By Zhang Zhenwei and Shao Longfei
BEIJING, Aug. 28 -- A team led by Major General Cao Wuchun with the Department of Military Medicine at the Institute of Military Medical Sciences under the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, together with a team led by Zhao Fangqing with the Beijing Institutes of Life Science at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has made major breakthroughs in the prevention and control of tick and tick-borne infectious diseases.
For the first time, they clarified the genome diversity, population inheritance and distribution characteristics of pathogens of the six major tick species in China. The internationally renowned academic journal Cell published related research papers online on August 18.
It is known that ticks are an important vector for the transmission of zoonotic diseases, which can carry viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and other pathogens and spread more than 40 kinds of diseases. There are more than 130 species of ticks in nine genera and two families in China.
Nowadays, the probability of being bitten by ticks and getting sick is growing on a daily basis, with increasing interactions between human and nature. However, due to the lack of knowledge, tick-borne infectious diseases are often mistaken for "strange diseases", causing problems for people's health, production and life. And it has been even more difficult to conduct in-depth research on the genetic diversity and distribution of ticks due to the lack of genomic data support.
The research conducted by the military and civilian scientists this time, with its results being published in the journal Cell and highly-evaluated by international academic circle, provides valuable resources and important theoretical basis for in-depth research on ticks and tick-borne infectious diseases.