Publications by authors named "Hua Qian"

187 Publications

Comparison of indoor and outdoor oxidative potential of PM: pollution levels, temporal patterns, and key constituents.

Environ Int 2021 Jun 9;155:106684. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China; Engineering Research Center of Building Equipment, Energy, and Environment, Ministry of Education, Nanjing, China.

Oxidative potential (OP) of PM is an emerging health indicator representing its ability to induce oxidative stress and cause adverse health effects. We examined pollution levels, temporal variations, and key constituents of PM OP by DTT assay in both indoor and outdoor environments in Nanjing, China, for over one year. Outdoor OP (mass-normalized OP characterizes toxicity) and OP (volume-based OP characterizes overall oxidative burden) in Nanjing were at a medium level compared to results reported for twenty-seven cities. Although PM mass concentration consistently decreased during outdoor-to-indoor transport, OP varied by a factor of up to 2 in either direction, indicating a change of PM's ability to disrupt oxidative-reductive balance. Temporally, both outdoor and indoor OP exhibited a significant seasonality pattern (P < 0.01) as autumn > summer > spring > winter. Outdoor and indoor daytime-nighttime OP and OP are fluctuating within two-fold range. In addition, the change in water-soluble Fe had the highest correlation coefficient (P < 0.05) with ΔOP (ΔOP = OP-OP) among constituents measured here. Our results suggest that development of mitigation strategies take indoor PM's OP into account, instead of outdoors only, since they differ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106684DOI Listing
June 2021

Evidence for lack of transmission by close contact and surface touch in a restaurant outbreak of COVID-19.

J Infect 2021 May 29. Epub 2021 May 29.

Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangdong province, China. Electronic address:

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is primarily a respiratory disease that has become a global pandemic. Close contact plays an important role in infection spread, while fomite may also be a possible transmission route. Research during the COVID-19 pandemic has identified long-range airborne transmission as one of the important transmission routes although lack solid evidence.

Methods: We examined video data related to a restaurant associated COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou. We observed more than 40,000 surface touches and 13,000 episodes of close contacts in the restaurant during the entire lunch duration. These data allowed us to analyse infection risk via both the fomite and close contact routes.

Results: There is no significant correlation between the infection risk via both fomite and close contact routes among those who were not family members of the index case. We can thus rule out virus transmission via fomite contact and interpersonal close contact routes in the Guangzhou restaurant outbreak. The absence of a fomite route agrees with the COVID-19 literature.

Conclusions: These results provide indirect evidence for the long-range airborne route dominating SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the restaurant. We note that the restaurant was poorly ventilated, allowing for increasing airborne SARS-CoV-2 concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2021.05.030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8164346PMC
May 2021

Comparison of gefitinib-induced skin adverse reactions (SAR) in C57BL/6 and FVB/N mice.

Toxicol Res (Camb) 2021 Mar 11;10(2):334-344. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Sunshine South street, Fangshan district, Beijing 102488, China.

Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) such as gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib, are widely used in clinical practice and remarkably effective in treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. However, there are some adverse effects while taking EGFR-TKIs, among which skin adverse reactions (SAR) are the most common events. At present, the poor outcome of SAR and insufficient research on SAR models need to be addressed. In this study we focused on the SAR models to lay a foundation for mechanism researches. Gefitinib, one of the EGFR-TKIs, was used as SAR inducing agents. We chose C57BL/6 and FVB/N mice as experimental model and they were divided into four groups. The weight and skin moisture of mice were detected every 7 days, itching behavior and abnormal eyelids were tested at 35th day after gavage, and survival rate was also recorded. The weight of unit area hair, length of whiskers and inflammatory cells were evaluated after mice sacrificed. C57BL/6 animals treated with gefitinib showed significant differences in survival rate, weight of unit area hair, skin moisture changes, skin dryness, itching behavior, whisker irregular growth, abnormal eyelids, and inflammatory cells; FVB/N animals treated with gefitinib only showed significant differences in survival rate, whisker irregular growth and abnormal eyelids, compared with the control group, respectively. In this study, we compared the similarities and differences of gefitinib-induced SAR between C57BL/6 and FVB/N mice, which illustrated different patients probably showing different symptoms clinically and provided experimental basis for researching mechanism of EGFR-TKIs induced SAR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxres/tfab008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045597PMC
March 2021

Lack of cross-transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between passenger's cabins on the cruise ship.

Build Environ 2021 Jul 15;198:107839. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

An outbreak of COVID-19 occurred on the cruise ship in January and February 2020 in Japan. We analysed information on the cases of infection to infer whether airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, had occurred between cabins. We infer from our analysis that most infections in passengers started on 28 January and were completed by 6 February, except in those who shared a cabin with another infected passenger. The distribution of the infected cabins was random, and no spatial cluster of the infected can be identified. We infer that the ship's central air-conditioning system for passenger's cabins did not play a role in SARS-CoV-2 transmission, i.e. airborne transmission did not occur between cabins during the outbreak, suggesting that the sufficient ventilation was provided. We also infer that the ship's cabin drainage system did not play a role. Most transmission appears to have occurred in the public areas of the cruise ship, likely due to crowding and insufficient ventilation in some of these areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.107839DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046742PMC
July 2021

Revisiting physical distancing threshold in indoor environment using infection-risk-based modeling.

Environ Int 2021 08 2;153:106542. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China. Electronic address:

Physical distancing has been an important policy to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in public settings. However, the current 1-2 m physical distancing rule is based on the physics of droplet transport and could not directly translate into infection risk. We therefore revisit the 2-m physical distancing rule by developing an infection-risk-based model for human speaking. The key modeling framework components include viral load, droplets dispersion and evaporation, deposition efficiency, viral dose-response rate and infection risk. The results suggest that the one-size-fits-all 2-m physical distancing rule derived from the pure droplet-physics-based model is not applicable under some realistic indoor settings, and may rather increase transmission probability of diseases. Especially, in thermally stratified environments, the infection risk could exhibit multiple peaks for a long distance beyond 2 m. With Sobol's sensitivity analysis, most variance of the risk is found to be significantly attributable to the variability in temperature gradient, exposure time and breathing height difference. Our study suggests there is no such magic 2 m physical distancing rule for all environments, but it needs to be used alongside other strategies, such as using face cover, reducing exposure time, and controlling the thermal stratification of indoor environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106542DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8016632PMC
August 2021

Progesterone decreased indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1(IDO1) expression in early pregnancy chorionic villi and decidua.

Autoimmunity 2021 05 1;54(3):156-162. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital, Guiyang, China.

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase1(IDO1) is one of the most important proteins in protect the embryos from the mother's immune system during pregnancy. However, the regulation of the protein expression at the maternal-foetal interface is not fully known. We aimed to study the regulation of IDO1 expression by progesterone in villi and decidua of in early pregnancy. Fifty cases of early pregnancy women's villi and decidua were collected. Tissue explants of chorionic villi and the decidua were cultured in media containing in different concentrations of progesterone, in the presence or absence of mifepristone. Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence were used to detect the expression of IDO1 in chorionic villi and decidua in cultured tissues. IDO1 protein was identified in chorionic villi and decidua tissues of normal pregnant women, and the expression of IDO1in the decidua was significantly higher than those in chorionic villi. Progesterone decreased IDO1 expression in early pregnancy chorionic villi and decidua, and mifepristone, as the progesterone inhibitor, reverted this effect. In normal physiological state of pregnancy, progesterone may be involved in the regulation of immune tolerance by negative regulation of IDO1 expression at maternal foetal interface. Progesterone may down-regulate IDO1 expression during early pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08916934.2021.1907572DOI Listing
May 2021

Probable airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in a poorly ventilated restaurant.

Build Environ 2021 Jun 13;196:107788. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China.

Although airborne transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been recognized, the condition of ventilation for its occurrence is still being debated. We analyzed a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak involving three families in a restaurant in Guangzhou, China, assessed the possibility of airborne transmission, and characterized the associated environmental conditions. We collected epidemiological data, obtained a full video recording and seating records from the restaurant, and measured the dispersion of a warm tracer gas as a surrogate for exhaled droplets from the index case. Computer simulations were performed to simulate the spread of fine exhaled droplets. We compared the in-room location of subsequently infected cases and spread of the simulated virus-laden aerosol tracer. The ventilation rate was measured using the tracer gas concentration decay method. This outbreak involved ten infected persons in three families (A, B, C). All ten persons ate lunch at three neighboring tables at the same restaurant on January 24, 2020. None of the restaurant staff or the 68 patrons at the other 15 tables became infected. During this occasion, the measured ventilation rate was 0.9 L/s per person. No close contact or fomite contact was identified, aside from back-to-back sitting in some cases. Analysis of the airflow dynamics indicates that the infection distribution is consistent with a spread pattern representative of long-range transmission of exhaled virus-laden aerosols. Airborne transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is possible in crowded space with a ventilation rate of 1 L/s per person.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.107788DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7954773PMC
June 2021

Combining culturing and 16S rDNA sequencing to reveal seasonal and room variations of household airborne bacteria and correlative environmental factors in nanjing, southeast china.

Indoor Air 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.

Exposure to bioaerosols poses important health effects on occupants. To elucidate seasonal and room variations of household airborne bacteria, this study investigated 30 residential homes during summer and winter throughout Nanjing, Southeast China, with a humid subtropical climate. Culturing and 16S rDNA sequencing methods were combined in this study. Results showed that the community structure and composition in the same season but different homes show similarity, however, they in the same home but in different seasons show a huge difference, with Sphingomonas (25.3%), Clostridium (14.8%), and Pseudomonas (7.6%) being the dominant bacteria in summer, and Pseudomonas (57.1%) was dominant bacteria in winter. Culturable concentrations of bacteria were also significantly higher in summer (854 ± 425 CFU/m ) than in winter (231 ± 175 CFU/m ), but difference by home or room was relatively minor. More than 80% of culturable bacteria (<4.7 μm) could penetrate into lower respiratory tract. The seasonal variations of bacterial community and concentrations were closely associated with seasonal variations of temperature, humidity, and PM . Higher concentrations and larger sizes were observed in the bathroom and kitchen, typically with higher humidity than other rooms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ina.12807DOI Listing
March 2021

Two cases of granular C3 dermatosis with intraepidermal neutrophilic and eosinophilic infiltration possibly induced by anti-hypertensive drugs.

Australas J Dermatol 2021 May 26;62(2):e363-e365. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Dermatology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajd.13563DOI Listing
May 2021

Assessing and controlling infection risk with Wells-Riley model and spatial flow impact factor (SFIF).

Sustain Cities Soc 2021 Apr 16;67:102719. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Department of Building Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has spread worldwide since December 2019. Effective use of engineering controls can prevent its spread and thereby reduce its impact. As airborne transmission is an important mode of infectious respiratory disease transmission, mathematical models of airborne infection are needed to develop effective engineering control. We developed a new approach to obtain the spatial distribution for the probability of infection (PI) by combining the spatial flow impact factor (SFIF) method with the Wells-Riley model. Our method can be combined with the anti-problem approach, in order to determine the optimized arrangement of people and/or air purifiers in a confined space beyond the ability of previous methods. This method was validated by a CFD-integrated method, and an illustrative example is presented. We think our method can be helpful in controlling infection risk and making the best use of the space and equipment in built environments, which is important for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious respiratory diseases, and promoting the development of sustainable cities and society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2021.102719DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7834120PMC
April 2021

Effect of cultivation ages on anti-inflammatory activity of a new type of red ginseng.

Biomed Pharmacother 2021 Apr 20;136:111280. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Center of TCM Processing Research, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Higher Education Park, Fangshan District, Beijing, 102488, China; Beijing Key Laboratory for Quality Evaluation of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Higher Education Park, Fangshan District, Beijing, 102488, China. Electronic address:

Ginseng has been widely applied in clinical practice, but the cultivation age cannot be ignored as it influences the quality of ginseng and its products. In this work, different cultivation ages of fresh ginseng (FG) from four to seven years were analysed by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS. Principal component analysis and supervised orthogonal partial least squared discrimination analysis, which belong to the normal method of multivariate statistical analysis, were applied to discover the characteristic components of FG at different cultivation ages. The components of new type of red ginseng (NRG) derived from FG at different cultivation ages were compared by HPLC analysis. The pharmacological anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated by ELISA and qPCR. The result showed that the characteristic components of both 6- and 7-year-old ginseng were ginsenoside Rb1, mal-ginsenoside Rb1, ginsenoside Rc, mal-ginsenoside Rc, mal-ginsenoside Rb1 isomer, and mal-ginsenoside Rb2. Moreover, the characteristic components of both 4- and 5-year-old ginseng were ADP-glucose and 3-hydroxyhexanoyl CoA. In addition, 6-year-old NRG has higher rare ginsenosides than 4-year-old NRG, which possesses great anti-inflammatory activity in vitro. The results reveal the ginsenoside transformation law of NRG processing and suggest that the cultivation age of FG influences the content of ginsenosides in NRG. Therefore, 6-year-old ginseng is more suitable for red ginseng processing and clinical use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111280DOI Listing
April 2021

Cisplatin-resistant NSCLC cells induced by hypoxia transmit resistance to sensitive cells through exosomal PKM2.

Theranostics 2021 1;11(6):2860-2875. Epub 2021 Jan 1.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200127, China.

Hypoxia is commonly observed in solid tumors and contributes to the resistance of DNA damage drugs. However, the mechanisms behind this resistance are still unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore the effects of hypoxia-induced exosomes on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC cells were subjected to either normoxic or hypoxic conditions to assess cell survival and changes in the expression levels of key proteins. Comparative proteomics were performed to identify exosomal PKM2 in normoxic or hypoxic cisplatin-resistant NSCLC cells-derived exosomes. Functions of hypoxia induced-exosomal PKM2 in promoting cisplatin resistance to NSCLC cells were evaluated both and experiments and the molecular mechanisms of hypoxia induced-exosomal PKM2 were demonstrated using flow cytometry, immunoblotting, oxidative stress detection and histological examination. A series of experiments were performed to evaluate the function of hypoxia-induced exosomes on cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). Hypoxia exacerbated the cisplatin resistance in lung cancer cells due to the increased expression of PKM2 that was observed in the exosomes secreted by hypoxic cisplatin-resistance cells. We identified that hypoxia-induced exosomal PKM2 transmitted cisplatin-resistance to sensitive NSCLC cells and . Mechanistically, hypoxia-induced exosomal PKM2 promoted glycolysis in NSCLC cells to produce reductive metabolites, which may neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by cisplatin. Additionally, hypoxia-induced exosomal PKM2 inhibited apoptosis in a PKM2-BCL2-dependent manner. Moreover, hypoxia-induced exosomal PKM2 reprogrammed CAFs to create an acidic microenvironment promoting NSCLC cells proliferation and cisplatin resistance. Our findings revealed that hypoxia-induced exosomes transmit cisplatin resistance to sensitive NSCLC cells by delivering PKM2. Exosomal PKM2 may serve as a promising biomarker and therapeutic target for cisplatin resistance in NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.51797DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7806469PMC
January 2021

Ambient PM and its chemical constituents on lifetime-ever pneumonia in Chinese children: A multi-center study.

Environ Int 2021 01 18;146:106176. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China; Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety of the Ministry of Education, NHC Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment (Fudan University), Shanghai Typhoon Institute/CMA, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Meteorology and Health, Shanghai 200030, China. Electronic address:

The long-term effects of ambient PM and chemical constituents on childhood pneumonia were still unknown. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 30,315 children in the China Children, Homes, Health (CCHH) project, involving 205 preschools in six cities in China, to investigate the long-term effects of PM constituents on lifetime-ever diagnosed pneumonia. Information on the lifetime-ever pneumonia and demographics were collected by validated questionnaires. The lifetime annual average ambient PM, ozone and five main PM constituents, including SO, NO, NH, organic matter (OM) and black carbon (BC), were estimated according to preschool addresses by a combination of satellite remote sensing, chemical transport modeling and ground-based monitors. The prevalence of lifetime-ever diagnosed pneumonia was 34.5% across six cities and differed significantly among cities (p = 0.004). The two-level logistic regression models showed that the adjusted odds ratio for PM (per 10 µg/m) and its constituents (per 1 µg/m)-SO, NO, NH, and OM were 1.12 (95% CI:1.07-1.18), 1.02 (1.00-1.04), 1.06 (1.04-1.09), 1.05 (1.03-1.07) and 1.09 (1.06-1.12), respectively. Children in urban area, aged < 5 years and breastfeeding time < 6 months enhanced the risks of pneumonia. Our study provided robust results that long-term levels of ambient PM and its constituents increased the risk of childhood pneumonia, especially NH, NO and OM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106176DOI Listing
January 2021

Immature teratoma arising from uterine corpus in an 11-year-old girl: Case report and review of the literature.

J Obstet Gynaecol Res 2021 Jan 16;47(1):452-455. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Hospital Affiliated 5 to Nantong University (Taizhou People's Hospital), Taizhou, China.

Teratomas are one of the most common germ cell tumors, and they usually occur in ovaries. Extragonadal teratomas are rare, especially immature ones. Only several cases of primary teratomas of the uterus have been reported since 1929. Here, the case of an 11-year-old patient who had a 6-month history of sustained abnormal vaginal discharge is presented. Transabdominal ultrasonography revealed a solid mass in her uterus, resulting in the patient undergoing surgery. Examination of PET-CT scans revealed a mass in the right ovary of the patient 20 days after surgery. The patient underwent a second surgery followed by chemotherapy. This is the youngest case among reported patients of primary immature uterine teratoma, and this patient showed no evidence of recurrence during 2 years of follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jog.14547DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7839763PMC
January 2021

Indoor transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Indoor Air 2021 05 20;31(3):639-645. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

It is essential to understand where and how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted. Case reports were extracted from the local Municipal Health Commissions of 320 prefectural municipalities in China (not including Hubei Province). We identified all outbreaks involving three or more cases and reviewed the major characteristics of the enclosed spaces in which the outbreaks were reported and their associated indoor environmental aspects. Three hundred and eighteen outbreaks with three or more cases were identified, comprising a total of 1245 confirmed cases in 120 prefectural cities. Among the identified outbreaks, 53.8% involved three cases, 26.4% involved four cases, and only 1.6% involved ten or more cases. Home-based outbreaks were the dominant category (254 of 318 outbreaks; 79.9%), followed by transport-based outbreaks (108; 34.0%), and many outbreaks occurred in more than one category of venue. All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in indoor environments, which confirm that sharing indoor spaces with one or more infected persons is a major SARS-CoV-2 infection risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ina.12766DOI Listing
May 2021

Onset and remission of eczema at pre-school age in relation to prenatal and postnatal air pollution and home environment across China.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Feb 24;755(Pt 1):142467. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

XiangYa School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China; School of Energy Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China. Electronic address:

We investigated associations between prenatal and postnatal environmental factors and onset and remission of preschool childhood eczema across China. The study population was preschoolers in randomized day care centers in seven cities (N = 39,782). Data on eczema and prenatal and postnatal indoor and outdoor environment were obtained from a cross-sectional questionnaire sent to parents or other guardians. Reports on eczema in the first 2 years and in the past year was used to retrospectively calculate onset and remission (changes of reported eczema). Prenatal and postnatal outdoor temperature, NO and PM were modelled from official air pollution data. Associations were estimated by two-level logistic regression. Calculated onset rate was 3.2%/y and remission rate 29.2%/y. Exposure to NO during pregnancy was associated with onset of eczema, similarly for all trimesters. Postnatal PM and NO were related to decreased remission. Postnatal outdoor temperature was associated with onset of eczema. Pre-natal and current redecoration or buying new furniture, and perinatal as well as current dampness and indoor mould, were associated with increased onset and decreased remission. Cockroaches in current home was another indoor risk factors. Prenatal exposure to farm environment and large family size were all negatively associated with eczema. In conclusion, a warmer climate and prenatal NO can be associated with increased onset of eczema in Chinese preschoolers. Postnatal PM and NO can be associated with reduced remission. Perinatal and current dampness, indoor mould and cockroaches may increase onset and decrease remission. Exposure to chemical emissions from indoor materials after first year of life may increase onset. Prenatal exposure to farm environment and large family size could be protective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142467DOI Listing
February 2021

The novel glycyrrhetinic acid-tetramethylpyrazine conjugate TOGA induces anti-hepatocarcinogenesis by inhibiting the effects of tumor-associated macrophages on tumor cells.

Pharmacol Res 2020 11 5;161:105233. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 102488, China. Electronic address:

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), with its high recurrence and metastasis rates, is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality, and available treatments include surgical resection and liver transplantation. TOGA is a novel conjugate combining 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), an active component of licorice, and tetramethylpyrazine, an effective component of Chuanxiong, with a small-molecule amino acid. This study examined the anti-hepatoma effects of TOGA and its specific mechanisms of action. We found that TOGA significantly prevented tumor growth in both nude mice carrying liver cancer xenograftsand mice carrying orthotopic tumors with little toxicity. NanoString analysis screening illustrated that TOGA may exert its anti-tumor effects by targeting interleukin (IL)-1R receptor 1 (IL-1R1). Further, TOGA significantly prevented the invasion and migration of HepG2 cells induced by tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) or IL-1β, as confirmed by the reduced expression of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related proteins Snail and Vimentin. Furthermore, IL-1β-induced activation of the IL-1R1/IκB/IKK/NF-κB signaling pathway in HepG2 cells was proved to be inhibited by TOGA. Taken together, TOGA effectively prevents the support of TAMs from fueling tumorigenesis through a mechanism related to the NF-κB pathway, and it may be a promising GA-modified drug for the treatment of HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105233DOI Listing
November 2020

Gefitinib-Induced Cutaneous Toxicities in Brown Norway Rats Are Associated with Macrophage Infiltration.

Inflammation 2020 Dec;43(6):2137-2146

Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100029, China.

Gefitinib (Iressa), is a selective epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), used in the targeted treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Skin toxicity is the major adverse effect observed in patients treated with EGFR-targeted TKIs such as gefitinib and erlotinib. To date, a corresponding skin animal model has not been established to address the mechanisms of these effects. Therefore, we analyzed the skin rash phenotype and its pathological features in Brown Norway (BN) rats treated with gefitinib 2.5 mg, 5.0 mg, or 10 mg/100 g/day for 4 weeks. We found that treatment with gefitinib led to weight loss, rash, itching, and hair loss in a dose-dependent manner. We also investigated the skin pathology and found that the animal model showed thickening of the epidermis, loss of moisture, and apoptosis of keratinocytes. Immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and analysis of monocytes and leukocytes in the blood revealed increased macrophage infiltration was associated with the cutaneous toxicities induced by gefitinib in the BN rats. Finally, we found that gefitinib-induced cutaneous toxicity is significantly associated with three inflammatory cytokines known to be secreted by activated macrophages, TREM-1, CINC-2, and CINC-3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10753-020-01281-2DOI Listing
December 2020

Kojic acid enhances the proliferation of human corneal epithelial cells via p38 and p21 signaling pathways.

Eur J Ophthalmol 2020 Oct 2:1120672120962065. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Eye Hospital, First Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.

Purpose: Treatment of corneal injury depends on the self-proliferation ability of human corneal epithelial cells (HCEp). Our previous study revealed kojic acid had the anti-senescence function on human corneal endothelial cells. In this study, we researched the enhancive proliferation effect of kojic acid in HCEp.

Methods: Cell viability was evaluated by MTT assay. The expression of proliferation-related protein was detected by western blotting and immunofluorescence assay.

Results: Kojic acid could enhance HCEp proliferation, characterized by promoting cell proliferation rate, decreasing the expression levels of p21, galectin 8 and ki67, and increasing that of p-p38. The p38 signaling pathway inhibitor, SB203580, could reverse the enhancive proliferation function of kojic acid. Furthermore, knockdown of p21 had similar enhancive proliferation effect to kojic acid.

Conclusion: Kojic acid might enhance HCEp proliferation through p38 and p21 signaling pathways, potentially via reduced expression levels of galectin 8 and ki67. Hence, kojic acid might be a potential drug to accelerate the healing of corneal epithelial injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1120672120962065DOI Listing
October 2020

Toilets dominate environmental detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in a hospital.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jan 15;753:141710. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

Respiratory and fecal aerosols play confirmed and suspected roles, respectively, in transmitting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). An extensive environmental sampling campaign of both toilet and non-toilet environments was performed in a dedicated hospital building for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the associated environmental factors were analyzed. In total, 107 surface samples, 46 air samples, two exhaled condensate samples, and two expired air samples were collected within and beyond four three-bed isolation rooms. The data of the COVID-19 patients were collected. The building environmental design and the cleaning routines were reviewed. Field measurements of airflow and CO concentrations were conducted. The 107 surface samples comprised 37 from toilets, 34 from other surfaces in isolation rooms, and 36 from other surfaces outside the isolation rooms in the hospital. Four of these samples were positive, namely two ward door handles, one bathroom toilet seat cover, and one bathroom door handle. Three were weakly positive, namely one bathroom toilet seat, one bathroom washbasin tap lever, and one bathroom ceiling exhaust louver. Of the 46 air samples, one collected from a corridor was weakly positive. The two exhaled condensate samples and the two expired air samples were negative. The fecal-derived aerosols in patients' toilets contained most of the detected SARS-CoV-2 in the hospital, highlighting the importance of surface and hand hygiene for intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141710DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7428758PMC
January 2021

Asthma and allergic rhinitis among young parents in China in relation to outdoor air pollution, climate and home environment.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jan 18;751:141734. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

We estimated associations between ambient air pollution, home environment and asthma as well as rhinitis among adults across China. A total of 40,279 young adults from eight Chinese cities participated in a questionnaire survey (participation rate 75%). There were questions on health and home environment. Information on city level gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, ambient temperature and PM and NO were collected from registers. Two-level logistic regression models were used to study health associations. Totally 1.6% reported asthma and 6.6% reported allergic rhinitis (AR). Higher temperature was associated with more asthma but less AR. Higher GDP was associated with less asthma but more AR. Higher degree of urbanization, higher level of NO and living near heavily trafficked road were risk factors for asthma and AR. Participants in older buildings reported more asthma. Redecoration and buying new furniture were related to more asthma and AR (OR = 1.15-1.91). Using natural gas (OR = 1.34) and biomass (OR = 1.35) for cooking were risk factors for AR. Burning mosquito coils and incense increased the risk of asthma and AR. Cat keeping (OR = 2.88), dog keeping (OR = 2.04), cockroaches (OR = 1.54) and rats or mice (OR = 1.46) were associated with asthma. Cockroaches increased the risk of AR (OR = 1.22). Air humidifier and air cleaner were linked to asthma and AR. Frequent cleaning and exposing bedding to sunshine were protective. In conclusion, urbanization, NO and traffic exhaust can increase the risk of adult asthma and AR. Higher ambient temperature was related to more asthma but less AR. Indoor animals such as cats, dogs, rats/mice and presence of cockroaches were associated with asthma or AR. Indoor chemical sources such as redecoration and new furniture were other risk factors. Cooking with natural gas or biomass and burning mosquito coils and incense were associated with asthma or AR. Frequent cleaning and exposing bedding to sunshine were protective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141734DOI Listing
January 2021

Probable Evidence of Fecal Aerosol Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in a High-Rise Building.

Ann Intern Med 2020 12 1;173(12):974-980. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

The State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China (N.Z.).

Background: The role of fecal aerosols in the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has been suspected.

Objective: To investigate the temporal and spatial distributions of 3 infected families in a high-rise apartment building and examine the associated environmental variables to verify the role of fecal aerosols.

Design: Epidemiologic survey and quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analyses on throat swabs from the participants; 237 surface and air samples from 11 of the 83 flats in the building, public areas, and building drainage systems; and tracer gas released into bathrooms as a surrogate for virus-laden aerosols in the drainage system.

Setting: A high-rise apartment building in Guangzhou, China.

Participants: 9 infected patients, 193 other residents of the building, and 24 members of the building's management staff.

Measurements: Locations of infected flats and positive environmental samples, and spread of virus-laden aerosols.

Results: 9 infected patients in 3 families were identified. The first family had a history of travel to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epicenter Wuhan, whereas the other 2 families had no travel history and a later onset of symptoms. No evidence was found for transmission via the elevator or elsewhere. The families lived in 3 vertically aligned flats connected by drainage pipes in the master bathrooms. Both the observed infections and the locations of positive environmental samples are consistent with the vertical spread of virus-laden aerosols via these stacks and vents.

Limitation: Inability to determine whether the water seals were dried out in the flats of the infected families.

Conclusion: On the basis of circumstantial evidence, fecal aerosol transmission may have caused the community outbreak of COVID-19 in this high-rise building.

Primary Funding Source: Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province and the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M20-0928DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7464151PMC
December 2020

The impact of indoor thermal stratification on the dispersion of human speech droplets.

Indoor Air 2021 Mar 21;31(2):369-382. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.

Exhaled jets from an infected person are found to be locked at a certain height when thermal stratification exists in rooms, causing a potential high risk of disease transmission. This work is focused on the theoretical analysis of the dynamic characteristics of human speech droplets and the residual droplet nuclei in both thermally uniform and stratified environments. Results show that most droplets generated from human speaking can totally evaporate or deposit to the ground within 1.5-2 m. For small droplets of < 80μm, thermal stratification shows a more significant impact on their residues. The lock-up height of the droplet nuclei is a function of droplet size and the temperature gradient, and within this lock-up layer, these droplet nuclei can travel a long distance, much more than 2m. For medium droplets of 80-180 μm, thermal stratification can weaken the evaporation and accelerate the deposition processes, equivalent to a higher relative humidity (RH). Accordingly, more droplets can deposit to the ground, reducing the exposure to large droplets in close proximity to the source. Large droplets of > 180μm show no dependence on stratification and RH. These findings can have implications for developing effective engineering methods to limit the spread of infectious disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ina.12737DOI Listing
March 2021

Indoor exposure levels of bacteria and fungi in residences, schools, and offices in China: A systematic review.

Indoor Air 2020 11 25;30(6):1147-1165. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.

Microbes in buildings have attracted extensive attention from both the research community and the general public due to their close relationship with human health. However, there still lacks comprehensive information on the indoor exposure level of microbes in China. This study systematically reviews exposure levels, the community structures, and the impact factors of airborne bacteria and fungi in residences, schools, and offices in China. We reviewed the major literature databases between 1980 and 2019 and selected 55 original studies based on a set of criteria. Results show that the concentration of indoor bacteria varies from 72.5 to 7500 CFU/m , with a median value of 1000 CFU/m , and the concentration of fungi varies from 12 to 9730 CFU/m , with a median value of 526 CFU/m . The concentration level of microbes varies in different climate zones, with higher bacterial concentrations in the severe cold zone, and higher fungal concentrations in the hot summer and warm winter zone. Among different buildings, classrooms have the highest average bacteria and fungi levels. This review reveals that a unified assessment system based on health effects is needed for evaluating the exposure levels of bacteria and fungi.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ina.12734DOI Listing
November 2020

Common cold among young adults in China without a history of asthma or allergic rhinitis - associations with warmer climate zone, dampness and mould at home, and outdoor PM and PM.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Dec 10;749:141580. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

XiangYa School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China; School of Energy Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China. Electronic address:

This paper studied associations between reported common cold and home dampness and mould, cleaning habits and ventilation, climate and outdoor air pollution in China among young adults without asthma or allergic rhinitis. Parents of children attending day care in eight Chinese cities answered a questionnaire on their health and home environment (75% response rate). We restricted the population to subject without asthma or allergic rhinitis (N = 37,275). Temperature and air pollution data was obtained from monitoring stations. Associations were estimated by multilevel logistic regression. Totally 12.5% reported common cold (≥3 colds) and 1.6% frequent common cold (≥5 colds) in the past 12 months. Female gender (OR = 1.53; 95% CI 1.37-1.71), residents in southern China (OR = 1.89; 95% CI 1.16-3.07) and living in homes with water leakage (OR = 1.32; 95% CI 1.16-1.50), mould odour (OR = 1.48; 95% CI 1.28-1.72), indoor mould (OR = 1.47; 95% CI 1.28-1.70), condensation on window panes (OR = 1.42; 95% CI 1.32-1.52) and damp bed clothing (OR = 1.19; 95% CI 1.11-1.28) were associated with common cold. Having many signs of dampness increased ORs. Daily cleaning (OR = 0.91; 95% CI 0.85-0.97) and mechanical ventilation in kitchen or bathroom (OR = 0.75; 95% CI 0.64-0.89) were protective. Higher mean ambient temperature (OR = 1.11 per °C; 95% CI 1.02-1.21), PM (OR = 1.17 per 10 μg/m; 95% CI 1.14-1.21) and PM (OR = 1.28 per 10 μg/m; 95% CI 1.20-1.37) were associated with common cold. The association with particulate air pollution was stronger in southern China. Similar associations were found for frequent common cold. In conclusion, indoor dampness and mould, a warmer climate and PM and PM can be associated with reported common cold. Further intervention and prospective studies are needed to verify causality of observed association in this cross-sectional study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141580DOI Listing
December 2020

A novel circulated air curtain system to confine the transmission of exhaled contaminants: A numerical and experimental investigation.

Build Simul 2020 Aug 4:1-13. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210096 China.

Air curtain is an efficient device for cutting off airflow and confining contaminants. Inspired by the ability, a circulated air curtain composed of end-to-end plane jets generated by a relay of air pillars is proposed to confine exhaled contaminants in this study. Furthermore, the optimization study of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is conducted to explore cutting-off performance and find better design parameters under different conditions, i.e., human-curtain distance, enclosure shape, jet velocity from air pillar, and exhalation modes. The multidirectional blockage and vortex-like rotative transmission routes of exhaled airflow are observed when air curtain exists. Results indicate that contaminants are concentrated around the source. The average mole fraction of exhaled contaminants outside air curtain under different human-curtain distance decreases 4.3%-19.6% compared to mixing ventilation with same flux. Shortening the human-curtain distance can improve the performance of air curtain and may change the direction of exhaled airflow. Moreover, It has better performance when the enclosure shape is close to a circle. Higher jet velocity is better for improving the confinement performance, but the trend is not very obvious as velocity increases. For exhalation modes, it is more challenging to control exhaled contaminants for intense exhalation activity (such as coughing) in steady simulation, but results in transient simulation show better performance when coughing only once. These results can provide a reference for the subsequent design and improvement in applying air curtain in hospital wards or other places, especially during the period of flu outbreak.

Electronic Supplementary Material Esm: Supplementary material is available in the online version of this article at 10.1007/s12273-020-0667-5. The ESM file presents the animation of the droplet trajectory from the droplet birth at 0 s to 8 s.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12273-020-0667-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399030PMC
August 2020

Using air curtains to reduce short-range infection risk in consulting ward: A numerical investigation.

Build Simul 2020 Jun 26:1-11. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210096 China.

Air curtains is promising in reducing the short-range infection risk in hospitals. To quantitatively evaluate its performance, this paper explores air curtains equipped on normal consulting desk to avoid doctor's direct exposure to the patient exhaled pollutants. A numerical investigation is conducted to evaluate the effects of supply air velocity and angle on cutting off performance. Simulation results show that the average mass fraction of exhaled pollutants decreases significantly (70%-90%) in the consulting ward, indicating satisfying performance of air curtains. Increasing supply air velocity is demonstrated to be conducive in forming full air curtains, whereas an excessively high supply air velocity may be of adverse effects by entraining exhaled flow. Besides, the supply air angle is also critical due to its coupling with supply air velocity. It is found that larger angle (0°-40°) is better where velocity is less than 3 m/s, otherwise a small angle (20°) is preferable where velocity is larger than 3 m/s. Exhaled flow could be well suppressed at the supply air angle 20° but moves over air curtains at 40°. This study can provide effective and intuitive guidance in applying air curtains in consulting wards.

Electronic Supplementary Material Esm: supplementary material is available in the online version of this article at 10.1007/s12273-020-0649-7. The ESM files include the animation of patient exhaled droplets from the droplet birth at 0 s to 5 s under the supply air angle 0°, 20°, 40°, at supply air velocity 3 m/s.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12273-020-0649-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7317245PMC
June 2020

Impact of intervention methods on COVID-19 transmission in Shenzhen.

Build Environ 2020 Aug 2;180:107106. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.

By March 31, 2020, COVID-19 had spread to more than 200 countries. Over 750,000 confirmed cases were reported, leading to more than 36,000 deaths. In this study, we analysed the efficiency of various intervention strategies to prevent infection by the virus, SARS-CoV-2, using an agent-based SEIIR model, in the fully urbanised city of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China. Shortening the duration from symptom onset to hospital admission, quarantining recent arrivals from Hubei Province, and letting symptomatic individuals stay at home were found to be the three most important interventions to reduce the risk of infection in Shenzhen. The ideal time window for a mandatory quarantine of arrivals from Hubei Province was between 10 January and January 17, 2020, while the ideal time window for local intervention strategies was between 15 and 22 January. The risk of infection could have been reduced by 50% if all symptomatic individuals had immediately gone to hospital for isolation, and by 35% if a 14-day quarantine for arrivals from Hubei Province had been introduced one week earlier. Intervention strategies implemented in Shenzhen were effective, and the spread of infection would be controlled even if the initial basic reproduction number had doubled. Our results may be useful for other cities when choosing their intervention strategies to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2020.107106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7331564PMC
August 2020

A laboratory study of the expiratory airflow and particle dispersion in the stratified indoor environment.

Build Environ 2020 Aug 11;180:106988. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.

Understanding the role of human expiratory flows on respiratory infection in ventilated environments is useful for taking appropriate interventions to minimize the infection risk. Some studies have predicted the lock-up phenomenon of exhaled flows in stratified environments; however, there is a lack of high-quality experimental data to validate the theoretical models. In addition, how thermal stratification affects the transport of exhaled particles has not been explored so far. In this study, a water tank experiment was conducted according to the similarity protocols to mimic how the expiratory airflow and particles behaved in both uniform and stratified environments. The lock-up phenomenon was visualized and compared with the predicted results by an integral model. Results showed that our previously developed theoretical model of a respiratory airflow was effective to predict the airflow dispersion in stratified environments. Stratification frequency () of the background fluid and the Froude Number of the thermal flow jointly determined the lock-up layer in a power law. For the particle dispersion, it indicated that small particles such as fine droplets and droplet nuclei would be 'locked' by indoor thermal stratification, and disperse with the thermal flow over a long distance, potentially increasing the long-range airborne infection risk. Large particles such as large droplets can deposit within a short distance, hardly affected by thermal stratification, however, droplet infection could happen to the susceptible people at a close contact with the infector. This study could give some guidance in view of cross-infection control indoors for stratified environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2020.106988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7289122PMC
August 2020