Previous studies had shown that sagittal spinal and pelvic morphology may be associated with the development and progression of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, but the predictive value of initial spinal and pelvic morphology on the curve progression during brace treatment is unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relation between initial spinopelvic morphology and the risk of curve progression of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with the Milwaukee brace.
Materials and methods
From 2002 to 2007, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (single thoracic curve with apex at or above T8) was treated with the Milwaukee brace in 60 girls. Initial standing, full-length lateral radiographs were made and seven sagittal radiographic parameters of spinal and pelvic alignment were measured. Patients were followed until skeletal maturity or progression of Cobb angle >45°. The progression of curve was defined as an increase of Cobb angle ≥6° at final follow-up or progression to surgery during brace treatment.
The 45 patients (75.0 %) who had successful control of curve progression were initially significantly more skeletally mature (higher mean Risser sign) than the 15 patients (25.0 %) who had curve progression. The initial mean Cobb angle was similar between the stable and progressed groups. The mean pelvic tilt, T1-spinopelvic inclination and T9-spinopelvic inclination angles were significantly greater in the stable group than in the progressed group and these three angles were independent predictors for curve progression during brace treatment. There were no significant differences between the stable and progressed groups in initial mean pelvic incidence, sacral slope, thoracic kyphosis or lumbar lordosis angles. Pre-bracing pelvic tilt ≤−0.5° was strongly predictive and T1-spinopelvic inclination ≤3.5° was moderately predictive of curve progression during the Milwaukee brace treatment.
Initial pelvic tilt and spinopelvic inclination angles may predict the curve progression and treatment outcome of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with the Milwaukee brace.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Spinopelvic morphology; Brace treatment; Curve progression
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a class of ideal technologies that function via anaerobic respiration of electricigens, which bring current generation and environmental restoration together. An in-depth understanding of microbial metabolism is of great importance in engineering microbes to further improve their respiration. We employed flux balance analysis and selected Fe(iii) as a substitute for the electrode to simulate current-generating metabolism of Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA with a fixed acetate uptake rate. Simulation results indicated the fluxes of reactions directing acetate towards dissimilation to generate electrons increased under the suboptimal growth condition, resulting in an increase in the respiration rate and a decrease in the growth rate. The results revealed the competitive relationship between oxidative respiration and cell growth during the metabolism of microbe current generation. The results helped us quantitatively understand why microbes growing slowly have the potential to make good use of fuel in MFCs. At the same time, slow growth does not necessarily result in speedy respiration. Alternative respirations may exist under the same growth state due to redundant pathways in the metabolic network. The big difference between the maximum and minimum respiration mainly results from the total formate secretion. With iterative flux variability analysis, a relatively ideal model of variant of G. sulfurreducens PCA was reconstructed by deleting several enzymes in the wild model, which could reach simultaneous suboptimal growth and maximum respiration. Under this ideal condition, flux towards extracellular electron transfer rather than for biosynthesis is beneficial for the conversion of organic matter to electricity without large accumulations of biomass and electricigens may maximize utilization of limited fuel. Our simulations will provide an insight into the enhanced current-generating mechanism and identify theoretical range of respiration rates for guiding strain improvement in MFCs.
The emergence of superconductivity in the iron pnictide or cuprate high temperature superconductors usually accompanies the suppression of a long-ranged antiferromagnetic (AFM) order state in a corresponding parent compound by doping or pressurizing. A great deal of effort by doping has been made to find superconductivity in Mn-based compounds, which are thought to bridge the gap between the two families of high temperature superconductors, but the AFM order was not successfully suppressed. Here we report the first observations of the pressure-induced elimination of long-ranged AFM order at ~ 34 GPa and a crossover from an AFM insulating to an AFM metallic state at ~ 20 GPa in LaMnPO single crystals that are iso-structural to the LaFeAsO superconductor by in-situ high pressure resistance and ac susceptibility measurements. These findings are of importance to explore potential superconductivity in Mn-based compounds and to shed new light on the underlying mechanism of high temperature superconductivity.
Schistosomiasis, one of the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases, is a life-threatening public health problem in Yemen especially in rural communities. This cross-sectional study aims to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of schistosomiasis among children in rural Yemen.
Urine and faecal samples were collected from 400 children. Urine samples were examined using filtration technique for the presence of Schistosoma haematobium eggs while faecal samples were examined using formalin-ether concentration and Kato Katz techniques for the presence of S. mansoni. Demographic, socioeconomic and environmental information were collected via a validated questionnaire. Overall, 31.8% of the participants were found to be positive for schistosomiasis; 23.8% were infected with S. haematobium and 9.3% were infected with S. mansoni. Moreover, 39.5% of the participants were anaemic whereas 9.5% had hepatosplenomegaly. The prevalence of schistosomiasis was significantly higher among children aged >10 years compared to those aged ≤10 years (P<0.05). Multivariate analysis confirmed that presence of other infected family member (P<0.001), low household monthly income (P = 0.003), using unsafe sources for drinking water (P = 0.003), living nearby stream/spring (P = 0.006) and living nearby pool/pond (P = 0.002) were the key factors significantly associated with schistosomiasis among these children.
This study reveals that schistosomiasis is still highly prevalent in Yemen. These findings support an urgent need to start an integrated, targeted and effective schistosomiasis control programme with a mission to move towards the elimination phase. Besides periodic drug distribution, health education and community mobilisation, provision of clean and safe drinking water, introduction of proper sanitation are imperative among these communities in order to curtail the transmission and morbidity caused by schistosomiasis. Screening and treating other infected family members should also be adopted by the public health authorities in combating this infection in these communities.
Schistosomiasis remains one of the most serious and prevalent diseases worldwide. Despite intensive control efforts by the government and international bodies, schistosomiasis is the second cause of death, after malaria, in Yemen, with an estimated 3 million cases. We screened 400 children in rural areas of five provinces in Yemen for the presence of schistosomiasis. Overall, 31.8% of the children were found to be positive for schistosomiasis; 23.8% were infected by Schistosoma haematobium, and 9.3% were infected by S. mansoni. The study identified the presence of other family members infected with schistosomiasis, low household monthly income, using unsafe water supply as a source for drinking water, living nearby stream/spring and/or pool/pond as the key factors significantly associated with schistosomiasis in these communities. Innovative and integrated control measures to control this infection should be implemented among this population. Periodic school-based and community-based drug distribution, health education, provision of clean and safe drinking water, introduction of proper sanitation will help to reduce the prevalence and morbidity of schistosomiasis among these communities.
Schistosoma japonicum is a parasitic flatworm that causes human schistosomiasis, a significant cause of morbidity in China and the Philippines. Here we present a draft genomic sequence for the worm, which is the first reported for any flatworm, indeed for the superphylum Lophotrochozoa. The genome provides a global insight into the molecular architecture and host interaction of this complex metazoan pathogen, revealing that it can exploit host nutrients, neuroendocrine hormones and signaling pathways for growth, development and maturation. Having a complex nervous system and a well developed sensory system, S. japonicum can accept stimulation of the corresponding ligands as a physiological response to different environments, such as fresh water or the tissues of its intermediate and mammalian hosts. Numerous proteinases, including cercarial elastase, are implicated in mammalian skin penetration and haemoglobin degradation. The genomic information will serve as a valuable platform to facilitate development of new interventions for schistosomiasis control.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as a key group of non-coding RNAs have gained widely attention. Though lncRNAs have been functionally annotated and systematic explored in higher mammals, few are under systematical identification and annotation. Owing to the expression specificity, known lncRNAs expressed in embryonic brain tissues remain still limited. Considering a large number of lncRNAs are only transcribed in brain tissues, studies of lncRNAs in developmental brain are therefore of special interest. Here, publicly available RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data in embryonic brain are integrated to identify thousands of embryonic brain lncRNAs by a customized pipeline. A significant proportion of novel transcripts have not been annotated by available genomic resources. The putative embryonic brain lncRNAs are shorter in length, less spliced and show less conservation than known genes. The expression of putative lncRNAs is in one tenth on average of known coding genes, while comparable with known lncRNAs. From chromatin data, putative embryonic brain lncRNAs are associated with active chromatin marks, comparable with known lncRNAs. Embryonic brain expressed lncRNAs are also indicated to have expression though not evident in adult brain. Gene Ontology analysis of putative embryonic brain lncRNAs suggests that they are associated with brain development. The putative lncRNAs are shown to be related to possible cis-regulatory roles in imprinting even themselves are deemed to be imprinted lncRNAs. Re-analysis of one knockdown data suggests that four regulators are associated with lncRNAs. Taken together, the identification and systematic analysis of putative lncRNAs would provide novel insights into uncharacterized mouse non-coding regions and the relationships with mammalian embryonic brain development.
Cerebral viscoelastic constants can be measured in a noninvasive, image-based way by magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) for the detection of neurological disorders. However, MRE brain maps of viscoelastic constants are still limited by low spatial resolution. Here we introduce three-dimensional multifrequency MRE of the brain combined with a novel reconstruction algorithm based on a model-free multifrequency inversion for calculating spatially resolved viscoelastic parameter maps of the human brain corresponding to the dynamic range of shear oscillations between 30 and 60 Hz. Maps of two viscoelastic parameters, the magnitude and the phase angle of the complex shear modulus, |G*| and φ, were obtained and normalized to group templates of 23 healthy volunteers in the age range of 22 to 72 years. This atlas of the anatomy of brain mechanics reveals a significant contrast in the stiffness parameter |G*| between different anatomical regions such as white matter (WM; 1.252±0.260 kPa), the corpus callosum genu (CCG; 1.104±0.280 kPa), the thalamus (TH; 1.058±0.208 kPa) and the head of the caudate nucleus (HCN; 0.649±0.101 kPa). φ, which is sensitive to the lossy behavior of the tissue, was in the order of CCG (1.011±0.172), TH (1.037±0.173), CN (0.906±0.257) and WM (0.854±0.169). The proposed method provides the first normalized maps of brain viscoelasticity with anatomical details in subcortical regions and provides useful background data for clinical applications of cerebral MRE.
The current investigation aimed to evaluate the transdermal potential of novel testosterone propionate (TP) ethosomes and liposomes prepared by surfactant modification. The effect of hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide and cremophor EL-35 on the particle size and zeta potential of the prepared vesicles was investigated. The entrapment efficiency and stability, as well as in vitro and in vivo skin permeation, were studied with the various techniques, such as differential scanning calorimetry, confocal laser scanning microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and so on. The results indicated that the ethosomes were defined as spherical, unilamellar structures with low polydispersity (0.100 ± 0.015) and nanometric size (156.5 ± 3.5 nm). The entrapment efficiency of TP in ethosomal and liposomal carriers was 92.7% ± 3.7% and 64.7% ± 2.1%, respectively. The stability profile of the prepared TP ethosomal system assessed for 120 days revealed very low aggregation and very low growth in vesicular size. TP ethosomes also provided an enhanced transdermal flux of 37.85 ± 2.8 μg/cm2/hour and a decreased lag time of 0.18 hours across mouse skin. The skin permeation efficiency of the TP ethosomes as further assessed by confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed enhanced permeation of rhodamine red-loaded formulations to the deeper layers of the skin (260 μm) than that of the liposomal formation (120 μm).
Testosterone propionate; surfactant-modified ethosomes; liposomes; confocal laser scanning microscopy
An important challenge in drug discovery and disease prognosis is to predict genes that are preferentially expressed in one or a few tissues, i.e. showing a considerably higher expression in one tissue(s) compared to the others. Although several data sources and methods have been published explicitly for this purpose, they often disagree and it is not evident how to retrieve these genes and how to distinguish true biological findings from those that are due to choice-of-method and/or experimental settings. In this work we have developed a computational approach that combines results from multiple methods and datasets with the aim to eliminate method/study-specific biases and to improve the predictability of preferentially expressed human genes. A rule-based score is used to merge and assign support to the results. Five sets of genes with known tissue specificity were used for parameter pruning and cross-validation. In total we identify 3434 tissue-specific genes. We compare the genes of highest scores with the public databases: PaGenBase (microarray), TiGER (EST) and HPA (protein expression data). The results have 85% overlap to PaGenBase, 71% to TiGER and only 28% to HPA. 99% of our predictions have support from at least one of these databases. Our approach also performs better than any of the databases on identifying drug targets and biomarkers with known tissue-specificity.
The epidemic of H7N9 bird flu in eastern China in early 2013 has caused much attention from researchers as well as public health workers. The issue on modeling the transmission risks is very interesting topic. In this article, this issue is debated and discussed in order to promote further researches on prediction and prevention of avian influenza viruses supported by better interdisciplinary datasets from the surveillance and response system.
H7N9; Bird flu; Transmission; Modeling; Priorities
The discovery of cell free fetal DNA (cff-DNA) in maternal plasma has brought new insight for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. Combining with the rapidly developed massively parallel sequencing technology, noninvasive prenatal detection of chromosome aneuploidy and single base variation has been successfully validated. However, few studies discussed the possibility of noninvasive pathogenic CNVs detection.
A novel algorithm for noninvasive prenatal detection of fetal pathogenic CNVs was firstly tested in 5 pairs of parents with heterozygote α-thalassemia of Southeast Asian (SEA) deletion using target region capture sequencing for maternal plasma. Capture probes were designed for α-globin (HBA) and β-globin (HBB) gene, as well as 4,525 SNPs selected from 22 automatic chromosomes. Mixed adaptors with 384 different barcodes were employed to construct maternal plasma DNA library for massively parallel sequencing. The signal of fetal CNVs was calculated using the relative copy ratio (RCR) of maternal plasma combined with the analysis of R-score and L-score by comparing with normal control. With mean of 101.93× maternal plasma sequencing depth for the target region, the RCR value combined with further R-score and L-score analysis showed a possible homozygous deletion in the HBA gene region for one fetus, heterozygous deletion for two fetus and normal for the other two fetus, which was consistent with that of invasive prenatal diagnosis.
Our study showed the feasibility to detect pathogenic CNVs using target region capture sequencing, which might greatly extend the scope of noninvasive prenatal diagnosis.
Many published data on the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ESR1 gene and prostate cancer susceptibility are inconclusive. The aim of this Human Genome Epidemiology (HuGE) review and meta-analysis is to derive a more precise estimation of this relationship.
A literature search of PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and Chinese Biomedical (CBM) databases was conducted from their inception through July 1st, 2012. Crude odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to assess the strength of association.
Twelve case-control studies were included with a total 2,165 prostate cancer cases and 3,361 healthy controls. When all the eligible studies were pooled into the meta-analysis, ESR1 PvuII (C>T) and XbaI (A>G) polymorphisms showed no association with the risk of prostate cancer. However, in the stratified analyses based on ethnicity and country, the results indicated that ESR1 PvuII (C>T) polymorphism was significantly associated with increased risk of prostate cancer among Asian populations, especially among Indian population; while ESR1 XbaI (A>G) polymorphism may significantly increase the risk of prostate cancer among American population. Furthermore, we also performed a pooled analysis for all eligible case-control studies to explore the role of codon 10 (T>C), codon 325 (C>G), codon 594 (G>A) and +261G>C polymorphisms in prostate cancer risk. Nevertheless, no significant associations between these polymorphisms and the risk of prostate cancer were observed.
Results from the current meta-analysis indicate that ESR1 PvuII (C>T) polymorphism may be a risk factor for prostate cancer among Asian populations, especially among Indian population; while ESR1 XbaI (A>G) polymorphism may increase the risk of prostate cancer among American population.
Currently very few noninvasive molecular genetic approaches are available to determine zygosity for twin pregnancies in clinical laboratories. This study aimed to develop a novel method to determine zygosity by using maternal plasma target region sequencing.
We constructed a statistic model to calculate the possibility of each zygosity type using likelihood ratios (Li) and empirical dynamic thresholds targeting at 4,524 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) loci on 22 autosomes. Then two dizygotic (DZ) twin pregnancies,two monozygotic (MZ) twin pregnancies and two singletons were recruited to evaluate the performance of our novel method. Finally we estimated the sensitivity and specificity of the model in silico under different cell-free fetal DNA (cff-DNA) concentration and sequence depth.
We obtained 8.90 Gbp sequencing data on average for six clinical samples. Two samples were classified as DZ with L values of 1.891 and 1.554, higher than the dynamic DZ cut-off values of 1.162 and 1.172, respectively. Another two samples were judged as MZ with 0.763 and 0.784 of L values, lower than the MZ cut-off values of 0.903 and 0.918. And the rest two singleton samples were regarded as MZ twins, with L values of 0.639 and 0.757, lower than the MZ cut-off values of 0.921 and 0.799. In silico, the estimated sensitivity of our noninvasive zygosity determination was 99.90% under 10% total cff-DNA concentration with 2 Gbp sequence data. As the cff-DNA concentration increased to 15%, the specificity was as high as 97% with 3.50 Gbp sequence data, much higher than 80% with 10% cff-DNA concentration.
This study presents the feasibility to noninvasively determine zygosity of twin pregnancy using target region sequencing, and illustrates the sensitivity and specificity under various detecting condition. Our method can act as an alternative approach for zygosity determination of twin pregnancies in clinical practice.
Background and Aims
Coordination of sugar transport and metabolism between developing seeds and their enclosing fruit tissues is little understood. In this study the physiological mechanism is examined using two genotypes of asparagus bean (Vigna unguiculata ssp. sesquipedialis) differing in pod wall and seed growth rates. Pod growth dominates over seed growth in genotype ‘Zhijiang 121’ but not in ‘Zhijiang 282’ in which a ‘bulging pod’ phenotype is apparent from 8 d post-anthesis (dpa) onward.
Seed and pod wall growth rates and degree of pod-bulging were measured in the two genotypes together with assays of activities of sucrose-degrading enzymes and sugar content in pod wall and seed and evaluation of cellular pathways of phloem unloading in seed coat using a symplasmic fluorescent dye, 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (CF).
Activities of cell wall, cytoplasmic and vacuolar invertases (CWIN, CIN and VIN) were significantly smaller in pod walls of ‘282’ than in ‘121’ at 10 dpa onwards. Low INV activities were associated with weak pod wall growth of ‘282’. In seed coats, CF was confined within the vasculature in ‘282’ but moved beyond the vasculature in ‘121’, indicating apoplasmic and symplasmic phloem unloading, respectively. Higher CWIN activity in ‘282’ seed coats at 6–8 dpa correlated with high hexose concentration in embryos and enhanced early seed growth. However, CWIN activity in ‘282’ decreased significantly compared with ‘121’ from 10 dpa onwards, coinciding with earlier commencement of nuclei endoreduplication in their embryos.
The study shows genotypic differences between ‘bulging pod’ and ‘non-bulging’ phenotypes of asparagus bean in sucrose metabolism in relation to the pathway of phloem unloading in developing seed coats, and to pod and seed growth. Low INV activity in pod wall corresponds to its shortened and weak growth period; by contrast, the apoplasmic path in the seed coat is associated with high CWIN activity and strong early seed growth.
Asparagus bean; Vigna unguiculata ssp. sesquipedialis; fruit; invertase; phloem unloading; seed; sucrose metabolism
The Gβγ heterodimer is an important signal transducer. Gβ, however, is prone to misfolding due to its requirement for Gγ and chaperones for proper folding. How cells dispose of misfolded Gβ (mfGβ) is not clear. Here, we showed that mfGβ was able to be polyubiquitinated and subsequently degraded by the proteasome. It was sequestered in aggresomes after the inhibition of the proteasome activity with MG132. Sustained activation of Gβγ signaling further elevated cellular levels of the ubiquitinated Gβ. Moreover, Nudel, a regulator of cytoplasmic dynein, the microtubule minus end-directed motor, directly interacted with both the unubiquitinated and ubiquitinated mfGβ. Increasing the levels of both mfGβ and Nudel promoted the association of Gβ with both Nudel and dynein, resulting in robust aggresome formation in a dynein-dependent manner. Depletion of Nudel by RNAi reduced the dynein-associated mfGβ, impaired the MG132-induced aggresome formation, and markedly prolonged the half-life of nascent Gβ. Therefore, cytosolic mfGβ is recruited to dynein by Nudel and transported to the centrosome for rapid sequestration and degradation. Such a process not only eliminates mfGβ efficiently for the control of protein quality, but may also help to terminate the Gβγ signaling.
protein degradation; dynein-mediated transport; Gβ; protein misfolding; signaling
Schistosomiasis japonica, caused by infection with Schistosoma japonicum, is still recognized as a major public health problem in the Peoples’ Republic of China. Mathematical modelling of schistosomiasis transmission has been undertaken in order to assess and project the effects of various control strategies for elimination of the disease. Seasonal fluctuations in transmission may have the potential to impact on the population dynamics of schistosomiasis, yet no model of S. japonicum has considered such effects. In this paper, we characterize the transmission dynamics of S. japonicum using a modified version of Barbour’s model to account for seasonal variation (SV), and investigate the effectiveness of the control strategy adopted in Liaonan village of Xingzi county, Jiangxi Province.
We use mathematical tools for stability analysis of periodic systems and derive expressions for the basic reproduction ratio of S. japonicum in humans; we parameterise such expressions with surveillance data to investigate the conditions for persistence or elimination of the disease in the study village. We perform numerical simulations and parametric sensitivity analysis to understand local transmission conditions and compare values of the basic reproductive ratio with and without seasonal fluctuations.
The explicit formula of the basic reproduction ratio for the SV-modified Barbour’s model is derived. Results show that the value of the basic reproduction ratio, R0, of Liaonan village, Xingzi county is located between 1.064 and 1.066 (very close to 1), for schistosomiasis transmission during 2006 to 2010, after intensification of control efforts.
Our modified version of the Barbour model to account for seasonal fluctuations in transmission has the potential to provide better estimations of infection risk than previous models. Ignoring seasonality tends to underestimate R0 values albeit only marginally. In the absence of simultaneous R0 estimations for villages not under control interventions (such villages do not currently exist in China), it is difficult to assess whether control strategies have had a substantial impact on levels of transmission, as the parasite population would still be able to maintain itself at an endemic level, highlighting the difficulties faced by elimination efforts.
Schistosoma japonicum; Mathematical model; Prevalence; Basic reproduction ratio; Parameter estimation; Schistosomiasis elimination; People’s Republic of China
In view of the rapid geographic spread and the increasing number of confirmed cases of novel influenza A(H7N9) virus infections in eastern China, we developed a diffusion model to spatiotemporally characterize the impacts of bird migration and poultry distribution on the geographic spread of H7N9 infection.
Three types of infection risks were estimated for 12 weeks, from February 4 to April 28, 2013, including (i) the risk caused by bird migration, (ii) the risk caused by poultry distribution, and (iii) the integrated risk caused by both bird migration and poultry distribution. To achieve this, we first developed a method for estimating the likelihood of bird migration based on available environmental and meteorological data. Then, we adopted a computational mobility model to estimate poultry distribution based on annual poultry production and consumption of each province/municipality. Finally, the spatiotemporal risk maps were created based on the integrated impacts of both bird migration and poultry distribution.
In the study of risk estimation caused by bird migration, the likelihood matrix was estimated based on the 7-day temperature, from February 4 to April 28, 2013. It was found the estimated migrant birds mainly appear in the southeastern provinces of Zhejiang, Shanghai and Jiangsu during Weeks 1 to 4, and Week 6, followed by appearing in central eastern provinces of Shandong, Hebei, Beijing, and Tianjin during Weeks 7 to 9, and finally in northeastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang during Weeks 10 to 12.
In the study of risk caused by poultry distribution, poultry distribution matrix was created to show the probability of poultry distribution. In spite of the fact that the majority of the initial infections were reported in Shanghai and Jiangsu, the relative risk of H7N9 infection estimated based on the poultry distribution model predicted that Jiangsu may have a slightly higher likelihood of H7N9 infection than those in Zhejiang and Shanghai, if we only take the probability of poultry distribution into consideration.
In the study of integrated risk caused by both bird migration and poultry distribution, the higher risk in southeastern provinces occurred during the first 8 weeks, and that in central eastern provinces appeared during Weeks 8 to 12, and that in northeastern provinces since Week 12. Therefore, it is necessary to regulate the poultry markets as long as the poultry-to-poultry transmission is not so well understood.
With reference to the reported infection cases, the demonstrated risk mapping results will provide guidance in active surveillance and control of human H7N9 infections by taking intensive intervention in poultry markets.
Water-related parasitic diseases are directly dependent on water bodies for their spread or as a habitat for indispensable intermediate or final hosts. Along with socioeconomic development and improvement of sanitation, overall prevalence is declining in the China. However, the heterogeneity in economic development and the inequity of access to public services result in considerable burden due to parasitic diseases in certain areas and populations across the country. In this review, we demonstrated three aspects of ten major water-related parasitic diseases, i.e., the biology and pathogenicity, epidemiology and recent advances in research in China. General measures for diseases control and special control strategies are summarized.
parasitic disease; water; protozoa; helminths; epidemiology; China
This study explored the effects of a classical Chinese medicine formula- Xiao-Chai-Hu Tang(XCHT) on the model mice with D-galactosamine -induced liver injury. Sixty male imprinting control region (ICR) mice were used in the present study, and they were separated randomly into 6 groups: a normal control group (Group A, n=10), a model control (Group B, n=10), a positive control (Group C, n=10), a low dose of XCHT group (Group D, n=10), a medium dose of XCHT group (Group E, n=10), and a high dose of XCHT group (Group F, n=10). ELISA was used to detect the IL-6 and TNF-α levels in the serum. Real-time PCR was performed to assess the expression of FasmRNA, Fas-LmRNA, Bcl-2mRNA of the liver tissues. Western blotting was used to detect the Bax protein expression of the liver tissues. The serum IL-6 and TNF-α levels of Group B were significantly higher than the other groups (P<0.05). The expression of Fas mRNA, Fas-LmRNA, and Bax protein of the liver tissues of Group B were significantly higher than those of the other groups (P<0.05). The expression of Bcl-2 mRNA of the liver tissues of Group B was significantly lower than other groups (P<0.05). Both of XCHT and biphenyl dicarboxylate significantly decreased the serum IL-6 and TNF-α levels and FasmRNA, FasLmRNA, Bax protein expression and increased the Bcl-2 mRNA expression of the liver tissues of model mice (P<0.05). It may be through decreasing the serum IL-6 and TNF-α levels and FasmRNA, FasLmRNA, Bax protein expression and increasing the Bcl-2 mRNA expression of the liver tissues that XCHT significantly relieved the D-galactosamine -induced liver injury.
Chinese medicine formula; Xiao-Chai-Hu Tang(XCHT); Liver injury
Traditional medicines have become the most productive source of leads for drugs development, particularly as anti-cancer agents. Various screening approaches are being applied. Sorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor, is used to treat primary kidney cancer (advanced renal cell carcinoma) and advanced primary liver cancer. A small library of compounds analogous to sorafenib were designed and screened for the treatment of liver cancer. Multiple members of the family in an assay panel of tyrosine kinase family and serine/threonine-protein kinase family, including VEGFR, Abl, Aurora A, p 38, Lck, Src, PDGFR, Flt3, c-RAF, c-KIT, MEK(MAPKK) were selected to test these compounds. Analysis of the selectivity patterns for these compounds shows specificity for many kinase families. IC50 were measured for the selected compounds. Multiple compounds have very similar kinase inhibition profiles of VEGFR, Flt3, FGFR to that of sorafenib. The IC50 of c-RAF of BB1 is lower than sorafenib. The IC50 of c-RAF of BB3–12 is higher than that of sorafenib. For Flt3, IC50 of BB1–4 is less than sorafenib. The IC50 value of KDR of BB1–10 is less than sorafenib. especially against c-RAF, PDGFR, c-KIT, KDR compared to sorafenib. These compounds are potent Raf1 and Flt4 kinase inhibitors.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors; Serine/threonine-protein kinase inhibitors; Sorafenib; Clinical hepatotoxicity
Regeneration of periodontal tissue is the most promising method for restoring periodontal structures. To find a suitable bioactive three-dimensional scaffold promoting cell proliferation and differentiation is critical in periodontal tissue engineering. The objective of this study was to evaluate the biocompatibility of a novel porcine acellular dermal matrix as periodontal tissue scaffolds both in vitro and in vivo. The scaffolds in this study were purified porcine acellular dermal matrix (PADM) and hydroxyapatite-treated PADM (HA-PADM). The biodegradation patterns of the scaffolds were evaluated in vitro. The biocompatibility of the scaffolds in vivo was assessed by implanting them into the sacrospinal muscle of 20 New Zealand white rabbits. The hPDL cells were cultured with PADM or HA-PADM scaffolds for 3, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Cell viability assay, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy were used to evaluate the biocompatibility of the scaffolds. In vitro, both PADM and HA-PADM scaffolds displayed appropriate biodegradation pattern, and also, demonstrated favorable tissue compatibility without tissue necrosis, fibrosis and other abnormal response. The absorbance readings of the WST-1 assay were increased with the time course, suggesting the cell proliferation in the scaffolds. The hPDL cells attaching, spreading and morphology on the surface of the scaffold were visualized by SEM, H&E staining, immnuohistochemistry and confocal microscopy, demonstrated that hPDL cells were able to grow into the HA-PADM scaffolds and the amount of cells were growing up in the course of time. This study proved that HA-PADM scaffold had good biocompatibility in animals in vivo and appropriate biodegrading characteristics in vitro. The hPDL cells were able to proliferate and migrate into the scaffold. These observations may suggest that HA-PADM scaffold is a potential cell carrier for periodontal tissue regeneration.
periodontal ligament cells; periodontal regeneration; porcine acellular dermal matrix; scaffold; tissue engineering
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common form of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy that leads to heart failure. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are under active investigation currently as a potential therapy for DCM. However, little information is available about the therapeutic potential of intravenous administration of MSCs for DCM. Moreover, how MSCs home to the myocardium in DCM is also unclear. DCM was induced by intraperitoneally administering Doxorubicin and MSCs or vehicles were infused through the internal jugular vein. Cardiac functions including the percentage of fractional shortening, left ventricular diastolic dimension, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, and left ventricular maximum dp/dt were evaluated by echocardiographic and hemodynamic studies. Fibrosis was determined by Masson’s trichrome staining. The mRNA expression levels of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α), and monocyte chemotactic protein-3 (MCP-3) were determined using real time polymerase chain reactions and the protein expression level of MCP-1 was detected with Western blot. The MSCs expression of C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2), a MCP-1 receptor, was confirmed by Western blot and flow cytometry analysis. The chemotactic effects of MCP-1/CCR2 were checked by assessing the migration in vitro and in vivo. MSCs transplantation improved the cardiac function and decreased the myocardial fibrosis of mice with DCM. MCP-1 was up-regulated in dilated myocardial tissue both at the mRNA and protein level while SDF-1, MIP-1α and MCP-3 remain unchanged. CCR2 was present in MSCs. MCP-1 promoted MSCs migration in vitro while CCR2 inhibition decreased the migration of MCP-1 to the dilated heart. This study provides direct evidences that peripheral intravenous infusion of MSCs can support the functional recovery of DCM. In addition, novel insights into the myocardial homing factor of MSCs in DCM are presented. Modulation of MCP-1/CCR2 signaling system might be a novel therapeutic strategy for DCM.
monocyte chemotactic protein-1; mesenchymal stem cells; dilated cardiomyopathy; myocardial; homing
The transmission of schistosomiasis japonica in a local setting is still poorly understood in the lake regions of the People's Republic of China (P. R. China), and its transmission patterns are closely related to human, social and economic factors.
We aimed to apply the integrated approach of artificial neural network (ANN) and logistic regression model in assessment of transmission risks of Schistosoma japonicum with epidemiological data collected from 2339 villagers from 1247 households in six villages of Jiangling County, P.R. China. By using the back-propagation (BP) of the ANN model, 16 factors out of 27 factors were screened, and the top five factors ranked by the absolute value of mean impact value (MIV) were mainly related to human behavior, i.e. integration of water contact history and infection history, family with past infection, history of water contact, infection history, and infection times. The top five factors screened by the logistic regression model were mainly related to the social economics, i.e. village level, economic conditions of family, age group, education level, and infection times. The risk of human infection with S. japonicum is higher in the population who are at age 15 or younger, or with lower education, or with the higher infection rate of the village, or with poor family, and in the population with more than one time to be infected.
Both BP artificial neural network and logistic regression model established in a small scale suggested that individual behavior and socioeconomic status are the most important risk factors in the transmission of schistosomiasis japonica. It was reviewed that the young population (≤15) in higher-risk areas was the main target to be intervened for the disease transmission control.
Schistosomiasis japonica is one of the serious infectious diseases causing problems in public health in People's Republic of China (P.R. China). The prevalence of schistosomiasis japonica is easily rebounding in the lake regions due to unique environmental settings. By considering the importance in assessing the risk factors for transmission of schistosomiasis, we conducted an epidemiologic investigation of schistosomiasis in Jiangling County, a lake region of P.R. China. Results showed that the top risk factors included integration of water contact history and infection history, infection times, main lifestyle of water contact, main recreation of water contact, etc., illustrated by both back-propagation artificial neural network and multivariable logistic regression approaches. It was found that the population at age 15 or younger having one or two times of infections was the high-risk group in the study settings. We concluded that socioeconomic factors are far more important than environmental factors in the transmission of schistosomiasis at local settings or in a small scale in Jiangling County, P.R. China.
Renal aquaporin-2 (AQP2) is critical for maintaining water balance and is associated with hypertension. Anti-hypertensive drugs, including imidapril, improve kidney function; however, it remains unclear whether these effects are mediated through the regulation of AQP2. In this study, the effects of imidapril on AQP2 expression in the kidneys and excretion in urine were assessed in hypertensive rats. Hypertension was induced in 24 rats, which were randomized into a control group, treated with water only, and an imidapril treatment group (n=12 per group). Blood and urine samples were collected from all rats to determine blood pressure (BP), serum Na+, urine volume and urine osmolality after 8 weeks of treatment. Molecular and immunological techniques were used to measure the expression of AQP2 in the kidneys. Urine AQP2 concentration was detected by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The concentration of plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP), a regulator of AQP2 was detected by radioimmunoassay (RIA). Hypertensive rats treated with imidapril exhibited reduced BP and 24-h urine osmolality, with a concomitant increase in 24-h urine volume, compared with control hypertensive rats (P<0.05). Additionally, the expression of Aqp2 mRNA, detected by RT-PCR, and AQP2 protein, detected by immunohistochemistry and western blotting, in renal tissue significantly decreased (P<0.05). Finally, urine AQP2 concentration increased while plasma AVP concentration decreased following imidapril treatment (P<0.05). These findings indicate that imidapril reduces the expression level of AQP2 in renal tissue and accelerates its excretion.
imidaprilat; hypertensive rats; aquaporin-2; arginine vasopressin
Human alveolar echinococcocosis (AE) is a highly pathogenic zoonotic disease caused by the larval stage of the cestode E. multilocularis. Its life-cycle includes more than 40 species of small mammal intermediate hosts. Therefore, host biodiversity losses could be expected to alter transmission. Climate may also have possible impacts on E. multilocularis egg survival. We examined the distribution of human AE across two spatial scales, (i) for continental China and (ii) over the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. We tested the hypotheses that human disease distribution can be explained by either the biodiversity of small mammal intermediate host species, or by environmental factors such as climate or landscape characteristics.
The distributions of 274 small mammal species were mapped to 967 point locations on a grid covering continental China. Land cover, elevation, monthly rainfall and temperature were mapped using remotely sensed imagery and compared to the distribution of human AE disease at continental scale and over the eastern Tibetan plateau. Infection status of 17,589 people screened by abdominal ultrasound in 2002–2008 in 94 villages of Tibetan areas of western Sichuan and Qinghai provinces was analyzed using generalized additive mixed models and related to epidemiological and environmental covariates. We found that human AE was not directly correlated with small mammal reservoir host species richness, but rather was spatially correlated with landscape features and climate which could confirm and predict human disease hotspots over a 200,000 km2 region.
E. multilocularis transmission and resultant human disease risk was better predicted from landscape features that could support increases of small mammal host species prone to population outbreaks, rather than host species richness. We anticipate that our study may be a starting point for further research wherein landscape management could be used to predict human disease risk and for controlling this zoonotic helminthic.
The loss or gain of certain host species may either dilute or amplify the risk of pathogen and parasite infection through direct or indirect effects. The relative contribution of host communities combined with climate and landscape characteristics on non-vector-borne parasite transmission to humans has been a relatively neglected area of investigation. Here we show that zoonotic transmission of the cestode E. multilocularis in China was not directly correlated with small mammal host species richness, but spatially correlated with alpine meadows, forest characteristics and rainfall that confirmed hotspots of human disease in a 200,000 km2 region of the eastern Tibetan plateau. Our findings indicate more intensive transmission in homogeneous landscapes with larger areas of optimal habitats for one or some host species in low diversity small mammal communities, making multi-annual population outbreaks more likely. Landscape features that could support large population outbreaks of small mammal host species were better predictors of E. multilocularis transmission to humans than indices of host species richness per se. Our results support the notion that landscape, small mammal host biodiversity and their population dynamics may protect humans from zoonotic parasite transmission where they prevent population outbreaks of a few specific small mammal host species.