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1.  Cerebrospinal-fluid cytokine and chemokine profile in patients with pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:326.
Background
Bacterial meningitis is characterized by an intense inflammatory reaction contributing to neuronal damage. The aim of this study was to obtain a comparative analysis of cytokines and chemokines in patients with pneumococcal (PM) and meningococcal meningitis (MM) considering that a clear difference between the immune response induced by these pathogens remains unclear.
Methods
The cyto/chemokines, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-1Ra, CXCL8/IL-8, CCL2/MCP-1, CLL3/MIP-1α, CCL4/MIP-1γ and G-CSF, were measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from patients with PM and MM. Additionally, a literature review about the expression of cytokines in CSF samples of patients with MB was made.
Results
Concerning cytokines levels, only IFN-γ was significantly higher in patients with Streptococcus pneumoniae compared to those with Neisseria meningitidis, regardless of the time when the lumbar puncture (LP) was made. Furthermore, when samples were compared considering the timing of the LP, higher levels of TNF-α (P <0.05) were observed in MM patients whose LP was made within 48 h from the initial symptoms of disease. We also observed that the index of release of cyto/chemokines per cell was significantly higher in PM. From the literature review, it was observed that TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 are the best studied cytokines, while reports describing the concentration of the cytokine IL-2, IL-1Ra, G-CSF and CCL4/MIP-1β in CSF samples of patients with bacterial meningitis were not found.
Conclusion
The data obtained in this study and the previously published data show a similar profile of cytokine expression during PM and MM. Nevertheless, the high levels of IFN-γ and the ability to release high levels of cytokines with a low number of cells are important factors to be considered in the pathogenesis of PM and thereby should be further investigated. Moreover, differences in the early response induced by the pathogens were observed. However, the differences observed are not sufficient to trigger changes in the current therapy of corticosteroids adopted in both the PM and MM.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-326
PMCID: PMC3717124  PMID: 23865742
Pneumococcal meningitis; Meningococcal meningitis; Cytokines; Chemokines; Interferon gamma; Cerebrospinal fluid
2.  Profiling the resting venom gland of the scorpion Tityus stigmurus through a transcriptomic survey 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:362.
Background
The scorpion Tityus stigmurus is widely distributed in Northeastern Brazil and known to cause severe human envenoming, inducing pain, hyposthesia, edema, erythema, paresthesia, headaches and vomiting. The present study uses a transcriptomic approach to characterize the gene expression profile from the non-stimulated venom gland of Tityus stigmurus scorpion.
Results
A cDNA library was constructed and 540 clones were sequenced and grouped into 153 clusters, with one or more ESTs (expressed sequence tags). Forty-one percent of ESTs belong to recognized toxin-coding sequences, with transcripts encoding antimicrobial toxins (AMP-like) being the most abundant, followed by alfa KTx- like, beta KTx-like, beta NaTx-like and alfa NaTx-like. Our analysis indicated that 34% of the transcripts encode “other possible venom molecules”, which correspond to anionic peptides, hypothetical secreted peptides, metalloproteinases, cystein-rich peptides and lectins. Fifteen percent of ESTs are similar to cellular transcripts. Sequences without good matches corresponded to 11%.
Conclusions
This investigation provides the first global view of gene expression of the venom gland from Tityus stigmurus under resting conditions. This approach enables characterization of a large number of venom gland component molecules, which belong either to known or non yet described types of venom peptides and proteins from the Buthidae family.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-362
PMCID: PMC3444934  PMID: 22853446

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