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Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
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.
Astrophysical collisionless shocks are amazing phenomena in space and astrophysical plasmas, where supersonic flows generate electromagnetic fields through instabilities and particles can be accelerated to high energy cosmic rays. Until now, understanding these micro-processes is still a challenge despite rich astrophysical observation data have been obtained. Laboratory astrophysics, a new route to study the astrophysics, allows us to investigate them at similar extreme physical conditions in laboratory. Here we will review the recent progress of the collisionless shock experiments performed at SG-II laser facility in China. The evolution of the electrostatic shocks and Weibel-type/filamentation instabilities are observed. Inspired by the configurations of the counter-streaming plasma flows, we also carry out a novel plasma collider to generate energetic neutrons relevant to the astrophysical nuclear reactions.
This article outlines the evolution of a rescue team in responding to adenovirus prevention with a deployable field hospital. The local governments mobilized a shelter hospital and a rescue team consisting of 59 members to assist with rescue and response efforts after an epidemic outbreak of adenovirus. We describe and evaluate the challenges of preparing for deployment, field hospital maintenance, treatment mode, and primary treatment methods. The field hospital established at the rescue scene consisted of a medical command vehicle, a computed tomography shelter, an X-ray shelter, a special laboratory shelter, an oxygen and electricity supply vehicle, and epidemic prevention and protection equipment. The rescue team comprised paramedics, physicians, X-ray technicians, respiratory therapists, and logistical personnel. In 22 days, more than 3000 patients with suspected adenovirus infection underwent initial examinations. All patients were properly treated, and no deaths occurred. After emergency measures were implemented, the spread of adenovirus was eventually controlled. An emergency involving infectious diseases in less-developed regions demands the rapid development of a field facility with specialized medical personnel when local hospital facilities are either unavailable or unusable. An appropriate and detailed prearranged action plan is important for infectious diseases prevention. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:109–114)
The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of dietary supplementation with epidermal growth factor (EGF)-expressing Saccharomyces cerevisiae on duodenal development in weaned piglets. In total, forty piglets weaned at 21–26 d of age were assigned to one of the five groups that were provided basic diet (control group) or diet supplemented with S. cerevisiae expressing either empty-vector (INVSc1(EV) group), tagged EGF (T-EGF) (INVSc1-TE(−) group), extracellular EGF (EE-EGF) (INVSc1-EE(+) group) or intracellular EGF (IE-EGF) (INVSc1-IE(+) group). All treatments were delivered as 60·00 μg/kg body weight EGF/d. On 0, 7, 14 and 21 d, eight piglets per treatment were sacrificed to analyse the morphology, activities and mRNA expressions of digestive enzymes, as well as Ig levels (IgA, IgM, IgG) in duodenal mucosa. The results showed significant improvement on 7, 14 and 21 d, with respect to average daily gain (P<0·05), mucosa morphology (villus height and crypt depth) (P<0·05), Ig levels (P<0·01), activities and mRNA expressions of digestive enzymes (creatine kinase, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase and sucrase) (P<0·05) and the mRNA expression of EGF-receptor (P<0·01) in NVSc1-TE(−), INVSc1-EE(+) and INVSc1-IE(+) groups compared with control and INVSc1(EV) groups. In addition, a trend was observed in which the INVSc1-IE(+) group showed an improvement in Ig levels (0·05<P<0·10), mRNA expressions of digestive enzymes and EGF-receptor (P<0·05) compared with NVSc1-TE(−) and INVSc1-EE(+) groups. These results indicate that supplementing recombinant EGF-expressing S. cerevisiae to the diet of weaned piglets enhanced duodenal development. Moreover, biological activity (Ig levels, mRNA expressions of digestive enzymes and EGF-receptor) of IE-EGF was better than either EE-EGF or T-EGF.
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