BioMed Research International The latest articles from Hindawi © 2019 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Intervention with α-Ketoglutarate Ameliorates Colitis-Related Colorectal Carcinoma via Modulation of the Gut Microbiome Mon, 17 Jun 2019 12:05:02 +0000 The intestinal microbiome plays a crucial role in promoting intestinal health, and perturbations to its constitution may result in chronic intestinal inflammation and lead to colorectal cancer (CRC). α-Ketoglutarate is an important intermediary in the NF-κB-mediated inflammatory pathway that maintains intestinal homeostasis and prevents initiation of intestinal inflammation, a known precursor to carcinoma development. The objective of this study was to assess the potential protective effects of α-ketoglutarate intervention against CRC development, which may arise due to its known anti-inflammatory and antitumour effects. CRC was induced in C57BL/6 mice using azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). Tumour frequency, histological rating, and colonic microbiota were assessed in colonic samples. The findings demonstrated that α-ketoglutarate offered significant protection against CRC development in mice. Furthermore, α-ketoglutarate also exhibited immunomodulatory effects mediated via downregulation of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-22, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and IL-1β cytokines. Finally, intervention with α-ketoglutarate tended to minimise the frequency of opportunistic pathogens (Escherichia and Enterococcus) while increasing the populations of Akkermansia, Butyricicoccus, Clostridium, and Ruminococcus. Taken together, our findings show that dietary α-ketoglutarate intervention may protect against inflammation-related CRC. Si Li, Chenxing Fu, Yurong Zhao, and Jianhua He Copyright © 2019 Si Li et al. All rights reserved. Medial Open-Wedge Supramalleolar Osteotomy for Patients with Takakura 3B Ankle Osteoarthritis: A Mid- to Long-Term Study Mon, 17 Jun 2019 12:05:00 +0000 It is controversial whether supramalleolar osteotomy is suitable for Takakura Stage 3B osteoarthritis or not. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of supramalleolar osteotomy in patients with Takakura 3B osteoarthritis. From February 2008 to August 2013, supramalleolar osteotomy was performed in 21 patients matching the inclusion criteria. The mean patient age at operation was 53.7±5.8 years (range: 39 to 61 years). The mean duration of follow-up was 87.7±19.5 months (range: 61 to 125 months). The radiologic evaluation included the tibial articular surface (TAS) angle, tibial lateral surface (TLS) angle, and talar tilt (TT) angle. Functional assessment was performed with use of the AOFAS, VAS, SF-36, and AOS. All patients were followed. TAS angle improved from 82.8±2.4 to 90.3±2.3. TLS angle changed from 77.5±2.8 to 79.4±2.7. The preoperative TT angle and postoperative TT angle were 13.4±3.6 to 4.8±3.6, respectively. For functional evaluation, the preoperative VAS and AOFAS-AH scores were 5.7±1.3 and 48.0±15.8, while the postoperative VAS and AOFAS-AH scores were 2.5±1.9 and 74.8±11.5. The mean SF-36 scale improved from 41.2±13.1 to 66.7±14.9. The AOS score improved from 61.4±12.5 to 27.5±17.8. 1 patient underwent total ankle replacement 3 years postoperatively. 4 patients remained stage 3B including the TAR one. 4 improved to stage 3A, 11 improved to stage 2, and 2 improved to stage 1. Supramalleolar osteotomy combined with auxiliary procedures can restore the malalignment of ankle joint and modify the abnormal stress distribution so as to achieve functional improvement and improve radiographic stages. Yang Xu and Xiang-yang Xu Copyright © 2019 Yang Xu and Xiang-yang Xu. All rights reserved. Analysis of the Relationship between Adult Asthma and Stroke: A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study Using the Korean National Sample Cohort Mon, 17 Jun 2019 10:05:02 +0000 Several previous studies demonstrated the risk of stroke in asthma patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke in asthma patients, independent of age, sex, income, region of residence, and past medical histories. The Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service-National Sample Cohort from 2002 through 2013 was used. Overall, 111,364 asthma patients ≥ 20 years old were matched to 111,364 control participants for age, sex, income, region of residence, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Asthma was classified using ICD-10 codes (J45 and J46) and medication history. The admission histories were investigated for hemorrhagic stroke (I60-I62) and ischemic stroke (I63) using ICD-10 codes. The crude and adjusted (age, sex, income, region of residence, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, ischemic heart disease, and depression) hazard ratios (HRs) for hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke in asthma patients were analyzed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Subgroup analyses were conducted according to age and sex. Hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke were found in 0.7% (795/117,364) and 2.4% (922/117,364) of the asthma group and in 0.8% (922/117,364) and 2.6% (93,079/117,364) of the control group, respectively. The asthma group demonstrated adjusted HRs of 0.86 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.78-0.94, p = 0.002) for hemorrhagic stroke and 0.91 (95% CI = 0.86-0.95, p = 0.002) for ischemic stroke. None of the subgroups of asthma patients showed higher HRs for stroke. Asthma did not elevate the risk of either hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke. So Young Kim, Hyun Lim, Jae-Sung Lim, and Hyo Geun Choi Copyright © 2019 So Young Kim et al. All rights reserved. Potential Protective Effect of Achillea fragrantissima against Adriamycin-Induced Cardiotoxicity in Rats via an Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Pathway Mon, 17 Jun 2019 10:05:00 +0000 Adriamycin (Adr) is a cytotoxic anthracycline agent that is utilized to manage many types of tumors, but its clinical use is undesirable due to severe cardiotoxicity. The present study aimed to investigate the cardioprotective effect of Achillea fragrantissima (A. fragrantissima) against Adr-induced cardiotoxicity through the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory metabolic pathways. A single dose of Adr was injected in rats to induce cardiotoxicity. Rats are divided into 5 groups, control, A. fragrantissima 800, Adr, A. fragrantissima 400 + Adr, and A. fragrantissima 800 + Adr. 72 h after Adr administration, electrocardiographic (ECG) study was performed for all rats. Serum and hearts were then collected for biochemical and histopathological studies. A. fragrantissima ameliorated Adr-induced ST-segment elevation. It reduced Adr-induced elevation in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), and IL-6. It also protected against Adr-induced histopathological changes. Pretreatment with the extract increased heart tissue contents of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) and reduced glutathione (GSH). Phytochemical analysis of the extract revealed that it is rich in phenolic and flavonoid active constituents. The results of this study revealed that A. fragrantissima extract ameliorates Adr-induced cardiotoxicity via an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Further studies are warranted in order to recognize the precise active constituents of this natural extract which are responsible for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Maha A. Hijazi, Hanan A. Jambi, Buthaina M. Aljehany, and Maha A. Althaiban Copyright © 2019 Maha A. Hijazi et al. All rights reserved. Cytotoxic and Antitumor Activity of Lactaptin in Combination with Autophagy Inducers and Inhibitors Mon, 17 Jun 2019 09:05:00 +0000 Autophagy is a degradative process in which cellular organelles and proteins are recycled to restore homeostasis and cellular metabolism. Autophagy can be either a prosurvival or a prodeath process and remains one of the most fundamental processes for cell vitality. Thus autophagy modulation is an important approach for reinforcement anticancer therapeutics. Earlier we have demonstrated that recombinant analog of human milk protein lactaptin (RL2) induced apoptosis of various cultured cancer cells and activated lipidation of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3). In this study we investigated whether autophagy inhibitors—chloroquine (CQ), Ku55933 (Ku), and 3-methyladenine (3MA)—or inducer—rapamycin (Rap)—can enhance cytotoxic activity of lactaptin analog in cancer cells and its anticancer activity in the mice model. Western Blot analysis revealed that RL2 induced short-term autophagy in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells at early stages of incubation and that these data were confirmed by the transmission electron microscopy of autophagosome/autophagolysosome formation. RL2 stimulates reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, autophagosomes accumulation, upregulation of ATG5 with processing of LC3I to LC3II, and downregulation of p62/sequestosome 1 (p62). We have shown that autophagy modulators, CQ, Ku, and Rap, synergistically increased cytotoxicity of RL2, and RL2 with CQ induced autophagic cell death. In addition, CQ, Ku, and Rap in combination with RL2 decreased activity of lysosomal protease Cathepsin D. More importantly, combining RL2 with CQ, we improved antitumor effect in mice. Detected synergistic cytotoxic effects of both types of autophagy regulators, inhibitors, and inducers with RL2 against cancer cells allow us to believe that these combinations can be a basis for the new anticancer approach. Finally, we suppose that CQ and Rap promoting of short-term RL2-induced autophagy interlinks with final autophagic cell death. Anastasia V. Bagamanshina, Olga S. Troitskaya, Anna A. Nushtaeva, Anastasia Yu Yunusova, Marina O. Starykovych, Elena V. Kuligina, Yuri Ya Kit, Max Richter, Fabian Wohlfromm, Thilo Kähne, Inna N. Lavrik, Vladimir A. Richter, and Olga A. Koval Copyright © 2019 Anastasia V. Bagamanshina et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Controlled Atmosphere on the Storage Quality and Aroma Compounds of Lemon Fruits Using the Designed Automatic Control Apparatus Mon, 17 Jun 2019 08:05:07 +0000 ‘Eureka’ lemon fruits were stored under four controlled atmosphere- (CA-) combinations at 8°C for 20 days to investigate the effects on weight loss (WL), total soluble solids (TSS), titratable acidity (TA), vitamin C (VC), total phenolic content (TPC), sodium carbonate-soluble pectin (SSP), malondialdehyde (MDA), and volatile compounds. Results showed that the contents of TSS, TA, VC, and SSP in the stored fruits reduced during the storage period, while the WL and MDA increased. Fruit stored under CA2-combination (6 % O2+8 % CO2) showed the lower contents of WL and MDA and the higher content of TSS, TA, TPC, and VC than that of other treated fruits. The main volatile compounds present in the lemons were terpenoids, aldehydes, alcohols, and esters. In addition, both the terpenoid and aldehyde content are substantially higher in lemons exposed to CA2 conditions. In contrast, the alcohols and esters displayed elevated levels in the regular air (RA) stored fruit. In conclusion, CA with the suitable conditions proves to be better than RA as a storage regimen to keep the quality of lemons. These results indicated that the application of 6% O2+8% CO2 CA conditions could maintain the quality of ‘Eureka’ lemon fruit during the storage time of 20 days and should be the optimal storage environment for postharvest Eureka lemons. Yuan Ma, Shaohua Li, Xiaocui Yin, Yage Xing, Hongbin Lin, Qinglian Xu, Xiufang Bi, and Cunkun Chen Copyright © 2019 Yuan Ma et al. All rights reserved. Detection of Virulence Genes in Multidrug Resistant Enterococci Isolated from Feedlots Dairy and Beef Cattle: Implications for Human Health and Food Safety Mon, 17 Jun 2019 08:05:05 +0000 The misuse/abuse of antibiotics in intensive animal rearing and communities led to the emergence of resistant isolates such as vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VREs) worldwide. This has become a major source of concern for the public health sector. The aim of this study was to report the antibiotic resistance profiles and to highlight the presence of virulence genes in VREs isolated from feedlots cattle of the North-West Province of South Africa. 384 faecal samples, 24 drinking troughs water, and 24 soil samples were collected aseptically from 6 registered feedlots. Biochemical and molecular methods were used to identify and categorise the enterococci isolates. Their antibiotic resistance profiles were assessed and genotypic methods were used to determine their antibiotic resistance and their virulence profiles. 527 presumptive isolates were recovered, out of which 289 isolates were confirmed as Enterococcus sp. Specifically, E. faecalis (9%), E. faecium (10%), E. durans (69%), E. gallinarum (6%), E. casseliflavus (2%), E. mundtii (2%), and E. avium (2%) were screened after molecular assays. VanA (62%), vanB (17%), and vanC (21%) resistance genes were detected in 176 Enterococcus sp., respectively. Moreover, tetK (26), tetL (57), msrA/B (111), and mefA (9) efflux pump genes were detected in 138 VRE isolates. Multiple antibiotic resistances were confirmed in all the VRE isolates of this study; the most common antibiotic resistance phenotype was ------. CylA, hyl, esp, gelE, and asa1 virulence genes were detected in 86 VREs with the exception of vancomycin-resistant E. mundtii isolates that did not display any virulence factor. Most VRE isolates had more than one virulence genes but the most encountered virulence profile was gelE-hyl. Potentially pathogenic multidrug resistant VREs were detected in this study; this highlights the impact of extensive usage of antimicrobials in intensive animal rearing and its implications on public health cannot be undermined. Frank Eric Tatsing Foka and Collins Njie Ateba Copyright © 2019 Frank Eric Tatsing Foka and Collins Njie Ateba. All rights reserved. Warshaw Technique in Laparoscopic Spleen-Preserving Distal Pancreatectomy: Surgical Strategy and Late Outcomes of Splenic Preservation Mon, 17 Jun 2019 08:05:03 +0000 Laparoscopic spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy (LSPDP) can be accomplished with either the preservation or the resection of splenic vessels; the latter is also known as Warshaw technique. Our study is designed to investigate the operation selection strategy when proceeding LSPDP and to evaluate the long-term outcomes of patients undergoing Warshaw surgery. The medical records and follow-up data of patients who underwent LSPDP in Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, were reviewed retrospectively. A total of thirty-five patients were involved in this study, including 17 cases of patients who were treated with Warshaw procedure (WT) while the other 18 cases had splenic vessels preserved (SVP). Compared with the SVP group, the operative time and intraoperative blood loss in WT group were improved significantly. The incidence of early postoperative splenic infarction was higher in WT group. However, there was no report of splenic abscess or second operation. Follow-up data confirmed that there was no significant difference in spleen phagocytosis and immune function compared with normal healthy population. Our study confirms that LSPDP-Warshaw procedure is a safe and efficient treatment for the benign or low grade malignant tumors in distal pancreas in selected patients. The long-term spleen function is normal after Warshaw procedure. Preoperative assessment and intraoperative exploration are recommended for the selection of operation approaches. Lei Wang, Dong Wu, Yu-gang Cheng, Jian-wei Xu, Hai-bo Chu, Guang-yong Zhang, San-yuan Hu, and Han-xiang Zhan Copyright © 2019 Lei Wang et al. All rights reserved. Antioxidant Potential, Phytochemicals Composition, and Metal Contents of Datura alba Mon, 17 Jun 2019 08:05:00 +0000 This study investigated the phytochemical characteristics and antioxidant activity in leaves, roots, stem, flower, and seed parts of Datura alba (D. alba). The study also assessed the heavy metal (Cr, Mn, Zn, and Cu) accumulation in each part of the plant. Among the phytochemicals, alkaloids were found only in leaves while tannins, flavonoids, and phenols were present in all parts of the plant. For antioxidant activity, free radical scavenging assay for 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) was performed using ascorbic acid as the standard. Higher activity was shown by stem extract in methanol and leaf extract in n-hexane, ethyl acetate, and chloroform. Furthermore, all the target heavy metals were detected in all plant sections with the highest concentration of Zn in leaves and Cu in stem, root, flower, and seed. Due to stronger antioxidant potential and phytochemical composition, D. alba could prove as valuable prospect in pharmaceutical formulations by taking part in the antioxidant defense system against generation of free radicals. Waliullah Khan, Sidra Subhan, Dilawar Farhan Shams, Sahib Gul Afridi, Riaz Ullah, Abdelaaty A. Shahat, and Ali S. Alqahtani Copyright © 2019 Waliullah Khan et al. All rights reserved. Remote Corticotomy Accelerates Orthodontic Tooth Movement in a Rat Model Mon, 17 Jun 2019 07:05:03 +0000 Introduction. With an increasing demand for orthodontic treatment for adult patients, orthodontic professionals are constantly seeking novel strategies and technologies that can accelerate tooth movement in order to shorten the treatment period. For instance, in recent years, the influences of different surgical techniques on orthodontic tooth movement in the ipsilateral side of surgery were intensively investigated. Here, we attempt to examine if corticotomy could also affect the rate of tooth movement in the contralateral side of the surgery by using a rodent model. Materials and Methods. 72 eight-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups as follows: the Control group (orthodontic treatment devices delivered only, no tooth movement), the orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) group (orthodontic treatment devices delivered and orthodontic treatment performed), and the Corticotomy + OTM group (remote corticotomy performed, orthodontic treatment devices delivered, followed by orthodontic treatment). The surgical procedure was conducted on the right side of the maxilla at the time of appliance placement and a force of 60 g was applied between the maxillary left first molar and maxillary incisors using nickel-titanium springs to stimulate OTM. The OTM distance and speed were tracked at 3, 7, 14, and 28 days post-surgery, followed by histological and immunohistochemical assessments. Results. In comparison with orthodontic treatment only, the contralateral corticotomy significantly accelerated OTM. Furthermore, animals undergoing corticotomy + OTM presented with a greater number of osteoclasts on the compression side, stronger staining of the osteogenic marker on the tension side, and higher expression of an inflammatory marker than the OTM group animals. Conclusion. Our current study demonstrates that remote corticotomy effectively accelerates alveolar bone remodeling and OTM. The study enriches our understanding of the regional acceleratory phenomenon (RAP) and offers an alternative strategy for accelerating OTM to shorten the orthodontic treatment period. Min Zou, Chenshuang Li, and Zhong Zheng Copyright © 2019 Min Zou et al. All rights reserved. The Use of a Hypoallergenic Dermal Matrix for Wrapping in Peripheral Nerve Lesions Regeneration: Functional and Quantitative Morphological Analysis in an Experimental Animal Model Mon, 17 Jun 2019 07:05:00 +0000 Introduction. The aim of this research was to test, in an animal model, the nerve regeneration technique with a hypoallergenic acellular dermal matrix used to wrap the microsurgical neural suture. Materials and Methods. Two groups of rats received the cut of limb right median nerves. The regeneration technique considers for both groups an end-to-end nerve suture. In the experimental group (A) was used also a wrapping protocol by a conduit of collagen matrix currently used in oral surgery. The animals underwent functional grasping tests (at 1, 3, 5, and 7 months) and a histological and quantitative analysis of distal nerve was performed at the end of experimental time. Result. After seven months, the grasping test reveals functional recovery in each tested animal; this improvement is more evident in Group A. The fibers appear well organized with restored myelin sheaths in both groups. Group A showed a great quantity of connective tissue surrounding the nerve. The quantitative morphology analysis in both groups shows a similar fibers density, fiber diameter, and myelin thickness. The differences between the groups in axon mean diameter are significant. In Group A M/d, D/d, and g-ratio is significantly higher compared to control group. Conclusions. Histological and functional assessments show a functional recovery of the injured nerve in the test groups, stressed by the results of the grasping tests and the meaningful increasing in fiber diameter and higher g-ratio. Moreover, a connective tissue cuff distinguishes the distal portion of the injured nerve. Considering the easy availability and handling of the material used in this study we can conclude that this experimental technique can be considered as a valid alternative to protect nerves in nerve wrap surgery. Michele Rosario Colonna, Antonina Fazio, Alfio Luca Costa, Franco Galletti, Roberto Lo Giudice, Bruno Galletti, Cosimo Galletti, Giorgio Lo Giudice, Giovanni Dell’Aversana Orabona, Igor Papalia, Giulia Ronchi, and Stefano Geuna Copyright © 2019 Michele Rosario Colonna et al. All rights reserved. Association of Cystatin C with Metabolic Syndrome and Its Prognostic Performance in Non-ST-Segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome with Preserved Renal Function Sun, 16 Jun 2019 14:05:00 +0000 Objective. The underlying mechanisms by which cystatin C affects cardiovascular disease (CVD) are not very clear. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of risk factors that increase the risk of CVD. Here, we aimed to investigate the association of cystatin C with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular outcomes in non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) with preserved renal function. Methods. In total, 422 NSTE-ACS patients with preserved renal function were enrolled to examine the association of cystatin C with MetS. MetS was defined based on the NCEP-ATP-III guidelines. Major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) were also evaluated, which included cardiac death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), target vessel revascularization (TVR), heart failure, and nonfatal stroke. All patients underwent a 12-month follow-up for MACEs after admission. Results. Cystatin C was significantly correlated with metabolic risk factors and inflammation markers. The prevalence of MetS and MACEs correlated with cystatin C levels. Cystatin C showed a strong diagnostic performance for cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes in ROC analysis. After adjustment for multiple risk factors, cystatin C level was independently associated with MetS (OR 2.299, 95% CI 1.251–4.225, and P = 0.007). During a 12-month follow-up, the patients with high cystatin C level and MetS had higher incidence of MACEs (Log-rank = 24.586, P < 0.001) and cardiac death (Log-rank = 9.890, P = 0.020) compared to the others. Multivariate Cox analysis indicated that cystatin C level was an independent predictor of MACEs (HR 2.609, 95% CI 1.295–5.257, and P = 0.007). Conclusion. Cystatin C may be an independent predictor of metabolic syndrome and therefore valuable for management of NSTE-ACS patients. Further multicenter, large-scale studies are required to assess the implication of these results. Qi Mao, Ning Zhao, Yuqing Wang, Youmei Li, Chaojun Xiang, Lufeng Li, Wei Zheng, Shangcheng Xu, and Xiao-Hui Zhao Copyright © 2019 Qi Mao et al. All rights reserved. Eya2 Is Overexpressed in Human Prostate Cancer and Regulates Docetaxel Sensitivity and Mitochondrial Membrane Potential through AKT/Bcl-2 Signaling Sun, 16 Jun 2019 12:05:01 +0000 The aberrant expression of Eya2 has been observed in a wide range of cancer types. However, the clinical significance and biological effects of EYA2 in human prostate cancer remain unknown. In this study, we showed that increased levels of Eya2 protein correlated with advanced TNM stage, T stage, and a higher Gleason score. Data from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) prostate cohort consistently revealed that Eya2 mRNA was positively correlated with a higher Gleason score, higher T stage, and positive nodal metastasis in prostate cancer. Furthermore, data from the Oncomine database showed increased levels of EYA2 mRNA expression in prostate cancer tissues compared with normal tissues. Eya2 protein expression was also higher in prostate cancer cell lines compared with a normal RWPE-1 cell line. We selected LNCaP and PC-3 cell lines for plasmid overexpression and shRNA knockdown. CCK-8, colony formation, and Matrigel invasion assays demonstrated that the overexpression of Eya2 promoted proliferation, colony number, and invasion while Eya2 shRNA inhibited proliferation rate, colony formation, and invasion ability. CCK-8 and Annexin V assays showed that Eya2 reduced sensitivity to docetaxel and docetaxel-induced apoptosis while Eya2 shRNA showed the opposite effects. The overexpression of Eya2 also downregulated the cleavage of caspase3 and PARP while Eya2 depletion upregulated caspase3 and PARP cleavage. Notably, JC-1 staining demonstrated that Eya2 upregulated mitochondrial membrane potential. We further revealed that the overexpression of Eya2 upregulated Bcl-2, matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP7), and AKT phosphorylation. Accordingly, data from the TCGA prostate cohort indicated that EYA2 mRNA was positively correlated with the expression of Bcl-2 and MMP7. The inhibition of AKT attenuated EYA2-induced Bcl-2 upregulation. In conclusion, our data demonstrated that Eya2 was upregulated in prostate cancers. EYA2 promotes cell proliferation and invasion as well as cancer progression by regulating docetaxel sensitivity and mitochondrial membrane potential, possibly via the AKT/Bcl-2 axis. Zhongyuan Liu, Long Zhao, and Yongsheng Song Copyright © 2019 Zhongyuan Liu et al. All rights reserved. Tongxinluo Attenuates Myocardiac Fibrosis after Acute Myocardial Infarction in Rats via Inhibition of Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Sun, 16 Jun 2019 12:05:00 +0000 Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is an essential mechanism in myocardial fibrosis (MF). Tongxinluo (TXL) has been confirmed to protect the endothelium against reperfusion injury after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, whether TXL can inhibit MF after AMI via inhibiting EndMT remained unknown. This study aims to identify the role of EndMT in MF after AMI as well as the protective effects and underlying mechanisms of TXL on MF. The AMI model was established in rats by ligating left anterior descending coronary artery. Then, rats were administered with high- (0.8 g·kg−1·d−1), mid- (0.4 g·kg−1·d−1), and low- (0.2 g·kg−1·d−1) dose Tongxinluo and benazepril for 4 weeks, respectively. Cardiac function, infarct size, MF, and related indicators of EndMT were measured. In vitro, human cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (HCMECs) were pretreated with TXL for 4 h and then incubated in hypoxia conditions for 3 days to induce EndMT. Under this hypoxic condition, neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) siRNA were further applied to silence NRG-1 expression. Immunofluorescence microscopy was used to assess expression of endothelial marker of vWF and fibrotic marker of Vimentin. Related factors of EndMT were determined by Western blot analysis. TXL treatment significantly improved cardiac function, ameliorated MF, reduced collagen of fibrosis area (types I and III collagen) and limited excessive extracellular matrix deposition (mmp2 and mmp9). In addition, TXL inhibited EndMT in cardiac tissue and hypoxia-induced HCMECs. In hypoxia-induced HCMECs, TXL increased the expression of endothelial markers, whereas decreasing the expression of fibrotic markers, partially through enhanced expressions of NRG-1, phosphorylation of ErbB2, ErbB4, AKT, and downregulated expressions of hypoxia inducible factor-1a and transcription factor snail. After NRG-1 knockdown, the protective effect of TXL on HCMEC was partially abolished. In conclusion, TXL attenuates MF after AMI by inhibiting EndMT and through activating the NRG-1/ErbB- PI3K/AKT signalling cascade. Yujie Yin, Qian Zhang, Qifei Zhao, Guoyuan Ding, Cong Wei, Liping Chang, Hongrong Li, Hongying Bei, Hongtao Wang, Junqing Liang, and Zhenhua Jia Copyright © 2019 Yujie Yin et al. All rights reserved. Molecular Cloning and Expression Analysis of Interleukin-8 and -10 in Yellow Catfish and in Response to Bacterial Pathogen Infection Sun, 16 Jun 2019 09:05:00 +0000 The yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) is an important economic freshwater aquaculture species in Asia. However, little is known about its immune response to bacterial pathogen infection. Here, two cytokines, the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) and the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10), were identified and characterized in the yellow catfish for the first time. We found that the full length of the IL-8 cDNA was 784 bp and contained an open reading frame (ORF) of 336 bp, while the IL-10 gene was 973 bp in length with a 549 bp of ORF. In addition, both the IL-8 and the IL-10 had similar tissue-specific expression patterns. They were more abundant in the spleen and lowest expressed in the liver. Furthermore, IL-10 but not IL-8 was significantly upregulated in the intestine of yellow catfish by feed supplementation of Clostridium butyricum (CB). More importantly, the expression levels of intestinal IL-10 and IL-8 were up- and downregulated by pathogen Aeromonas punctata stimuli with the presence of CB, respectively. Collectively, these results suggest that IL-10 and IL-8 mediate important roles in the immunity of yellow catfish, and feed supplementation of CB may able to reduce the intestinal inflammation caused by bacteria infections through regulating the expression of IL-10 and IL-8. Yingping Xiao, Lintian Yu, Guohong Gui, Yujie Gong, Xueting Wen, Wenrui Xia, Hua Yang, and Long Zhang Copyright © 2019 Yingping Xiao et al. All rights reserved. Hepatitis B Birth Dose Vaccination among Vietnamese Children: Implications for the Expanded Program on Immunization Sun, 16 Jun 2019 08:05:00 +0000 Background. This study assesses the prevalence of Vietnamese children receiving the hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine birth dose and explores its associated socioeconomic factors. Methods. We used the data of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, 2014. We estimated the overall percentage of HepB birth dose vaccination among 0–23-month-old children and its percentages according to selected characteristics. Multiple logistic regression was applied. Results. 62.8% of children received the HepB vaccine birth dose. The prevalence rates by selected factors ranged from 35.3% to 76.7%. The categories with the lowest prevalence rates were children who had low birth weight (41.6%), had a mother aged less than 20 years (35.3%), had a mother with primary or less education (42.7%), belonged to ethnic minorities (30.3%), resided in rural areas (59.9%), and were in the quintile of mother’s socioeconomic status (38.6%). Receiving HepB vaccine birth dose was associated with child’s birth weight, mother’s age, mother’s education, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. Conclusions. This study identified vulnerable groups, upon which policy-makers should focus their efforts to equitably and sustainably tackle birth dose HepB vaccine coverage as well as the full vaccination coverage, thereby promoting long-lasting herd immunity in this country. Hao Nguyen Si Anh, Hoang-Long Vo, Long Hoang Bao, Hien Tran Minh, Ha Tran Thi Thu, and Vu Duy Kien Copyright © 2019 Hao Nguyen Si Anh et al. All rights reserved. Multimodality Treatment Options and Outcomes of Laryngeal Carcinosarcoma: A Clinical Analysis of a Rare Tumor from a Single Hospital Sun, 16 Jun 2019 07:05:00 +0000 Primary laryngeal carcinosarcoma is a rare type of malignancies, and the standard therapeutic protocol for its treatment has yet to be established. This retrospective study analyzed the clinical and pathological characteristics, risk factors, treatment options, and prognosis of 13 patients with primary laryngeal carcinosarcomas. This case series included 11 males and 2 females with an age range from 32 to 78 years at diagnosis. The initial clinical symptoms included hoarseness, dyspnea, and foreign body sensation in the throat. The primary tumor sites were at the glottis, supraglottis, and larynx. All these patients were active or passive smokers, and more than half of them were alcohol addictive. The surgical treatment for laryngeal carcinosarcomas included CO2 laser surgery in seven cases, partial laryngectomy and neck dissection in three cases, and total laryngectomy and neck dissection in three cases. Among them, seven cases received postoperative radiotherapy. After follow-up with a mean of 31.15-month, four cases died. Primary laryngeal carcinosarcoma is a rare but more aggressive malignancy. Contralateral lymph node metastasis can occur at the early stage of this disease. A treatment combining surgery and postoperative radiotherapy is strongly recommended. Yang Zhang, Zhigang Huang, Neil Gross, Jugao Fang, Xiaohong Chen, Xuejun Chen, Lizhen Hou, Pingdong Li, Guojun Li, and Qi Zhong Copyright © 2019 Yang Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Theories of Aging and the Prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:05:02 +0000 Objective. Aging and AD are associated in some way, then it is reasonable to ask whether or not it is possible to age without AD inexorably appearing at any moment, depending on the period of life. Therefore, the goal of this review is to verify, in light of some aging theories, the prevalence of AD. Methods. For the purpose of this manuscript, the indexers Alzheimer, aging, Alzheimer, and aging were considered; theories of aging were researched. The research was conducted using PubMed, Medline, Scopus, Elsevier, and Google Scholar. Results. The most common subjects in the papers analyzed for this manuscript were aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The association between Alzheimer and theories of aging seems inconclusive. Conclusions. Accordingly, the general idea is that AD is associated with aging in such a way that almost all people will present this disease; however, it is plausible to consider that the increase in life expectancy will generate a high prevalence of AD. In a general sense, it seems that the theories of aging explain the origin of AD under superlative and catastrophic considerations and use more biomolecular data than social or behavioral data as the bases of analysis, which may be the problem. Kaynara Trevisan, Renata Cristina-Pereira, Danyelle Silva-Amaral, and Tales Alexandre Aversi-Ferreira Copyright © 2019 Kaynara Trevisan et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Fluoride and Calcium Phosphate Materials on Remineralization of Mild and Severe White Spot Lesions Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:05:00 +0000 Fixed orthodontic treatments often lead to enamel demineralization and cause white spot lesions (WSLs). The aim of this study was to evaluate the mineralization degree of 2 types of WSLs based on ICDAS index and compare the remineralizing efficacy of 3 oral hygiene practices after 1 month and 3 months. 80 mild demineralized and 80 severe demineralized enamel specimens were randomized into three treatments: fluoride toothpaste (FT), fluoride varnish plus fluoride toothpaste (FV+FT), and CPP-ACP plus fluoride toothpaste (CPP-ACP+FT). Microhardness tester, DIAGNODent Pen 2190, and scanning electron microscope were used to evaluate the changes of mineralization degree. Both qualitative and quantitative indicators suggested that the mild and severe white spot lesions were different in the degree of mineralization. Severe WSLs demineralized much more seriously than mild lesions even after 3 months of treatment. Despite the variation in severity, both lesions had the same variation trend after each measure was applied: FT had weak therapeutic effect, FV + FT and CPP-ACP + FT were effective for remineralization. Their remineralizing efficacy was similar after 1 month, and combined use of CPP-ACP plus F toothpaste was more effective after 3 months. In order to fight WSLs, early diagnosis was of great importance, and examination of the tooth surface after air-dry for 5 seconds was recommended. Also, when WSLs were found, added remineralizing treatments were required. Zixiang Dai, Min Liu, Yansong Ma, Li Cao, Hockin H. K. Xu, Ke Zhang, and Yuxing Bai Copyright © 2019 Zixiang Dai et al. All rights reserved. The Development and Lifetime Stability Improvement of Guanosine-Based Supramolecular Hydrogels through Optimized Structure Thu, 13 Jun 2019 12:05:00 +0000 Guanosine is an important building block for supramolecular gels owing to the unique self-assembly property that results from the unique hydrogen bond acceptors and donor groups. Guanosine-derived supramolecular hydrogels have promise in the fields of drug delivery, targeted release, tissue engineering applications, etc. However, the property of poor longevity and the need for excess cations hinder the widespread applications of guanosine hydrogels. Although guanosine-derived supramolecular hydrogels have been reviewed previously by Dash et al., the structural framework of this review is different, as the modification of guanosine is described at the molecular level. In this review, we summarize the development and lifetime stability improvement of guanosine-based supramolecular hydrogels through optimized structure and elaborate on three aspects: sugar modification, base modification, and binary gels. Additionally, we introduce the concept and recent research progress of self-healing gels, providing inspiration for the development of guanosine-derived supramolecular hydrogels with longer lifespans, unique physicochemical properties, and biological activities. Miao Chen, Weimin Lin, Le Hong, Ning Ji, and Hang Zhao Copyright © 2019 Miao Chen et al. All rights reserved. Overexpression of ICAM-1 Predicts Poor Survival in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma: A Study Based on TCGA and GEO Databases and Tissue Microarray Thu, 13 Jun 2019 09:05:02 +0000 Intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), an important adhesion molecule in the immunoglobulin superfamily, is expressed on many cell types. Recent studies have identified ICAM-1 as a potential oncogene that promotes the development of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC); it was also found to be associated with poor survival. However, the clinical significance of its expression in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) is unclear. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the significance of ICAM-1 expression in HGSOC. Data on ICAM1 expression and mutations in serous ovarian carcinoma (SOC) were obtained from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and ICAM1 mRNA expression data in HGSOC were obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. ICAM-1 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in HGSOC and normal fallopian tube tissues microarray. In TCGA data, amplification/mutation of ICAM1 was identified in 12% of serous ovarian carcinoma samples, and overexpression of ICAM1 mRNA predicted reduced overall survival in SOC. From TCGA and GEO data, SOC patients with ICAM1 mRNA overexpression treated with chemotherapeutic drugs that contained taxol or taxol and platin together had significantly reduced progression-free survival. According to GEO data, ICAM1 mRNA expression was found significantly higher in HGSOC than in control samples. In our study, ICAM-1 overexpression was observed in 63.1% (65/103) of HGSOCs. As a prognostic biomarker, overexpression of ICAM-1 predicted reduced recurrence-free and overall survival and is an independent risk factor for poor prognosis. These findings suggest that overexpression of ICAM-I is an independent indicator of poor prognosis for HGSOC and that it can serve as an effective clinical prognostic biomarker for this disease. Shasha Wang, Can Yin, Ying Zhang, Lu Zhang, Lin Tao, Weihua Liang, Lijuan Pang, Ruiting Fu, Yusong Ding, Feng Li, and Wei Jia Copyright © 2019 Shasha Wang et al. All rights reserved. Pattern Recognition in Medical Decision Support Thu, 13 Jun 2019 09:05:00 +0000 Shadnaz Asgari, Fabien Scalzo, and Magdalena Kasprowicz Copyright © 2019 Shadnaz Asgari et al. All rights reserved. MicroRNA Profiling of Exosomes Derived from Red Blood Cell Units: Implications in Transfusion-Related Immunomodulation Thu, 13 Jun 2019 08:05:03 +0000 Purpose. To elucidate the microRNAs existent in exosomes derived from stored red blood cell (RBC) unit and their potential function. Materials and Methods. Exosomes were isolated from the supernatant derived from stored RBC units by sequential centrifugation. Isolated exosomes were characterized by TEM (transmission electron microscopy), western blotting, and DLS (dynamic light scattering). MicroRNA (miRNA) microarray was performed to detect the expression of miRNAs in 3 exosome samples. Results revealed miRNAs that were simultaneously expressed in the 3 exosome samples and were previously reported to exist in mature RBCs. Functions and potential pathways of some detected miRNAs were illustrated by bioinformatic analysis. Validation of the top 3 abundant miRNAs was carried out by qRT-PCR (quantitative reverse transcription‐polymerase chain reaction). Results. TEM and DLS revealed the mean size of the exosomes (RBC-derived) as 64.08 nm. These exosomes exhibited higher abundance of short RNA than the long RNA. 78 miRNAs were simultaneously detected in 3 exosome samples and mature RBCs. Several biological processes might be impacted by these miRNAs, through their target gene(s) enriched in a particular signalling pathway. The top 3 (abundant) miRNAs detected were as follows: miR-125b-5p, miR-4454, and miR-451a. qRT-PCR revealed higher abundance of miR-451a than others. Only miR-4454 and miR-451a abundance tended to increase with increasing storage time. Conclusion. Exosomes derived from stored RBC units possessed multiple miRNAs and, hence, could serve various functions. The function of exosomes (RBC-derived) might be implemented partly by the predominantly enriched miR-451a. Haobo Huang, Jinfeng Zhu, Liping Fan, Qiuyan Lin, Danhui Fu, Biyu Wei, and Shijin Wei Copyright © 2019 Haobo Huang et al. All rights reserved. PRDM16 Represses the Pig White Lipogenesis through Promoting Lipolysis Activity Thu, 13 Jun 2019 08:05:02 +0000 The positive regulatory domain containing 16 (PRDM16) gene is a dominant transcriptional regulator that favors the “browning” of white adipocytes in rodents. Since the “browning” of white fat is important in pig in terms of producing heat fighting against cold environment, avoiding obesity, and improving meat quality, understanding the critical role that PRDM16 gene played in pig adipose “browning” and energy metabolism is of great significance. However, the constitution of pig fat differs a lot from rodents and human as they do not have brown adipose tissue (BAT) even in the newborn piglets. In this study, we isolated porcine primary preadipocytes and investigated the function of PRDM16 during preadipocytes differentiation. Our results showed that overexpression of the PR domain of PRDM16 repressed the differentiation of porcine preadipocytes, indicated by oil red O staining and the deposition of the triglyceride. Overexpression of the PR domain significantly increased the level of lipolysis and mitochondrial oxidative capacity detected by Western blotting during differentiation. Furthermore, we purified the protein coded by the PR domain and demonstrated that this protein has the H3K9me1 methyltransferase activity. In conclusion, the PR domain of the porcine PRDM16 gene repressed the mature of the porcine preadipocytes by promoting its oxidative activity. Ting Gu, Guli Xu, Chengfeng Jiang, Lianjie Hou, Zhenfang Wu, and Chong Wang Copyright © 2019 Ting Gu et al. All rights reserved. Neoantigens Derived from Recurrently Mutated Genes as Potential Immunotherapy Targets for Gastric Cancer Thu, 13 Jun 2019 08:05:00 +0000 Neoantigens are optimal tumor-specific targets for T-cell based immunotherapy, especially for patients with “undruggable” mutated driver genes. T-cell immunotherapy can be a “universal” treatment for HLA genotype patients sharing same oncogenic mutations. To identify potential neoantigens for therapy in gastric cancer, 32 gastric cancer patients were enrolled in our study. Whole exome sequencing data from these patients was processed by TSNAD software to detect cancer somatic mutations and predict neoantigens. The somatic mutations between different patients suggested a high interpatient heterogeneity. C>A and C>T substitutions are common, suggesting an active nucleotide excision repair. The number of predicted neoantigens was significantly higher in patients at stage T1a compared to in patients at T2 or T4b. Six genes (PIK3CA, FAT4, BRCA2, GNAQ, LRP1B, and PREX2) were found as recurrently mutated driver genes in our study. Combining with highly frequent HLA alleles, several neoantigens derived from six recurrently mutated genes were considered as potential targets for further immunotherapy. Jie Zhou, Wenyi Zhao, Jingcheng Wu, Jun Lu, Yongfeng Ding, Shanshan Wu, Haiyong Wang, Ding Ding, Fan Mo, Zhan Zhou, Lisong Teng, and Shuqing Chen Copyright © 2019 Jie Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Prepregnancy Obesity, Maternal Dietary Intake, and Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in the Fetomaternal Unit Thu, 13 Jun 2019 00:05:00 +0000 Background. Obesity and pregnancy increase levels of maternal oxidative stress (OS). However, little is known about the maternal, placental, and neonatal OS status. Objective. To analyze the relation between prepregnancy obesity and the expression of OS markers and antioxidant capacity in the fetomaternal unit and their association with dietary intake. Methods. This cross-sectional study included 33 women with singleton, noncomplicated pregnancies. Two groups were formed: women with prepregnancy body mass index (pBMI) within normal range (18.5-24.9 kg/m2, n = 18) and women with pBMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, suggestive of obesity (n = 15). Dietary and clinical information was obtained by questionnaire and from clinical records. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration were measured on maternal and cord serum by colorimetric techniques, and placental expression of glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4) was measured by immunohistochemistry. Results. Placental GPx4 expression was lower in the group with pBMI suggestive of obesity than in the normal weight group (ß = -0.08, p = 0.03, adjusted for gestational age and magnesium intake). Concentrations of TAC and MDA in maternal and cord blood were not statistically different between groups (p>0.05). Cord MDA concentration was related to maternal MDA concentration (ß = 0.40, p < 0.01), vitamin A intake (tertile 2: ß = -0.04, p = 0.40, tertile 3: ß = 0.13, p = 0.03, vs tertile 1), and placental GPx4 expression (ß = -0.09, p = 0.02). Conclusion. Prepregnancy obesity is associated with a decrease in GPx4 expression in the placenta, which is related to OS in the newborn. The influence of micronutrient intake on OS biomarkers highlights the importance of nutritional assessment during pregnancy and adequate prenatal care. Ana Karen Ballesteros-Guzmán, Claudia E. Carrasco-Legleu, Margarita Levario-Carrillo, Dora Virginia Chávez-Corral, Blanca Sánchez-Ramírez, Edgar Omar Mariñelarena-Carrillo, Fabiola Guerrero-Salgado, and Sandra Alicia Reza-López Copyright © 2019 Ana Karen Ballesteros-Guzmán et al. All rights reserved. α-1-Acid Glycoprotein Concentration as an Outcome Predictor in Adult Patients with Sepsis Wed, 12 Jun 2019 14:05:00 +0000 Background. α-1-Acid glycoprotein (AGP) is an acute-phase protein that plays a role in first-line defense against infection and is therefore elevated in sepsis. We tested the hypothesis that AGP levels increase initially in sepsis and decrease after antimicrobial therapy and that these levels may predict treatment outcomes. Methods. AGP, biomarkers widely used in clinical practice, and maximum 24-h acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE)-II scores upon emergency department (ED) admission were prospectively evaluated and compared. We further examined changes in AGP concentrations 1, 4, and 7 days after admission and determined the value of AGP that may be used to accurately and reliably predict the prognosis in patients with sepsis. Results. Mechanical ventilation, white blood cell (WBC) counts, C-reactive protein (CRP) and lactate levels, maximum 24-h APACHE-II scores, and AGP concentrations were significantly higher upon admission in patients with sepsis who died. AGP and lactate concentrations were also significantly higher in non-survivors than in survivors on days 1, 4, and 7. As indicated by the stepwise logistic regression model analysis and area under the curve analysis, AGP was the best prognostic indicator, and the cut-off value for predicting fatality was 1307 μg/mL, and any increase 1-ng/mL in AGP concentration would increase the fatality rate by 0.5%. Conclusion. Based on our observations, AGP may be a good prognostic predictor in patients with sepsis. In addition, serial AGP levels meet the requirements for predicting outcomes in patients with sepsis. Sheng-Yuan Hsiao, Yun-Ru Lai, Chia-Te Kung, Nai-Wen Tsai, Chih-Min Su, Chih-Cheng Huang, Hung-Chen Wang, Ben-Chung Cheng, Yu-Jih Su, Wei-Che Lin, Yi-Fang Chiang, Jih-Yang Ko, and Cheng-Hsien Lu Copyright © 2019 Sheng-Yuan Hsiao et al. All rights reserved. Expression Profiling of Exosomal miRNAs Derived from the Peripheral Blood of Kidney Recipients with DGF Using High-Throughput Sequencing Wed, 12 Jun 2019 13:05:00 +0000 Delayed graft function (DGF) is one of the major obstacles for graft survival for kidney recipients. It is profound to reduce the incidence of DGF for maintaining long-term graft survival. However, the molecular regulation of DGF is still not adequately explained and the biomarkers for DGF are limited. Exosomes are cell-derived membrane vesicles, contents of which are stable and could be delivered into recipient cells to exert their biological functions. Consequently, exosome-derived proteomic and RNA signature profiles are often used to account for the molecular regulation of diseases or reflect the conditional state of their tissue as biomarkers. Few researches have been done to demonstrate the function of exosomes associated with DGF. In this study, high-throughput sequencing was used to explore the miRNA expression profiling of exosomes in the peripheral blood of kidney recipients with DGF. We identified 52 known and 5 conserved exosomal miRNAs specifically expressed in recipients with DGF. Three coexpressed miRNAs, hsa-miR-33a-5p_R-1, hsa-miR-98-5p, and hsa-miR-151a-5p, were observed to be significantly upregulated in kidney recipients with DGF. Moreover, hsa-miR-151a-5p was positively correlated with the first-week serum CR, BUN, and UA levels of the kidney recipients after transplantation. Furthermore, we also analyzed functions and signaling pathways of the three upregulated miRNAs target genes to uncover putative mechanism of how these exosomal miRNAs functioned in DGF. Overall, these findings identified biomarker candidates for DGF and provided new insights into the important role of the exosomal miRNAs regulation in DGF. Junpeng Wang, Xin Li, Xiaoqiang Wu, Zhiwei Wang, Chan Zhang, Guanghui Cao, and Tianzhong Yan Copyright © 2019 Junpeng Wang et al. All rights reserved. Comparability of Self-Ratings and Observer Ratings in Occupational Psychosocial Risk Assessments: Is There Agreement? Wed, 12 Jun 2019 12:05:00 +0000 Objective. The suitability of self-ratings and observer ratings within organisational management approaches is controversial. The aim of this study was to compare the degree of agreement between self-rated and observer-rated occupational psychosocial demands. The comparison took place within a work-activity and not worker-centred assessment, according to official policies for psychosocial risk assessment. Through simultaneous application of two versions of the same instrument, we aimed to reduce the rating bias to a minimum demonstrating the suitability of self-ratings and observer ratings in companies of all kinds. Methods. A multimethod online assessment of 22 different work activities was conducted in Germany from October 2016 to October 2017. Workers (self-ratings) and occupational safety and health (OSH) committees (observer ratings) rated the occupational psychosocial risks of each activity with the same instrument (N = 669). The instrument measured psychosocial risk conditions at work. Reliability and agreement indices were computed. Results. The within-group agreement (WGA; =  .42) of the workers’ self-ratings was good for each psychosocial risk and the interrater reliability (IRR) was excellent on average (ICC 2 =  .77) with a medium effect size of ICC 1 =  .15. The interrater agreement (IRA) between the two groups varied across the activities depending on rating group and activity composition (from =  .39 to =  .86) but was good to excellent on average ( =  .71). Conclusion. The reasonable agreement and excellent reliability in workers’ self-ratings justify aggregation of item means at the group level. Furthermore, if the work activities are homogenous and the committee consists of members from different OSH specialties, observer ratings and self-ratings provide comparable results. According to this study’s results, both methods are reliable assessment strategies in the context of psychosocial risk assessment. The observer rating approach is especially suitable for small-to-medium enterprises that do not have access to a large anonymous survey assessment. Isabell Schneider, Martin Mädler, and Jessica Lang Copyright © 2019 Isabell Schneider et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Airborne Bacterial and Fungal Communities in Selected Areas of Teaching Hospital, Kandy, Sri Lanka Wed, 12 Jun 2019 09:05:03 +0000 Nosocomial infections, in lay term known as hospital acquired infections, are caused mainly by airborne pathogens found in healthcare facilities and their surroundings. The aim of this study was to quantify and identify bacteria and fungi in a hospital, which is an understudied area of air quality in Sri Lanka. Air samples were collected in agar medium and petri plates containing sterile filter papers. The number of culturable and total airborne microorganisms was estimated by manual counting and fluorescent microscopy, respectively. The morphologically distant bacteria and fungi were identified by DNA sequencing. The statistical analysis revealed significant variances between studied sites (p < 0.05) where Outpatients Department and Respiratory Unit showed higher levels of airborne microbial load. Culturable microbial count was higher at noon (hospital visiting hours) compared to other sampling periods (after hospital visiting hours) within the hospital. Total count of airborne microbes was found to be the highest during the afternoon. The most sensitive zones such as Operating Theatre and Intensive Care Unit showed considerably higher counts of airborne microbes. Identification by molecular means revealed the presence of human pathogens in the hospital air including Bacillus sp, Micrococcus sp, Pseudomonas sp, Staphylococcu ssp, Exiguobacterium sp, Enterobacter sp, Escherichia sp, Sphingomonas sp, Massilia sp, Kocuria sp, Fusarium sp, and Aspergillus sp. In conclusion, the results from this study indicate that the hospital air was generally contaminated. Therefore, the implementation of proactive policies and strategies are needed to monitor hospital air quality in sensitive zones as well as other areas of the hospitals. Premina Sivagnanasundaram, R. W. K. Amarasekara, R. M. D. Madegedara, Anuradha Ekanayake, and D. N. Magana-Arachchi Copyright © 2019 Premina Sivagnanasundaram et al. All rights reserved.