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  • Author: Yang Yang x
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Analysis of Tuberculosis-Associated Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome in HIV/TB Co-infected Patients During HAART


Objectives To investigate the clinical features of tuberculosis (TB)-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS) in patients co-infected with HIV/TB or latent infection during highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).

Methods HIV-infected patients treated in the Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen, China between March 2012 and March 2013 were recruited, and divided into 3 groups: 1) HIV/TB co-infection group (n = 50), 2) HIV/ MTB latent infection group (n = 50), and 3) HIV infection group (n = 50), with 12-month follow-up. Patients in the HIV/TB co-infection group were treated with HAART 2 weeks after TB therapy. Patients were assessed at different time-points.

Results The incidence and mortality rates of TB-IRIS were 40% and 10% in the HIV/TB co-infected patients, and 2% (and no mortality) in the HIV/MTB group. The HIV infected group did not display TB-IRIS or death. About 95% HIV/TB co-infected patients were 20-39 years old when TB-IRIS occurred, and 65% of the patients developed TB-IRIS 2 weeks after HAART. For the co-infection group, those with TB-IRIS (20/20, 100%) had fever, with a significantly higher incidence than those who did not develop TB-IRIS (6.7%, 2/30, P < 0.05). The patients with TB-IRIS in co-infection group displayed markedly higher clinical biochemical markers, acute phase reactants, increased CD4+ cell counts, and 2 log10-decreases of HIV RNA loads, compared with the patients not presenting with TB-IRIS (P < 0.05).

Conclusion HIV/TB co-infected patients presented with a high-risk of developing TB-IRIS during HAART treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment could decrease mortality rates in TB-IRIS.

Open access
Effect of Physical Osmosis Methods on Quality of Tilapia Fillets Processed by Heat Pump Drying


In order to achieve the influence of different pretreatment methods on heat pump dried tilapia fillets, the effects of trehalose, ultrasound-assisted and freeze-thaw cycle assisted osmotic dehydration on the color, rehydration, texture and Ca2+-ATPase activity were investigated. Tilapia fillets (100 mm length × 50 mm width × 5 mm height) were first osmoconcentrated in a trehalose solution combined with 4°C under atmospheric pressure for 1 h, different power of ultrasound and freeze-thawing respectively, then heat pump dried. The results showed that under the same drying method, the comprehensive score of ultrasound in 400 Watt was best, compared to freeze-thaw, the ultrasound pretreatment had a significant (p<0.05) effect on the color and Ca2+-ATPase activity, but had no significant (p>0.05) effect on the rehydration and texture. However, both of them significantly (p<0.05) affected the quality in comparison to that of osmosis at 4°C. It indicates that suitable ultrasonic pretreatment conditions improve the quality of dried products effectively and the conclusion of this research provides reference for heat pump dried similar products.

Open access
Knowledge Representation in Patient Safety Reporting: An Ontological Approach



The current development of patient safety reporting systems is criticized for loss of information and low data quality due to the lack of a uniformed domain knowledge base and text processing functionality. To improve patient safety reporting, the present paper suggests an ontological representation of patient safety knowledge.


We propose a framework for constructing an ontological knowledge base of patient safety. The present paper describes our design, implementation, and evaluation of the ontology at its initial stage.


We describe the design and initial outcomes of the ontology implementation. The evaluation results demonstrate the clinical validity of the ontology by a self-developed survey measurement.

Research limitations

The proposed ontology was developed and evaluated using a small number of information sources. Presently, US data are used, but they are not essential for the ultimate structure of the ontology.

Practical implications

The goal of improving patient safety can be aided through investigating patient safety reports and providing actionable knowledge to clinical practitioners. As such, constructing a domain specific ontology for patient safety reports serves as a cornerstone in information collection and text mining methods.


The use of ontologies provides abstracted representation of semantic information and enables a wealth of applications in a reporting system. Therefore, constructing such a knowledge base is recognized as a high priority in health care.

Open access
Original article. Cinnamic aldehyde inhibits proliferation and invasion in a well-defined 3-dimensional culture of human cutaneous melanoma cells in tissue engineered-skin


Background: Tissue-engineered skin can be used not only to cover and repair skin damage, but also as a model to test the efficacy of drugs and cosmetics.

Objective: To establish a 3-dimensional (3D) culture model of skin melanoma invasion using A375 melanoma cells in vitro for studying melanoma and with which to conduct preliminary evaluation of therapeutic drugs. Here we evaluated the efficacy of cinnamic aldehyde to inhibit tumor cell growth in our 3D model of malignant melanoma.

Methods: Melanoma cells A375 were inoculated onto the surface of tissue-engineered skin and cultured at the air-liquid interface. On day 5, cinnamic aldehyde (20 μ☐) was added to the culture medium. Skin samples cultured for different days were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and observed using transmission electron microscopy. Immunohistochemical staining of E-cadherin, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 was conducted separately.

Results: A large number of A375 cell clumps had invaded the deep dermis by day 15. The tumor cells formed clumps through the desmosomes and connected with the surrounding fibroblasts through cell junctions. While the expression of E-cadherin was lost in the tumor cells, expression of MMP-9 and PCNA increased with increasing depth of invasion. Cinnamic aldehyde inhibited the proliferation and invasion of melanoma cells in the 3D culture model. Expression of MMP-9 and PCNA significantly decreased in melanoma cells in the model treated with cinnamic aldehyde.

Conclusion: The 3D culture model successfully retains the biological proliferation and invasion characteristics of the malignant melanoma cells and can be used as a system to study further the biological characteristics of malignant melanoma and to evaluate the efficacy of drug treatment. Cinnamic aldehyde and compounds of its class may prove useful treatments for patients with advanced melanomas.

Open access
Evaluating the Use of Personal Networks to Circumvent Formal Processes: A Case Study of Vruzki in Bulgaria


The aim of this paper is to evaluate the prevalence and distribution of the use of personal connections to circumvent formal procedures by soliciting favours for and from others, known as vruzki, and how this can be explained and tackled. Reporting data from 2,005 face-to-face interviews conducted in late 2015 in Bulgaria, the finding is that 30 per cent of respondents had used vruzki in the 12 months prior to the survey, particularly when accessing medical services and finding a job. Estimating a logit model and then calculating the marginal effects, the population groups significantly more likely to have used vruzki are those whose norms, values and beliefs are not in symmetry with the formal laws and regulations, perceiving the penalties and detection risks as higher, those reporting their financial situation as very comfortable, and the highest income groups, but also younger people, the unemployed, and those living in larger households. The paper concludes by discussing the theoretical and policy implications along with the future research required.

Open access
Do Strike Patterns or Shoe Conditions Have a Predominant Influence on Foot Loading?


This study aimed to explore the effects of strike patterns and shoe conditions on foot loading during running. Twelve male runners were required to run under shoe (SR) and barefoot conditions (BR) with forefoot (FFS) and rearfoot strike patterns (RFS). Kistler force plates and the Medilogic insole plantar pressure system were used to collect kinetic data. SR with RFS significantly reduced the maximum loading rate, whereas SR with FFS significantly increased the maximum push-off force compared to BR. Plantar pressure variables were more influenced by the strike patterns (15 out of 18 variables) than shoe conditions (7 out of 18 variables). The peak pressure of midfoot and heel regions was significantly increased in RFS, but appeared in a later time compared to FFS. The influence of strike patterns on running, particularly on plantar pressure characteristics, was more significant than that of shoe conditions. Heel-toe running caused a significant impact force on the heel, whereas wearing cushioned shoes significantly reduced the maximum loading rate. FFS running can prevent the impact caused by RFS. However, peak plantar pressure was centered at the forefoot for a long period, thereby inducing a potential risk of injury in the metatarsus/phalanx.

Open access
Down-regulation of miRNA-30c predicts poor prognosis in Colorectal Cancer patients


Background: MiRNA-30c was a tumor suppressor in several human cancers, however, its association with clinicopathological features and prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC) is unclear.

Materials and Methods: The expression level of miRNA-30c in 192 pairs of colorectal cancer and adjacent normal tissues was detected by Quantitative RT-PCR, the association between miRNA-30c expression and clinical characteristics and prognosis were statistically analyzed.

Results: miRNA-30c was significantly lower in CRC tissues specimens compared with matched normal adjacent tissue (P<0.001). MiRNA-30c was positively correlated with tumor size (P=0.012), TMN stage (P=0.002) and lymph node metastasis (P=0.004). The univariate analysis showed CRC patients with low miRNA-30c had distinctly shorter overall survival (P<0.001) than patients with high miRNA-30c expression level. The multivariate analysis was performed and informed that low miRNA-30c expression (P<0.001) might be an independent prognostic predictor for poor prognosis.

Conclusion: miRNA-30c could predict the prognosis of colorectal cancer which is helpful to choose reasonable treatment measures.

Open access
Open access
Approximate Methods for Local Fractional Differential Equations
Open access
Numerical Solutions for ODEs with Local Fractional Derivative
Open access