Lei Zhou


4 In vivo Mechanical Characterization of Facial Skin Combining Digital Image Correlation and Finite Element

Authors: Lei Zhou, Huixin Wei, Shibin Wang, Linan Li, Xinhao Tu


Facial skin is a biomedical material with complex mechanical properties of anisotropy, viscoelasticity, and hyperelasticity. The mechanical properties of facial skin are crucial for a number of applications including facial plastic surgery, animation, dermatology, cosmetic industry, and impact biomechanics. Skin is a complex multi-layered material which can be broadly divided into three main layers, the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. Collagen fibers account for 75% of the dry weight of dermal tissue, and it is these fibers which are responsible for the mechanical properties of skin. Many research on the anisotropic mechanical properties are mainly concentrated on in vitro, but there is a great difference between in vivo and in vitro for mechanical properties of the skin. In this study, we presented a method to measure the mechanical properties of facial skin in vivo. Digital image correlation (DIC) and indentation tests were used to obtain the experiment data, including the deformation of facial surface and indentation force-displacement curve. Then, the experiment was simulated using a finite element (FE) model. Application of Computed Tomography (CT) and reconstruction techniques obtained the real tissue geometry. A three-dimensional FE model of facial skin, including a bi-layer system, was obtained. As the epidermis is relatively thin, the epidermis and dermis were regarded as one layer and below it was hypodermis in this study. The upper layer was modeled as a Gasser-Ogden-Holzapfel (GOH) model to describe hyperelastic and anisotropic behaviors of the dermis. The under layer was modeled as a linear elastic model. In conclusion, the material properties of two-layer were determined by minimizing the error between the FE data and experimental data.

Keywords: Computed Tomography, digital image correlation, finite element, facial skin, indentation test

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3 Prevalent Features of Human Infections with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus, China, 2017

Authors: Qun Li, Chao Li, Lei Zhou, Ruiqi Ren, Dan Li, Yali Wang, Daxin Ni, Zijian Feng, Timothy M. Uyeki


Since the first human infections with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus were identified in early 2013, 1533 cases of laboratory-confirmed A(H7N9) virus infections were reported and confirmed as of September 13, 2017. The fifth epidemic was defined as starting from September 1, 2016, and the number of A(H7N9) cases has surged since the end of December in 2016. On February 18, 2017, the A(H7N9) cases who were infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus was reported from Southern China. The HPAI A(H7N9) cases were identified and then an investigation and analyses were conducted to assess whether disease severity in humans has changed with HPAI A(H7N9) compared with low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) A(H7N9) virus infection. Methods: All confirmed cases with A(H7N9) virus infections reported throughout mainland China from September 1, 2016, to September 13, 2017, were included. Cases' information was extracted from field investigation reports and the notifiable infectious surveillance system to describe the demographic, clinical, and epidemiologic characteristics. Descriptive statistics were used to compare HPAI A(H7N9) cases with all LPAI A(H7N9) cases reported during the fifth epidemic. Results: A total of 27 cases of HPAI A(H7N9) virus were identified infection from five provinces, including Guangxi (44%), Guangdong (33%), Hunan (15%), Hebei (4%) and Shangxi (4%). The median age of cases of HPAI A(H7N9) virus infection was 60 years (range, 15 to 80) and most of them were male (59%) and lived in rural areas (78%). All 27 cases had live poultry related exposures within 10 days before their illness onset. In comparison with LPAI A(H7N9) case-patients, HPAI A(H7N9) case-patients were significantly more likely to live in rural areas (78% vs. 51%; p = 0.006), have exposure to the sick or dead poultry (56% vs. 19%; p = 0.000), and be hospitalized earlier (median 3 vs. 4 days; p = 0.007). No significant differences were observed in median age, sex, prevalence of underlying chronic medical conditions, median time from illness onset to first medical service seeking, starting antiviral treatment, and diagnosis. Although the median time from illness onset to death (9 vs. 13 days) was shorter and the overall case-fatality proportion (48% vs. 38%) was higher for HPAI A(H7N9) case-patients than for LPAI A(H7N9) case-patients, these differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that HPAI A(H7N9) virus infection was associated with exposure to sick and dead poultry in rural areas when visited live poultry market or in the backyard. In the fifth epidemic in mainland China, HPAI A (H7N9) case-patients were hospitalized earlier than LPAI A(H7N9) case-patients. Although the difference was not statistically significant, the mortality of HPAI A (H7N9) case-patients was obviously higher than that of LPAI A(H7N9) case-patients, indicating a potential severity change of HPAI A(H7N9) virus infection.

Keywords: Poultry, Avian influenza A (H7N9) virus, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), case-patients

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2 The First Import of Yellow Fever Cases in China and Its Revealing Suggestions for the Control and Prevention of Imported Emerging Diseases

Authors: Qun Li, Chao Li, Lei Zhou, Ruiqi Ren, Dan Li, Yali Wang, Daxin Ni, Zijian Feng


Background: In 2016, yellow fever had been first ever discovered in China, soon after the yellow fever epidemic occurred in Angola. After the discovery, China had promptly made the national protocol of control and prevention and strengthened the surveillance on passenger and vector. In this study, a descriptive analysis was conducted to summarize China’s experiences of response towards this import epidemic, in the hope of providing experiences on prevention and control of yellow fever and other similar imported infectious diseases in the future. Methods: The imported cases were discovered and reported by General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and several hospitals. Each clinically diagnosed yellow fever case was confirmed by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR). The data of the imported yellow fever cases were collected by local Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through field investigations soon after they received the reports. Results: A total of 11 imported cases from Angola were reported in China, during Angola’s yellow fever outbreak. Six cases were discovered by the AQSIQ, among which two with mild symptom were initiative declarations at the time of entry. Except for one death, the remaining 10 cases all had recovered after timely and proper treatment. All cases are Chinese, and lived in Luanda, the capital of Angola. 73% were retailers (8/11) from Fuqing city in Fujian province, and the other three were labors send by companies. 10 cases had experiences of medical treatment in Luanda after onset, among which 8 cases visited the same local Chinese medicine hospital (China Railway four Bureau Hospital). Among the 11 cases, only one case had an effective vaccination. The result of emergency surveillance for mosquito density showed that only 14 containers of water were found positive around places of three cases, and the Breteau Index is 15. Conclusions: Effective response was taken to control and prevent the outbreak of yellow fever in China after discovering the imported cases. However, though the similar origin of Chinese in Angola has provided an easy access for disease detection, information sharing, health education and vaccination on yellow fever; these conveniences were overlooked during previous disease prevention methods. Besides, only one case having effective vaccination revealed the inadequate capacity of immunization service in China. These findings will provide suggestions to improve China’s capacity to deal with not only yellow fever but also other similar imported diseases in China.

Keywords: China, yellow fever, first import, suggestion

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1 A Description Analysis of Mortality Rate of Human Infection with Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in China

Authors: Qun Li, Chao Li, Lei Zhou, Ruiqi Ren, Dan Li, Yali Wang, Daxin Ni, Zijian Feng


Background: Since the first human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) case was reported in China on 31 March 2013, five epidemics have been observed in China through February 2013 and September 2017. Though the overall mortality rate of H7N9 has remained as high as around 40% throughout the five epidemics, the specific mortality rate in Mainland China varied by provinces. We conducted a descriptive analysis of mortality rates of H7N9 cases to explore the various severity features of the disease and then to provide clues of further analyses of potential factors associated with the severity of the disease. Methods: The data for analysis originated from the National Notifiable Infectious Disease Report and Surveillance System (NNIDRSS). The surveillance system and identification procedure for H7N9 infection have not changed in China since 2013. The definition of a confirmed H7N9 case is as same as previous reports. Mortality rates of H7N9 cases are described and compared by time and location of reporting, age and sex, and genetic features of H7N9 virus strains. Results: The overall mortality rate, the male and female specific overall rates of H7N9 is 39.6% (608/1533), 40.3% (432/1072) and 38.2% (176/461), respectively. There was no significant difference between the mortality rates of male and female. The age-specific mortality rates are significantly varied by age groups (χ²=38.16, p < 0.001). The mortality of H7N9 cases in the age group between 20 and 60 (33.17%) and age group of over 60 (51.16%) is much higher than that in the age group of under 20 (5.00%). Considering the time of reporting, the mortality rates of cases which were reported in the first (40.57%) and fourth (42.51%) quarters of each year are significantly higher than the mortality of cases which were reported in the second (36.02%) and third (27.27%) quarters (χ²=75.18, p < 0.001). The geographic specific mortality rates vary too. The mortality rates of H7N9 cases reported from the Northeast China (66.67%) and Westeast China (56.52%) are significantly higher than that of H7N9 cases reported from the remained area of mainland China. The mortality rate of H7N9 cases reported from the Central China is the lowest (34.38%). The mortality rates of H7N9 cases reported from rural (37.76%) and urban (38.96%) areas are similar. The mortality rate of H7N9 cases infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H7N9) virus (48.15%) is higher than the rate of H7N9 cases infected with the low pathogenic avian influenza A(H7N9) virus (37.57%), but the difference is not statistically significant. Preliminary analyses showed that age and some clinical complications such as respiratory failure, heart failure, and septic shock could be potential risk factors associated with the death of H7N9 cases. Conclusions: The mortality rates of H7N9 cases varied by age, sex, time of reporting and geographical location in mainland China. Further in-depth analyses and field investigations of the factors associated with the severity of H7N9 cases need to be considered.

Keywords: avian influenza, China, Mortality, H7N9 virus

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