Coxiella burnetii is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes Q fever in humans. In the present study, 131 candidate peptides were selected from the major immunodominant proteins (MIPs) of C. burnetii due to their high-affinity binding capacity for the MHC class II molecule H2 I-Ab based on bioinformatic analyses. Twenty-two of the candidate peptides with distinct MIP epitopes were well recognized by the IFN-γ recall responses of CD4+ T cells from mice immunized with parental proteins in an ELISPOT assay. In addition, 7 of the 22 peptides could efficiently induce CD4+ T cells from mice immunized with C. burnetii to rapidly proliferate and significantly increase IFN-γ production. Significantly higher levels of IL-2, IL-12p70, IFN-γ, and TNF-α were also detected in serum from mice immunized with a pool of the 7 peptides. Immunization with the pool of 7 peptides, but not the individual peptides, conferred a significant protection against C. burnetii infection in mice, suggesting that these Th1 peptides could work together to efficiently activate CD4+ T cells to produce the Th1-type immune response against C. burnetii infection. These observations could contribute to the rational design of molecular vaccines for Q fever.
Stress responses have been studied extensively in animal models, but effects of major life stress on the human brain remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether survivors of a major earthquake, who were presumed to have experienced extreme emotional stress during the disaster, demonstrate differences in brain anatomy relative to individuals who have not experienced such stressors.
Healthy survivors living in an area devastated by a major earthquake and matched healthy controls underwent 3-dimentional high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Survivors were scanned 13–25 days after the earthquake; controls had undergone MRI for other studies not long before the earthquake. We used optimized voxel-based morphometry analysis to identify regional differences of grey matter volume between the survivors and controls.
We included 44 survivors (17 female, mean age 37 [standard deviation (SD) 10.6] yr) and 38 controls (14 female, mean age 35.3 [SD 11.2] yr) in our analysis. Compared with controls, the survivors showed significantly lower grey matter volume in the bilateral insula, hippocampus, left caudate and putamen, and greater grey matter volume in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex and the parietal lobe (all p < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparison).
Differences in the variance of survivor and control data could impact study findings.
Acute anatomic alterations could be observed in earthquake survivors in brain regions where functional alterations after stress have been described. Anatomic changes in the present study were observed earlier than previously reported and were seen in prefrontal–limbic, parietal and striatal brain systems. Together with the results of previous functional imaging studies, our observations suggest a complex pattern of human brain response to major life stress affecting brain systems that modulate and respond to heightened affective arousal.
Limited research has specifically examined the nature of the dysfunction in emotion categorization representation in schizophrenia. The current study aimed to investigate the perception bias of morphed facial expression in subjects with schizophrenia and healthy controls in the emotion continua. Twenty-eight patients with schizophrenia and thirty-one healthy controls took part in this study. They were administered a standardized set of morphed photographs of facial expressions with varying emotional intensities between 0% and 100% of the emotion, in 10% increments to provide a range of intensities from pleasant to unpleasant and approach to withdraw. Shift points, indicating the time point that the subjects’ emotion identification begins to change, and response slopes, indicating how rapidly these changes have happened at the shift points in the emotion continuum, were measured. Patients exhibited a significantly greater response slope (i.e., patients’ perception changed more rapidly) and greater shift point (i.e., patients still perceived mild expressions of anger as happy faces) with increasing emotion signal compared with healthy controls when the facial expression morphed from happy to angry. Furthermore, patients with schizophrenia still perceived mild expressions of fear as angry faces(a greater shift point) and were less discriminative from angry to fearful emotion(a flatter response slope). They were sensitive to sadness (a smaller shift point) and the perception changed rapidly (a sharper response slope) as compared with healthy controls in the emotion continuum of happy to sad. In conclusion, patients with schizophrenia demonstrated impaired categorical perception of facial expressions, with generally ‘rapid’ but ‘late’ discrimination towards social threat-related stimuli such as angry facial expression. Compared with healthy controls, these patients have a sharper discrimination perception pattern in the emotion continua from positive valence to negative valence.
Emotion perception; Schizophrenia; Morphed facial expression
Platelets are essential for primary hemostasis; however, platelet activation also plays an important proinflammatory role. Inflammation promotes the development of cardiac fibrosis and heart failure induced by hypertension. In this study, we aimed to determine whether inhibiting platelet activation using clopidogrel could inhibit hypertension-induced cardiac inflammation and fibrosis.
Using a mouse model of angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion (1,500 ng/[kg·min] for 7 days), we determined the role of platelet activation in Ang II infusion-induced cardiac inflammation and fibrosis using a P2Y12 receptor inhibitor, clopidogrel (50 mg/[kg·day]).
CD41 staining showed that platelets accumulated in Ang II-infused hearts. Clopidogrel treatment inhibited Ang II infusion-induced accumulation of α-SMA+ myofibroblasts and cardiac fibrosis (4.17 ± 1.26 vs. 1.46 ± 0.81, p < 0.05). Infiltration of inflammatory cells, including Mac-2+ macrophages and CD45+Ly6G+ neutrophils (30.38 ± 4.12 vs. 18.7 ± 2.38, p < 0.05), into Ang II-infused hearts was also suppressed by platelet inhibition. Real-time PCR and immunohistochemical staining showed that platelet inhibition significantly decreased the expression of interleukin-1β and transforming growth factor-β. Acute injection of Ang II or PE stimulated platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte conjugation, which were abolished by clopidogrel treatment.
Thus, inhibition of platelet activation by clopidogrel prevents cardiac inflammation and fibrosis in response to Ang II. Taken together, our results indicate Ang II infusion-induced hypertension stimulated platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte conjugation, which initiated inflammatory responses that contributed to cardiac fibrosis.
Clopidogrel; Platelet activation; Inflammation; Hypertension; Cardiac fibrosis
Rickettsia heilongjiangensis, the agent of Far-Eastern spotted fever (FESF), is an obligate intracellular bacterium. The surface-exposed proteins (SEPs) of rickettsiae are involved in rickettsial adherence to and invasion of host cells, intracellular bacterial growth, and/or interaction with immune cells. They are also potential molecular candidates for the development of diagnostic reagents and vaccines against rickettsiosis.
R. heilongjiangensis SEPs were identified by biotin-streptavidin affinity purification and 2D electrophoreses coupled with ESI-MS/MS. Recombinant SEPs were probed with various sera to analyze their serological characteristics using a protein microarray and an enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA).
Twenty-five SEPs were identified, most of which were predicted to reside on the surface of R. heilongjiangensis cells. Bioinformatics analysis suggests that these proteins could be involved in bacterial pathogenesis. Eleven of the 25 SEPs were recognized as major seroreactive antigens by sera from R. heilongjiangensis-infected mice and FESF patients. Among the major seroreactive SEPs, microarray assays and/or ELISAs revealed that GroEL, OmpA-2, OmpB-3, PrsA, RplY, RpsB, SurA and YbgF had modest sensitivity and specificity for recognizing R. heilongjiangensis infection and/or spotted fever.
Many of the SEPs identified herein have potentially important roles in R. heilongjiangensis pathogenicity. Some of them have potential as serodiagnostic antigens or as subunit vaccine antigens against the disease.
The implications of increased understanding of the genetic contribution to schizophrenia for patients and their families remain unclear. We carried out a study of Chinese patients’ (n = 118) and relatives’ (n = 78) views of illness severity, attribution of cause, concern about developing illness, and effect of schizophrenia on family planning. A comparison sample of English-survey respondents was also obtained, using the same series of questions (n = 42 patients, n = 127 relatives). Fewer Chinese patients and family members rated schizophrenia as very severe (33%) than did the predominantly North American respondents (67%, p < 0.0001). The pattern of attribution of cause differed between samples (p < 0.0001), favouring environmental alone in the Chinese sample (52%), with a low frequency of genetics alone (9%). Although comparatively fewer Chinese respondents were very concerned about developing schizophrenia themselves or about the risk of illness in their families (21%), this high level of concern was more common in family members (28%). Finally, Chinese respondents were somewhat less likley to indicate that schizophrenia impacted on family planning decisions (31%) than were English-survey respondents (45%, p = 0.02). The descriptive findings contribute to understanding schizophrenia in China. The comparative findings must be regarded as preliminary, since differences in demographics could influence results. The present findings suggest that understanding patients’ and families’ attributions of cause of schizophrenia may be important for developing a shared model of illness in order to decrease stigmatization, and improve therapeutic alliances.
PMID: 21636253 CAMSID: cams3089
schizophrenia; genetics; stigma; causal attribtions
Wilson's disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder caused by mutations in the ATPase Cu2+ transporting beta polypeptide gene (ATP7B). The detailed metabolism of copper-induced pathology in WD is still unknown. Gene mutations as well as the possible pathways involved in the ATP7B deficiency were documented. The ATP7B gene was analyzed for mutations in 18 Chinese Han families with WD by direct sequencing. Cell viability and apoptosis analysis of ATP7B small interfering RNA (siRNA)-treated human liver carcinoma (HepG2) cells were measured by 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and Hoechst 33342 staining. Finally, the expression of B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2 (BCL2), BCL2-associated X protein (BAX), sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), and minichromosome maintenance protein 7 (MCM7) of ATP7B siRNA-treated cells were tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) and Western blot analysis. Twenty different mutations including four novel mutations (p.Val145Phe, p.Glu388X, p.Thr498Ser and p.Gly837X) in the ATP7B gene were identified in our families. Haplotype analysis revealed that founder effects for four mutations (p.Arg778Leu, p.Pro992Leu, p.Ile1148Thr and p.Ala1295Val) existed in these families. Transfection of HepG2 cells with ATP7B siRNA resulted in decreased mRNA expression by 86.3%, 93.1% and 90.8%, and decreased protein levels by 58.5%, 85.5% and 82.1% at 24, 48 and 72 hours, respectively (All P<0.01). In vitro study revealed that the apoptotic, cell cycle and lipid metabolism pathway may be involved in the mechanism of WD. Our results revealed that the genetic cause of 18 Chinese families with WD and ATP7B deficiency-induce apoptosis may result from imbalance in cell cycle and lipid metabolism pathway.
The aim of the study is to examine the spatiotemporal pattern of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in mainland China during 2002–2010. Specific objectives of the study were to quantify the temporal variation in incidence of JE cases, to determine if clustering of JE cases exists, to detect high risk spatiotemporal clusters of JE cases and to provide evidence-based preventive suggestions to relevant stakeholders.
Monthly JE cases at the county level in mainland China during 2002–2010 were obtained from the China Information System for Diseases Control and Prevention (CISDCP). For the purpose of the analysis, JE case counts for nine years were aggregated into four temporal periods (2002; 2003–2005; 2006; and 2007–2010). Local Indicators of Spatial Association and spatial scan statistics were performed to detect and evaluate local high risk space-time clusters.
JE incidence showed a decreasing trend from 2002 to 2005 but peaked in 2006, then fluctuated over the study period. Spatial cluster analysis detected high value clusters, mainly located in Southwestern China. Similarly, we identified a primary spatiotemporal cluster of JE in Southwestern China between July and August, with the geographical range of JE transmission increasing over the past years.
JE in China is geographically clustered and its spatial extent dynamically changed during the last nine years in mainland China. This indicates that risk factors for JE infection are likely to be spatially heterogeneous. The results may assist national and local health authorities in the development/refinement of a better preventive strategy and increase the effectiveness of public health interventions against JE transmission.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a mosquito-borne disease, which primarily occurs in rural and suburban areas of Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region. JE still remains a significant public health problem in mainland China, with approximately 50% of global cases annually. Few studies have explored the spatiotemporal patterns of JE cases in China. Here we reported the results of Local Indicators of Spatial Association and spatial scan statistics of JE cases in mainland China at the county level during the four periods: 2002; 2003–2005; 2006; 2007–2010. The primary spatiotemporal cluster of JE was detected in Southwestern China between July and August, with the geographical range of JE transmission increasing over the past years. The results of LISA and spatial scan statistics were consistent which indicates that these methods are reliable and could have wider applications in the fields of disease surveillance and management in China, particularly in the surveillance and monitoring of other vector-borne diseases. These findings may assist in informing prevention and control strategies and increase the effectiveness of public health interventions against JE transmission.
Evidence shows that STON2 gene is associated with synaptic function and schizophrenia. This study aims to explore the relationship between two functional polymorphisms (Ser307Pro and Ala851Ser) of STON2 gene and the cortical surface area in first-episode treatment-naïve patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls.
Magnetic resonance imaging of the whole cortical surface area, which was computed by an automated surface-based technique (FreeSurfer), was obtained from 74 first-episode treatment-naïve patients with schizophrenia and 55 healthy controls. Multiple regression analysis was performed to investigate the effect of genotype subgroups on the cortical surface area. A significant genotype-by-diagnosis effect on the cortical surface area was observed. Pro-allele carriers of Ser307Pro polymorphism had larger right inferior temporal surface area than Ser/Ser carriers in the patients with schizophrenia; however, no significant difference was found in the same area in the healthy controls. The Ala851Ser polymorphism of STON2 gene was not significantly associated with the cortical surface area in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls.
The present study demonstrated that the functional variant of the STON2 gene could alter cortical surface area on the right inferior temporal and contribute to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
In 2003, Plasmodium vivax malaria has re-emerged in central eastern China including Yongcheng prefecture, Henan Province, where no case has been reported for eleven years. Our goals were to detect the space-time distribution pattern of malaria and to determine significant environmental variables contributing to malaria incidence in Yongcheng from 2006 to 2010, thus providing scientific basis for further optimizing current malaria surveillance and control programs.
This study examined the spatial and temporal heterogeneities in the risk of malaria and the influencing factors on malaria incidence using geographical information system (GIS) and time series analysis. Univariate analysis was conducted to estimate the crude correlations between malaria incidence and environmental variables, such as mosquito abundance and climatic factors. Multivariate analysis was implemented to construct predictive models to explore the principal environmental determinants on malaria epidemic using a Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) approach.
Annual malaria incidence at town-level decreased from the north to south, and monthly incidence at prefecture-level demonstrated a strong seasonal pattern with a peak from July to November. Yearly malaria incidence had a visual spatial association with yearly average temperature. Moreover, the best-fit temporal model (model 2) (QIC = 16.934, P<0.001, R2 = 0.818) indicated that significant factors contributing to malaria incidence were maximum temperature at one month lag, average humidity at one month lag, and malaria incidence of the previous month.
Findings supported the effects of environment factors on malaria incidence and indicated that malaria control targets should vary with intensity of malaria incidence, with more public resource allocated to control the source of infections instead of large scale An. sinensis control when malaria incidence was at a low level, which would benefit for optimizing the malaria surveillance project in China and some other countries with unstable or low malaria transmission.
Malaria; Anopheles; Weather; Geographic information system; Modeling
Modified 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC) method was employed to synthesize the artificial antigen of norfloxacin (NOR), and New Zealand rabbits were used to produce anti-NOR polyclonal antibody (pAb). Based on the checkerboard titration, an indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (icELISA) standard curve was established. This assay was sensitive and had a working range from 0.12 to 68.40 ng/ml, with the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) and limit of detection (LOD) values of 2.7 ng/ml and 0.06 ng/ml, respectively. The produced pAb exhibited high cross-reactivity to fluoroquinolones (FQs) tested, and the IC50 values to enoxacin, ciprofloxacin, and pefloxacin were 3.1, 3.4, and 4.1 ng/ml, respectively. It also indicated that the concentrations of NaOH and methanol in assay buffer should not be higher than 10% and 30%. When spiked in milk at 5, 20, and 50 ng/ml, the recoveries for NOR, enoxacin, ciprofloxacin, and pefloxacin ranged 90.5%–98.0%, 84.0%–95.2%, 94.0%–106.0%, and 89.5%–100.0%, respectively. The results suggest that this class-specific pAb-based icELISA could be utilized for the primary screening of FQ residues in animal-original products.
Norfloxacin; Fluoroquinolones; Indirect competitive ELISA; Class-specificity; Milk
The inflammatory response plays a critical role in hypertension-induced cardiac remodeling. We aimed to study how interaction among inflammatory cells causes inflammatory responses in the process of hypertensive cardiac fibrosis.
Infusion of angiotensin II (Ang II, 1500 ng/kg/min) in mice rapidly induced the expression of interferon γ (IFN-γ) and leukocytes infiltration into the heart. To determine the role of IFN-γ on cardiac inflammation and remodeling, both wild-type (WT) and IFN-γ-knockout (KO) mice were infused Ang II for 7 days, and were found an equal blood pressure increase. However, knockout of IFN-γ prevented Ang II-induced: 1) infiltration of macrophages and T cells into cardiac tissue; 2) expression of tumor necrosis factor α and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), and 3) cardiac fibrosis, including the expression of α-smooth muscle actin and collagen I (all p<0.05). Cultured T cells or macrophages alone expressed very low level of IFN-γ, however, co-culture of T cells and macrophages increased IFN-γ expression by 19.8±0.95 folds (vs. WT macrophage, p<0.001) and 20.9 ± 2.09 folds (vs. WT T cells, p<0.001). In vitro co-culture studies using T cells and macrophages from WT or IFN-γ KO mice demonstrated that T cells were primary source for IFN-γ production. Co-culture of WT macrophages with WT T cells, but not with IFN-γ-knockout T cells, increased IFN-γ production (p<0.01). Moreover, IFN-γ produced by T cells amplified MCP-1 expression in macrophages and stimulated macrophage migration.
Reciprocal interaction between macrophages and T cells in heart stimulates IFN-γ expression, leading to increased MCP-1 expression in macrophages, which results a forward-feed recruitment of macrophages, thus contributing to Ang II-induced cardiac inflammation and fibrosis.
Characterizing the breeding site of Anopheles sinensis is of major importance for the transition from malaria control to elimination in China. However, little information is available especially regarding the characteristics and influencing factors of breeding sites of An. sinensis in Yongcheng City, a representative region of unstable malaria transmission in the Huang-Huai River region of central China. The aims of this study were to determine the breeding site characteristics of An. sinensis and related environmental and physicochemical parameters, to find out which breeding site characteristics could best explain the presence of An. sinensis larvae, and to determine whether the breeding habit of An. sinensis has changed or not.
Random repeated cross sectional study was undertaken in six villages of the Yongcheng city characterized by different levels of the historical incidence of P. vivax malaria. The potential breeding sites of An. sinensis larvae in each village were examined twice per month both in the household courtyards and the village surroundings. The larval sampling was done by the standard dipping method. Some important breeding site characterizations were recorded and characterized. The anopheline mosquito larvae and emerged adults were identified to the species level morphologically and to sub-species by the ribosomal DNA PCR technique. Chi-square analysis and logistic regression analysis were applied to determine the importance of factors for explaining the presence or absence of An. sinensis larvae.
According to the ribosomal DNA PCR assay, all sampled anopheline mosquito larvae and emerged adults belonged to An. sinensis. Only 3 containers that were sampled from the household courtyards were found to contain An. sinensis larvae. There were no differences in the species composition of mosquito larvae among containers that contained water in the household courtyards (P > 0.05). An. sinensis larvae were shown to be present in a total of 60 breeding sites in the village surroundings, this included 8 (13.3%) river fringes, 26 (43.3%) ponds, 23 (38.3%) puddles, and 3 (5.0%) irrigation/drainage ditches. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the breeding site type, water depth, chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonia nitrogen, and sulphate were found to be the key factors determining the presence of An. sinensis larvae. Approximately 94.9% of An. sinensis larvae inhabited relatively large and medium-sized water bodies, with depths between 0.5 m and 1.0 m (73.3%), COD lower than 2 mg/L (75%), ammonia nitrogen lower than 0.4 mg/L (86.7%), and sulphate lower than 150 mg/L (58.3%), respectively.
These results indicate that the majority of An. sinensis larval breeding sites were relatively large and medium-sized water bodies with depths between 0.5 m and 1.0 m, and containing low levels of COD, ammonia nitrogen, and sulphate, respectively. For effective An. sinensis larval control, the type of breeding site, water depth, COD, ammonia nitrogen, and sulphate should be given higher priority over other factors in areas where it is the primary vector.
Breeding site; Characterization; Mosquito; Anopheles vectors; Ecology, Malaria elimination
To examine the effects of exogenously administered intermedin (IMD, adrenomedullin-2) on arterial blood pressure, cardiac function and the cardiovascular IMD receptor system in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) as well as to investigate the associated mechanisms.
Thirteen week-old male rats were divided in Wistar Kyoto (WKY) group (n = 12), SHR group (n = 12), IMD group (SHRs infused with IMD 1-47 500 ng/kg per hour, n = 12), and ADM group (SHRs infused with adrenomedullin 500 ng/kg per hour, n = 12).
A two-week continuous administration of low dose IMD 1-47 via mini-osmotic pumps markedly reduced blood pressure, the maximal rates of increase and decrease of left-ventricle pressure development (LV ± dp/dtmax), left ventricular systolic pressure and heart rate in SHRs. Furthermore, IMD also inhibited protein over-expression of cardiovascular IMD receptors, myocardial Receptor Activity-Modifying Proteins (RAMP1 and RAMP2), aortic RAMP1, RAMP2, RAMP3, and calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR); suppressed up-regulation of aortic RAMP1, RAMP2, RAMP3 and CRLR gene expression; and markedly elevated the mRNA abundance of myocardial atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and myocardial brain natriuretic peptide (BNP). Additionally, IMD 1-47 administration in SHRs increased aortic cAMP concentration and reduced myocardial cAMP concentration.
These findings support the speculation that IMD, as a cardiovascular active peptide, is involved in blood pressure reduction and cardiac function amelioration during hypertension. The mechanism underlying this effect may involve IMD binding of a receptor complex formed by RAMPs and CRLR, and consequential regulation of cAMP levels and other cardiovascular active factors, such as ANP and BNP.
Intermedin; Receptor activity-modifying proteins; Calcitonin receptor-like receptor; Mini-osmotic pumps; Hemodynamic parameters; Spontaneously hypertensive rats
Objective: The present study reviewed voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies on high-risk individuals with schizophrenia, patients experiencing their first-episode schizophrenia (FES), and those with chronic schizophrenia. We predicted that gray matter abnormalities would show progressive changes, with most extensive abnormalities in the chronic group relative to FES and least in the high-risk group. Method: Forty-one VBM studies were reviewed. Eight high-risk studies, 14 FES studies, and 19 chronic studies were analyzed using anatomical likelihood estimation meta-analysis. Results: Less gray matter in the high-risk group relative to controls was observed in anterior cingulate regions, left amygdala, and right insula. Lower gray matter volumes in FES compared with controls were also found in the anterior cingulate and right insula but not the amygdala. Lower gray matter volumes in the chronic group were most extensive, incorporating similar regions to those found in FES and high-risk groups but extending to superior temporal gyri, thalamus, posterior cingulate, and parahippocampal gryus. Subtraction analysis revealed less frontotemporal, striatal, and cerebellar gray matter in FES than the high-risk group; the high-risk group had less gray matter in left subcallosal gyrus, left amygdala, and left inferior frontal gyrus compared with FES. Subtraction analysis confirmed lower gray matter volumes through ventral-dorsal anterior cingulate, right insula, left amygdala and thalamus in chronic schizophrenia relative to FES. Conclusions: Frontotemporal brain structural abnormalities are evident in nonpsychotic individuals at high risk of developing schizophrenia. The present meta-analysis indicates that these gray matter abnormalities become more extensive through first-episode and chronic illness. Thus, schizophrenia appears to be a progressive cortico-striato-thalamic loop disorder.
meta-analysis; brain structure; high-risk group; schizophrenia
The knowledge of mosquito species diversity and the level of anthropophily exhibited by each species in a region are of great importance to the integrated vector control. Culicine species are the primary vectors of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus and filariasis in China. Anopheles sinensis plays a major role in the maintenance of Plasmodium vivax malaria transmission in China. The goal of this study was to compare the abundance and host-seeking behavior of culicine species and An. sinensis in Yongcheng city, a representative region of P. vivax malaria. Specifically, we wished to determine the relative attractiveness of different animal baits versus human bait to culicine species and An. sinensis.
Culex tritaeniorhynchus was the most prevalent mosquito species and An. sinensis was the sole potential vector of P. vivax malaria in Yongcheng city. There were significant differences (P < 0.01) in the abundance of both An. sinensis and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus collected in distinct baited traps. The relative attractiveness of animal versus human bait was similar towards both An. sinensis and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus. The ranking derived from the mean number of mosquitoes per bait indicated that pigs, goats and calves frequently attracted more mosquitoes than the other hosts tested (dogs, humans, and chickens). These trends were similar across all capture nights at three distinct villages. The human blood index (HBI) of female An. sinensis was 2.94% when computed with mixed meals while 3.70% computed with only the single meal. 19:00~21:00 was the primary peak of host-seeking female An. sinensis while 4:00~5:00 was the smaller peak at night. There was significant correlation between the density of female An. sinensis and the average relative humidity (P < 0.05) in Wangshanzhuang village.
Pigs, goats and calves were more attractive to An. sinensis and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus than dogs, humans, and chickens. Female An. sinensis host-seeking activity mainly occurred from 19:00 to 21:00. Thus, we propose that future vector control against An. sinensis and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus in the areas along the Huang-Huai River of central China should target the interface of human activity with domestic animals and adopt before human hosts go to bed at night.
Host-seeking behavior; mosquito; culicine species; Anopheles vectors; ecology; malaria elimination
Theoretically semantic processing can be separated into early automatic semantic activation and late contextualization. Semantic processing deficits have been suggested in patients with schizophrenia, however it is not clear which stage of semantic processing is impaired. We attempted to clarify this issue by conducting a meta-analysis of the N400 component.
Twenty-one studies met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis procedure. The Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software package was used to compute pooled effect sizes and homogeneity.
Studies favoring early automatic activation produced a significant effect size of −0.41 for the N400 effect. Studies favoring late contextualization generated a significant effect size of −0.36 for the N400 effect, a significant effect size of −0.52 for N400 for congruent/related target words, and a significant effect size of 0.82 for the N400 peak latency.
These findings suggest the automatic spreading activation process in patients with schizophrenia is very similar for closely related concepts and weakly or remotely related concepts, while late contextualization may be associated with impairments in processing semantically congruent context accompanied by slow processing speed.
Background: People with schizophrenia have difficulty with emotion perception. Functional imaging studies indicate regional brain activation abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia when processing facial emotion. However, findings have not been entirely consistent across different studies. Methods: Activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses were conducted to examine brain activation during facial emotion processing in patients with schizophrenia, controls, and patients compared with controls. Secondary meta-analyses were performed to assess the contribution of task design and illness chronicity to the results reported. Results: When processing facial expressions of emotions, both patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls activated the bilateral amygdala and right fusiform gyri. However, the extent of activation in these regions was generally much more limited in the schizophrenia samples. When directly compared with controls, the extent of activation in bilateral amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus and fusiform gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus, and lentiform nucleus was significantly less in patients. Patients with schizophrenia, but not controls, activated the left insula. A relative failure to recruit the amygdala in patients occurred regardless of whether the task design was explicit or implicit, while differences in fusiform activation were evident in explicit, not implicit, tasks. Restricting the analysis to patients with chronic illness did not substantially change the results. Conclusions: A marked underrecruitment of the amygdala, accompanied by a substantial limitation in activation throughout a ventral temporal-basal ganglia-prefrontal cortex “social brain” system may be central to the difficulties patients experience when processing facial emotion.
meta-analysis; schizophrenia; emotion perception; amygdala
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a global public health issue that has spread widely to more than 20 countries in Asia and has extended its geographic range to the south Pacific region including Australia. JE has become the most important cause of viral encephalitis in the world. Japanese encephalitis viruses (JEV) are divided into five genotypes, based on the nucleotide sequence of the envelope (E) gene. The Muar strain, isolated from patient in Malaya in 1952, is the sole example of genotype V JEV. Here, the XZ0934 strain of JEV was isolated from Culex tritaeniorhynchus, collected in China. The complete nucleotide and amino acid sequence of XZ0934 strain have been determined. The nucleotide divergence ranged from 20.3% to 21.4% and amino acid divergence ranged from 8.4% to 10.0% when compared with the 62 known JEV isolates that belong to genotype I–IV. It reveals low similarity between XZ0934 and genotype I–IV JEVs. Phylogenetic analysis using both complete genome and structural gene nucleotide sequences demonstrates that XZ0934 belongs to genotype V. This, in turn, suggests that genotype V JEV is emerging in JEV endemic areas. Thus, increased surveillance and diagnosis of viral encephalitis caused by genotype V JEV is an issue of great concern to nations in which JEV is endemic.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-borne virus that causes Japanese encephalitis (JE) with significant morbidity and mortality. Five genotypes (genotype I–V) have been identified based on the nucleotide sequence of viral envelope (E) gene of JEV. To date, the only known strain of genotype V is Muar strain, isolated from patient in Malaya in 1952. Since then, no genotype V JEV has been detected in the world. In this study, the JEV strain, XZ0934, was isolated from mosquito samples collected in China in 2009. The full-length genome sequences of the XZ0934 strain was determined and founded to be the second strain of genotype V JEV based on the phylogenetic analysis using the complete genome and structural gene sequences. This suggests that genotype V JEV is re-emerging after 57 years (1952–2009). Therefore, increased surveillance and more effective diagnosis for cases of JE caused by genotype V JEV are needed.
Japanese encephalitis virus; isolation; identification; mosquitoes; viruses; vector-borne infections; Tibet; People’s Republic of China; letter
We and others have demonstrated previously that ghrelin receptor (GhrR) knock out (KO) mice fed a high fat diet (HFD) have increased insulin sensitivity and metabolic flexibility relative to WT littermates. A striking feature of the HFD-fed GhrR KO mouse is the dramatic decrease in hepatic steatosis. To characterize further the underlying mechanisms of glucose homeostasis in GhrR KO mice, we conducted both hyperglycemic (HG) and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic (HI-E) clamps. Additionally, we investigated tissue glucose uptake and specifically examined liver insulin sensitivity.
Consistent with glucose tolerance-test data, in HG clamp experiments, GhrR KO mice showed a reduction in glucose-stimulated insulin release relative to WT littermates. Nevertheless, a robust 1st phase insulin secretion was still achieved, indicating that a healthy β-cell response is maintained. Additionally, GhrR KO mice demonstrated both a significantly increased glucose infusion rate and significantly reduced insulin requirement for maintenance of the HG clamp, consistent with their relative insulin sensitivity. In HI-E clamps, both LFD-fed and HFD-fed GhrR KO mice showed higher peripheral insulin sensitivity relative to WT littermates as indicated by a significant increase in insulin-stimulated glucose disposal (Rd), and decreased hepatic glucose production (HGP). HFD-fed GhrR KO mice showed a marked increase in peripheral tissue glucose uptake in a variety of tissues, including skeletal muscle, brown adipose tissue and white adipose tissue. GhrR KO mice fed a HFD also showed a modest, but significant decrease in conversion of pyruvate to glucose, as would be anticipated if these mice displayed increased liver insulin sensitivity. Additionally, the levels of UCP2 and UCP1 were reduced in the liver and BAT, respectively, in GhrR KO mice relative to WT mice.
These results indicate that improved glucose homeostasis of GhrR KO mice is characterized by robust improvements of glucose disposal in both normal and metabolically challenged states, relative to WT controls. GhrR KO mice have an intact 1st phase insulin response but require significantly less insulin for glucose disposal. Our experiments reveal that the insulin sensitivity of GhrR KO mice is due to both BW independent and dependent factors. We also provide several lines of evidence that a key feature of the GhrR KO mouse is maintenance of hepatic insulin sensitivity during metabolic challenge.
As wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are increasingly being deployed in some important applications, it becomes imperative that we consider application requirements in in-network processes. We intend to use a WSN to aid information querying and navigation within a dynamic and real-time environment. We propose a novel method that relies on the heat diffusion equation to finish the navigation process conveniently and easily. From the perspective of theoretical analysis, our proposed work holds the lower constraint condition. We use multiple scales to reach the goal of accurate navigation. We present a multi-scale gradient descent method to satisfy users’ requirements in WSNs. Formula derivations and simulations show that the method is accurately and efficiently able to solve typical sensor network configuration information navigation problems. Simultaneously, the structure of heat diffusion equation allows more flexibility and adaptability in searching algorithm designs.
wireless sensor networks; information field; diffusion equation; variation model
The current study explored the prevalence of depressed mood among Chinese undergraduate students and examined the coping patterns and degree of flexibility of flexibility of such patterns associated with such mood.
A set of questionnaire assessing coping patterns, coping flexibility, and depressive symptoms were administered to 428 students (234 men and 194 women).
A total of 266 participants both completed the entire set of questionnaires and reported a frequency of two or more stressful life events (the criterion needed to calculate variance in perceived controllability). Findings showed that higher levels of depressive symptoms were significantly associated with higher levels of both event frequency (r = .368, p < .001) and event impact (r = .245, p < .001) and lower levels of perceived controllability (r = -.261, p < .001), coping effectiveness (r = -.375, p < .001), and ratio of strategy to situation fit (r = -.108, p < .05). Depressive symptoms were not significantly associated with cognitive flexibility (variance of perceived controllability; r = .031, p = .527), Gender was not a significant moderator of any of the reported associations.
Findings indicate that Chinese university students with depressive symptoms reported experiencing a greater number of negative events than did non-depressed university students. In addition, undergraduates with depressive symptoms were more likely than other undergraduates to utilize maladaptive coping methods. Such findings highlight the potential importance of interventions aimed at helping undergraduate students with a lower coping flexibility develop skills to cope with stressful life events.
Neurological soft signs and neurocognitive impairments have long been considered important features of schizophrenia. Previous correlational studies have suggested that there is a significant relationship between neurological soft signs and neurocognitive functions. The purpose of the current study was to examine the underlying relationships between these two distinct constructs with structural equation modeling (SEM).
118 patients with schizophrenia and 160 healthy controls were recruited for the current study. The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory (CNI) and a set of neurocognitive function tests were administered to all participants. SEM was then conducted independently in these two samples to examine the relationships between neurological soft signs and neurocognitive functions.
Both the measurement and structural models showed that the models fit well to the data in both patients and healthy controls. The structural equations also showed that there were modest to moderate associations among neurological soft signs, executive attention, verbal memory, and visual memory, while the healthy controls showed more limited associations.
The current findings indicate that motor coordination, sensory integration, and disinhibition contribute to the latent construct of neurological soft signs, whereas the subset of neurocognitive function tests contribute to the latent constructs of executive attention, verbal memory, and visual memory in the present sample. Greater evidence of neurological soft signs is associated with more severe impairment of executive attention and memory functions. Clinical and theoretical implications of the model findings are discussed.