and-after study.
A 1,989-bed tertiary-care referral center in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Since May 2010, our hospital has diminished VRE screening for admitted patients transferred from other healthcare facilities. We assessed the impact of this policy change on the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia using segmented autoregression analysis of interrupted time series from January 2006 to December 2014 at the hospital and unit levels. In addition, we compared the molecular characteristics of VRE blood isolates collected before and after the screening policy change using multilocus sequence typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
After the VRE screening policy change, the incidence of hospital-wide HA-VRE bacteremia increased, although no significant changes of level or slope were observed. In addition, a significant slope change in the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia (change in slope, 0.007; 95% CI, 0.001–0.013; P = .02) was observed in the hemato-oncology department. Molecular analysis revealed that various VRE sequence types appeared after the policy change and that clonally related strains became more predominant (increasing from 26.1% to 59.3%).
The incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia increased significantly after VRE screening policy change, and this increase was mainly driven by high-risk patient populations. When planning VRE control programs in hospitals, different approaches that consider risk for severe VRE infection in patients may be required.
Efficient photosynthesis requires a balance of ATP and NADPH production/consumption in chloroplasts, and the exportation of reducing equivalents from chloroplasts is important for balancing stromal ATP/NADPH ratio. Here, we showed that the overexpression of purple acid phosphatase 2 on the outer membranes of chloroplasts and mitochondria can streamline the production and consumption of reducing equivalents in these two organelles, respectively. A higher capacity of consumption of reducing equivalents in mitochondria can indirectly help chloroplasts to balance the ATP/NADPH ratio in stroma and recycle NADP+, the electron acceptors of the linear electron flow (LEF). A higher rate of ATP and NADPH production from the LEF, a higher capacity of carbon fixation by the Calvin–Benson–Bassham (CBB) cycle and a greater consumption of NADH in mitochondria enhance photosynthesis in the chloroplasts, ATP production in the mitochondria and sucrose synthesis in the cytosol and eventually boost plant growth and seed yields in the overexpression lines.
The explosive outbreak of COVID-19 led to a shortage of medical resources, including isolation rooms in hospitals, healthcare workers (HCWs) and personal protective equipment. Here, we constructed a new model, non-contact community treatment centres to monitor and quarantine asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients who recorded their own vital signs using a smartphone application. This new model in Korea is useful to overcome shortages of medical resources and to minimise the risk of infection transmission to HCWs.
A fever clinic within a hospital plays a vital role in pandemic control because it serves as an outpost for pandemic discovery, monitoring and handling. As the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan was gradually brought under control, the fever clinic in the West Campus of Wuhan Union Hospital introduced a new model for construction and management of temporary mobile isolation wards. A traditional battlefield hospital model was combined with pandemic control regulations, to build a complex of mobile isolation wards that used adaptive design and construction for medical operational, medical waste management and water drainage systems. The mobile isolation wards allowed for the sharing of medical resources with the fever clinic. This increased the capacity and efficiency of receiving, screening, triaging and isolation and observation of patients with fever. The innovative mobile isolation wards also controlled new sudden outbreaks of COVID-19. We document the adaptive design and construction model of the novel complex of mobile isolation wards and explain its characteristics, functions and use.
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.
We report a family cluster of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection involving five patients in a family cluster in Dazhou, China, including the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory and radiological findings. Three-generation transmission was observed. Through epidemiological investigation, we observed asymptomatic transmission to a cohabiting family member, as well as person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 outside Wuhan city. The asymptomatic transmission demonstrated here provides evidence that there could be a greater risk of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread. This cluster also demonstrated that COVID-19 is transmissible during the incubation period of an asymptomatic person. Early isolation and treatment, stressing prevention of cluster outbreaks, could help prevent further spread of the epidemic.
Hubei province in China has had the most confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and has reported sustained transmission of the disease. Although Lu'an city is adjacent to Hubei province, its community transmission was blocked at the early stage, and the impact of the epidemic was limited. Therefore, we summarised the overall characteristics of the entire epidemic course in Lu'an to help cities with a few imported cases better contain the epidemic. A total of 69 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11 asymptomatic carriers were identified in Lu'an during the epidemic from 12 January to 21 February 2020. Fifty-two (65.0%) cases were male, and the median age was 40 years. On admission, 56.5% of cases had a fever as the initial symptom, and pneumonia was present in 89.9% of cases. The mean serial interval and the mean duration of hospitalisation were 6.5 days (95% CI: 4.8–8.2) and 18.2 days (95% CI: 16.8–19.5), respectively. A total of 16 clusters involving 60 cases (17 first-generation cases and 43 secondary cases) were reported during the epidemic. We observed that only 18.9% (7/37) index cases resulted in community transmission during the epidemic in Lu'an, indicating that the scale of the epidemic was limited to a low level in Lu'an city. An asymptomatic carrier caused the largest cluster, involving 13 cases. Spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic carriers represents an enormous challenge for countries responding to the pandemic.
Our understanding of ice algal responses to the recent changes in Arctic sea ice is impeded by limited field observations. In the present study, environmental characteristics of the landfast sea-ice zone as well as primary production and macromolecular composition of ice algae and phytoplankton were studied in the Kitikmeot Sea near Cambridge Bay in spring 2017. Averaged total chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration was within the lower range reported previously for the same region, while daily carbon uptake rates of bottom-ice algae were significantly lower in this study than previously reported for the Arctic. Based on various indicators, the region's low nutrient concentrations appear to limit carbon uptake rates and associated accumulation of bottom-ice algal biomass. Furthermore, the lipids-dominant biochemical composition of bottom-ice algae suggests strong nutrient limitation relative to the distinctly different carbohydrates-dominant composition of phytoplankton. Together, the results confirm strong nitrate limitation of the local marine system.
During the last glacial termination, a warming trend was generally interrupted by rapid millennium-scale cold reversals, such as the Greenland (Isotope) Stadial 1 (GS-1) and GS-2a events. To understand how glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) responded to these rapid climate events, this study constrained the timing and extent of three glacial events during the late-glacial period. Specifically, using a cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating method, we dated three prominent glacial moraines (PM1, PM2, PM3) back to 15,850 ± 980, 14,140 ± 880, and 12,430 ± 790 yr in the Pagele valley, southern TP, corresponding to GS-2a, Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1), and GS-1, respectively. By simulating glacial extents forced by different climate scenarios, the study constrained the temperature decreases relative to present to be 2.6°C–2.9°C, ~1.6°C, and 1.4°C–1.5°C during the GS-2a, GI-1, and GS-1 periods in the region, with precipitation values of 60%–80%, ~100%, and 80%–90% of present value, respectively. Considering information from oceanic and atmospheric circulation, the study suggested that on the TP, the glacial events during the last glacial termination were well connected with the millennium-scale climate events in the North Atlantic region through the westerlies, while the Indian summer monsoon played a positive role in sustaining the glaciers under the warming climate trend.
This article overviews the ultrasonic welding process, a solid-state joining method, using the example of welding of a magnesium alloy as well as the joining of magnesium alloys in general. In situ high-speed imaging and infrared thermography were utilized to study interfacial relative motion and heat generation during ultrasonic spot welding of AZ31B magnesium (Mg) alloys. A postweld ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation was performed to study the evolution of local bond formation at the faying interface (contact surface of the joint between the top and bottom Mg sheets) at different stages of the welding process. Two distinct stages were observed as the welding process progresses. In the early stage, localized reciprocating sliding occurred at the contact faying interface between the two Mg sheets, resulting in localized rapid temperature rise from the localized frictional heating. Microscale (submillimeter) bonded regions at the Mg–Mg faying surface started to form, but the overall joint strength was low. The early-stage localized bonds were broken during the subsequent vibrations. In the later stage, no relative motion occurred at any points of the faying interface. Localized bonded regions coalesced into a macroscale joint that was strong enough to prevent the Mg–Mg interface from further breakage and sliding. With increasing welding time, the bonded area continued to increase.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have consistently revealed that a variant of microRNA 137 (MIR137) shows a quite significant association with schizophrenia. Identifying the network of genes regulated by MIR137 could provide insights into the biological processes underlying schizophrenia. In addition, DLPFC functional connectivity, a robust correlate of MIR137, may provide plausible endophenotypes. However, the regulatory role of the MIR137 gene network in the disrupted functional connectivity remains unclear. Here, we tested the effects of the MIR137 regulated genes on the risk for schizophrenia and DLPFC functional connectivity.
To evaluate the additive effects of the MIR137 regulated genes (N = 1274), we calculated a MIR137 polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia and tested its association with the risk for schizophrenia in the genomic data of a Han Chinese population that included schizophrenia patients (N = 589) and normal controls (N = 575). We then investigated the association between MIR137 PRS and DLPFC functional connectivity in two independent young healthy cohorts (N = 356 and N = 314).
We found that the MIR137 PRS successfully captured the differences in genetic structure between the patients and controls, but the single gene MIR137 did not. We then consistently found that a higher MIR137 PRS was correlated with lower functional connectivities between the DLPFC and both the superior parietal cortex and the inferior temporal cortex in two independent cohorts.
The findings suggested that these two functional connectivities of the DLPFC could be important endophenotypes linking the MIR137-regulated genetic structure to schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
In a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system, a study was conducted to determine the effects of different fertilization regimens (no fertilization, replacement of a portion of chemical fertilizer with composted pig manure, chemical fertilizer only, and straw return combined with chemical fertilizer) on the weed communities and wheat yields after 4 and 5 yr. The impact of the long-term recurrent fertilization regimen initiated in 2010 on the composition and diversity of weed communities and the impact of the components and total amount of fertilizer on wheat yields were assessed in 2014 and 2015. Totals of 19 and 16 weed species were identified in experimental wheat fields in 2014 and 2015, respectively, but the occurrence of weed species varied according to the fertilization regimen. American sloughgrass [Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fernald], water starwort [Myosoton aquaticum (L.) Moench], and lyrate hemistepta (Hemistepta lyrata Bunge.) were adapted to all fertilization treatments and were the dominant weed species in the experimental wheat fields. The greatest number of weed species were observed under the no-fertilization treatment, in which 40% of the weed community was composed of broadleaf weeds and the lowest wheat yields were obtained. With fertilizer application, the number of weed species was reduced, the height of weeds increased significantly, the density of broadleaf weeds was significantly reduced, the biodiversity indices of weed communities decreased significantly, and higher wheat yields were obtained. Only the chemical fertilizer plus composted pig manure treatment and the chemical fertilizer–only treatment increased the density of grassy weeds and the total weed community density. The treatment with chemical fertilizer only also resulted in the highest density of B. syzigachne. Rice straw return combined with chemical fertilizer yielded the lowest total weed density, which suggests that it inhibited occurrence of weeds. The different fertilizer regimens not only affected the weed species composition, distribution, and diversity, but also the weed density. Our study provides new information from a rice–wheat rotation system on the relationship between soil amendments and agricultural weed infestation.
Limited information is available on the prevalence and effect of hypertriglyceridaemic–waist (HTGW) phenotype on the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in rural populations.
In the present cross-sectional study, we investigated the prevalence of the HTGW phenotype and T2DM and the strength of their association among rural adults in China.
HTGW was defined as TAG >1·7 mmol/l and waist circumference (WC) ≥90 cm for males and ≥80 cm for females. Logistic regression analysis yielded adjusted odds ratios (aOR) relating risk of T2DM with HTGW.
Adults (n 12 345) aged 22·83–92·58 years were recruited from July to August of 2013 and July to August of 2014 from a rural area of Henan Province in China.
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM was 23·71 % (males: 15·35 %; females: 28·88 %) and 11·79 % (males: 11·15 %; females: 12·18 %), respectively. After adjustment for sex, age, smoking, alcohol drinking, blood pressure, physical activity and diabetic family history, the risk of T2DM (aOR; 95 % CI) was increased with HTGW (v. normal TAG and WC: 3·23; CI 2·53, 4·13; males: 3·37; 2·30, 4·92; females: 3·41; 2·39, 4·85). The risk of T2DM with BMI≥28·0 kg/m2, simple enlarged WC and simple disorders of lipid metabolism showed an increasing tendency (aOR=1·31, 1·75 and 2·32).
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM has reached an alarming level among rural Chinese people, and HTGW is a significant risk factor for T2DM.
Porphyrins are a class of conjugated molecules that structurally and functionally resemble natural photosynthetic and enzymatic chromophores. Crystalline solids self-assembled from anionic and cationic porphyrins yield a new class of multifunctional optoelectronic micro- and nanomaterials. In this article, we provide details on the concept of binary ionic self-assembly (ISA) and ionized forms of porphyrins, as well as formation of hierarchical structures, including nanotubes, rods and ribbons, sheets, and three-dimensional clover-like shapes, spheres, and sheaf-like structures. We summarize key physical properties from ultraviolet–visible characterizations of J-aggregate, exciton delocalization and extended π–π stacking, and related electronic and light-harvesting properties of the structures. Depending on the molecular subunits, the functionalities of the ISA materials are altered. These ISA nanostructures possess attractive light-harvesting and charge- and energy-transport functionalities and allow access to a novel class of nanomaterials with potential for applications in sensors, photovoltaics, photocatalysis, and solar power.
This paper presents new LA-ICP-MS zircon U–Pb chronology, whole-rock geochemical and zircon Hf isotopic data for the felsic lavas of the Huili Group from the southwestern Yangtze Block. LA-ICP-MS zircon U–Pb dating shows that these rocks were emplaced in Late Mesoproterozoic time (∼1028 to 1019 Ma). Relative to typical I-type and S-type granitoids, all the samples are characterized by low Sr and Eu, and high high-field-strength element contents, high TFeO/MgO, enriched rare earth element compositions and negative Eu anomalies, indicating that they share the geochemical signatures of A-type granitoid. They can be further divided into two groups: Group I and Group II. Group I are A1-type felsic rocks and were produced by fractional crystallization of alkaline basaltic magmas. The Group II felsic lavas belong to the A2-type and were derived by partial melting of a crustal source with mixing of mantle-derived magmas. Both Group I and Group II felsic lavas may erupt in a continental back-arc setting. The coexistence of A1- and A2-type rocks in the southwestern Yangtze Block suggests that they can occur in the same tectonic setting.
Photocatalytic water splitting to form hydrogen can effectively alleviate energy and environmental problems attracting wide attention. However, the current photocatalysts have low photocatalytic efficiencies due to the narrow absorption spectrum, which is far from the actual application requirements. Herein, we use the as-prepared zinc porphyrin self-assemblies to visible-light-drive photocatalytic hydrogen evolution with Pt as the cocatalyst and ascorbic acid (AA) as the sacrificial agent. The results exhibit morphology-dependent performance and hexagonal stacks achieved optimal H2 evolution rate (47.1 mmol/h/g), then followed by nanodiscs, nanorod and tetragonal stacks, meanwhile the nanorods with different aspect ratios show size-dependent properties. The UV-vis absorption and photoluminescence spectra and the shortening of decay time of the corresponding ZnTPyP aggregates reveal that the well-defined self-assembled porphyrin networks are J-aggregation and boost efficient energy transfer with respect to monomer. Such porphyrin self-assemblies are standing for one of the most promising photosensitizers in photocatalysis field and provide an important reference for designing the next generation of hydrogen production.
Infrared spectroscopic observations have shown that complex organics with mixed aromatic-aliphatic structures are synthesized in large quantities during the late stages of stellar evolution. These organics are ejected into the interstellar medium and spread across the Galaxy. Due to the sturdy structures of these organic particles, they can survive through long journeys across the Galaxy under strong UV background and shock conditions. The implications that stellar organics were embedded in the primordial solar nebula is discussed.
Due to the lack of an effective prophylactic intervention and diagnosis, human liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis continues to afflict a large human population, causing a chronic inflammatory bile duct disease. With an aim to identify target antigens for sensitive serodiagnosis, adenylate kinase 3 of C. sinensis (CsAK3) was successfully expressed in soluble form in Escherichia coli by fusion to an RNA-interacting domain derived from human Lys-tRNA synthetase and purified by Ni2+-affinity chromatography. Anti-CsAK3 serum was raised by immunization of mice, and Western blotting confirmed that CsAK3 was expressed in adult-stage C. sinensis. Histochemical analysis showed that CsAK3 was localized to the subtegumental tissue of C. sinensis and was excreted into the bile duct of the host. When tested against sera from various parasite-infected patients by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the recombinant CsAK3 elicited a specific response to C. sinensis-infected sera. The results suggest that CsAK3, either alone or in combination with other antigens, could be used for improving the clinical diagnosis of clonorchiasis.