687 research outputs found

    HLA-DPA1*02:01~B1*01:01 is a risk haplotype for primary sclerosing cholangitis mediating activation of NKp44+ NK cells

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    Objective Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is characterised by bile duct strictures and progressive liver disease, eventually requiring liver transplantation. Although the pathogenesis of PSC remains incompletely understood, strong associations with HLA-class II haplotypes have been described. As specific HLA-DP molecules can bind the activating NK-cell receptor NKp44, we investigated the role of HLA-DP/NKp44-interactions in PSC. Design Liver tissue, intrahepatic and peripheral blood lymphocytes of individuals with PSC and control individuals were characterised using flow cytometry, immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence analyses. HLA-DPA1 and HLA-DPB1 imputation and association analyses were performed in 3408 individuals with PSC and 34 213 controls. NK cell activation on NKp44/HLA-DP interactions was assessed in vitro using plate-bound HLA-DP molecules and HLA-DPB wildtype versus knock-out human cholangiocyte organoids. Results NKp44+NK cells were enriched in livers, and intrahepatic bile ducts of individuals with PSC showed higher expression of HLA-DP. HLA-DP haplotype analysis revealed a highly elevated PSC risk for HLA-DPA1*02:01~B1*01:01 (OR 1.99, p=6.7×10-50). Primary NKp44+NK cells exhibited significantly higher degranulation in response to plate-bound HLA-DPA1*02:01-DPB1*01:01 compared with control HLA-DP molecules, which were inhibited by anti-NKp44-blocking. Human cholangiocyte organoids expressing HLA-DPA1*02:01-DPB1*01:01 after IFN-γ-exposure demonstrated significantly increased binding to NKp44-Fc constructs compared with unstimulated controls. Importantly, HLA-DPA1*02:01-DPB1*01:01-expressing organoids increased degranulation of NKp44+NK cells compared with HLA-DPB1-KO organoids. Conclusion Our studies identify a novel PSC risk haplotype HLA-DP A1*02:01~DPB1*01:01 and provide clinical and functional data implicating NKp44+NK cells that recognise HLA-DPA1*02:01-DPB1*01:01 expressed on cholangiocytes in PSC pathogenesis

    Integrated chemical and biochemical technology to produce biogas with a reduced ammonia content from municipal biowaste. Validating lab-scale research in a real operational environment

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    The current paper reports the scientific, technical, environmental, economic and social impacts of two integrated chemical and biochemical processes that employed a novel virtuous biowaste cycle under real operational conditions of three industrial sites in Italy, Greece and Cyprus. The work was based on previous laboratory research pertinent to the valorisation of municipal biowastes (MBWs) as a feedstock to obtain value added soluble biobased (SBO) products. The research pointed out that the site-specific nature of MBW was the main criticality, which could potentially hinder the industrialisation of the MBW-SBO paradigm. The present work demonstrates the feasibility of a new scenario for a conventional waste treatment plan collecting and processing MBWs by anaerobic and aerobic fermentation. In essence, the virtuous biowaste cycle is realised by producing SBO from the plant MBW (process 1) and recirculating it to the MBW feed of the anaerobic fermentation reactor to reduce the ammonia content in the digestate (process 2). This mitigates the digestate's environmental impact. Life cycle sustainability assessment demonstrates that the use of SBO produced from local MBW allowed reducing the ammonia content of the digestate generated from the local anaerobic fermentation facilities in the three different countries by 21–68% as well its eutrophication potential. Process 2 allowed at least 86% OPEX cost saving compared to conventional digestate post-treatment technologies for ammonia abatement, while paying off the CAPEX cost in less than one year. Socio-economic analysis evaluated the impacts on workers and local community stakeholders, potentially stemming from the implementation of processes 1 and 2 at European level. The analysis of SBO composition and performances in each operational site investigated showed that improved performance of process 2 might be achieved by isolating the active principles in raw SBO prior to their use in process 2. Chemical and biochemical catalysis by SBO active principles in process 2 support the specific perspective

    Longitudinal analysis of T cell receptor repertoires reveals shared patterns of antigen-specific response to SARS-CoV-2 infection

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    T cells play a prominent role in orchestrating the immune response to viral diseases, but their role in the clinical presentation and subsequent immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection remains poorly understood. As part of a population-based survey of the municipality of Vo', Italy, conducted after the initial SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, we sampled the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires of the population 2 months after the initial PCR survey and followed up positive cases 9 and 15 months later. At 2 months, we found that 97.0% (98 of 101) of cases had elevated levels of TCRs associated with SARS-CoV-2. T cell frequency (depth) was increased in individuals with more severe disease. Both depth and diversity (breadth) of the TCR repertoire were positively associated with neutralizing antibody titers, driven mostly by CD4+ T cells directed against spike protein. At the later time points, detection of these TCRs remained high, with 90.7% (78 of 96) and 86.2% (25 of 29) of individuals having detectable signal at 9 and 15 months, respectively. Forty-three individuals were vaccinated by month 15 and showed a significant increase in TCRs directed against spike protein. Taken together, these results demonstrate the central role of T cells in mounting an immune defense against SARS-CoV-2 that persists out to 15 months

    Mepolizumab for Eosinophilic Granulomatosis With Polyangiitis: A European Multicenter Observational Study

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    Objective Mepolizumab proved to be an efficacious treatment for eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) at a dose of 300 mg every 4 weeks in the randomized, controlled MIRRA trial. In a few recently reported studies, successful real-life experiences with the approved dose for treating severe eosinophilic asthma (100 mg every 4 weeks) were observed. We undertook this study to assess the effectiveness and safety of mepolizumab 100 mg every 4 weeks and 300 mg every 4 weeks in a large European EGPA cohort. Methods We included all patients with EGPA treated with mepolizumab at the recruiting centers in 2015-2020. Treatment response was evaluated from 3 months to 24 months after initiation of mepolizumab. Complete response to treatment was defined as no disease activity (Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score [BVAS] = 0) and a prednisolone or prednisone dose (or equivalent) of <= 4 mg/day. Respiratory outcomes included asthma and ear, nose, and throat (ENT) exacerbations. Results Two hundred three patients, of whom 191 received a stable dose of mepolizumab (158 received 100 mg every 4 weeks and 33 received 300 mg every 4 weeks) were included. Twenty-five patients (12.3%) had a complete response to treatment at 3 months. Complete response rates increased to 30.4% and 35.7% at 12 months and 24 months, respectively, and rates were comparable between mepolizumab 100 mg every 4 weeks and 300 mg every 4 weeks. Mepolizumab led to a significant reduction in BVAS score, prednisone dose, and eosinophil counts from 3 months to 24 months, with no significant differences observed between 100 mg every 4 weeks and 300 mg every 4 weeks. Eighty-two patients (40.4%) experienced asthma exacerbations (57 of 158 [36%] who received 100 mg every 4 weeks; 17 of 33 [52%] who received 300 mg every 4 weeks), and 31 patients (15.3%) experienced ENT exacerbations. Forty-four patients (21.7%) experienced adverse events (AEs), most of which were nonserious AEs (38 of 44). Conclusion Mepolizumab at both 100 mg every 4 weeks and 300 mg every 4 weeks is effective for the treatment of EGPA. The 2 doses should be compared in the setting of a controlled trial

    Neutralising reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variants by vaccination and infection history

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    Background: The continuous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) with immune escape properties, such as Delta (B.1.617.2) and Omicron (B.1.1.529), questions the extent of the antibody-mediated protection against the virus. Here we investigated the long-term antibody persistence in previously infected subjects and the extent of the antibody-mediated protection against B.1, B.1.617.2 and BA.1 variants in unvaccinated subjects previously infected, vaccinated naïve and vaccinated previously infected subjects. Methods: Blood samples collected 15 months post-infection from unvaccinated (n=35) and vaccinated (n=41) previously infected subjects (Vo’ cohort) were tested for the presence of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) antigens using the Abbott, DiaSorin, and Roche immunoassays. The serum neutralising reactivity was assessed against B.1, B.1.617.2 (Delta), and BA.1 (Omicron) SARS-CoV-2 strains through micro-neutralisation. The antibody titres were compared to those from previous timepoints, performed at 2- and 9-months post-infection on the same individuals. Two groups of naïve subjects were used as controls, one from the same cohort (unvaccinated n=29 and vaccinated n=20) and a group of vaccinated naïve healthcare workers (n=61). Results: We report on the results of the third serosurvey run in the Vo’ cohort. With respect to the 9-month time point, antibodies against the S antigen significantly decreased (P=0.0063) among unvaccinated subjects and increased (P&lt;0.0001) in vaccinated individuals, whereas those against the N antigen decreased in the whole cohort. When compared with control groups (naïve Vo’ inhabitants and naïve healthcare workers), vaccinated subjects that were previously infected had higher antibody levels (P&lt;0.0001) than vaccinated naïve subjects. Two doses of vaccine elicited stronger anti-S antibody response than natural infection (P&lt;0.0001). Finally, the neutralising reactivity of sera against B.1.617.2 and BA.1 was 4-fold and 16-fold lower than the reactivity observed against the original B.1 strain. Conclusions: These results confirm that vaccination induces strong antibody response in most individuals, and even stronger in previously infected subjects. Neutralising reactivity elicited by natural infection followed by vaccination is increasingly weakened by the recent emergence of VOCs. While immunity is not completely compromised, a change in vaccine development may be required going forward, to generate cross-protective pan-coronavirus immunity in the global population
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