27 research outputs found

    Biofilm producing Salmonella typhi: Chronic colonization and development of gallbladder cancer

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    Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhi is the aetiological agent of typhoid or enteric fever. In a subset of individuals, S. Typhi colonizes the gallbladder causing an asymptomatic chronic infection. Nonetheless, these asymptomatic carriers provide a reservoir for further spreading of the disease. Epidemiological studies performed in regions where S. Typhi is endemic, revealed that the majority of chronically infected carriers also harbour gallstones, which in turn, have been indicated as a primary predisposing factor for the onset of gallbladder cancer (GC). It is now well recognised, that S. Typhi produces a typhoid toxin with a carcinogenic potential, that induces DNA damage and cell cycle alterations in intoxicated cells. In addition, biofilm production by S. Typhi may represent a key factor for the promotion of a persistent infection in the gallbladder, thus sustaining a chronic local inflammatory response and exposing the epithelium to repeated damage caused by carcinogenic toxins. This review aims to highlight the putative connection between the chronic colonization by highly pathogenic strains of S. Typhi capable of combining biofilm and toxin production and the onset of GC. Considering the high risk of GC associated with the asymptomatic carrier status, the rapid identification and profiling of biofilm production by S. Typhi strains would be key for effective therapeutic management and cancer prevention

    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

    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

    Skin dysbiosis and Cutibacterium acnes biofilm in inflammatory acne lesions of adolescents

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    Acne vulgaris is a common inflammatory disorder affecting more than 80% of young adolescents. Cutibacterium acnes plays a role in the pathogenesis of acne lesions, although the mechanisms are poorly understood. The study aimed to explore the microbiome at different skin sites in adolescent acne and the role of biofilm production in promoting the growth and persistence of C. acnes isolates. Microbiota analysis showed a significantly lower alpha diversity in inflammatory lesions (LA) than in non-inflammatory (NI) lesions of acne patients and healthy subjects (HS). Differences at the species level were driven by the overabundance of C. acnes on LA than NI and HS. The phylotype IA1 was more represented in the skin of acne patients than in HS. Genes involved in lipids transport and metabolism, as well as potential virulence factors associated with host-tissue colonization, were detected in all IA1 strains independently from the site of isolation. Additionally, the IA1 isolates were more efficient in early adhesion and biomass production than other phylotypes showing a significant increase in antibiotic tolerance. Overall, our data indicate that the site-specific dysbiosis in LA and colonization by virulent and highly tolerant C. acnes phylotypes may contribute to acne development in a part of the population, despite the universal carriage of the microorganism. Moreover, new antimicrobial agents, specifically targeting biofilm-forming C. acnes, may represent potential treatments to modulate the skin microbiota in acne

    Bacterial Biofilm in Chronic Wounds and Possible Therapeutic Approaches

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    Wound repair and skin regeneration is a very complex orchestrated process that is generally composed of four phases: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. Each phase involves the activation of different cells and the production of various cytokines, chemokines, and other inflammatory mediators affecting the immune response. The microbial skin composition plays an important role in wound healing. Indeed, skin commensals are essential in the maintenance of the epidermal barrier function, regulation of the host immune response, and protection from invading pathogenic microorganisms. Chronic wounds are common and are considered a major public health problem due to their difficult-to-treat features and their frequent association with challenging chronic infections. These infections can be very tough to manage due to the ability of some bacteria to produce multicellular structures encapsulated into a matrix called biofilms. The bacterial species contained in the biofilm are often different, as is their capability to influence the healing of chronic wounds. Biofilms are, in fact, often tolerant and resistant to antibiotics and antiseptics, leading to the failure of treatment. For these reasons, biofilms impede appropriate treatment and, consequently, prolong the wound healing period. Hence, there is an urgent necessity to deepen the knowledge of the pathophysiology of delayed wound healing and to develop more effective therapeutic approaches able to restore tissue damage. This work covers the wound-healing process and the pathogenesis of chronic wounds infected by biofilm-forming pathogens. An overview of the strategies to counteract biofilm formation or to destroy existing biofilms is also provided

    Diagnosis and prognosis of ischemic heart disease: The framework of cardiac magnetic resonance

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    Cardiac magnetic resonance is considered the gold standard in the evaluation of morphology, function, viability and tissue characterization owing to its high spatial resolution and excellent signal-to-noise ratio. Its accuracy and reproducibility, also thanks to steady-state free precession sequences allowing superior blood-myocardium delineation, are ascertained. Its current indications in the field of ischemic heart disease are multiple and continuously evolving. This technology can provide information on myocardium at risk, infarcted myocardium, microvascular obstruction and intramyocardial haemorrhage. The evaluation of each of these indexes has pivotal importance from a prognostic point of view. Rapid technological innovation engenders faster sequences and new contrast agents whereby a more accurate study of the myocardium and coronary artery disease is possible. On the contrary, there is the huge potentiality of noncontrast cardiac magnetic resonance that is especially appealing as a screening tool in asymptomatic younger patients because of radiation-free ionizing. Last but not the least, it is necessary to underline that the employment of cardiac magnetic resonance in clinical practice is restricted to few centres. This is mainly due to the need for a very high competence level and to the complexity of technical challenges required to industrial engineering, whereas the concerns expressed for its relatively high costs seem partly unfounded

    Immunogenicity and Safety of BNT162b2 Homologous Booster Vaccination in People Living with HIV under Effective cART

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    Data on COVID-19 boosting vaccination in people living with HIV (PLWH) are scant. We investigated the immunogenicity and safety of the BNT162b2 homologous boosting vaccination. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike antibodies (LIAISON® SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG test, DiaSorin®), CD4+, CD8+ and viraemia were monitored at T0 (pre-vaccination), T1 (4 weeks after the second dose), T2 (pre-booster) and T3 (4 weeks after the booster dose). Humoral responses were evaluated according to sex, age, BMI, nadir and baseline CD4+ counts, as well as type of cART regimen. Forty-two subjects were included: the median age was 53 years (IQR: 48–61); the median time since HIV was 12.4 years (IQR: 6.5–18.3); the median nadir and baseline CD4+ counts were 165 (IQR: 104–291) and 687 cells/mm3 (IQR: 488–929), respectively. The booster dose was administered at a median of 5.5 months after the second dose. Median anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG concentration had significantly decreased at T2 compared to T1 (107 vs. 377, p < 0.0001). Antibody levels elicited by the booster dose (median: 1580 AU/mL) were significantly higher compared with those of all the other time points (p < 0.0001). None of the investigated variables significantly affected antibody response induced by the booster dose. Local and systemic side-effects were referred by 23.8% and 14.3% of the subjects, respectively. One patient developed sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) 24 h after boosting. He recovered auditory function upon endothympanic administration of corticosteroids. The BNT162b2 boosting vaccination in PLWH is safe and greatly increased the immune response with respect to the primary vaccination

    Diverticular Disease Worsening Is Associated with Increased Oxidative Stress and Gut Permeability: New Insights by Circulating Biomarkers

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    Diverticular disease (DD) management is impaired by its pathogenesis, which is still not completely defined, with an unmet clinical need for improved therapies. Ex vivo DD human models demonstrated the presence of a transmural oxidative imbalance that supports an ischemic pathogenesis. This study aimed to assess, with the use of circulating biomarkers, insights into DD pathogenesis and possible therapeutic targets. Nox2-derived peptide, H2O2, antioxidant capacity, isoprostanes, thromboxanes, TNF-α, LPS and zonulin were evaluated by ELISA in healthy subjects (HS) and asymptomatic and symptomatic DD patients. Compared to HS, DD patients presented low antioxidant capacity and increase in sNox2-dp, H2O2 and isoprostanes paralleled to a TNFα increase, lower than that of oxidative markers. TxB2 production correlated to Nox2 and isoprostanes, suggesting platelet activation. An increase in zonulin and LPS highlighted the role of gut permeability and LPS translocation in DD pathogenesis. The increase of all the markers statistically correlated with DD severity. The present study confirmed the presence of a main oxidative imbalance in DD and provides evidence of platelet activation driven by LPS translocation. The use of circulating biomarkers could represent a new clinical tool for monitoring disease progression and validate therapeutic strategies never tested in DD as antioxidant supplementation
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