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1.  Lactate dehydrogenase and caspase activity in nasopharyngeal secretions are predictors of bronchiolitis severity 
Bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospitalization in infants. Biomarkers of disease severity might help in clinical management.
To determine the clinical predictiveness of NW-LDH, NW-caspase 3/7, and NW-LDH/NW-caspase 3/7 ratio in bronchiolitis.
Previously healthy children less than 24 months of age with bronchiolitis were recruited from the Texas Children's emergency room and intensive care unit from October 2010 to April 2011. Demographic, clinical information, and NW samples were obtained at enrollment. NW samples were analyzed for respiratory viruses, caspase 3/7, and LDH.
A viral pathogen was detected in 91·6% of 131 children, with the most common being respiratory syncytial virus and human rhinovirus. A single infection was found in 61·8% of subjects and co-infection in 29·8%. Children admitted to ICU had significantly higher NW-LDH than children sent home from the ER or admitted to the general floor (P = 0·02). Children infected with RSV had the highest NW-LDH concentration (P = 0·03) compared with other viral infections. NW-LDH and NW-caspase were significantly correlated (r = 0·77, P < 0·0001). The univariate models showed NW-LDH and NW-LDH/NW- caspase 3/7 ratio were directly associated with hospitalization. Mutivariate regression analyses suggested a complex interaction between the biomarkers, demographics, and disposition.
NW-LDH, NW-caspase 3/7 and NW-LDH/NW-caspase 3/7 ratio and their interactions with demographic factors are predictive of bronchiolitis severity and can help distinguish children requiring ICU-level care from those admitted to the general floor, or discharged home from the emergency center.
PMCID: PMC4262276  PMID: 25132512
Bronchiolitis; caspase; disease severity; lactate dehydrogenase
3.  An Antiviral Role for Antimicrobial Peptides during the Arthropod Response to Alphavirus Replication 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(8):4272-4280.
Alphaviruses establish a persistent infection in arthropod vectors which is essential for the effective transmission of the virus to vertebrate hosts. The development of persistence in insects is not well understood, although it is thought to involve the innate immune response. Using a transgenic fly system expressing a self-replicating viral RNA genome analog, we have previously demonstrated antiviral roles of the Drosophila Imd (immune deficiency) and Jak-STAT innate immunity pathways in response to alphavirus replication. In the present study, comparative microarray analysis of flies harboring an alphavirus replicon and control green fluorescent protein flies identified 95 SINrep-sensitive genes. Furthermore, a subset of these genes is regulated by Rel or STAT transcription factors of the Imd and Jak-STAT pathways, respectively. We identified two antimicrobial peptide genes, attC and dptB, which are SINrep sensitive and regulated by STAT and Rel, respectively. SINrep flies heterozygous for attC had an increased viral RNA level, while knocking down dptB in SINrep flies resulted in impaired development. When injected with whole virus, the double-stranded RNA knockdowns of either attC or dptB showed a significant increase in virus titers. Our data demonstrate an antiviral response involving the Imd and Jak-STAT mediated expression of dptB and attC.
PMCID: PMC3624382  PMID: 23365449
4.  A Novel System for the Launch of Alphavirus RNA Synthesis Reveals a Role for the Imd Pathway in Arthropod Antiviral Response 
PLoS Pathogens  2009;5(9):e1000582.
Alphaviruses are RNA viruses transmitted between vertebrate hosts by arthropod vectors, primarily mosquitoes. How arthropods counteract alphaviruses or viruses per se is not very well understood. Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model system for studying innate immunity against bacterial and fungal infections. In this study we report the use of a novel system to analyze replication of Sindbis virus (type species of the alphavirus genus) RNA following expression of a Sindbis virus replicon RNA from the fly genome. We demonstrate deficits in the immune deficiency (Imd) pathway enhance viral replication while mutations in the Toll pathway fail to affect replication. Similar results were observed with intrathoracic injections of whole virus and confirmed in cultured mosquito cells. These findings show that the Imd pathway mediates an antiviral response to Sindbis virus replication. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of an antiviral role for the Imd pathway in insects.
Author Summary
Alphaviruses are arthropod-borne viruses maintained primarily in an endemic cycle between mosquitoes and rodents or birds. Transmission to humans may result in wide ranging symptoms from subclinical to fatal encephalitis. While infection of vertebrates causes disease, infection of mosquitoes results in a life-long, persistent infection. In order to examine arthropod host pathways involved in controlling alphavirus infections, we have employed a novel system for the controlled launch of Sindbis virus RNA replication from the genome of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. We present data showing robust replication of a Sindbis virus RNA following its cell-mediated transcription in flies using the UAS-GAL4 misexpression system. Using this system we have genetically demonstrated that the immune deficiency pathway (Imd) suppresses viral RNA replication as a consequence of the activation of the transcription factor Relish. Additionally, we confirmed the activation of the Relish ortholog as a consequence of Sindbis virus infection of mosquito cells. Our work is the first direct demonstration that the Imd pathway plays a role in arthropod antiviral immunity.
PMCID: PMC2738967  PMID: 19763182
5.  A Shared Y-chromosomal Heritage between Muslims and Hindus in India 
Human genetics  2006;120(4):543-551.
Arab forces conquered the Indus Delta region in 711 A.D. and, although a Muslim state was established there, their influence was barely felt in the rest of South Asia at that time. By the end of the tenth century, Central Asian Muslims moved into India from the northwest and expanded throughout the subcontinent. Muslim communities are now the largest minority religion in India, comprising more than 138 million people in a predominantly Hindu population of over one billion. It is unclear whether the Muslim expansion in India was a purely cultural phenomenon or had a genetic impact on the local population. To address this question from a male perspective, we typed eight microsatellite loci and 16 binary markers from the Y chromosome in 246 Muslims from Andhra Pradesh, and compared them to published data on 4,204 males from China, Central Asia, other parts of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran, the Middle East, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco. We find that the Muslim populations in general are genetically closer to their non-Muslim geographical neighbors than to other Muslims in India, and that there is a highly significant correlation between genetics and geography (but not religion). Our findings indicate that, despite the documented practice of marriage between Muslim men and Hindu women, Islamization in India did not involve large-scale replacement of Hindu Y chromosomes. The Muslim expansion in India was predominantly a cultural change and was not accompanied by significant gene flow, as seen in other places, such as China and Central Asia.
PMCID: PMC2590854  PMID: 16951948
Y-chromosomal polymorphism; India; Muslim; Hindu
6.  Respiratory Viruses Augment the Adhesion of Bacterial Pathogens to Respiratory Epithelium in a Viral Species- and Cell Type-Dependent Manner 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(4):1629-1636.
Secondary bacterial infections often complicate respiratory viral infections, but the mechanisms whereby viruses predispose to bacterial disease are not completely understood. We determined the effects of infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human parainfluenza virus 3 (HPIV-3), and influenza virus on the abilities of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae to adhere to respiratory epithelial cells and how these viruses alter the expression of known receptors for these bacteria. All viruses enhanced bacterial adhesion to primary and immortalized cell lines. RSV and HPIV-3 infection increased the expression of several known receptors for pathogenic bacteria by primary bronchial epithelial cells and A549 cells but not by primary small airway epithelial cells. Influenza virus infection did not alter receptor expression. Paramyxoviruses augmented bacterial adherence to primary bronchial epithelial cells and immortalized cell lines by up-regulating eukaryotic cell receptors for these pathogens, whereas this mechanism was less significant in primary small airway epithelial cells and in influenza virus infections. Respiratory viruses promote bacterial adhesion to respiratory epithelial cells, a process that may increase bacterial colonization and contribute to disease. These studies highlight the distinct responses of different cell types to viral infection and the need to consider this variation when interpreting studies of the interactions between respiratory cells and viral pathogens.
PMCID: PMC1367158  PMID: 16439519
7.  Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Adheres to Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1) on Respiratory Epithelial Cells and Upregulates ICAM-1 Expression  
Infection and Immunity  2006;74(2):830-838.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is an important respiratory pathogen. NTHI initiates infection by adhering to the airway epithelium. Here, we report that NTHI interacts with intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) expressed by respiratory epithelial cells. A fourfold-higher number of NTHI bacteria adhered to Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with human ICAM-1 (CHO-ICAM-1) than to control CHO cells (P ≤ 0.005). Blocking cell surface ICAM-1 with specific antibody reduced the adhesion of NTHI to A549 respiratory epithelial cells by 37% (P = 0.001) and to CHO-ICAM-1 cells by 69% (P = 0.005). Preincubating the bacteria with recombinant ICAM-1 reduced adhesion by 69% (P = 0.003). The adherence to CHO-ICAM-1 cells of NTHI strains deficient in the adhesins P5, P2, HMW1/2, and Hap or expressing a truncated lipooligosaccharide was compared to that of parental strains. Only strain 1128f−, which lacks the outer membrane protein (OMP) P5-homologous adhesin (P5 fimbriae), adhered less well than its parental strain. The numbers of NTHI cells adhering to CHO-ICAM-1 cells were reduced by 67% (P = 0.009) following preincubation with anti-P5 antisera. Furthermore, recombinant ICAM bound to an OMP preparation from strain 1128f+, which expresses P5, but not to that from its P5-deficient mutant, confirming a specific interaction between ICAM-1 and P5 fimbriae. Incubation of respiratory epithelial cells with NTHI increased ICAM-1 expression fourfold (P = 0.001). Adhesion of NTHI to the respiratory epithelium, therefore, upregulates the expression of its own receptor. Blocking interactions between NTHI P5 fimbriae and ICAM-1 may reduce respiratory colonization by NTHI and limit the frequency and severity of NTHI infection.
PMCID: PMC1360337  PMID: 16428725
8.  Prevalence and Distribution of Adhesins in Invasive Non-Type b Encapsulated Haemophilus influenzae  
Infection and Immunity  2003;71(4):1635-1642.
Adhesion to the respiratory epithelium plays an important role in Haemophilus influenzae infection. The distribution of H. influenzae adhesins in type b and nontypeable strains has been characterized, but little is known about the prevalence of these factors in non-type b encapsulated strains. We analyzed 53 invasive type a, type e, and type f strains for the presence of hap, hia, hmw, and hif genes; Hap, Hia, and HMW1/2 adhesins; and hemagglutinating pili. The hap gene was ubiquitous, and homologs of hmw and hia were present in 7 of 53 (13.2%) and 45 of 53 (84.9%) strains, respectively. Hap was detected in 28 of 45 (62.2%) hap+ strains, HMW1/2 was detected in 5 of 7 (71.4%) hmw+ strains, and Hia was detected in 31 of 45 (68.8%) hia+ strains. The hif gene cluster was present in 26 of 53 strains (49.1%), and 21 of 26 hif+ strains (80.8%) agglutinated (HA) red blood cells. Nine isolates exhibited HA but lacked the hif gene cluster. The distribution of adhesin genes correlated with the genetic relatedness of the strains. Strains belonging to one type a clonotype and the major type e clonotype possessed hia but lacked the hif cluster. Strains belonging to the second type a clonotype possessed both hia and hif genes. All type f strains belonging to the major type f clonotype possessed hia and lacked hifB. Although the specific complement of adhesin genes in non-type b encapsulated H. influenzae varies, most invasive strains express Hap and Hia, suggesting these adhesins may be especially important to the virulence of these organisms.
PMCID: PMC152026  PMID: 12654775

Results 1-8 (8)