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1.  Dendritic cells and vaccine design for sexually-transmitted diseases 
Microbial pathogenesis  2012;58:35-44.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are major antigen presenting cells (APCs) that can initiate and control host immune responses toward either immunity or tolerance. These features of DCs, as immune orchestrators, are well characterized by their tissue localizations as well as by their subset-dependent functional specialties and plasticity. Thus, the level of protective immunity to invading microbial pathogens can be dependent on the subsets of DCs taking up microbial antigens and their functional plasticity in response to microbial products, host cellular components and the cytokine milieu in the microenvironment.
Vaccines are the most efficient and cost-effective preventive medicine against infectious diseases. However, major challenges still remain for the diseases caused by sexually-transmitted pathogens, including HIV, HPV, HSV and Chlamydia. We surmise that the establishment of protective immunity in the female genital mucosa, the major entry and transfer site of these pathogens, will bring significant benefit for the protection against sexually-transmitted diseases. Recent progresses made in DC biology suggest that vaccines designed to target proper DC subsets may permit us to establish protective immunity in the female genital mucosa against sexually-transmitted pathogens.
PMCID: PMC3596496  PMID: 23201532
Dendritic cells; Vaccines; Genital; Mucosa; Sexually-Transmitted Diseases
2.  The 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism Classification Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2010;62(9):2582-2591.
The American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism have developed new classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of Phase 2 of the development process was to achieve expert consensus on the clinical and laboratory variables that should contribute to the final criteria set.
Twenty-four expert RA clinicians (12 from Europe and 12 from North America) participated in Phase 2. A consensus-based decision analysis approach was used to identify factors (and their relative weights) that influence the probability of “developing RA,” complemented by data from the Phase 1 study. Patient case scenarios were used to identify and reach consensus on factors important in determining the probability of RA development. Decision analytic software was used to derive the relative weights for each of the factors and their categories, using choice-based conjoint analysis.
The expert panel agreed that the new classification criteria should be applied to individuals with undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis in whom at least 1 joint is deemed by an expert assessor to be swollen, indicating definite synovitis. In this clinical setting, they identified 4 additional criteria as being important: number of joints involved and site of involvement, serologic abnormality, acute-phase response, and duration of symptoms in the involved joints. These criteria were consistent with those identified in the Phase 1 data-driven approach.
The consensus-based, decision analysis approach used in Phase 2 complemented the Phase 1 efforts. The 4 criteria and their relative weights form the basis of the final criteria set.
PMCID: PMC3077961  PMID: 20872596

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