43 research outputs found

    How human papillomavirus replication and immune evasion strategies take advantage of the host DNA damage repair machinery

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    The DNA damage response (DDR) is a complex signalling network activated when DNA is altered by intrinsic or extrinsic agents. DDR plays important roles in genome stability and cell cycle regulation, as well as in tumour transformation. Viruses have evolved successful life cycle strategies in order to ensure a chronic persistence in the host, virtually avoiding systemic sequelae and death. This process promotes the periodic shedding of large amounts of infectious particles to maintain a virus reservoir in individual hosts, while allowing virus spreading within the community. To achieve such a successful lifestyle, the human papilloma virus (HPV) needs to escape the host defence systems. The key to understanding how this is achieved is in the virus replication process that provides by itself an evasion mechanism by inhibiting and delaying the host immune response against the viral infection. Numerous studies have demonstrated that HPV exploits both the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ataxia-telangiectasia and rad3-related (ATR) DDR pathways to replicate its genome and maintain a persistent infection by downregulating the innate and cell-mediated immunity. This review outlines how HPV interacts with the ATM-and ATR-dependent DDR machinery during the viral life cycle to create an environment favourable to viral replication, and how the interaction with the signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) protein family and the deregulation of the Janus kinase (JAK)-STAT pathways may impact the expression of interferon-inducible genes and the innate immune responses

    The Emerging Role of Microbial Biofilm in Lyme Neuroborreliosis

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    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most common tick-borne disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in North America and Borrelia afzelii or Borrelia garinii in Europe and Asia, respectively. The infection affects multiple organ systems, including the skin, joints, and the nervous system. Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) is the most dangerous manifestation of Lyme disease, occurring in 10-15% of infected individuals. During the course of the infection, bacteria migrate through the host tissues altering the coagulation and fibrinolysis pathways and the immune response, reaching the central nervous system (CNS) within 2 weeks after the bite of an infected tick. The early treatment with oral antimicrobials is effective in the majority of patients with LNB. Nevertheless, persistent forms of LNB are relatively common, despite targeted antibiotic therapy. It has been observed that the antibiotic resistance and the reoccurrence of Lyme disease are associated with biofilm-like aggregates in B. burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii, both in vitro and in vivo, allowing Borrelia spp. to resist to adverse environmental conditions. Indeed, the increased tolerance to antibiotics described in the persisting forms of Borrelia spp., is strongly reminiscent of biofilm growing bacteria, suggesting a possible role of biofilm aggregates in the development of the different manifestations of Lyme disease including LNB

    Release of Palladium from Biomechanical Prostheses in Body Fluids Can Induce or Support PD-Specific IFNγ T Cell Responses and the Clinical Setting of a Palladium Hypersensitivity:

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    The increased use of Palladium (Pd) for biomedical applications, which has more than doubled in the last ten years, appears to be associated with an increased frequency of adverse reactions to Pd. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the implant of a biomechanical apparatus containing Pd and the setting of a hypersensitivity to Pd by determining the levels of the metal released in biological fluids, assessing the effects of Pd on peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cytokine production and exploring the clinical setting of skin sensitization. Of a total of 3,093 subjects examined in 2006, sensitization to Pd alone or in association with nickel (Ni) was observed in 1.6% and 13.03% of the individuals, respectively. Of these, a group of six subjects positive to Pd and negative to Ni at patch testing were selected on the basis of the oral clinical symptoms in order to measure both the levels of Pd in biological fluids and the degradation of the dental prostheses. Specific Pd measurements were carried out on salivary fluid, urine and serum samples by High Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry. In addition, the degradation of the dental prostheses was assessed by both a "leaching test" and an analysis of the micro morphology of orthodontic prostheses. The induction of IFN-γ production by Pd was assessed in PBMC by the ELISpot assay. Skin sensitization to Pd was evaluated by patch testing and clinical examination. Ten healthy subjects were comparatively tested as controls. We found a specific induction of an IFN-γ response by Pd in PBMC collected from all the subjects positive to Pd at patch testing. On the contrary, control subjects did not show any response to Pd as assessed by IFN-γ ELISpot assay or by skin testing. Remarkably, the levels of Pd in all biological samples (saliva, sera, urine) were significantly higher in Pd-sensitized patients than in those collected from controls, reaching the highest concentrations in the urine. The leaching studies gave additional evidence that the dental appliances can release measurable levels of Pd in saliva. Oral clinical symptoms in patients with Pd dental prostheses were associated with measurable levels of Pd in the biological fluids, the induction of Pd-specific IFN-γ responses in PBMC and the clinical evidence of skin sensitization to Pd. These data suggest that dental appliances may represent an active source of Pd in the body, and this, in turn, can favour the clinical setting of a hypersensitivity to this metal

    Biofilm is a major virulence determinant in bacterial colonization of chronic skin ulcers independently from the multidrug resistant phenotype

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    Bacterial biofilm is a major factor in delayed wound healing and high levels of biofilm production have been repeatedly described in multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs). Nevertheless, a quantitative correlation between biofilm production and the profile of antimicrobial drug resistance in delayed wound healing remains to be determined. Microbial identification, antibiotic susceptibility and biofilm production were assessed in 135 clinical isolates from 87 patients. Gram-negative bacteria were the most represented microorganisms (60.8%) with MDROs accounting for 31.8% of the total isolates. Assessment of biofilm production revealed that 80% of the strains were able to form biofilm. A comparable level of biofilm production was found with both MDRO and not-MDRO with no significant differences between groups. All the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and 80% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa MDR strains were found as moderate/high biofilm producers. Conversely, less than 17% of Klebsiella pneumoniae extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), Escherichia coli-ESBL and Acinetobacter baumannii were moderate/high biofilm producers. Notably, those strains classified as non-biofilm producers, were always associated with biofilm producer bacteria in polymicrobial colonization. This study shows that biofilm producers were present in all chronic skin ulcers, suggesting that biofilm represents a key virulence determinant in promoting bacterial persistence and chronicity of ulcerative lesions independently from the MDRO phenotype

    Decreased levels of metalloproteinase-9 and angiogenic factors in skin lesions of patients with psoriatic arthritis after therapy with anti-TNF-α

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    BACKGROUND: Inflammation represents an early and key event in the development of both the cutaneous psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Compelling evidences indicate that the production of TNF-α plays a central role in psoriasis by sustaining the inflammatory process in the skin as well as in the joints. Among the multiple effects produced by TNF-α on keratinocytes, the induction of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), a collagenase implicated in joint inflammatory arthritis which acts as an angiogenesis promoting factor, might represent a key mechanism in the pathogenesis of the disease. Aims of the present study were to investigate a) the role of MMP-9 in the development of psoriasis by assessing the presence of MMP-9 in lesional skin and in sera of psoriatic patients; b) the association of MMP-9 with the activity of the disease; c) the relationship between MMP-9 and TNF-α production. METHODS: Eleven psoriatic patients, clinically presenting joint symptoms associated to the cutaneous disease, were included in a therapeutic protocol based on the administration of anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibody (Infliximab). Sera and skin biopsies were collected before treatment and after 6 weeks of therapy. Tissues were kept in short term cultures and production soluble mediators such as TNF-α, MMP-9, MMP-2, VEGF and E-Selectin, which include angiogenic molecules associated to the development of plaque psoriasis, were measured in the culture supernatants by immunoenzymatic assays (ng/ml or pg/ml per mg of tissue). MMP-9 concentrations were also measured in the sera. The cutaneous activity of disease was evaluated by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI). RESULTS: Clinical and laboratory assessment indicated that all but one patients had a significant improvement of the PASI score after three months of therapy. The clinical amelioration was associated to a significant decrease of MMP-9 (P = 0.017), TNF-α (P = 0.005) and E-selectin (P = 0.018) levels, spontaneously released by lesional biopsies before and after therapy. In addition, significant correlations were found between the PASI measurements and TNF-α (r(2 )= 0.33, P = 0.005), MMP-9 (r(2 )= 0.25, P = 0.017), E-selectin (r(2 )= 0.24, P = 0.018) production. MMP-9 levels were significantly correlated with those of TNF-α (r(2 )= 0.30, P = 0.008). A significant decrease of MMP-9 in the sera, associated to the clinical improvement was also found. CONCLUSION: Our findings show the existence of a direct relationship between MMP-9 and TNF-α production strongly suggesting that MMP-9 may play a key role in the skin inflammatory process in psoriasis

    Molecular and Immunological Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus in Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis: Implications for Prophylaxis and Clinical Management

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    S. aureus represents a critical cofactor in atopic dermatitis (AD). In this paper, the prevalence of S. aureus infection/colonization was evaluated in 117 children as well as in their cohabitants, in order to assess the value of S. aureus characterization in predicting disease onset and severity and in providing indications for prophylaxis. Results showed that children with AD as well as their cohabitants had a significantly greater incidence of S. aureus infection/colonization as compared to controls. The genetic characterization showed a virtual identity of the bacteria strains collected at different sites of the patients with those found in the cohabitants, suggesting both a direct transmission between the nasal reservoir and the lesions in the same atopic subject and a risk for reinfection within family cohabitants. These data stress the need of preliminary laboratory assessment and posttherapy control in both AD patients and their close contacts for effective S. aureus eradication

    Semen molecular and cellular features: these parameters can reliably predict subsequent ART outcome in a goat model

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    Currently, the assessment of sperm function in a raw or processed semen sample is not able to reliably predict sperm ability to withstand freezing and thawing procedures and in vivo fertility and/or assisted reproductive biotechnologies (ART) outcome. The aim of the present study was to investigate which parameters among a battery of analyses could predict subsequent spermatozoa in vitro fertilization ability and hence blastocyst output in a goat model. Ejaculates were obtained by artificial vagina from 3 adult goats (Capra hircus) aged 2 years (A, B and C). In order to assess the predictive value of viability, computer assisted sperm analyzer (CASA) motility parameters and ATP intracellular concentration before and after thawing and of DNA integrity after thawing on subsequent embryo output after an in vitro fertility test, a logistic regression analysis was used. Individual differences in semen parameters were evident for semen viability after thawing and DNA integrity. Results of IVF test showed that spermatozoa collected from A and B lead to higher cleavage rates (0 < 0.01) and blastocysts output (p < 0.05) compared with C. Logistic regression analysis model explained a deviance of 72% (p < 0.0001), directly related with the mean percentage of rapid spermatozoa in fresh semen (p < 0.01), semen viability after thawing (p < 0.01), and with two of the three comet parameters considered, i.e tail DNA percentage and comet length (p < 0.0001). DNA integrity alone had a high predictive value on IVF outcome with frozen/thawed semen (deviance explained: 57%). The model proposed here represents one of the many possible ways to explain differences found in embryo output following IVF with different semen donors and may represent a useful tool to select the most suitable donors for semen cryopreservation
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