Drink tea today

This 2020 Chinese paper reviewed this century’s research into tea:

“Tea plants contain rich and unique characteristic secondary metabolites, such as catechins, theanine, and caffeine, which are essential to the formation of tea quality. It is not only the three major types of secondary metabolites but also the volatile terpenoids, saponins, polysaccharides, and other phenolic conjugates that contribute to the beneficial health effects and the enjoyable flavors of various teas.

The contents of these secondary metabolites vary greatly among different varieties and Camellia species. They also differ significantly in several morphological traits (e.g., leaf size) and stress resistance characteristics (e.g., cold tolerance), showing a divergent genetic makeup. The genome sequence of a single individual of a tea plant variety cannot represent the entire gene pool.

Modern transgenic breeding technology has provided us a new solution for the molecular design of breeding strategies. Although great progress has been made in the last two decades, the genomics and molecular biology of tea plants are still not fully understood. Compared to other crops such as rice, there is a long way to go.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41438-019-0225-4 “Tea plant genomics: achievements, challenges and perspectives”

Trained immunity responses to bacterial infections

This 2019 Swiss rodent study investigated immune responses to five types of bacterial infections:

“The innate immune system recalls a challenge to adapt to a secondary challenge, a phenomenon called trained immunity. Trained immunity protected mice from a large panel of clinically relevant bacterial pathogens inoculated systematically and locally to induce peritonitis, enteritis and pneumonia.

Induction of trained immunity remodeled bone marrow and blood cellular compartments, providing efficient barriers against bacterial infections. Protection was remarkably broad when considering the pathogens and sites of infection tested.

We are running experiments to delineate the length of protection conferred by trained immunity. Trained immunity is most typically induced with β-glucan.

Mice were injected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Trained mice survived better than control mice (31% vs. 0% survival) and had 10-fold less bacteria in blood 2 days post-infection.

Mice were challenged with a lethal dose of Listeria monocytogenes. Most strikingly, all trained mice survived infection while all control mice died within 5 days. Bacteria were not detected in blood collected from trained mice 2 and 3 days post-infection.”


One of the coauthors also published:

https://academic.oup.com/jid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/infdis/jiz692/5691195 “Trained immunity confers broad-spectrum protection against bacterial infections”