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Qi Lu, Chun-xia Zhao, Kun-ling Shen, Wen-bo Xu, Yan Zhang, Jia-lin Yu and Xi-qiang Yang

Abstract

Objective Fusion protein is a subunit of the human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) and a potential vaccine candidate. Thus, a study on the genetic characteristics of F protein was considered important for further investigations in this field. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and genetic diversity of the F gene of HRSV infections in hospitalized pediatric patients in Beijing with acute lower respiratory tract infections and to compare the circulating genotypes that are currently found worldwide.

Methods HRSV particles were amplified by RT-PCR and the PCR products were purified for sequencing. Further analysis was carried out by Bioedit and MEGA 3.0 biological software programs.

Results Seventy-six samples (23.1%) were positive for HRSV. The percentage of cases in patients younger than 1 year was 84.21%. Among the six Beijing isolates, four belonged to subgroup A, whose respective F genes shared 97.0%-97.4% nucleotide sequence identity and 92.1%-93.0% amino acid sequence identity. The other two isolates belonged to subgroup B. Here, 97.3% and 98.2% sequence identity were found at nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively.

Conclusions Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences revealed that those four isolates within subgroup A were monophyletic and closely related to each other, but those two within subgroup B distributed in two distinct clusters. Subgroup A and B strains co-circulated, indicating that two different transmission chains occurred in Beijing from 2003-2004.

Open access

Gui-lin Yang, Ying-xia Liu, Mu-tong Fang, Yan-xia He, John Nunnari, Jing-jing Xie, Xiao-hua Le and Bo-ping Zhou

Abstract

Objective To analyze the clinical and laboratory features of patients with mild and severe HFMD to identify early predictive or diagnostic markers for severe cases.

Methods Samples of feces, nasopharyngeal-swab specimens, peripheral blood, serum and cerebral spinal fluid were collected. Postmortem pathological examination was conducted on 2 dead patients with complication due to neurogenic pulmonary edema. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain-reaction (RT-PCR), culture and isolation of enterovirus 71 (EV71) were performed to detect EV71 infection. Both univariate and multivariate logistic analysis were used to identify factors associated with severe cases.

Results EV71 was mainly responsible for HFMD. In this study, 5 isolated EV71 strains belonged to C4 gene subtype. Compared with mild patients, EV71-RNA detection rate was higher and CoxA16 detection rate was lower among severe patients (P < 0.01). Inflammatory cell infiltration in the lung, cardiac and liver tissues were mild by postmortem pathological examination. It was found that body temperature, vomitting, limb tremor, neutrophil, blood glucose and EV71 infection were significantly related to the severe cases by univariate logistic analysis. However, after multivariate logistic regression analysis, only vomiting (OR 16.1, CI 2.3-110.5, P < 0.01) and limb tremor (OR 117.6, CI 13.8-1004.5, P < 0.01) were significantly and independently correlated with the severe cases.

Conclusions EV71 was mainly responsible for HFMD, particularly for severe cases. Vomiting and limb tremor were predictive markers for severe cases.

Open access

James Chipperfield, John Newman, Gwenda Thompson, Yue Ma and Yan-Xia Lin

Abstract

Many statistical agencies face the challenge of maintaining the confidentiality of respondents while providing as much analytical value as possible from their data. Datasets relating to businesses present particular difficulties because they are likely to contain information about large enterprises that dominate industries and may be more easily identified. Agencies therefore tend to take a cautious approach to releasing business data (e.g., trusted access, remote access and synthetic data). The Australian Bureau of Statistics has developed a remote server, called TableBuilder, which has the capability to allow users to specify and request tables created from business microdata. The tables are confidentialised automatically by perturbing cell values, and the results are returned quickly to the users. The perturbation method is designed to protect against attacks, which are attempts to undo the confidentialisation, such as the well-known differencing attack. This paper considers the risk and utility trade-off when releasing three Australian Bureau of Statistics business collections via its TableBuilder product.