170 research outputs found

    Global Distribution, Public Health and Clinical Impact of the Protozoan Pathogen Cryptosporidium

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    Cryptosporidium spp. are coccidians, oocysts-forming apicomplexan protozoa, which complete their life cycle both in humans and animals, through zoonotic and anthroponotic transmission, causing cryptosporidiosis. The global burden of this disease is still underascertained, due to a conundrum transmission modality, only partially unveiled, and on a plethora of detection systems still inadequate or only partially applied for worldwide surveillance. In children, cryptosporidiosis encumber is even less recorded and often misidentified due to physiological reasons such as early-age unpaired immunological response. Furthermore, malnutrition in underdeveloped countries or clinical underestimation of protozoan etiology in developed countries contribute to the underestimation of the worldwide burden. Principal key indicators of the parasite distribution were associated to environmental (e.g., geographic and temporal clusters, etc.) and host determinants of the infection (e.g., age, immunological status, travels, community behaviours). The distribution was geographically mapped to provide an updated picture of the global parasite ecosystems. The present paper aims to provide, by a critical analysis of existing literature, a link between observational epidemiological records and new insights on public health, and diagnostic and clinical impact of cryptosporidiosis

    Gut microbiota markers in obese adolescent and adult patients: Age-dependent differential patterns

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    Obesity levels, especially in children, have dramatically increased over the last few decades. Recently, several studies highlighted the involvement of gut microbiota in the pathophysiology of obesity. We investigated the composition of gut microbiota in obese adolescents and adults compared to age-matched normal weight (NW) volunteers in order to assemble age- and obesity-related microbiota profiles. The composition of gut microbiota was analyzed by 16S rRNA-based metagenomics. Ecological representations of microbial communities were computed, and univariate, multivariate, and correlation analyses performed on bacterial profiles. The prediction of metagenome functional content from 16S rRNA gene surveys was carried out. Ecological analyses revealed a dissimilarity among the subgroups, and resultant microbiota profiles differed between obese adolescents and adults. Using statistical analyses, we assigned, as microbial markers, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Actinomyces to the microbiota of obese adolescents, and Parabacteroides, Rikenellaceae, Bacteroides caccae, Barnesiellaceae, and Oscillospira to the microbiota of NW adolescents. The predicted metabolic profiles resulted different in adolescent groups. Particularly, biosynthesis of primary bile acid and steroid acids, metabolism of fructose, mannose, galactose, butanoate, and pentose phosphate and glycolysis/gluconeogenesis were for the majority associated to obese, while biosynthesis and metabolism of glycan, biosynthesis of secondary bile acid, metabolism of steroid hormone and lipoic acid were associated to NW adolescents. Our study revealed unique features of gut microbiota in terms of ecological patterns, microbial composition and metabolism in obese patients. The assignment of novel obesity bacterial markers may open avenues for the development of patient-tailored treatments dependent on age-related microbiota profiles

    Pregnancy in HIV-Positive Patients: Effects on Vaginal Flora

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    A high proportion of HIV-infected pregnant women present pathogenic organisms in their lower genital tract. This has been associated with the development of postpartum morbility, HIV transmission to the partner and offspring, and other gynaecological conditions, such as cervical dysplasia or cancer. Vaginal flora alterations can range from 47% in Western countries to 89% in Africa in pregnant HIV-positive patients, much higher than about 20% of the general population. Pathogen organism retrieval is high. As peripartum complications due to vaginal infections seem higher in HIV-positive patients, accurate investigation and treatment of such infections are strongly mandatory

    Prev Chronic Dis

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    Improving population health is not simple. Many instruments are available for changing behavior and consequent outcomes. However, the following basic principles should guide development of any incentive arrangement: 1) identify the desired outcome, 2) identify the behavior change that will lead to this outcome, 3) determine the potential effectiveness of the incentive in achieving the behavior change, 4) link a financial incentive directly to this outcome or behavior, 5) identify the possible adverse effects of the incentive, and 6) evaluate and report changes in the behavior or outcome in response to the incentive. A wide range of financial and nonfinancial incentives is available to encourage efficient behaviors and discourage costly and unproductive ones. Evidence for the beneficial effects of incentive programs has been slow to emerge, partly because such evidence must show how behaviors have changed because of the incentive. Nevertheless, the potential for incentive programs in health care seems large, and research should support their design and assess their effect

    Pathophysiology of Type 1 Diabetes and Gut Microbiota Role

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    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a multifactorial autoimmune disease driven by T-cells against the insulin-producing islet beta-cells, resulting in a marked loss of beta-cell mass and function. Although a genetic predisposal increases susceptibility, the role of epigenetic and environmental factors seems to be much more significant. A dysbiotic gut microbial profile has been associated with T1D patients. Moreover, new evidence propose that perturbation in gut microbiota may influence the T1D onset and progression. One of the prominent features in clinically silent phase before the onset of T1D is the presence of a microbiota characterized by low numbers of commensals butyrate producers, thus negatively influencing the gut permeability. The loss of gut permeability leads to the translocation of microbes and microbial metabolites and could lead to the activation of immune cells. Moreover, microbiota-based therapies to slow down disease progression or reverse T1D have shown promising results. Starting from this evidence, the correction of dysbiosis in early life of genetically susceptible individuals could help in promoting immune tolerance and thus in reducing the autoantibodies production. This review summarizes the associations between gut microbiota and T1D for future therapeutic perspectives and other exciting areas of research

    Fecal and mucosal microbiota profiling in pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases

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    An altered gut microbiota profile has been widely documented in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The intestinal microbial community has been more frequently investigated in the stools than at the level of the mucosa, while most of the studies have been performed in adults. We aimed to define the gut microbiota profile either by assessing fecal and colonic mucosa samples (inflamed or not) from pediatric IBD patients

    The pediatric gut bacteriome and virome in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection

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    IntroductionSince the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in early 2020, it has been apparent that children were partially protected from both infection and the more severe forms of the disease. Many different mechanisms have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, including children’s frequent exposure to other upper respiratory infections and vaccines, and which inflammatory cytokines they are more likely to produce in response to infection. Furthermore, given the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the intestine and its ability to infect enterocytes, combined with the well described immunomodulatory capabilities of the microbiome, another potential contributing factor may be the presence of certain protective microbial members of the gut microbiota (GM).MethodsWe performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing and profiled both the bacteriome and virome of the GM of pediatric SARS-CoV-2 patients compared to healthy, age-matched subjects.ResultsWe found that, while pediatric patients do share some pro-inflammatory microbial signatures with adult patients, they also possess a distinct microbial signature of protective bacteria previously found to be negatively correlated with SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and COVID-19 severity. COVID-19 was also associated with higher fecal Cytomegalovirus load, and with shifts in the relative abundances of bacteriophages in the GM. Furthermore, we address how the preventative treatment of COVID-19 patients with antibiotics, a common practice especially in the early days of the pandemic, affected the bacteriome and virome, as well as the abundances of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in these patients. DiscussionTo our knowledge, this is the first study to address the bacteriome, virome, and resistome of pediatric patients in response to COVID-19 and to preventative antibiotics use

    Intestinal parasites in Rupicapra spp. populations: study in the framework of the relevant italian project (PRIN)

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    Intestinal parasites can seriously threaten the performances and well-being of wild ungulates. In this study, we investigated the occurrence and parasitic burden of protozoans and gastro-intestinal helminths (GIH) in Rupicapra spp. From September 2013 to January 2016, 352 fresh fecal samples were collected from Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra in the Alps (N=262) and from Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata in the Apennines (N=90). Samples were examined using standard copro-parasitological methods for Eimeria and GIH and an immunofluorescence test for Cryptosporidium and Giardia duodenalis. Parts of gp60 and ssRNA/gdh/βgiardin genes were used to identify these protozoa species/genotypes. In R.r.rupicapra and in R.p.ornata, 7 and 6 parasite taxa were identified, respectively, with a mean number of 1.7 species/host (min-max 0-5) and 2.05 (min-max: 0-4), respectively. Overall, 85.3% (95%, C.I.=81.5-89.1) of the animals investigated scored microscopically positive to Eimeria spp. with a mean intensity of emission (m.i.e.) of up to 776 o.p.g.; 5.4% (95%, C.I.=3.07.7) were positive to G. duodenalis and 82% (95%, C.I. 77.91-86.15) to GIH with a m.i.e. of up to 147 e.p.g. Prevalence in R.r.rupicapra was 81.2% with a m.i.e. of 380 o.p.g. for Eimeria, 6.87% for Giardia, and 77.45% for GIH with a m.i.e. of 142 e.p.g. Prevalence in R.p.ornata was 94.4% with m.i.e. of 1,093 o.p.g. for Eimeria, 1.1% for G.duodenalis, and 94.4% for GIH with a m.i.e. of 151 e.p.g. Assemblages A/AI and E were identified in R.r.rupicapra and assemblage A/AIII in R.p.ornata. None of the animals tested positive for Cryptosporidium. The results show that the prevalence of Eimeria, G.duodenalis and GIH in both host species is nonnegligible, with a significantly higher parasitic burden in R.p.ornata. The detection of G. duodenalis in Rupicapra spp. is noteworthy. This study updates the data on parasitic fauna of these wild bovids. The impact of these parasites on chamois population dynamics will be inferred from the results/variables obtained throughout the entire interdisciplinary project
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