676 research outputs found

    HA N193D substitution in the HPAI H5N1 virus alters receptor binding affinity and enhances virulence in mammalian hosts

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    During the 2021/2022 winter season, we isolated highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses harboring an amino acid substitution from Asparagine(N) to Aspartic acid (D) at residue 193 of the hemagglutinin (HA) receptor binding domain (RBD) from migratory birds in South Korea. Herein, we investigated the characteristics of the N193D HA-RBD substitution in the A/CommonTeal/Korea/W811/2021[CT/W811] virus by using recombinant viruses engineered via reverse genetics (RG). A receptor affinity assay revealed that the N193D HA-RBD substitution in CT/W811 increases α2,6 sialic acid receptor binding affinity. The rCT/W811-HA193N virus caused rapid lethality with high virus titers in chickens compared with the rCT/W811-HA193D virus, while the rCT/W811-HA193D virus exhibited enhanced virulence in mammalian hosts with multiple tissue tropism. Surprisingly, a ferret-to-ferret transmission assay revealed that rCT/W811-HA193D virus replicates well in the respiratory tract, at a rate about 10 times higher than that of rCT/W811-HA193N, and all rCT/W811-HA193D direct contact ferrets were seroconverted at 10 days post-contact. Further, competition transmission assay of the two viruses revealed that rCT/W811-HA193D has enhanced growth kinetics compared with the rCT/W811-HA193N, eventually becoming the dominant strain in nasal turbinates. Further, rCT/W811-HA193D exhibits high infectivity in primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells, suggesting the potential for human infection. Taken together, the HA-193D containing HPAI H5N1 virus from migratory birds showed enhanced virulence in mammalian hosts, but not in avian hosts, with multi-organ replication and ferret-to-ferret transmission. Thus, this suggests that HA-193D change increases the probability of HPAI H5N1 infection and transmission in humans.</p

    Noncovalent antibody catenation on a target surface greatly increases the antigen-binding avidity

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    Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies are widely used for diagnosis and therapy. Given the unique dimeric structure of IgG, we hypothesized that, by genetically fusing a homodimeric protein (catenator) to the C-terminus of IgG, reversible catenation of antibody molecules could be induced on a surface where target antigen molecules are abundant, and that it could be an effective way to greatly enhance the antigen-binding avidity. A thermodynamic simulation showed that quite low homodimerization affinity of a catenator, e.g. dissociation constant of 100 ÎĽM, can enhance nanomolar antigen-binding avidity to a picomolar level, and that the fold enhancement sharply depends on the density of the antigen. In a proof-of-concept experiment where antigen molecules are immobilized on a biosensor tip, the C-terminal fusion of a pair of weakly homodimerizing proteins to three different antibodies enhanced the antigen-binding avidity by at least 110 or 304 folds from the intrinsic binding avidity. Compared with the mother antibody, Obinutuzumab(Y101L) which targets CD20, the same antibody with fused catenators exhibited significantly enhanced binding to SU-DHL5 cells. Together, the homodimerization-induced antibody catenation would be a new powerful approach to improve antibody applications, including the detection of scarce biomarkers and targeted anticancer therapies

    The prognostic value of radiomic features from pre- and post-treatment 18F-FDG PET imaging in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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    Abstract Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is widely used for management of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Combining the radiomic features of pre- and post-treatment FDG PET images may improve tumor characterization and prognostic predication. We investigated prognostic value of radiomic features from pre- and post-radiotherapy FDG PET images in patients with NPC. Quantitative radiomic features of primary tumors were extracted from the FDG PET images of 145 NPC patients and the delta values were also calculated. The study population was divided randomly into two groups, the training and test sets (7:3). A random survival forest (RSF) model was adopted to perform analyses of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). There were 37 (25.5%) cases of recurrence and 16 (11.0%) cases of death during a median follow-up period of 54.5 months. Both RSF models with clinical variables and radiomic PET features for PFS and OS showed comparable predictive performance to RSF models with clinical variables and conventional PET parameters. Tumoral radiomic features of pre- and post-treatment FDG PET and the corresponding delta values may predict PFS and OS in patients with NPC

    Modifying effect of the serum level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on the association between BDNF methylation and long-term cardiovascular outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndrome

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    IntroductionThis study investigated the potential modifying effects of the serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (sBDNF) level on the association between BDNF methylation status and long-term cardiovascular outcomes in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients.MethodsFrom 2006 to 2012, hospitalized ACS patients were consecutively recruited. The sBDNF level and BDNF methylation status were assessed at baseline in 969 patients who were followed up for major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) over 5–12 years, until 2017 or death. Cox proportional hazards models were utilized to compare the time to first composite or individual MACEs between individuals with lower and those with higher average BDNF methylation levels in the low and high sBDNF groups, respectively. The modifying effects of the sBDNF and average BDNF methylation levels on first composite and individual MACEs were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards models after adjusting for potential covariates.ResultsIn the low sBDNF group, a higher average BDNF methylation level was linked to an increase in composite MACEs independent of confounding variables, but not in the high sBDNF group [HR (95 percent CI) = 1.04 (0.76–1.44)]. The interaction effect between the sBDNF and average BDNF methylation levels on composite MACEs was significant after adjusting for covariates (P = 0.008).ConclusionCombining the BDNF methylation status and sBDNF levels may help identify ACS patients who are likely to have unfavorable clinical outcomes

    Prognostic Significance of the Post-Treatment Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio in Pharyngeal Cancers Treated with Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy

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    Background: Even though the pre-treatment neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) are well-established prognosticators in various cancers including head and neck cancers, there have been relatively few studies on the clinical significance of the post-treatment values. This study aimed to investigate the changes in NLR and PLR after concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) and to evaluate their prognostic significance in pharyngeal cancers. Methods: This study was retrospectively conducted on 461 consecutive patients with primary pharyngeal cancer who had received definitive CCRT. Blood test results before and after CCRT were obtained, and the pre- and post-treatment NLR and PLR were calculated. Patient prognosis was evaluated based on overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS). Results: After CCRT, the NLR increased from 2.01 (interquartile range (IQR), 1.53–2.62) to 2.69 (IQR, 1.93–3.81), and the PLR increased from 118.84 (IQR, 92.61–151.63) to 193.19 (IQR, 146.28–262.46). Along with high pre-treatment NLR and high pre-treatment PLR, high post-treatment NLR was also significantly associated with worse OS and RFS (p = 0.013 and p = 0.026). In addition, patients with a high ΔNLR (i.e., the difference between pre- and post-treatment NLRs) had significantly worse OS and RFS (p = 0.013 and p = 0.026). However, only a high pre-treatment NLR (hazard ratio (HR), 2.19; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.17–4.08; p = 0.014), age (HR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.14–4.08; p = 0.018), and stage IV (HR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.15–3.89; p = 0.017) were independent prognostic factors for OS in the multivariate analysis. Conclusions: In patients with pharyngeal cancers, following CCRT, the NLR and PLR increased significantly from pre-treatment values. Like the pre-treatment NLR and PLR, a high post-treatment NLR and a significant increase in NLR were also associated with poor prognosis. Further prospective studies are required to prove the independent significance of the post-treatment NLR and PLR

    Automatic stridor detection using small training set via patch-wise few-shot learning for diagnosis of multiple system atrophy

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    Abstract Stridor is a rare but important non-motor symptom that can support the diagnosis and prediction of worse prognosis in multiple system atrophy. Recording sounds generated during sleep by video-polysomnography is recommended for detecting stridor, but the analysis is labor intensive and time consuming. A method for automatic stridor detection should be developed using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning. However, the rarity of stridor hinders the collection of sufficient data from diverse patients. Therefore, an AI method with high diagnostic performance should be devised to address this limitation. We propose an AI method for detecting patients with stridor by combining audio splitting and reintegration with few-shot learning for diagnosis. We used video-polysomnography data from patients with stridor (19 patients with multiple system atrophy) and without stridor (28 patients with parkinsonism and 18 patients with sleep disorders). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to propose a method for stridor detection and attempt the validation of few-shot learning to process medical audio signals. Even with a small training set, a substantial improvement was achieved for stridor detection, confirming the clinical utility of our method compared with similar developments. The proposed method achieved a detection accuracy above 96% using data from only eight patients with stridor for training. Performance improvements of 4%–13% were achieved compared with a state-of-the-art AI baseline. Moreover, our method determined whether a patient had stridor and performed real-time localization of the corresponding audio patches, thus providing physicians with support for interpreting and efficiently employing the results of this method
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