Objective To explore the effects of prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) on placental size and birth outcomes.Methods Based on the perspective Wenzhou Birth Cohort, this nested case-control study included 101 fetal growth restriction (FGR) and 101 healthy newborns. Maternal serum samples were collected during the third trimester and measured for PBDEs by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The basic information of mother-newborn pairs was collected from questionnaires, whereas the placental size and birth outcomes of newborns were obtained from hospital records.Results A total of 19 brominated diphenyle ether (BDE) congeners were detected in maternal serum samples. Higher concentrations of BDE-207, -208, -209, and ∑19PBDEs were detected in FGR cases than in controls. Increased BDE-207, -208, -209, and ∑19PBDEs levels in maternal serum were related to decreased placental length, breadth, surface area, birth weight, birth length, gestational age, and Quetelet index of newborns. After adjusting for confounders, BDE-207 and ∑19PBDE concentrations in maternal serum were significantly associated with an increased risk of FGR.Conclusion A negative association was found between PBDE levels in maternal serum and placental size and birth outcomes. Prenatal PBDE exposure may be associated with elevated risk of the incidence of FGR birth.
Objective To develop RT-nPCR assays for amplifying partial and complete VP1 genes of human enteroviruses (HEVs) from clinical samples and to contribute to etiological surveillance of HEV-related diseases.Methods A panel of RT-nPCR assays, consisting of published combined primer pairs for VP1 genes of HEV A–C and in-house designed primers for HEV-D, was established in this study. The sensitivity of each RT-nPCR assay was evaluated with serially diluted virus stocks of five serotypes expressed as CCID50 per μL and copies per μL, and the newly established methods were tested in clinical specimens collected in recent years.Results The sensitivity of RT-nPCR assays for amplifying partial VP1 gene of HEVs was 0.1 CCID50 per μL and 10 virus copies per μL, and for the complete VP1 gene was 1 CCID50 per μL and 100 virus copies per μL, using serially-diluted virus stocks of five serotypes. As a proof-of-concept, 25 serotypes were identified and complete VP1 sequences of 23 serotypes were obtained by this system among 858 clinical specimens positive for HEVs during the past eight surveillance seasons.Conclusion This RT-nPCR system is capable of amplifying the partial and complete VP1 gene of HEV A–D, providing rapid, sensitive, and reliable options for molecular typing and molecular epidemiology of HEVs in clinical specimens.
Objective We aimed to compare the clinical and radiological outcomes of midline lumbar fusion (MIDLF) versus minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis and/or stenosis in L4-L5 two years after surgery.Methods Consecutively treated patients with lumbar pathology who underwent MIDLF (n = 16) and a historical control group who underwent MI-TLIF (n = 34) were included. Clinical symptoms were evaluated using Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, and visual analog scale (VAS) scores before surgery and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery.Results The mean operative time and hematocrit (HCT, Day 1) were significantly shorter and lower in MIDLF cases (174 min vs. 229 min, P < 0.001; 0.34 vs. 0.36, P = 0.037). The MI-TLIF group showed better improvement than the MIDLF group in ODI and VAS back and leg pain at 3 months postoperatively. VAS leg pain was higher in MIDLF than in MI-TLIF cases at 6 months. At 24 months follow-up, VAS back pain was higher in MI-TLIF than in MIDLF cases (P = 0.018).Conclusion MIDLF is comparable to MI-TLIF at L4-5 in clinical outcomes and fusion rates, and the results verified the meaningful advantage of using MIDLF for the elderly with osteoporosis.
Objective To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine based on latent membrane protein 2 (LMP2) modified dendritic cells (DCs) that boosts specific responses of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) to LMP2 before and after intradermal injection in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).Methods DCs were derived from peripheral blood monocytes of patients with NPC. We prepared LMP2-DCs infected by recombinant adenovirus vector expressing LMP2 (rAd-LMP2). NPC patients were immunized with 2 × 105 LMP2-DCs by intradermal injection at week 0 and after the second and fourth weeks. Specific responses to LMP2 were detected by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay at week 0 and at the fifth and eighth weeks. Local clinicians performed the follow-up and tracking of patients.Results We demonstrated that DCs derived from monocytes displayed typical DC morphologies; the expression of LMP2 in the LMP2-DCs vaccine was confirmed by immunocytochemical assay. Twenty-nine patients with NPC were enrolled in this clinical trial. The LMP2-DCs vaccine was well tolerated in all of the patients. Boosted responses to LMP2 peptide sub-pools were observed in 18 of the 29 patients with NPC. The follow-up data of 29 immunized patients from April, 2010 to April 2015 indicated a five-year survival rate of 94.4% in responders and 45.5% in non-responders.Conclusion In this pilot study, we demonstrated that the LMP2-DCs vaccine is safe and effective in patients with NPC. Specific CTLs responses to LMP2 play a certain role in controlling and preventing the recurrence and metastasis of NPC, which warrants further clinical testing.