Age estimates of two common mutations causing factor XI deficiency: recent genetic drift is not necessary for elevated disease incidence among Ashkenazi Jews.
The type II and type III mutations at the FXI locus, which cause coagulation factor XI deficiency, have high frequencies in Jewish populations. The type III mutation is largely restricted to Ashkenazi Jews, but the type II mutation is observed at high frequency in both Ashkenazi and Iraqi Jews, suggesting the possibility that the mutation appeared before the separation of these communities. Here we report estimates of the ages of the type II and type III mutations, based on the observed distribution of allelic variants at a flanking microsatellite marker (D4S171). The results are consistent with a recent origin for the type III mutation but suggest that the type II mutation appeared >120 generations ago. This finding demonstrates that the high frequency of the type II mutation among Jews is independent of the demographic upheavals among Ashkenazi Jews in the 16th and 17th centuries. (+info)
Typing of Salmonella enterica serotype paratyphi C isolates from various countries by plasmid profiles and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of 61 Salmonella enterica serotype Paratyphi C isolates from six countries gave five distinct clusters. Twenty-four isolates from five countries were susceptible to 10 antimicrobials tested and gave similar restriction endonuclease digest patterns of the 38-MDa plasmid. In contrast, plasmid and PFGE profiles of 37 multidrug-resistant isolates from Zaire were different from those from other countries. (+info)
The postwar hospitalization experience of Gulf War Veterans possibly exposed to chemical munitions destruction at Khamisiyah, Iraq.
Using Department of Defense hospital data, the authors examined the postwar hospitalization experience from March 1991 through September 1995 of US Gulf War veterans who were near Khamisiyah, Iraq, during nerve agent munition destruction in March 1991. Multiple sources of meteorologic, munition, and toxicology data were used to circumscribe geographic areas of low level, vaporized nerve agent for 4 days after the destruction. Plume estimates were overlaid on military unit positions, and exposure was estimated for the 349,291 US Army Gulf War veterans. Exposure was classified as not exposed (n = 224,804), uncertain low dose exposure (n = 75,717), and specific estimated subclinical exposure (n = 48,770) categorized into three groups for dose-response evaluation. Using Cox proportional hazard modeling, the authors compared the postwar experiences of these exposure groups for hospitalization due to any cause, for diagnoses in 15 unique categories, and for specific diagnoses an expert panel proposed as most likely to reflect latent disease from such subclinical exposure. There was little evidence that veterans possibly exposed to the nerve agent plumes experienced unusual postwar morbidity. While there were several differences in hospitalization risk, none of the models suggested a dose-response relation or neurologic sequelae. These data, having a number of limitations, do not support the hypothesis that Gulf War veterans are suffering postwar morbidity from subclinical nerve agent exposure. (+info)
The human platelet alphaIIb gene is not closely linked to its integrin partner beta3.
alphaIIbb3 integrin is a heterodimeric receptor facilitating platelet aggregation. Both genes are on chromosome 17q21.32. Intergenic distance between them has been reported to be 125 to 260 kilobasepairs (kb) by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) genomic analysis, suggesting that they may be regulated coordinately during megakaryopoiesis. In contrast, other studies suggest these genes are greater than 2.0 megabasepairs (mb) apart. Because of the potential biological implications of having these two megakaryocytic-specific genes contiguous, we attempted to resolve this discrepancy. Taking advantage of large kindreds with mutations in either alphaIIb or beta3, we have developed a genetic linkage map between the thyroid receptor hormone-1 gene (THRA1) and beta3 as follows: cen-THRA1-BRCA1-D17S579/alphaIIb-beta3-qte r, with a distance of 1.3 centiMorgans (cM) between alphaIIb and beta3 and the two genes being oriented in the same direction. PFGE genomic and YAC clone analysis showed that the beta3 gene is distal and >/=365 kb upstream of alphaIIb. Additional restriction mapping shows alphaIIb is linked to the erythrocyte band 3 (EPB3) gene, and beta3 to the homeobox HOX2b gene. Analysis of alphaIIb(+)-BAC and P1 clones confirm that the EPB3 gene is approximately 110 kb downstream of the alphaIIb gene. Sequencing the region surrounding the human alphaIIb locus showed the Granulin gene approximately 18 kb downstream to alphaIIb, and the KIAA0553 gene approximately 5.7 kb upstream. This organization is conserved in the murine sequence. These studies show that alphaIIb and beta3 are not closely linked, with alphaIIb flanked by nonmegakaryocytic genes, and imply that they are unlikely to share common regulatory domains during megakaryopoiesis. (+info)
Outbreak of poliomyelitis--Iraq, 1999.
Since May 1999, 86 cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) have been reported in Iraq. Sixteen cases with onset during May-July have been confirmed as paralytic poliomyelitis by isolation of wild poliovirus type 1; the remaining cases are either negative, pending virus isolation (n=10), or positive for type 1 poliovirus with intratypic differentiation pending (n=nine). The first confirmed case occurred in a person residing in Ninevah governorate in the northern part of the country; subsequently, confirmed cases were reported from nine of the 18 governorates in Iraq, suggesting widespread transmission of poliovirus. Before this outbreak, the last confirmed cases of wild polioviruses occurred in Iraq during April-May 1997. (+info)
The initial domestication of goats (Capra hircus) in the Zagros mountains 10,000 years ago.
Initial goat domestication is documented in the highlands of western Iran at 10,000 calibrated calendar years ago. Metrical analyses of patterns of sexual dimorphism in modern wild goat skeletons (Capra hircus aegagrus) allow sex-specific age curves to be computed for archaeofaunal assemblages. A distinct shift to selective harvesting of subadult males marks initial human management and the transition from hunting to herding of the species. Direct accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates on skeletal elements provide a tight temporal context for the transition. (+info)
The effect of economic sanctions on the mortality of Iraqi children prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the effect of sanctions on mortality among Iraqi children. METHODS: The effects of economic sanctions on health are not well known. Past studies on the effect of economic sanctions on mortality have suffered from unreliable data sources and the collinearity of sanctions with other negative economic events. We overcame these weaknesses by using individual child records from a retrospective survey of mothers conducted after the 1991 Persian Gulf War to examine the effect of sanctions on mortality among Iraqi children. Multivariate proportional hazards analysis was used to assess the effect of economic sanctions prior to war (from August through December 1990). RESULTS: We found that after controlling for child and maternal characteristics, when economic sanctions were entered into the proportional hazards equation, the risk of dying increased dramatically. This increase was highly significant statistically. CONCLUSIONS: Innovative application of robust epidemiologic research tools can contribute to assessments of health and well-being even under the methodological and practical constraints of comprehensive economic sanctions, but more research is needed. (+info)
Higher than expected carrier rates for familial Mediterranean fever in various Jewish ethnic groups.
Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an autosomal recessive disease characterised by recurrent attacks of inflammation of serosal membranes. Amyloidosis leading to renal failure is the most severe complication in untreated patients. In Israel FMF is most frequent among Jews of North African origin. Recently the causative gene (MEFV) has been found and the common mutations characterised. The aim of this study was to investigate the carrier rates of the common MEFV mutations among 400 healthy members of four different ethnic groups (100 in each group) in Israel, and to compare the distribution of the different mutations between FMF carriers and patients. We found a high frequency of carriers among Jews from the various ethnic groups. In North African Jews it was 22%, in Iraqi Jews 39%, in Ashkenazi Jews 21%, and in Iranian Jews 6%. The distribution of the four most common MEFV mutations among healthy individuals (M694V 29%, V726A 16%, M6801 2% and E148Q 53%) was significantly different (P < 0.003) from that found in patients (M694V 84.4%, V726A 9.0%, M6801 0% and E148Q 6.6%). Six healthy asymptomatic individuals were found to carry mutations in both alleles: two homozygotes for E148Q and four compound heterozygotes E148Q/other. These results demonstrate a very high carrier rate among all Jewish ethnic groups. They confirm that mutation E148Q is associated with a milder phenotype, which explains the lower prevalence of FMF among the Ashkenazi and Iraqi Jews. This study raises the question of the need for molecular screening for M694V homozygotes in the Israeli North African Jewish community. (+info)