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Northeastern China is a region of high tick abundance, multiple tick-borne pathogens and likely human infections. The spectrum of diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens has not been objectively evaluated in this region for clinical management and for comparison with other regions globally where tick-transmitted diseases are common. Based on clinical symptoms, PCR, indirect immunofluorescent assay and (or) blood smear, we identified and described tick-borne diseases from patients with recent tick bite seen at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital. From May 2010 to September 2011, 42% (75/180) of patients were diagnosed with a specific tick-borne disease, including Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human babesiosis and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. When we compared clinical and laboratory features to identify factors that might discriminate tick-transmitted infections from those lacking that evidence, we revealed that erythema migrans and neurological manifestations were statistically significantly differently presented between those with and without documented aetiologies (P < 0.001, P = 0.003). Twelve patients (6.7%, 12/180) were co-infected with two tick-borne pathogens. We demonstrated the poor ability of clinicians to identify the specific tick-borne disease. In addition, it is necessary to develop specific laboratory assays for optimal diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.
The molecular basis of resistance to tribenuron-methyl, an acetolactate synthase (ALS)–inhibiting herbicide was investigated in four resistant (R) and three susceptible (S) flixweed populations. The resistance level in the R populations was assessed in whole-plant pot experiments in a greenhouse, and resistance indices ranged from 723 to 1422. The ALS genes of the three S populations and four R populations were cloned and sequenced, and the full coding sequence of the ALS gene of flixweed was 2,004 bp. The sequences of the ALS genes of the three S populations collected from Shaanxi, Gansu, and Tianjin were identical. Comparison of the ALS gene sequences of the S and R populations with Arabidopsis revealed that proline at position 197 of the ALS gene was substituted by leucine in R population SSX-2, by alanine in R population SSX-3, and by serine in R populations TJ-2 and GS-2. In another study of two R flixweed populations from Hebei and Shaanxi, resistance was also related to mutation at position 197 of the ALS gene. Both studies confirmed tribenuron-methyl resistance in flixweed in China, with the resistance mechanism being conferred by specific ALS point mutations at amino acid position 197.
Previous studies have demonstrated that betaine supplements increase lean body mass in livestock and improve muscle performance in human beings, but evidence for its effect on human lean mass is limited. Our study assessed the association of circulating betaine with lean mass and its composition in Chinese adults. A community-based study was conducted on 1996 Guangzhou residents (weight/mass: 1381/615) aged 50–75 years between 2008 and 2010. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect general baseline information. Fasting serum betaine was assessed using HPLC-MS. A total of 1590 participants completed the body composition analysis performed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry during a mean of 3·2 years of follow-up. After adjustment for age, regression analyses demonstrated a positive association of serum betaine with percentage of lean mass (LM%) of the entire body, trunk and limbs in men (all P<0·05) and LM% of the trunk in women (P=0·016). Each sd increase in serum betaine was associated with increases in LM% of 0·609 (whole body), 0·811 (trunk), 0·422 (limbs), 0·632 (arms) and 0·346 (legs) in men and 0·350 (trunk) in women. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the prevalence of lower LM% decreased by 17 % (whole body) and 14 % (trunk) in women and 23 % (whole body), 28 % (trunk), 22 % (arms) and 26 % (percentage skeletal muscle index) in men with each sd increment in serum betaine. Elevated circulating betaine was associated with a higher LM% and lower prevalence of lower LM% in middle-aged and elderly Chinese adults, particularly men.
Changes in soil chemistry in response to varying climatic regimes can alter the equilibria of soil systems and result in different clay minerals. Variations in phyllosilicate clay composition can reflect temporal and spatial climatic changes, such as summer/winter monsoon cycles. The objective of this research was to investigate the mineralogy of the clay fractions as a proxy for determining variations in the East Asian monsoon climate, based on a section at Chaoyang in China spanning the last 0.423 Ma BP. The clay mineralogy record in the Chaoyang section was compared with other proxies as recorded in this section and with other palaeoclimatic indicators, including oxygen isotopes from oceanic sediments and loess–palaeosol sections on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). The results from clay mineralogy and related climatic studies show that the summer monsoon has a trend of four increased stages and four decreased stages; whereas the winter monsoon displays the opposite trend. During the last 0.423 Ma BP, the strongest winter monsoon occurred around 0.243–0.311 Ma BP. During this period, which included an intense winter monsoon, the soil in the section had the least illite, one of the smallest kaolinite and illite/Chlorite (I/C) indices and an overall decreasing clay content. The period 0.225–0.243 Ma BP had the strongest summer monsoon over the last 0.423 Ma BP. This period had the greatest amount of illite, the highest I/C index, greater overall clay content and the strongest magnetic susceptibility signal. Additionally, this section contained the smallest mean grain size. The multi-monsoon climate cycles of alternating cold-dry and warm-moist conditions as recorded in the Chaoyang section corresponded well with multiple glaciation cycles based on deep sea sediments. This indicates that the Chaoyang section provides a record of palaeoclimate changes in northeast China that can be linked to mineralogical suites to assist in reconstructing the palaeoclimate over the Late Middle Pleistocene, and complements the global palaeoclimate records in the CLP.
Few studies have explored the relationship between dietary patterns and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Evidence from non-Western areas is particularly lacking. In the present study, we aimed to examine the associations between dietary patterns and the risk of GDM in a Chinese population. A total of 3063 pregnant Chinese women from an ongoing prospective cohort study were included. Data on dietary intake were collected using a FFQ at 24–27 weeks of gestation. GDM was diagnosed using a 75 g, 2 h oral glucose tolerance test. Dietary patterns were determined by principal components factor analysis. A log-binomial regression model was used to examine the associations between dietary pattern and the risk of GDM. The analysis identified four dietary patterns: vegetable pattern; protein-rich pattern; prudent pattern; sweets and seafood pattern. Multivariate analysis showed that the highest tertile of the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM (relative risk (RR) 0·79, 95 % CI 0·64, 0·97), compared with the lowest tertile, whereas the highest tertile of the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM (RR 1·23, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·49). No significant association was found for either the protein-rich or the prudent pattern. The protective effect of a high vegetable pattern score was more evident among women who had a family history of diabetes (P for interaction = 0·022). These findings suggest that the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM, while the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM. These findings may be useful in dietary counselling during pregnancy.
Simple sequence repeats (SSR) and random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers were used to assess the genetic diversity of 80 isolates of Phytophthora infestans in potato (Solanum tuberosum) from Fujian, Heilongjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia Provinces in China. Polymorphism was identified by 13 SSR primers and 14 RAPD primers in the isolates of P. infestans in potato. A total of 76 bands were amplified by SSRs, with the percentage of polymorphic bands (PPB) being 78.9% and the similarity coefficient ranging between 0.00 and 0.42. A total of 189 bands were amplified by RAPDs, with the percentage of polymorphic bands being 95.2% and the similarity coefficient ranging between 0.04 and 0.66. Analysis of genetic diversity showed that there exists higher genetic variation in the Fujian population in comparison to the populations of Heilongjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia. Nei's genetic identity analysis indicates that the genetic similarity between populations of Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia is the highest and that between Fujian and Hebei is the lowest. A cluster analysis revealed that isolates from Fujian, in the south of China, are distantly related to those from Heilongjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia in the north, and the Fujian population is distributed among more groups than the other three, exhibiting a higher genetic diversity.
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