An association between cholecystectomy and metabolic syndrome has not been fully established. Here we analyzed the association between cholecystectomy and metabolic syndrome in a Chinese population of 5672 subjects who undergone annual health checkups at the First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University between January 2011 and December 2012. The prevalences of gallstones, cholecystectomy and metabolic syndrome were 6.0%, 3.6%, and 32.5%, respectively. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was significantly higher in subjects with a history of cholecystectomy (63.5%) than in those with gallstones (47.0%) or in those without gallstone disease (30.3%; P<0.01 for both). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that cholecystectomy was significantly associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome (OR = 1.872; 95% CI: 1.193–2.937). However, the association of gallstones with metabolic syndrome was not statistically significant (OR = 1.267; 95% CI: 0.901–1.782). Altogether, our results suggest that cholecystectomy significantly increases the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Increased interictal concentrations of extracellular hippocampal glutamate have been implicated in the pathophysiology of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) in humans. Recent studies suggest that perturbations of the glutamate metabolizing enzymes glutamine synthetase (GS) and phosphate activated glutaminase (PAG) may underlie the glutamate excess in TLE. However, the molecular mechanism of the enzyme perturbations remains unclear. A better understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of GS and PAG could facilitate the discovery of novel therapeutics for TLE.
We used in situ hybridization on histological sections to assess the distribution and quantity of mRNA for GS and PAG in subfields of hippocampal formations from: (a) patients with TLE and concomitant hippocampal sclerosis, (b) patients with TLE and no hippocampal sclerosis, and (c) non-epilepsy autopsy subjects.
GS mRNA was increased by approximately 50% in the CA3 in TLE patients without hippocampal sclerosis vs. in TLE patients with sclerosis and in non-epilepsy subjects. PAG mRNA was increased by more than 100% in the subiculum in both TLE patient categories vs. in non-epilepsy subjects. PAG mRNA was also increased in the CA1, CA2, CA3 and dentate hilus in TLE without hippocampal sclerosis vs. in TLE with sclerosis. Finally, PAG mRNA was increased in the dentate gyrus in TLE with sclerosis vs. in non-epilepsy subjects, and also increased in the hilus in TLE without sclerosis vs. in TLE with sclerosis.
These findings demonstrate complex changes in the expression of mRNAs for GS and PAG in the hippocampal formation in TLE, and raise the possibility that both transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms may underlie the regulation of GS and PAG proteins in the epileptic brain.
Astrocytes; brain; glutamine synthetase; glutamate-glutamine cycle; phosphate activated glutaminase
The focus of management in many complex systems is shifting towards facilitation, adaptation, building resilience, and reducing vulnerability. Resilience management requires the development and application of general heuristics and methods for tracking changes in both resilience and vulnerability. We explored the emergence of vulnerability in the South African domestic ostrich industry, an animal production system which typically involves 3–4 movements of each bird during its lifetime. This system has experienced several disease outbreaks, and the aim of this study was to investigate whether these movements have contributed to the vulnerability of this system to large disease outbreaks.
The ostrich production system requires numerous movements of birds between different farm types associated with growth (i.e. Hatchery to juvenile rearing farm to adult rearing farm). We used 5 years of movement records between 2005 and 2011 prior to an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N2). These data were analyzed using a network analysis in which the farms were represented as nodes and the movements of birds as links. We tested the hypothesis that increasing economic efficiency in the domestic ostrich industry in South Africa made the system more vulnerable to outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N2). Our results indicated that as time progressed, the network became increasingly vulnerable to pathogen outbreaks. The farms that became infected during the outbreak displayed network qualities, such as significantly higher connectivity and centrality, which predisposed them to be more vulnerable to disease outbreak.
Taken in the context of previous research, our results provide strong support for the application of network analysis to track vulnerability, while also providing useful practical implications for system monitoring and management.
5-Hydroxytryptamine receptor (5-HTR) and 5-hydroxytryptamine transporter (5-HTT) gene polymorphisms have been reported to be associated with susceptibility to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). The associations, derived from sporadic, inconsistent, small-sample-size studies, need to be evaluated further in a meta-analysis.
Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang, and Weipu. Eligible data were extracted from each included study. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using a fixed-effects or a random-effects model. The ORs and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to assess the strength of the association between serotonergic gene polymorphisms and OSAS in the dominant and recessive models, as well as alleles. The Q statistic was used to evaluate homogeneity and Begg’s test was used to assess publication bias.
Eight studies were finally included in the meta-analysis of the association between 5-HTR2A gene variants (including 102T/C and 1438G/A), 5-HTT gene polymorphisms (including 5-HTT gene-linked promoter region (5-HTTLRP), and serotonin transporter intron 2 variable number tandem repeat (STin2VNTR) and OSAS risk. The G allele of 5-HTR2A 1438G/A, long 5-HTTLPR, and 10-tandem-repeats STin2VNTR were shown to increase OSAS susceptibility, with ORs of 2.33 (A vs. G, 95% CI 1.48–3.66), 1.24 (L vs. S, 95% CI: 1.04–1.49), and 2.87 (10 vs. 12, 95% CI: 1.38–5.97), respectively. These significant differences were determined in both dominant and recessive models. Of the 5-HTR2A 1438G/A gene polymorphism, the AA genotype increased the OSAS risk, with an OR of 4.21 (95% CI: 2.83–6.25) in a recessive model in male OSAS patients, but no significant association was found in females.
Our meta-analysis demonstrated that polymorphisms in the 5-HTR2A 1438G/A and 5-HTT genes contributed to susceptibility to OSAS. The A allele of the 1438G/A gene polymorphism is predominantly distributed in males and increased the OSAS risk significantly.
Recent animal study and clinical trial data suggested that remote limb ischemic postconditioning (RIPostC) can invoke potent cardioprotection. However, during ischemia reperfusion injury (IR), the effect and mechanism of RIPostC on myocardium in subjects with or without diabetes mellitus (DM) are poorly understood. Autophagy plays a crucial role in alleviating myocardial IR injury. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of RIPostC on mice myocardial IR injury model with or without DM, and investigate the role of autophagy in this process.
Methodology and Results
Streptozocin (STZ) induced DM mice model and myocardial IR model were established. Using a noninvasive technique, RIPostC was induced in normal mice (ND) and DM mice by three cycles of ischemia (5 min) and reperfusion (5 min) in the left hindlimb. In ND group, RIPostC significantly reduced infarct size (32.6±3.0% in ND-RIPostC vs. 50.6±2.4% in ND-IR, p<0.05) and improved cardiac ejection fraction (49.70±3.46% in ND-RIPostC vs. 31.30±3.95% in ND-IR, p<0.05). However, in DM group, no RIPostC mediated cardioprotetion effect was observed. To analyze the role of autophagy, western blot and immunohistochemistry was performed. Our data showed that a decreased sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1/p62) level, an increased Beclin-1 level, and higher ratio of LC3-II/LC3-I were observed in ND RIPostC group, but not DM RIPostC group.
The current study suggested that RIPostC exerts cardioprotection effect on IR in normal mice, but not DM mice, and this difference is via, at least in part, the up-regulation of autophagy.
A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the second intron of human TERT (hTERT), rs2736100, acts as a critical factor in hTERT synthesis and activation. The rs2736100 SNP was found to be associated with susceptibility to many cancers. Recently, inhibition of telomerase and marked telomere shortening were determined to be closely associated with the increasing severity of atherosclerosis. The association between the SNP of rs2736100 and the presence of atherosclerosis was evaluated in 84 atherosclerosis patients and 257 healthy controls using multivariate logistic regression analyses. The proportion of the GG genotype in atherosclerosis patients (17.9%) was significantly higher than in the control group (9.7%). Eight variables, including age, gender, cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, homocysteine, total bilirubin, indirect bilirubin, and rs2736100 GG genotype, were associated with atherosclerosis with odds ratios of 1.88, 2.11, 1.66, 0.23, 1.27, 1.29, 1.53, and 1.74, respectively, using multivariate logistic regression analyses. Homozygous GG was demonstrated to be associated with the presence of atherosclerosis in our population.
The transcription factor PAX6 is primarily expressed in embryos. PAX6 is also expressed in several tumors and plays an oncogenic role. However, little is known about the role of PAX6 in lung cancer.
The function of PAX6 in lung cancer cells was evaluated by small interfering RNA-mediated depletion of the protein followed by analyses of cell proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, and cell cycle arrest. The changes of cyclin D1, pRB, ERK1/2, p38 expression caused by PAX6 inhibition were detected using western-blotting. The PAX6 mRNA level in 52 pairs of tumors and corresponding matched adjacent normal tissues from non-small cell lung cancer patients and lung cancer cell lines was detected by real-time PCR.
Suppression of PAX6 expression inhibited cell growth and colony formation in A549 and H1299 cells. The percentage of cells in G1-phase increased when PAX6 expression was inhibited. The cyclin D1 protein level, as well as the pRB phosphorylation level, decreased as a result of PAX6 down-regulation. The activity of ERK1/2 and p38 was also suppressed in PAX6 knock-down cells. The PAX6 mRNA was highly expressed in lung cancer tissue and lung cancer cell lines. In most patients (about 65%), the relative ratio of PAX6 mRNA in primary NSCLC versus adjacent tissues exceeded 100.
Our data implicated that PAX6 accelerates cell cycle progression by activating MAPK signal pathway. PAX6 mRNA levels were significantly elevated in primary lung cancer tissues compared to their matched adjacent tissues.
Enabling accurate analysis of social network data while preserving differential privacy has been challenging since graph features such as clustering coefficient or modularity often have high sensitivity, which is different from traditional aggregate functions (e.g., count and sum) on tabular data. In this paper, we treat a graph statistics as a function f and develop a divide and conquer approach to enforce differential privacy. The basic procedure of this approach is to first decompose the target computation f into several less complex unit computations f1, …, fm connected by basic mathematical operations (e.g., addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), then perturb the output of each fi with Laplace noise derived from its own sensitivity value and the distributed privacy threshold εi, and finally combine those perturbed fi as the perturbed output of computation f. We examine how various operations affect the accuracy of complex computations. When unit computations have large global sensitivity values, we enforce the differential privacy by calibrating noise based on the smooth sensitivity, rather than the global sensitivity. By doing this, we achieve the strict differential privacy guarantee with smaller magnitude noise. We illustrate our approach by using clustering coefficient, which is a popular statistics used in social network analysis. Empirical evaluations on five real social networks and various synthetic graphs generated from three random graph models show the developed divide and conquer approach outperforms the direct approach.
To investigate whether uric acid (UA) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular (CV) and all-cause mortality in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients after controlling for recognized CV risk factors.
A total of 2264 patients on chronic PD were collected from seven centers affiliated with the Socioeconomic Status on the Outcome of Peritoneal Dialysis (SSOP) Study. All demographic and laboratory data were recorded at baseline. Multivariate Cox regression was used to calculate the hazard ratio (HR) of CV and all-cause mortality with adjustments for recognized traditional and uremia-related CV factors.
There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between patients with (n = 2193) and without (n = 71) UA measured. Each 1 mg/dL of increase in UA was associated with higher all-cause mortality with 1.05(1.00∼1.10) of HR and higher CV mortality with 1.12 (1.05∼1.20) of HR after adjusting for age, gender and center size. The highest gender-specific tertile of UA predicted higher all-cause mortality with 1.23(1.00∼1.52) of HR and higher CV mortality with 1.69 (1.21∼2.38) of HR after adjusting for age, gender and center size. The predictive value of UA was stronger in patients younger than 65 years without CV disease or diabetes at baseline. The prognostic value of UA as both continuous and categorical variable weakened or disappeared after further adjusted for uremia-related and traditional CV risk factors.
The prognostic value of UA in CV and all-cause mortality was weak in PD patients generally, which was confounded by uremia-related and traditional CV risk factors.
An increase in the availability of data on the influenza A viruses (IAV) has enabled the identification of the potential determinants of IAV host specificity using computational approaches. In this study, we proposed an alternative approach, based on the adjusted Rand index (ARI), for the evaluation of genomic signatures of IAVs and their ability to distinguish hosts they infected. Our experiments showed that the host-specific signatures identified using the ARI were more characteristic of their hosts than those identified using previous measures. Our results provided updates on the host-specific genomic signatures in the internal proteins of the IAV based on the sequence data as of February 2013 in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Unlike other approaches for signature recognition, our approach considered not only the ability of signatures to distinguish hosts (according to the ARI), but also the chronological relationships among proteins. We identified novel signatures that could be mapped to known functional domains, and introduced a chronological analysis to investigate the changes in host-specific genomic signatures over time. Our chronological analytical approach provided results on the adaptive variability of signatures, which correlated with previous studies’ findings, and indicated prospective adaptation trends that warrant further investigation.
Sand pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) russet pericarp is an important trait affecting both the quality and stress tolerance of fruits. This trait is controlled by a relative complex genetic process, with some fundamental biological questions such as how many and which genes are involved in the process remaining elusive. In this study, we explored differentially expressed genes between the russet- and green-pericarp offspring from the sand pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) cv. ‘Qingxiang’ × ‘Cuiguan’ F1 group by RNA-seq-based bulked segregant analysis (BSA). A total of 29,100 unigenes were identified and 206 of which showed significant differences in expression level (log2fold values>1) between the two types of pericarp pools. Gene Ontology (GO) analyses detected 123 unigenes in GO terms related to ‘cellular_component’ and ‘biological_process’, suggesting developmental and growth differentiations between the two types. GO categories associated with various aspects of ‘lipid metabolic processes’, ‘transport’, ‘response to stress’, ‘oxidation-reduction process’ and more were enriched with genes with divergent expressions between the two libraries. Detailed examination of a selected set of these categories revealed repressed expressions of candidate genes for suberin, cutin and wax biosynthesis in the russet pericarps.Genes encoding putative cinnamoyl-CoA reductase (CCR), cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) and peroxidase (POD) that are involved in the lignin biosynthesis were suggested to be candidates for pigmentation of sand pear russet pericarps. Nine differentially expressed genes were analyzed for their expressions using qRT-PCR and the results were consistent with those obtained from Illumina RNA-sequencing. This study provides a comprehensive molecular biology insight into the sand pear pericarp pigmentation and appearance quality formation.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the single and joint associations of maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) with pregnancy outcomes in Tianjin, China.
Between June 2009 and May 2011, health care records of 33,973 pregnant women were collected and their children were measured for birth weight and birth length. The independent and joint associations of prepregnancy BMI and GWG based on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines with the risks of pregnancy and neonatal outcomes were examined by using Logistic Regression.
After adjustment for all confounding factors, maternal prepregnancy BMI was positively associated with risks of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), pregnancy-induced hypertension, caesarean delivery, preterm delivery, large-for-gestational age infant (LGA), and macrosomia, and inversely associated with risks of small-for-gestational age infant (SGA) and low birth weight. Maternal excessive GWG was associated with increased risks of pregnancy-induced hypertension, caesarean delivery, LGA, and macrosomia, and decreased risks of preterm delivery, SGA, and low birth weight. Maternal inadequate GWG was associated with increased risks of preterm delivery and SGA, and decreased risks of LGA and macrosomia, compared with maternal adequate GWG. Women with both prepregnancy obesity and excessive GWG had 2.2–5.9 folds higher risks of GDM, pregnancy-induced hypertension, caesarean delivery, LGA, and macrosomia compared with women with normal prepregnancy BMI and adequate GWG.
Maternal prepregnancy obesity and excessive GWG were associated with greater risks of pregnancy-induced hypertension, caesarean delivery, and greater infant size at birth. Health care providers should inform women to start the pregnancy with a BMI in the normal weight category and limit their GWG to the range specified for their prepregnancy BMI.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) cause serious health problems and have an impact on the Indonesian economy. In addition, the rapid epidemic growth of HIV is continuing in Indonesia. Commercial sex plays a significant role in the spread of HIV; therefore, in order to reveal the current HIV prevalence rate among commercial sex workers (CSWs), we conducted an epidemiological study on HIV infection among CSWs residing in Surabaya, the capital of East Java province of Indonesia with large communities of CSWs.
The prevalence of HIV infection among 200 CSWs was studied. In addition, the subtype of HIV type 1 (HIV-1) and the prevalence of other blood-borne viruses, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and GB virus C (GBV-C), were studied. The prevalence rates of HIV, hepatitis B core antibody, hepatitis B surface antigen, anti-HCV antibodies and anti-GBV-C antibodies were 11%, 64%, 4%, 0.5% and 0% among CSWs involved in this study, respectively. HIV-1 CRF01_AE viral gene fragments were detected in most HIV-positive samples. In addition, most CSWs showed low awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and had unprotected sex with their clients.
The HIV prevalence rate among CSWs was significantly higher than that among the general population in Indonesia (0.2–0.4%). In addition, CSWs were at a high risk of exposure to HBV, although chronic HBV infection was less frequently established. Our results suggest the necessity of efficient prevention programs for HIV and other blood-borne viral infections among CSWs in Surabaya, Indonesia.
While bisphosphonates (BPs) are commonly used in clinical treatment for osteoporosis, their roles on osteoporosis treatment for rheumatic patients remain unclear. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of BPs on fractures prevention and bone mass preserving in rheumatic patients.
We searched PubMed, EmBase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for relevant literatures with a time limit of Jan. 6, 2012. All randomized clinical trials of BPs for adult rheumatic patients with a follow-up of 6 months or more were included. We calculated relative risks (RRs) for fractures and weighted mean difference (WMD) for percent change of bone mineral density (BMD). Twenty trials were included for analysis. The RR in rheumatic patients treated with BPs was 0.61 (95%CI [0.44, 0.83], P = 0.002) for vertebral fractures, and 0.49 (95%CI [0.23, 1.02], P = 0.06) for non-vertebral fractures. The WMD of BMD change in the lumbar spine was 3.72% (95%CI [2.72, 4.72], P<0.001) at 6 months, 3.67% (95%CI [2.84, 4.50], P<0.001) at 12 months, 3.64% (95%CI [2.59, 4.69], P<0.001) at 24 months, and 5.87% (95%CI [4.59, 7.15], P<0.001) at 36 months in patients using BPs, as compared with those treated with calcium, vitamin D or calcitonin. In subgroup analyses, rheumatic patients using BPs for osteoporosis prevention had greater WMD than those using BPs for treating osteoporosis at 6 months (4.53% vs. 2.73%, P = 0.05) and 12 months (4.93% vs. 2.91%, P = 0.01).
In both short-term and middle-term, BPs can preserve bone mass and reduce the incidence of vertebral fractures in rheumatic patients, mainly for those who have GC consumption. The efficacy of BPs is better when using BPs to prevent rather than to treat osteoporosis in rheumatic patients.
Infection caused by noroviruses (NoVs) is one of the most important causes of acute gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. To gain insight into the epidemiology of and genetic variation in NoV strains, stool samples collected from 18 outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in Huzhou, China, between January 2008 and December 2012 were analyzed. Samples were tested for NoVs by real-time RT-PCR. Partial sequences of the RNA- dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and capsid gene of the positive samples were amplified by RT-PCR, and the PCR products were sequenced and used for phylogenetic analysis. NoVs were found to be responsible of 88.8% of all nonbacterial acute gastroenteritis outbreaks in Huzhou over the last 5 years. Genogroup II outbreaks largely predominated and represented 93% of all outbreaks. A variety of genotypes were found among genogroups I and II, including GI.4, GI.8, GII.4, and GII.b. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses identified two recombinant genotypes (polymerase/capsid): GI.2/GI.6 and GII.e/GII.4 2012 Sydney. GII.4 was predominant and involved in 8/10 typed outbreaks. During the study period, GII.4 NoV variants 2006b, New Orleans 2009, and Sydney 2012 were identified. This is the first report of the detection of GII.4 New Orleans 2009 variant, GII.e/GII.4 Sydney 2012 recombinant in outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in China.
Phosphopantetheinyl transferases (PPTases) are essential to the activities of type I/II polyketide synthases (PKSs) and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) through converting acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) in PKSs and peptidyl carrier proteins (PCPs) in NRPSs from inactive apo-forms into active holo-forms, leading to biosynthesis of polyketides and nonribosomal peptides. The industrial natamycin (NTM) producer, Streptomyces chattanoogensis L10, contains two PPTases (SchPPT and SchACPS) and five PKSs. Biochemical characterization of these two PPTases shows that SchPPT catalyzes the phosphopantetheinylation of ACPs in both type I PKSs and type II PKSs, SchACPS catalyzes the phosphopantetheinylation of ACPs in type II PKSs and fatty acid synthases (FASs), and the specificity of SchPPT is possibly controlled by its C terminus. Inactivation of SchPPT in S. chattanoogensis L10 abolished production of NTM but not the spore pigment, while overexpression of the SchPPT gene not only increased NTM production by about 40% but also accelerated productions of both NTM and the spore pigment. Thus, we elucidated a comprehensive phosphopantetheinylation network of PKSs and improved polyketide production by engineering the cognate PPTase in bacteria.
Understanding the molecular changes that drive an acquired antiestrogen resistance phenotype is of major clinical relevance. Previous methodologies for addressing this question have taken a single gene/pathway approach and the resulting gains have been limited in terms of their clinical impact. Recent systems biology approaches allow for the integration of data from high throughput “-omics” technologies. We highlight recent advances in the field of antiestrogen resistance with a focus on transcriptomics, proteomics and methylomics.
Systems biology; breast cancer; estrogens; antiestrogens
We have previously developed a software package called PrimerHunter to design primers for PCR-based virus subtyping. In this study, 9 pairs of primers were designed with PrimerHunter and successfully used to differentiate the 9 neuraminidase (NA) genes of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) in multiple PCR-based assays. Furthermore, primer pools were designed and successfully used to decrease the number of reactions needed for NA subtyping from 9 to 4. The quadruplicate primer-pool method is cost-saving, and was shown to be suitable for the NA subtyping of both cultured AIVs and uncultured AIV swab samples. The primers selected for this study showed excellent sensitivity and specificity in NA subtyping by RT-PCR, SYBR green-based Real-time PCR and Real-time RT-PCR methods. AIV RNA of 2 to 200 copies (varied by NA subtypes) could be detected by these reactions. No unspecific amplification was displayed when detecting RNAs of other avian infectious viruses such as Infectious bronchitis virus, Infectious bursal disease virus and Newcastle disease virus. In summary, this study introduced several sensitive and specific PCR-based assays for NA subtyping of AIVs and also validated again the effectiveness of the PrimerHunter tool for the design of subtyping primers.
In the 1970s, scientists learned of a new pathogen causing non-A, non-B hepatitis. Classical approaches were used to isolate and characterize this new pathogen, but it could be transmitted experimentally only to chimpanzees and progress was slow until the pathogen was identified as hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 1989. Since then, research and treatment of HCV have expanded with the development of modern biological medicine: HCV genome organization and polyprotein processing were delineated in 1993; the first three-dimensional structure of HCV nonstructural protein (NS3 serine protease) was revealed in 1996; an infectious clone of HCV complementary DNA was first constructed in 1997; interferon and ribavirin combination therapy was established in 1998 and the therapeutic strategy gradually optimized; the HCV replicon system was produced in 1999; functional HCV pseudotyped viral particles were described in 2003; and recombinant infectious HCV in tissue culture was produced successfully in 2005. Recently, tremendous advances in HCV receptor discovery, understanding the HCV lifecycle, decryption of the HCV genome and proteins, as well as new anti-HCV compounds have been reported. Because HCV is difficult to isolate and culture, researchers have had to avail themselves to the best of modern biomedical technology; some of the major achievements in HCV research have not only advanced the understanding of HCV but also promoted knowledge of virology and cellular physiology. In this review, we summarize the advancements and remaining scotomas in the molecular virology and epidemiology of HCV.
Hepatitis C virus; Hepatitis C virus lifecycle; Molecular virology; Hepatitis C virus models; Epidemiology
6-(cyclohexylmethyl)-5-ethyl-2-((2-oxo-2-phenylethyl)thio)pyrimidin-4(3H)-one (DB-02) is a member of the newly reported synthetic anti-HIV-1 compounds dihydro-aryl/alkylsulfanyl-cyclohexylmethyl-oxopyrimidines, S-DACOs. In vitro anti-HIV-1 activity and resistance profile studies have suggested that DB-02 has very low cytotoxicity (CC50>1mM) to cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). It displays potent anti-HIV-1 activity against laboratory adapted strains and primary isolated strains including different subtypes and tropism strains (EC50s range from 2.40 to 41.8 nM). Studies on site-directed mutagenesis, genotypic resistance profiles revealed that V106A was the major resistance contributor for the compound. Molecular docking analysis showed that DB-02 located in the hydrophobic pocket with interactions of Lys101, Val106, Leu234, His235. DB-02 also showed non-antagonistic effects to four approved antiretroviral drugs. All studies indicated that DB-02 would be a potential NNRTI with low cytotoxicity and improved activity.
Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) are widespread in China. Presently, IDD have been put under control by Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) in China; however, there is a lack of evidence on whether the iodine status in adults, pregnant women and lactating women is optimal. This study was therefore conducted to assess the iodine nutrition and thyroid function of children, adults, pregnant women and lactating women residing in areas where the USI program is fully established.
Six areas were selected according to the geographical regions in China. In each of these areas, we selected 4 distinct groups of subjects (children, adults, pregnant women and lactating women) in regions where the coverage rate of iodised salt was more than 95% and the levels of iodine and fluoride in drinking water were less than or equal to 10 µg/L and 1 mg/L, respectively. We tested the iodine content of salt, urinary iodine (UI), free thyroxin (FT4), thyrotropin (TSH), thyroglobulin (Tg), thyroglobulin antibody (Tg-Ab) and antimicrosomal antibody (TM-Ab) in the 4 groups, and examined the thyroid volume in children.
The median urinary iodine (MUI) concentrations were 271.4 μg/L, 260.2 μg/L, 205.9 μg/L and 193.9 μg/L in children, adults, pregnant women and lactating women, respectively; MUI in children and adults were more than adequate. The goitre prevalence (GP) in children was 6.70%. The odds ratios (OR) of subclinical hypothyroidism in the Tg-Ab- or TM-Ab-positive groups were 3.80, 7.65, 2.01 and 7.47 for children, adults, pregnant women and lactating women, respectively, compared with the negative groups.
The iodine status in children and adults is above the requirement, we should reduce their iodine intake. Subclinical hypothyroidism easily occurs in the Tg-Ab or TM-Ab positive groups.
Over the last 15 years, substantial advances have been made in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Little information is available, however, on whether these treatments have resulted in reduced rates of hospitalization and acute exacerbations among COPD patients. This retrospective cohort study examined changes in hospitalization rates among Medicare beneficiaries with COPD from 1999 to 2008.
We analyzed data from 424,418 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries enrolled between 1999 and 2008 who were diagnosed with COPD. We examined temporal changes in the frequency of hospitalization and acute exacerbations among Medicare beneficiaries with COPD.
Over the 10-year study period, the hospitalization rates for COPD patients—adjusted for age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, region, and number of comorbidities—decreased: from 131 to 107 per 100 person-years for all causes (P < .001); from 58 to 44 per 100 person-years for all respiratory causes (P < .001); and from 73 to 63 per 100 person-years for nonrespiratory causes (P < .001). There was no change in prevalence of COPD in the Medicare population over this time. Additionally, the percentage of COPD patients hospitalized with 2 or more acute exacerbations decreased from 5.5% to 4.3% over the 10-year study period (P < .001).
Between 1999 and 2008, hospitalization rates decreased substantially among Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with COPD.
COPD; Hospitalization; Older adults
A framework of general factors for infectious disease emergence was made operational for Campylobacter utilising explanatory variables including time series and risk factor data. These variables were generated using a combination of empirical epidemiology, case-case and case-control studies, time series analysis, and microbial sub-typing (source attribution, diversity, genetic distance) to unravel the changing/emerging aetiology of human campylobacteriosis. The study focused on Scotland between 1990–2012 where there was a 75% increase in reported cases that included >300% increase in the elderly and 50% decrease in young children. During this period there were three phases 1990–2000 a 75% rise and a 20% fall to 2006, followed by a 19% resurgence. The rise coincided with expansions in the poultry industry, consumption of chicken, and a shift from rural to urban cases. The post-2000 fall occurred across all groups apart from the elderly and coincided with a drop of the prevalence of Campylobacter in chicken and a higher proportion of rural cases. The increase in the elderly was associated with uptake of proton pump inhibitors. During the resurgence the increase was predominantly in adults and the elderly, again there was increasing use of PPIs and high prevalences in chicken and ruminants. Cases associated with foreign travel during the study also increased from 9% to a peak of 16% in 2006 before falling to an estimated 10% in 2011, predominantly in adults and older children. During all three periods source attribution, genetic distance, and diversity measurements placed human isolates most similar to those in chickens. A combination of emergence factors generic for infectious diseases were responsible for the Campylobacter epidemic. It was possible to use these to obtain a putative explanation for the changes in human disease and the potential to make an informed view of how incidence rates may change in the future.
Diabetic patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) have lower survival and are more likely complicated with inflammation than their non-diabetic counterparts. Here, we explored the interaction effects between diabetes and inflammation on the survival of PD patients.
Overall, 2,264 incident patients were enrolled from a retrospective cohort study in China. Patients were grouped according to the baseline levels of high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP, ≤3 mg/L or >3 mg/L) or serum albumin (SA, ≥38 g/L or <38 g/L). Then, several multivariable adjusted stratified Cox regression models were constructed for these groups to explore the predicted role of diabetes on all-cause or cardiovascular death under inflammatory or non-inflammatory conditions.
Diabetics on PD were more likely to have inflammation than non-diabetics on PD, and they presented with elevated hsCRP (52.7% vs. 47.3%, P = 0.03) or decreased SA (77.9% vs. 62.7%, P < 0.001) levels. After stratification by size of center and controlling for confounding factors, diabetes was found to predict all-cause death in patients with hsCRP >3 mg/L or SA <38 g/L but not in patients with hsCRP ≤3 mg/L or SA ≥38 g/L. Similarly, the presence of diabetes was an indication of cardiovascular death in patients with hsCRP >3 mg/L or SA <38 g/L. However, if further adjusted by baseline cardiovascular disease, the predicted role of diabetes on death related to cardiovascular disease in patients with SA <38 g/L disappeared.
Diabetic patients could do as well as non-diabetic patients without inflammation on peritoneal dialysis. Active strategies should be implemented to improve inflammation status in diabetic patients on PD.
Triacylglycerol is used for the production of commodities including food oils and biodiesel fuel. Microalgae can accumulate triacylglycerol under adverse environmental conditions such as nitrogen-starvation. This study explored the possibility of air-drying of green algal cells as a novel and simple protocol for enhancement of their triacylglycerol content. Chlorella kessleri cells were fixed on the surface of a glass fibre filter and then subjected to air-drying with light illumination. The dry cell weight, on a filter, increased by 2.7-fold in 96 h, the corresponding chlorophyll content ranging from 1.0 to 1.3-fold the initial one. Concomitantly, the triacylglycerol content remarkably increased to 70.3 mole% of fatty acids and 15.9% (w/w), relative to total fatty acids and dry cell weight, respectively, like in cells starved of nitrogen. Reduction of the stress of air-drying by placing the glass filter on a filter paper soaked in H2O lowered the fatty acid content of triacylglycerol to 26.4 mole% as to total fatty acids. Moreover, replacement of the H2O with culture medium further decreased the fatty acid content of triacylglycerol to 12.2 mole%. It thus seemed that severe dehydration is required for full induction of triacylglycerol synthesis, and that nutritional depletion as well as dehydration are crucial environmental factors. Meanwhile, air-drying of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells increased the triacylglycerol content to only 37.9 mole% of fatty acids and 4.8% (w/w), relative to total fatty acids and dry cell weight, respectively, and a marked decrease in the chlorophyll content, on a filter, of 33%. Air-drying thus has an impact on triacylglycerol synthesis in C. reinhardtii also, however, the effect is considerably limited, owing probably to instability of the photosynthetic machinery. This air-drying protocol could be useful for the development of a system for industrial production of triacylglycerol with appropriate selection of the algal species.