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Both vitamin K and probiotics can promote the bone health of poultry and mammals. The present study was conducted to investigate the interactive effects between vitamin K3 (VK3) and Bacillus subtilis PB6 on the growth performance and tibia quality of broiler chickens with sex separate rearing. In a 3 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, 720 one-day-old broiler chicks (Arbor Acres) were assigned to 12 groups with three levels of dietary VK3 (0, 0.5 and 4.0 mg/kg), with or without probiotic supplementation (500 g/t) and with sex separation (male and female). Each group included 3 replicates with 20 birds per replicate. During day 1 to 21, 0.5 and 4.0 mg/kg of VK3 increased average daily gain (ADG) of all birds and average daily feed intake of male birds (P < 0.05). During day 22 to 42, probiotic supplementation increased the ADG of birds (P < 0.05). Probiotic addition increased the weight, length, diameter and strength of tibia in all birds, and 0.5 and 4.0 mg/kg of VK3 increased the tibial breaking strength of male birds at day 21 (P < 0.05). Vitamin K3 and probiotic synergistically increased tibial breaking strength at day 42 and ash content at day 21 (P < 0.05). Three factors exhibited interactive effects on the chemical composition of tibia at day 42, and female birds fed 4 mg/kg of VK3 and probiotic had the highest contents of ash, calcium and phosphorus (P < 0.05). Bacillus subtilis PB6 increased the serum phosphorus level of male birds at day 21 and serum calcium level of female ones at day 42 (P < 0.05). At day 21, in the probiotic-supplemented birds, serum osteocalcin (OCN) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BALP) were increased by 0 and 4.0 mg/kg of VK3, respectively (P < 0.05). Probiotic increased serum OCN and cooperated with VK3 to increase the serum BALP at day 42 (P < 0.05). Vitamin K3 and probiotic synergistically down-regulated the mRNA expression of Runt-related transcription factor 2 and OCN at day 21 (P < 0.05). Vitamin K3 down-regulated the alkaline phosphatase (liver/bone/kidney) expression in male birds at day 21 and 42, but probiotic up-regulated the expression of these genes at day 42 (P < 0.05). In conclusion, VK3 and B. subtilis PB6 promoted the growth performance of broilers during starter and grower phases, respectively. They synergistically improved the physical and chemical traits of tibias, especially in grower phase, by modulating calcium and phosphorus metabolism as well as osteogenic gene expression.
The fatty acid composition of chicken’s meat is largely influenced by dietary lipids, which are often used as supplements to increase dietary caloric density. The underlying key metabolites and pathways influenced by dietary oils remain poorly known in chickens. The objective of this study was to explore the underlying metabolic mechanisms of how diets supplemented with mixed or a single oil with distinct fatty acid composition influence the fatty acid profile in breast muscle of Qingyuan chickens. Birds were fed a corn-soybean meal diet supplemented with either soybean oil (control, CON) or equal amounts of mixed edible oils (MEO; soybean oil : lard : fish oil : coconut oil = 1 : 1 : 0.5 : 0.5) from 1 to 120 days of age. Growth performance and fatty acid composition of muscle lipids were analysed. LC-MS was applied to investigate the effects of CON v. MEO diets on lipid-related metabolites in the muscle of chickens at day 120. Compared with the CON diet, chickens fed the MEO diet had a lower feed conversion ratio (P < 0.05), higher proportions of lauric acid (C12:0), myristic acid (C14:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1n-7), oleic acid (C18:1n-9), EPA (C20:5n-3) and DHA (C22:6n-3), and a lower linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) content in breast muscle (P < 0.05). Muscle metabolome profiling showed that the most differentially abundant metabolites are phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholines (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), which enriched the glycerophospholipid metabolism (P < 0.05). These key differentially abundant metabolites – PC (14:0/20:4), PC (18:1/14:1), PC (18:0/14:1), PC (18:0/18:4), PC (20:0/18:4), PE (22:0/P-16:0), PE (24:0/20:5), PE (22:2/P-18:1), PE (24:0/18:4) – were closely associated with the contents of C12:0, C14:0, DHA and C18:2n-6 in muscle lipids (P < 0.05). The content of glutathione metabolite was higher with MEO than CON diet (P < 0.05). Based on these results, it can be concluded that the diet supplemented with MEO reduced the feed conversion ratio, enriched the content of n-3 fatty acids and modified the related metabolites (including PC, PE and glutathione) in breast muscle of chickens.
The small intestine is an important digestive organ and plays a vital role in the life of a pig. We tested the hypothesis that the length of the small intestine is related to growth performance and intestinal functions of piglets. A total of 60 piglets (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire), weaned at day 21, were fed an identical diet during a 28-day trial. At the end of the study, all piglets were sacrificed, dissected and grouped according to small intestine lengths (SILs), either short small intestine (SSI), middle small intestine (MSI) or long small intestine (LSI), respectively. Positive relationships between SIL and BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain-to-feed ratios (G : F) were observed. Final BW, ADG, ADFI and G : F significantly increased (P < 0.05) in MSI and LSI piglets compared with SSI piglets. Short small intestine and MSI had greater jejunal mucosa sucrase and alkaline phosphatase activities (P < 0.05) than LSI piglets. The mRNA level of solute carrier family 2 member 2 (Slc2a2) in the jejunal mucosa of SSI piglets was the greatest. The MSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal villus height than other piglets and greater (P < 0.05) villus height-to-crypt depth ratios than LSI piglets. However, the LSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal crypt depth than SSI piglets. No significant differences in duodenal, jejunal, caecal and colonic morphologies were detected among the groups. Moreover, luminal acetate, propionate, butyrate and total short-chain fatty acid contents were greater (P < 0.05) in SSI and MSI piglets than those in LSI piglets. In addition, there was greater serum glucose concentration in MSI piglets than other piglets. Serum albumin concentration in SSI piglets was the lowest. In conclusion, these results indicate that SIL was significantly positively associated with growth performance, and in terms of intestinal morphology and mucosal digestive enzyme activity, the piglets with a medium length of small intestine have better digestion and absorption properties.
Small intestinal epithelium homeostasis involves four principal cell types: enterocytes, goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been shown to affect enterocyte differentiation. This study determined the effect of dietary EGF on goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglet small intestine and potential mechanisms. Forty-two weaned piglets were used in a 2 × 3 factorial design; the major factors were time post-weaning (days 7 and 14) and dietary treatment (0, 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF supplementation). The numbers of goblet and enteroendocrine cells were generally greater with the increase in time post-weaning. Moreover, the supplementation of 200 µg/kg EGF increased (P < 0.01) the number of goblet and enteroendocrine cells in villus and crypt of the piglet small intestine as compared with the control. Dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of differentiation-related genes atonal homologue 1, mucin 2 and intestinal trefoil factor 3 messenger RNA (mRNA) as compared with the control. Piglets fed 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF diet had increased (P < 0.05) abundances of growth factor-independent 1, SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 mRNA, but decreased the abundance (P < 0.01) of E74 like ETS transcription factor 3 mRNA as compared with the control. Animals receiving 400 µg/kg EGF diets had enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of neurogenin3 and SRY-box containing gene 9 mRNA as compared with the control. The mRNA abundance and protein expression of lysozyme, a marker of Paneth cell, were also increased (P < 0.05) in those animals. As compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF increased the abundance of EGF receptor mRNA and the ratio of non-phospho(p)-β-catenin/β-catenin (P < 0.05) in villus epithelial cells at days 7 and 14. This ratio in crypt epithelial cells was higher (P < 0.05) on the both 200 and 400 µg/kg EGF groups during the same period. Our results demonstrated that dietary EGF stimulated goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglets during the post-weaning period, partly through EGFR and Wnt/β-catenin signalling.
Enhancing the supply of arginine (Arg), a semi-essential amino acid, has positive effects on immune function in dairy cattle experiencing metabolic stress during early lactation. Our objective was to determine the effects of Arg supplementation on biomarkers of liver damage and inflammation in cows during early lactation. Six Chinese Holstein lactating cows with similar BW (508 ± 14 kg), body condition score (3.0), parity (4.0 ± 0), milk yield (30.6 ± 1.8 kg) and days in milk (20 ± days) were randomly assigned to three treatments in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design balanced for carryover effects. Each period was 21 days with 7 days for infusion and 14 days for washout. Treatments were (1) Control: saline; (2) Arg group: saline + 0.216 mol/day l-Arg; and (3) Alanine (Ala) group: saline + 0.868 mol/day l-Ala (iso-nitrogenous to the Arg group). Blood and milk samples from the experimental cows were collected on the last day of each infusion period and analyzed for indices of liver damage and inflammation, and the count and composition of somatic cells in milk. Compared with the Control, the infusion of Arg led to greater concentrations of total protein, immunoglobulin M and high density lipoprotein cholesterol coupled with lower concentrations of haptoglobin and tumor necrosis factor-α, and activity of aspartate aminotransferase in serum. Infusion of Ala had no effect on those biomarkers compared with the Control. Although milk somatic cell count was not affected, the concentration of granulocytes was lower in response to Arg infusion compared with the Control or Ala group. Overall, the biomarker analyses indicated that the supplementation of Arg via the jugular vein during early lactation alleviated inflammation and metabolic stress.
Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Cereal grains treated with organic acids were proved to increase ruminal resistant starch and can relieve the risk of ruminal acidosis. However, previous study mainly focussed on acid-treated barley, the effects of organic acid-treated corn is still unknown. The objectives of this study were to evaluate whether feeding ground corn steeped in citric acid (CA) would affect ruminal pH and fermentation patterns, milk production and innate immunity responses in dairy goats. Eight ruminally cannulated Saanen dairy goats were used in a crossover designed experiment. Each experimental period was 21 day long including 14 days for adaption to new diet and 7 days for sampling and data collection. The goats were fed high-grain diet contained 30% hay and 70% corn-based concentrate. The corn was steeped either in water (control) or in 0.5% (wt/vol) CA solution for 48 h. Goats fed CA diet showed improved ruminal pH status with greater mean and minimum ruminal pH, and shorter (P<0.05) duration of ruminal pH<5.6 and less area of ruminal pH<5.6, 5.8 and 6.0. Concentration of total volatile fatty acid and molar proportion of propionate were less but the molar proportion of acetate was greater (P<0.05) in goats fed the CA diet than the control diet. Concentration of ruminal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was lower (P<0.05) and that of lactic acid also tended (P<0.10) to be lower in goats fed CA than the control. Although dry matter intake, actual milk yield, yield and content of milk protein and lactose were not affected, the milk fat content and 4% fat-corrected milk tended (P<0.10) to be greater in goats fed CA diet. For the inflammatory responses, peripheral LPS did not differ, whereas the concentration of LPS binding protein and serum amyloid A tended (P<0.10) to be less in goats fed CA diet. Similarly, goats fed CA diet had less (P<0.05) concentration of haptoglobin and tumour necrosis factor. These results indicated that feeding ground corn treated with CA effectively improved ruminal pH status, thus alleviated the risk of ruminal acidosis, reduced inflammatory response, and tend to improve milk yield and milk fat test.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
This study aimed to evaluate the acaricidal activity of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) extracts against carmine spider mites (Tetranychus cinnabarinus Boisd.) and isolate the acaricidal components. Acaricidal activities of lettuce extracts isolated from different parts (the leaf, root and seed) using various solvents (petroleum ether, acetone and methanol) were evaluated with slide-dip bioassay and relatively high median lethal concentration (LC50) values were detected. Acetone extracts of lettuce leaves harvested in July and September were fractionated and isolated with silica gel and thin-layer chromatography. Consequently, acetone extracts of lettuce leaves harvested in July exhibited higher acaricidal activity than those harvested in September, with an LC50 value of 0.268 mg ml−1 at 72 h post-treatment. A total of 27 fractions were obtained from the acetone extract of lettuce leaves harvested in July, and mite mortalities with the 11th and 12th fractions were higher than those with the other 25 fractions (LC50: 0.751 and 1.258 mg ml−1 at 48 h post-treatment, respectively). Subsequently, active acaricidal components of the 11th fraction were identified by infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Five components were isolated from the 11th fraction, with components 11-a and 11-b showing relatively high acaricidal activities (LC50: 0.288 and 0.114 mg ml−1 at 48 h post-treatment, respectively). Component 11-a was identified as β-sitosterol. In conclusion, acetone extracts of lettuce leaves harvested in July might be used as a novel phytogenic acaricide to control mites.
Upgraded heating and current drive (H/CD) systems have been equipped on the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). With the upgraded H/CD systems, the operation space of EAST is extended, and the ability to achieve higher performance is improved. In this paper, a 0.5 dimension transport code named Minute Embedded Tokamak Integrated Simulator (METIS) is applied to predict the EAST operation space and to assess the current drive capability of the 4.6 GHz lower hybrid current drive system. Predictive simulation of several EAST scenarios, including steady-state high confinement mode (H-mode), advanced regime, high normalized beta and high electron temperature, are also performed with the available H/CD systems. The simulation results provide a guidance for forthcoming advanced EAST experiments.
Aiming at a fusion reactor, two issues must be solved for the lower hybrid current drive (LHCD), namely good lower hybrid wave (LHW)–plasma coupling and effective current drive at high density. For this goal, efforts have been made to improve LHW–plasma coupling and current drive capability at high density in experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST). LHW–plasma coupling is improved by means of local gas puffing and gas puffing from the electron side is taken as a routine way for EAST to operate with LHCD. Studies of high density experiments suggest that low recycling and high lower hybrid (LH) frequency are preferred for LHCD experiments at high density, consistent with previous results in other machines. With the combination of 2.45 GHz and 4.6 GHz LH waves, a repeatable high confinement mode plasma with maximum density up to
was obtained by LHCD in EAST. In addition, in the first stage of LHCD cyclic operation, an alternative candidate for more economical fusion reactors has been demonstrated in EAST and further work will be continued.
An outbreak of acute hepatitis recently occurred in a nursing home in Zhejiang Province, China. The objectives of this study were to confirm the outbreak and identify the aetiology, source and transmission patterns. All residents and staff in or near the nursing home during the period from 1 October 2014 to 21 May 2015 were investigated regarding hygiene and for epidemiological information including water and food (eating meat especially pork products). Serum and stool specimens were collected for detection of hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies using ELISA and RNA using RT–PCR. Samples that were RNA positive were genotyped. Of 185 senior residents and 24 staff in the nursing home, there were 37 laboratory-confirmed cases during the outbreak. Of these cases, 12 patients (three deaths) were symptomatic with jaundice, a common clinical symptom for hepatitis E infection. HEV strains were isolated from three cases and they formed a single cluster within genotype 4d. A case-control study was conducted to investigate potential risk factors for the outbreak and the results revealed that cases more often washed their dishes and rinsed their mouths using tap water than the controls (P < 0·05). Based on hygiene investigation and meteorological information, it is likely that HEV-infected sewage and faeces contaminated the water network on rainy days. Collectively, these results suggest that the outbreak of HEV genotype 4 infection was most likely caused by contaminated tap water rather than food.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease that was caused by a novel bunyavirus, SFTSV. The study aimed to disclose the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of SFTSV infection in China so far. An integrated clinical database comprising 1920 SFTS patients was constructed by combining first-hand clinical information collected from SFTS sentinel hospitals (n = 1159) and extracted data (n = 761) from published literature. The considered variables comprised clinical manifestations, routine laboratory tests of acute infection, hospitalization duration and disease outcome. SFTSV-IgG data from 19 119 healthy subjects were extracted from the published papers. The key clinical variables, case-fatality rate (CFR) and seroprevalence were estimated by meta-analysis. The most commonly seen clinical manifestations of SFTSV infection were fever, anorexia, myalgia, chill and lymphadenopathy. The major laboratory findings were elevated lactate dehydrogenase, aminotransferase, followed by thrombocytopenia, lymphocytopenia, elevated alanine transaminase and creatine kinase. A CFR of 12·2% was estimated, significantly higher than that obtained from national reporting data, but showing no geographical difference. In our paper, the mortality rate was about 1·9 parts per million. Older age and longer delay to hospitalization were significantly associated with fatal outcome. A pooled seroprevalence of 3·0% was obtained, which increased with age, while comparable for gender. This study represents a clinical characterization on the largest group of SFTS patients up to now. A higher than expected CFR was obtained. A wider spectrum of clinical index was suggested to be used to identify SFTSV infection, while the useful predictor for fatal outcome was found to be restricted.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
We aimed to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of HSV-2 discordance and concordance in HIV-1-discordant couples. This study used the baseline data from a cohort study of HIV-1-discordant couples in Dehong prefecture of Yunnan province, China. Of 954 participating couples, 42·4% were affected by HSV-2, of which 20·4% were HSV-2-concordant positive, 7·6% were HSV-2-discordant where the male was HSV-2 positive, and 14·4% were HSV-2 discordant where the female was HSV-2 positive. Compared to HSV-2-negative concordance, HSV-2 discordance with an HSV-2-positive male spouse was significantly associated with characteristics of the male spouse, including Han ethnicity and being in a second marriage. HSV-2 discordance with an HSV-2-positive female spouse was significantly associated with characteristics of the female spouse, including Han ethnicity, having engaged in commercial sex, having a sexual relationship of <3 years and being HIV-1 infected. Compared to HSV-2 discordance, HSV-2-positive concordance was significantly associated with an education level of middle school or higher for both spouses, a sexual relationship of ⩾3 years, more frequent sex and having an HIV-1-infected male spouse. The findings highlight the need for HSV-2 prevention and treatment efforts to reduce HSV-2 transmission in this population, and emphasize the importance of implementing prevention interventions early in couples' relationships.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Active symptom surveillance was applied to three selected communities ( 160 147 persons) in Tianjin from 2010 to 2012. We examined 1089 individuals showing pertussis-like symptoms, of which 1022 nasopharyngeal specimens were tested for pertussis by polymerase chain reaction and 802 sera for anti-pertussis toxin antibodies. Of the total cases tested, 113 were confirmed, and their demographic, clinical, and vaccination-related data were collected. The annual incidence was 23·52 cases/100 000 persons among communities, which was 16·22 times that obtained via hospital reports for the same period (P < 0·001). The actual incidence in the 15–69 years age group was most significantly underestimated by hospitals, given that it was 43·08 times that of the reported hospital rate. Among the cases aged <15 years, 84·5% were individuals who had been fully vaccinated. The misdiagnosis rate was as high as 94·69%, and only 5·31% of the confirmed pertussis cases were properly diagnosed as pertussis at their first medical visit. Pertussis incidence in China has been severely underestimated and this was in part due to a high misdiagnosis rate. Adolescents and adults have become new high-risk populations. Future work should focus on reinforcing immunization programmes, especially among adolescents and adults.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) has been prevalent for some time in China and it was first identified in 2010. However, the seroprevalence of SFTSV in the general population in southeastern China and risk factors associated with the infection are currently unclear. Blood samples were collected from seven counties across Zhejiang province and tested for the presence of SFTSV-specific IgG antibodies by ELISA. A total of 1380 blood samples were collected of which 5·51% were seropositive for SFTSV with seroprevalence varying significantly between sites. Seroprevalence of SFTSV in people who were family members of the patient, lived in the same village as the patient, or lived in a different village than the patient varied significantly. There was significant difference in seroprevalence between participants who bred domestic animals and participants who did not. Domestic animals are probably potential reservoir hosts and contact with domestic animals may be a transmission route of SFTSV.