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  • Author: Xu Zhao x
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Open access

Xiaojing Xu, Xiang Chen, Song Gao and Lixiang Zhao


Introduction: Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) is a leading cause of extraintestinal infection and heavy economic losses. Imparting immunity after vaccination with live attenuated strain vaccination is an ideal strategy for infection control. This study considers an FtsK knockout mutant strain as a candidate. Material and Methods: An FtsK knockout mutant of APEC strain E058 was constructed and the pathogenicity of the mutant and wild-type strains was further evaluated in chickens. Results: The 50% lethal doses of each strain for one-day-old specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens challenged experimentally via trachea were 105.5 and 107.0 colony-forming units (CFU) respectively. Chickens challenged with the wild-type strain exhibited typical signs and lesions of avian colibacillosis, while those inoculated with the mutant strain showed mild pericarditis and pulmonary congestion. The growth rate of the FtsK mutant strain was much slower than the wild-type strain in the heart, spleen, liver, and lung of infected chickens. Conclusion: These results indicated that the APEC FtsK mutant can be attenuated for chickens, and that this mutant has the potential for the development of an APEC vaccine.

Open access

Qin Zhou, Yu-feng Gao, Xiao-miao Zhao, Fa-ming Pan and Xu Li


Objective To investigate the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) gene and outcome of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in a Chinese Han population.

Methods Total of 501 patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and 301 controls with selflimiting HBV infection were studied. Three tag SNPs in the IL-4 gene (rs2227284G/T, rs2243283C/G and rs2243288A/G) were genotyped by the Multiplex snapshot technique. The genotype and allele frequencies were calculated and analyzed.

Results The three SNPs showed no significant genotype/allele associations with chronic HBV infection. Overall allele P values were: rs2227284, P = 0.655, odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] = 1.070 (0.793-1.445); rs2243283, P = 0.849, OR (95% CI) = 0.976 (0.758-1.257); rs2243288, P = 0.659, OR (95% CI) = 1.060 (0.818-1.375). Overall genotype P values were: rs2227284, P = 0.771; rs2243283, P = 0.571; rs2243288, P = 0.902. There were no statistically significant differences between patients with chronic HBV infection and controls. Haplotypes generated by these three SNPs also had no significant differences between the two groups.

Conclusions The three tag SNPs of IL-4 were not associated with the outcome of HBV infection in the Han Chinese population.

Open access

Yu-Xi Song, Pan Hu, Yun-long Bai, Chang Zhao, Cheng Xia and Chuang Xu


Introduction: Differential metabolites (DMs) between cows with inactive ovaries (IO) and oestrous (E) cows were screened and metabolic pathways of DMs associated with IO were determined. Material and Methods: Cows at 50 to 60 days (d) postpartum from an intensive dairy farm were randomly selected and allocated into an E group (n = 16) or an IO group (n = 16) according to a pedometer and rectal examinations. Their plasma samples were analysed by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) to compare plasma metabolic changes between the E and IO groups. Multivariate pattern recognition was used to screen the DMs in the plasma of IO cows. Results: Compared with normal E cows, there were abnormalities in 20 metabolites in IO cows, including a significantly decreased content (VIP > 1, P < 0.05) of cholic acid, p-chlorophenylalanine, and arachidonic acid, and a significantly increased content (VIP > 1, P < 0.05) of tyramine, betaine, L-phenylalanine, L-glutamate, D-proline, L-alanine, and L-pyrophosphate. Five DMs (cholic acid, D-proline, L-glutamate, L-alanine, and L-pyroglutamic acid) with higher variable importance in projection (VIP) values between groups were validated by ELISA with blind samples of re-selected cows (IO, 50 to 60 d postpartum) and the validated results were consistent with the LC–MS results. Conclusion: The 20 DMs in IO cows during the peak of lactation indicated that the pathogenesis of IO was involved in complex metabolic networks and signal transduction pathways. This study provides a basis for further exploration of the pathogenesis and prevention of IO in cows in the future.

Open access

Fang Zhao, Li-qing Sun, Yi-mei Tian, Liu-mei Xu, Pu-xuan Lu, Xian Tang, Ying-xia Liu and Hui Wang


Objective To investigate the diagnostic value of brain magnetic resonance imaging in detecting central nervous system diseases among AIDS patients of different levels of T cells.

Methods Total of 164 AIDS patients who did not receive antiviral treatment were divided into 2 groups according to their baseline CD4+ T cell counts. Group A had CD4+ T cell below or equal to 50 cells/μl (n = 81) and group B had CD4+ T cells over 50 cells/μl (n = 83). All patients underwent brain MRI scan. Imaging analysis and the prevalence of the central nervous system disorders were compared between two groups.

Results Among them 48 cases were found of abnormal brain MRI, group A was higher than group B (35.8% vs. 22.9%) although without statistical significance (P = 0.065). Altogether 48 cases were diagnosed as AIDS related central nervous system disorders based on clinical symptoms, signs and laboratory findings. The prevalence of CNS disorders was higher in group A than in group B (41.9% vs. 16.8%) with statistical significance (P < 0.01).

Conclusions The patients with CD4+ T cell count less than or equal to 50 cells/μl had high prevalence of CNS diseases. Brain MRI plays an important role in the diagnosis and differentiation of CNS diseases in advanced AIDS patients. This study suggests patients with low CD4+ T cell count (≤ 50/μl) should routinely undergo MRI examination.

Open access

Qi Lu, Chun-xia Zhao, Kun-ling Shen, Wen-bo Xu, Yan Zhang, Jia-lin Yu and Xi-qiang Yang


Objective Fusion protein is a subunit of the human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) and a potential vaccine candidate. Thus, a study on the genetic characteristics of F protein was considered important for further investigations in this field. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and genetic diversity of the F gene of HRSV infections in hospitalized pediatric patients in Beijing with acute lower respiratory tract infections and to compare the circulating genotypes that are currently found worldwide.

Methods HRSV particles were amplified by RT-PCR and the PCR products were purified for sequencing. Further analysis was carried out by Bioedit and MEGA 3.0 biological software programs.

Results Seventy-six samples (23.1%) were positive for HRSV. The percentage of cases in patients younger than 1 year was 84.21%. Among the six Beijing isolates, four belonged to subgroup A, whose respective F genes shared 97.0%-97.4% nucleotide sequence identity and 92.1%-93.0% amino acid sequence identity. The other two isolates belonged to subgroup B. Here, 97.3% and 98.2% sequence identity were found at nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively.

Conclusions Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences revealed that those four isolates within subgroup A were monophyletic and closely related to each other, but those two within subgroup B distributed in two distinct clusters. Subgroup A and B strains co-circulated, indicating that two different transmission chains occurred in Beijing from 2003-2004.

Open access

Ming-hui Li, Yao Xie, Yao Lu, Guo-hua Qiu, Lu Zhang, Ge Shen, Li-wei Zhuang, Ju-long Hu, Jian-ping Dong, Cai-qin Mu, Lei-ping Hu, Li-jun Chen, Xing-hong Li, Min Yang, Yun-zhong Wu, Hui Zhao, Shu-jing Song, Jun Cheng and Dao-zhen Xu


Objective To investigate the effects of individualised treatment with peginterferon alpha-2a (40 kD) plus ribavirin in Chinese patients with CHC.

Methods Total of 297 consecutive Chinese patients were enrolled, including 250 naïve cases and 47 cases who were previously treated. Treatment duration was determined according to viral genotypes, prior treatment history and viral responses at week 4, 12 and 24.

Results Totally, 235 patients (79.1%) completed treatment and 186 (87.3%) achieved SVR. And 219 out of 289 (75.8%) patients achieved HCV RNA negative at week 4 (RVR) and 259 of 276 (93.8%) at week 12. Among the 164 patients with RVR who completed follow-up, 158 (96.3%) achieved SVR. Patients with RVR had lower baseline viral loads than patients without RVR (P = 0.034). The positive predictive value (PPV) of RVR for SVR was 90.7% (OR 2.10 vs. non-RVR, 95% CI: 0.50 - 8.7). Similar outcomes were observed among patients with HCV undetectable at week 12.

Conclusions Complete viral suppression by week 4 is associated with a high rate of treatment success in treatment naïve and experienced patients receiving individualized CHC therapy.