Inside the Chinese lab poised to study world s most dangerous pathogens: Nature News — Comment
Inside the Chinese lab poised to study world’s most dangerous pathogens
- 1 Inside the Chinese lab poised to study world’s most dangerous pathogens
- 2 Article tools
- 3 Laboratory Tick Testing
- 4 Lyme disease tests and other tick-borne illness early detection
- 5 Tick bite?
- 6 Laboratory Tick Testing and Surveillance
- 7 Five star customer reviews
- 8 Lyme Disease Tests
- 9 What are Lyme disease tests?
- 10 What are they used for?
- 11 Why do I need a Lyme disease test?
- 12 What happens during Lyme disease testing?
- 13 Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?
- 14 Are there any risks to Lyme disease tests?
- 15 What do the results mean?
- 16 Is there anything else I need to know about Lyme disease tests?
- 17 Structure and Function of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Dogs
- 18 What Is the Gastrointestinal Tract?
- 19 Where Is the Gastrointestinal Tract Located in Dogs?
- 20 What Is the General Structure of the Gastrointestinal Tract?
- 21 What Are the Functions of the Canine Gastrointestinal Tract?
- 22 What Are Common Diseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Dogs?
- 23 What Types of Diagnostic Tests Are Used to Evaluate the Gastrointestinal Tract?
Maximum-security biolab is part of plan to build network of BSL-4 facilities across China.
EditorsвЂ™ note, January 2020: Many stories have promoted an unverified theory that the Wuhan lab discussed in this article played a role in the coronavirus outbreak that began in December 2019. Nature knows of no evidence that this is true; scientists believe the most likely source of the coronavirus to be an animal market.
Wuhan Virology Institute
Hazard suits hang at the National Bio-safety Laboratory, Wuhan, the first lab on the Chinese mainland equipped for the highest level of biocontainment.
A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the worldвЂ™s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025, and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns.
Some scientists outside China worry about pathogens escaping, and the addition of a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations. But Chinese microbiologists are celebrating their entrance to the elite cadre empowered to wrestle with the worldвЂ™s greatest biological threats.
вЂњIt will offer more opportunities for Chinese researchers, and our contribution on the BSLвЂ‘4-level pathogens will benefit the world,вЂќ says George Gao, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology in Beijing. There are already two BSL-4 labs in Taiwan, but the National Bio-safety Laboratory, Wuhan, would be the first on the Chinese mainland.
The lab was certified as meeting the standards and criteria of BSL-4 by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) in January. The CNAS examined the labвЂ™s infrastructure, equipment and management, says a CNAS representative, paving the way for the Ministry of Health to give its approval. A representative from the ministry says it will move slowly and cautiously; if the assessment goes smoothly, it could approve the laboratory by the end of June.
BSL-4 is the highest level of biocontainment: its criteria include filtering air and treating water and waste before they leave the laboratory, and stipulating that researchers change clothes and shower before and after using lab facilities. Such labs are often controversial. The first BSL-4 lab in Japan was built in 1981, but operated with lower-risk pathogens until 2015, when safety concerns were finally overcome.
The expansion of BSL-4-lab networks in the United States and Europe over the past 15 years вЂ” with more than a dozen now in operation or under construction in each region вЂ” also met with resistance, including questions about the need for so many facilities.
вЂњViruses donвЂ™t know borders.вЂќ
The Wuhan lab cost 300 million yuan (US$44 million), and to allay safety concerns it was built far above the flood plain and with the capacity to withstand a magnitude-7 earthquake, although the area has no history of strong earthquakes. It will focus on the control of emerging diseases, store purified viruses and act as a World Health Organization вЂreference laboratoryвЂ™ linked to similar labs around the world. вЂњIt will be a key node in the global biosafety-lab network,вЂќ says lab director Yuan Zhiming.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences approved the construction of a BSL-4 laboratory in 2003, and the epidemic of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) around the same time lent the project momentum. The lab was designed and constructed with French assistance as part of a 2004 cooperative agreement on the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases. But the complexity of the project, ChinaвЂ™s lack of experience, difficulty in maintaining funding and long government approval procedures meant that construction wasnвЂ™t finished until the end of 2014.
The labвЂ™s first project will be to study the BSL-3 pathogen that causes CrimeanвЂ“Congo haemorrhagic fever: a deadly tick-borne virus that affects livestock across the world, including in northwest China, and that can jump to people.
Future plans include studying the pathogen that causes SARS, which also doesnвЂ™t require a BSL-4 lab, before moving on to Ebola and the West African Lassa virus, which do. Some one million Chinese people work in Africa; the country needs to be ready for any eventuality, says Yuan. вЂњViruses donвЂ™t know borders.вЂќ
Gao travelled to Sierra Leone during the recent Ebola outbreak, allowing his team to report the speed with which the virus mutated into new strains 1 . The Wuhan lab will give his group a chance to study how such viruses cause disease, and to develop treatments based on antibodies and small molecules, he says.
Muyi Xiao for Nature
The central monitor room at ChinaвЂ™s National Bio-safety Laboratory.
The opportunities for international collaboration, meanwhile, will aid the genetic analysis and epidemiology of emergent diseases. вЂњThe world is facing more new emerging viruses, and we need more contribution from China,вЂќ says Gao. In particular, the emergence of zoonotic viruses вЂ” those that jump to humans from animals, such as SARS or Ebola вЂ” is a concern, says Bruno Lina, director of the VirPath virology lab in Lyon, France.
Many staff from the Wuhan lab have been training at a BSL-4 lab in Lyon, which some scientists find reassuring. And the facility has already carried out a test-run using a low-risk virus.
But worries surround the Chinese lab, too. The SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times, notes Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. Tim Trevan, founder of CHROME Biosafety and Biosecurity Consulting in Damascus, Maryland, says that an open culture is important to keeping BSL-4 labs safe, and he questions how easy this will be in China, where society emphasizes hierarchy. вЂњDiversity of viewpoint, flat structures where everyone feels free to speak up and openness of information are important,вЂќ he says.
Yuan says that he has worked to address this issue with staff. вЂњWe tell them the most important thing is that they report what they have or havenвЂ™t done,вЂќ he says. And the labвЂ™s interВnational collaborations will increase openness. вЂњTransparency is the basis of the lab,вЂќ he adds.
The plan to expand into a network heightens such concerns. One BSL-4 lab in Harbin is already awaiting accreditation; the next two are expected to be in Beijing and Kunming, the latter focused on using monkey models to study disease.
Lina says that ChinaвЂ™s size justifies this scale, and that the opportunity to combine BSL-4 research with an abundance of research monkeys вЂ” Chinese researchers face less red tape than those in the West when it comes to research on primates вЂ” could be powerful. вЂњIf you want to test vaccines or antivirals, you need a non-human primate model,вЂќ says Lina.
But Ebright is not convinced of the need for more than one BSL-4 lab in mainland China. He suspects that the expansion there is a reaction to the networks in the United States and Europe, which he says are also unwarranted. He adds that governments will assume that such excess capacity is for the potential development of bioweapons.
вЂњThese facilities are inherently dual use,вЂќ he says. The prospect of ramping up opportunities to inject monkeys with pathogens also worries, rather than excites, him: вЂњThey can run, they can scratch, they can bite.вЂќ
Trevan says ChinaвЂ™s investment in a BSL-4 lab may, above all, be a way to prove to the world that the nation is competitive. вЂњIt is a big status symbol in biology,вЂќ he says, вЂњwhether itвЂ™s a need or not.вЂќ
Laboratory Tick Testing
Lyme disease tests and
other tick-borne illness early detection
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No matter where you live, tick-borne diseases can be passed onto you or your family by an infected tick.
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Tick Testing and Surveillance
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Lyme Disease Tests
What are Lyme disease tests?
Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria carried by ticks. Lyme disease tests look for signs of infection in your blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
You can get Lyme disease if an infected tick bites you. Ticks can bite you anywhere on your body, but they usually bite in hard-to-see parts of your body such as the groin, scalp, and armpits. The ticks that cause Lyme disease are tiny, as small as a speck of dirt. So you may not know you have been bitten.
If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious health problems affecting your joints, heart, and nervous system. But if diagnosed early, most cases of Lyme disease can be cured after a few weeks of treatment with antibiotics.
Other names: Lyme antibodies detection, Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies test, Borrelia DNA Detection, IgM/IgG by Western Blot, Lyme disease test (CSF), Borrelia antibodies, IgM/IgG
What are they used for?
Lyme disease tests are used to find out if you have a Lyme disease infection.
Why do I need a Lyme disease test?
You may need a Lyme disease test if you have symptoms of infection. The first symptoms of Lyme disease usually show up between three and 30 days after the tick bite. They may include:
You may also need a Lyme disease test if you don’t have symptoms, but are at risk for infection. You may be at a higher risk if you:
- Recently removed a tick from your body
- Walked in a heavily wooded area, where ticks live, without covering exposed skin or wearing repellent
- Have done either of the above activities and live in or have recently visited the northeast or midwestern areas of the United States, where most Lyme disease cases occur
Lyme disease is most treatable in its early stages, but you may still benefit from testing later on. Symptoms that may show up weeks or months after the tick bite. They may include:
- Severe headache
- Neck stiffness
- Severe joint pain and swelling
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
- Memory and sleep disorders
What happens during Lyme disease testing?
Lyme disease testing is usually done with your blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
For a Lyme disease blood test:
- A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
If you have symptoms of Lyme disease affecting your nervous system, such as neck stiffness and numbness in hands or feet, you may need a test of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear liquid found in your brain and spinal cord. During this test, your CSF will be collected through a procedure called a lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap. During the procedure:
- You will lie on your side or sit on an exam table.
- A health care provider will clean your back and inject an anesthetic into your skin, so you won’t feel pain during the procedure. Your provider may put a numbing cream on your back before this injection.
- Once the area on your back is completely numb, your provider will insert a thin, hollow needle between two vertebrae in your lower spine. Vertebrae are the small backbones that make up your spine.
- Your provider will withdraw a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid for testing. This will take about five minutes.
- You’ll need to stay very still while the fluid is being withdrawn.
- Your provider may ask you to lie on your back for an hour or two after the procedure. This may prevent you from getting a headache afterward.
Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?
You don’t need any special preparations for a Lyme disease blood test.
For a lumbar puncture, you may be asked to empty your bladder and bowels before the test.
Are there any risks to Lyme disease tests?
There is very little risk to having a blood test or a lumbar puncture. If you had a blood test, you may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly. If you had a lumbar puncture, you may have pain or tenderness in your back where the needle was inserted. You may also get a headache after the procedure.
What do the results mean?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a two-test process of your sample:
- If your first test result is negative for Lyme disease, you don’t need any more testing.
- If your first result is positive for Lyme disease, your blood will get a second test.
- If both results are positive for Lyme disease and you also have symptoms of infection, you probably have Lyme disease.
Positive results don’t always mean a Lyme disease diagnosis. In some cases, you can have a positive result but not have an infection. Positive results may also mean you have an autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
If your lumbar puncture results are positive, it may mean you have Lyme disease, but you might need more tests to confirm a diagnosis.
If your health care provider thinks you have Lyme disease, he or she will prescribe antibiotic treatment. Most people who are treated with antibiotics in the early stage of disease will make a complete recovery.
Is there anything else I need to know about Lyme disease tests?
You can reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease by taking the following steps:
- Avoid walking in wooded areas with high grass.
- Walk in the center of trails.
- Wear long pants and tuck them into your boots or socks.
- Apply an insect repellent containing DEET to your skin and clothing.
Structure and Function of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Dogs
Dr. Bari Spielman
Below is information about the structure and function of the canine gastrointestinal tract. We will tell you about the general structure of the stomach and bowels, how it works in dogs, common diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract and common diagnostic tests performed in dogs to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract.
What Is the Gastrointestinal Tract?
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract or system is responsible for processing and extracting nutrients from food and collecting and passing waste material from the dog’s body. It is a very long and winding tube, beginning in the mouth and ending at the anus, through which food is swallowed and collected, then broken apart and digested. It is also where the nutrients from food are absorbed into the body. The GI tract includes the mouth, teeth, tongue, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.
Where Is the Gastrointestinal Tract Located in Dogs?
The GI tract is a large system that travels the length of the body. It starts at the mouth, extends into the throat, through the chest and abdominal cavities, and ends at the anus.
What Is the General Structure of the Gastrointestinal Tract?
For most of its length, the GI tract is a long hollow tube lined by different types of cells. The walls of the tube are composed of glands, nerves and muscles. Structurally, the cell type, muscle thickness, glandular elements, and nervous supply differ in the various functional regions, as does the diameter and shape of the tube.
The small intestine consists of the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum. The duodenum is the first and most stationary part of the small intestine. Within the duodenum, openings are present that allow digestive juices to enter the intestines from the pancreas and gallbladder. The jejunum is the longest part of the small intestine and is free to move into whatever unoccupied space is available within the abdomen. The ileum is the short, terminal portion of the small intestine.
The large intestine is wider and shorter than the small intestine. It includes the cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. The cecum is a comma-shaped pouch that lies at the junction of the ileum and colon. The colon is shaped like a question mark. It is thin-walled and baggier than the small intestines. The rectum is the last few inches of the colon and leads directly to the anal canal. The anal canal is the short, terminal part of the GI tract that lies just inside the anus. It is only about one-half inch in length. The anus has two muscular sphincters that act as a door, holding the stool (fecal material) inside the body until it is appropriate to defecate.
The components of the GI tract that lie within the abdomen are held in place by their attachments to the mesentery. The mesentery is a curtain-like structure that hangs from the top of the middle of the abdomen. It contains blood vessels that travel to and from the GI tract. It also contains lymph vessels that carry certain nutrients away from the GI tract.
What Are the Functions of the Canine Gastrointestinal Tract?
What Are Common Diseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Dogs?
There are many primary disorders that affect the GI tract. Vomiting and/or diarrhea are commonly seen with gastrointestinal disease. Regurgitation (the effortless evacuation of fluid, mucus and undigested food from the esophagus) is commonly seen with esophageal disease. Some common diseases of the GI tract include:
What Types of Diagnostic Tests Are Used to Evaluate the Gastrointestinal Tract?
Numerous diagnostic tests are helpful in evaluating the GI tract.