Displaying all 9 publications

  1. Chen B, Zhao Y, Jin Z, He D, Li H
    BMC Infect Dis, 2023 Jan 13;23(1):25.
    PMID: 36639649 DOI: 10.1186/s12879-023-07984-9
    BACKGROUND: The ongoing coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has emerged and caused multiple pandemic waves in the following six countries: India, Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Some of the countries have been much less studied in this devastating pandemic. This study aims to assess the impact of the Omicron variant in these six countries and estimate the infection fatality rate (IFR) and the reproduction number [Formula: see text] in these six South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania countries.

    METHODS: We propose a Susceptible-Vaccinated-Exposed-Infectious-Hospitalized-Death-Recovered model with a time-varying transmission rate [Formula: see text] to fit the multiple waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and to estimate the IFR and [Formula: see text] in the aforementioned six countries. The level of immune evasion and the intrinsic transmissibility advantage of the Omicron variant are also considered in this model.

    RESULTS: We fit our model to the reported deaths well. We estimate the IFR (in the range of 0.016 to 0.136%) and the reproduction number [Formula: see text] (in the range of 0 to 9) in the six countries. Multiple pandemic waves in each country were observed in our simulation results.

    CONCLUSIONS: The invasion of the Omicron variant caused the new pandemic waves in the six countries. The higher [Formula: see text] suggests the intrinsic transmissibility advantage of the Omicron variant. Our model simulation forecast implies that the Omicron pandemic wave may be mitigated due to the increasing immunized population and vaccine coverage.

  2. Zhou F, Cui J, Zhou J, Yang J, Li Y, Leng Q, et al.
    Sci Total Environ, 2018 Aug 15;633:776-784.
    PMID: 29602116 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.217
    Atmospheric deposition nitrogen (ADN) increases the N content in soil and subsequently impacts microbial activity of soil. However, the effects of ADN on paddy soil microbial activity have not been well characterized. In this study, we studied how red paddy soil microbial activity responses to different contents of ADN through a 10-months ADN simulation on well managed pot experiments. Results showed that all tested contents of ADN fluxes (27, 55, and 82kgNha-1 when its ratio of NH4+/NO3--N (RN) was 2:1) enhanced the soil enzyme activity and microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen and 27kgNha-1 ADN had maximum effects while comparing with the fertilizer treatment. Generally, increasing of both ADN flux and RN (1:2, 1:1 and 2:1 with the ADN flux of 55kgNha-1) had similar reduced effects on microbial activity. Furthermore, both ADN flux and RN significantly reduced soil bacterial alpha diversity (p<0.05) and altered bacterial community structure (e.g., the relative abundances of genera Dyella and Rhodoblastus affiliated to Proteobacteria increased). Redundancy analysis demonstrated that ADN flux and RN were the main drivers in shaping paddy soil bacteria community. Overall, the results have indicated that increasing ADN flux and ammonium reduced soil microbial activity and changed the soil bacterial community. The finding highlights how paddy soil microbial community response to ADN and provides information for N management in paddy soil.
  3. Cui J, Zhou F, Gao M, Zhang L, Zhang L, Du K, et al.
    Environ Pollut, 2018 Oct;241:810-820.
    PMID: 29909307 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.06.028
    Six different approaches are applied in the present study to apportion the sources of precipitation nitrogen making use of precipitation data of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN, including NO3- and NH4+), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and δ15N signatures of DIN collected at six sampling sites in the mountain region of Southwest China. These approaches include one quantitative approach running a Bayesian isotope mixing model (SIAR model) and five qualitative approaches based on in-situ survey (ISS), ratio of NH4+/NO3- (RN), principal component analysis (PCA), canonical-correlation analysis (CCA) and stable isotope approach (SIA). Biomass burning, coal combustion and mobile exhausts in the mountain region are identified as major sources for precipitation DIN while biomass burning and volatilization sources such as animal husbandries are major ones for DON. SIAR model results suggest that mobile exhausts, biomass burning and coal combustion contributed 25.1 ± 14.0%, 26.0 ± 14.1% and 27.0 ± 12.6%, respectively, to NO3- on the regional scale. Higher contributions of both biomass burning and coal combustion appeared at rural and urban sites with a significant difference between Houba (rural) and the wetland site (p 
  4. Wang W, Zhou F, Chang Y, Cui J, He D, Du J, et al.
    Bull Environ Contam Toxicol, 2020 Mar;104(3):380-385.
    PMID: 31932904 DOI: 10.1007/s00128-020-02786-0
    In this study, three soil amendments (inorganic, liming, or organic-inorganic materials) were used in a Cd-contaminated purple field soil to investigate their impacts on soil Cd availability, enzyme (urease, catalase, sucrase, and acid phosphatase) activities, microbial biomass (carbon/nitrogen) and type (bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes) in mustard and corn trials. Results showed that soil amendments generally decreased soil exchangeable Cd, fungi and bacterial populations while increasing the activities of all the four soil enzymes tested, microbial biomass carbon and populations of actinomycetes (p  0.05) whereas stronger effects appeared in soil organic matter and available nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium; p 
  5. Han F, Gulam MY, Zheng Y, Zulhaimi NS, Sia WR, He D, et al.
    Front Immunol, 2022;13:985385.
    PMID: 36341446 DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.985385
    MAIT cells are persistently depleted and functionally exhausted in HIV-1-infected patients despite long-term combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). IL-7 treatment supports MAIT cell reconstitution in vivo HIV-1-infected individuals and rescues their functionality in vitro. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the IL-7RA gene modulate the levels of soluble(s)IL-7Rα (sCD127) levels and influence bioavailability of circulating IL-7. Here we evaluate the potential influence of IL-7RA polymorphisms on MAIT cell numbers and function in healthy control (HC) subjects and HIV-1-infected individuals on long-term cART. Our findings indicate that IL-7RA haplotype 2 (H2*T), defined as T-allele carriers at the tagging SNP rs6897932, affects the size of the peripheral blood MAIT cell pool, as well as their production of cytokines and cytolytic effector proteins in response to bacterial stimulation. H2*T carriers had lower sIL-7Rα levels and higher MAIT cell frequency with enhanced functionality linked to higher expression of MAIT cell-associated transcription factors. Despite an average of 7 years on suppressive cART, MAIT cell levels and function in HIV-1-infected individuals were still significantly lower than those of HC. Notably, we observed a significant correlation between MAIT cell levels and cART duration only in HIV-1-infected individuals carrying IL-7RA haplotype 2. Interestingly, treatment with sIL-7Rα in vitro suppressed IL-7-dependent MAIT cell proliferation and function following cognate stimulations. These observations suggest that sIL-7Rα levels may influence MAIT cell numbers and function in vivo by limiting IL-7 bioavailability to MAIT cells. Collectively, these observations suggest that IL-7RA polymorphisms may play a significant role in MAIT cell biology and influence MAIT cells recovery in HIV-1 infection. The potential links between IL7RA polymorphisms, MAIT cell immunobiology, and HIV-1 infection warrant further studies going forward.
  6. Singh R, Low ET, Ooi LC, Ong-Abdullah M, Nookiah R, Ting NC, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2014 Jun 30;5:4106.
    PMID: 24978855 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5106
    Oil palm, a plantation crop of major economic importance in Southeast Asia, is the predominant source of edible oil worldwide. We report the identification of the virescens (VIR) gene, which controls fruit exocarp colour and is an indicator of ripeness. VIR is a R2R3-MYB transcription factor with homology to Lilium LhMYB12 and similarity to Arabidopsis production of anthocyanin pigment1 (PAP1). We identify five independent mutant alleles of VIR in over 400 accessions from sub-Saharan Africa that account for the dominant-negative virescens phenotype. Each mutation results in premature termination of the carboxy-terminal domain of VIR, resembling McClintock's C1-I allele in maize. The abundance of alleles likely reflects cultural practices, by which fruits were venerated for magical and medicinal properties. The identification of VIR will allow selection of the trait at the seed or early-nursery stage, 3-6 years before fruits are produced, greatly advancing introgression into elite breeding material.
  7. Singh R, Ong-Abdullah M, Low ET, Manaf MA, Rosli R, Nookiah R, et al.
    Nature, 2013 Aug 15;500(7462):335-9.
    PMID: 23883927 DOI: 10.1038/nature12309
    Oil palm is the most productive oil-bearing crop. Although it is planted on only 5% of the total world vegetable oil acreage, palm oil accounts for 33% of vegetable oil and 45% of edible oil worldwide, but increased cultivation competes with dwindling rainforest reserves. We report the 1.8-gigabase (Gb) genome sequence of the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, the predominant source of worldwide oil production. A total of 1.535 Gb of assembled sequence and transcriptome data from 30 tissue types were used to predict at least 34,802 genes, including oil biosynthesis genes and homologues of WRINKLED1 (WRI1), and other transcriptional regulators, which are highly expressed in the kernel. We also report the draft sequence of the South American oil palm Elaeis oleifera, which has the same number of chromosomes (2n = 32) and produces fertile interspecific hybrids with E. guineensis but seems to have diverged in the New World. Segmental duplications of chromosome arms define the palaeotetraploid origin of palm trees. The oil palm sequence enables the discovery of genes for important traits as well as somaclonal epigenetic alterations that restrict the use of clones in commercial plantings, and should therefore help to achieve sustainability for biofuels and edible oils, reducing the rainforest footprint of this tropical plantation crop.
  8. Ryon KA, Tierney BT, Frolova A, Kahles A, Desnues C, Ouzounis C, et al.
    iScience, 2022 Nov 18;25(11):104993.
    PMID: 36299999 DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104993
    The MetaSUB Consortium, founded in 2015, is a global consortium with an interdisciplinary team of clinicians, scientists, bioinformaticians, engineers, and designers, with members from more than 100 countries across the globe. This network has continually collected samples from urban and rural sites including subways and transit systems, sewage systems, hospitals, and other environmental sampling. These collections have been ongoing since 2015 and have continued when possible, even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The consortium has optimized their workflow for the collection, isolation, and sequencing of DNA and RNA collected from these various sites and processing them for metagenomics analysis, including the identification of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Here, the Consortium describes its foundations, and its ongoing work to expand on this network and to focus its scope on the mapping, annotation, and prediction of emerging pathogens, mapping microbial evolution and antibiotic resistance, and the discovery of novel organisms and biosynthetic gene clusters.
  9. Vilizzi L, Copp GH, Hill JE, Adamovich B, Aislabie L, Akin D, et al.
    Sci Total Environ, 2021 Sep 20;788:147868.
    PMID: 34134389 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147868
    The threat posed by invasive non-native species worldwide requires a global approach to identify which introduced species are likely to pose an elevated risk of impact to native species and ecosystems. To inform policy, stakeholders and management decisions on global threats to aquatic ecosystems, 195 assessors representing 120 risk assessment areas across all six inhabited continents screened 819 non-native species from 15 groups of aquatic organisms (freshwater, brackish, marine plants and animals) using the Aquatic Species Invasiveness Screening Kit. This multi-lingual decision-support tool for the risk screening of aquatic organisms provides assessors with risk scores for a species under current and future climate change conditions that, following a statistically based calibration, permits the accurate classification of species into high-, medium- and low-risk categories under current and predicted climate conditions. The 1730 screenings undertaken encompassed wide geographical areas (regions, political entities, parts thereof, water bodies, river basins, lake drainage basins, and marine regions), which permitted thresholds to be identified for almost all aquatic organismal groups screened as well as for tropical, temperate and continental climate classes, and for tropical and temperate marine ecoregions. In total, 33 species were identified as posing a 'very high risk' of being or becoming invasive, and the scores of several of these species under current climate increased under future climate conditions, primarily due to their wide thermal tolerances. The risk thresholds determined for taxonomic groups and climate zones provide a basis against which area-specific or climate-based calibrated thresholds may be interpreted. In turn, the risk rankings help decision-makers identify which species require an immediate 'rapid' management action (e.g. eradication, control) to avoid or mitigate adverse impacts, which require a full risk assessment, and which are to be restricted or banned with regard to importation and/or sale as ornamental or aquarium/fishery enhancement.
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