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1.  Study of Hydatidosis-Attributed Mortality in Endemic Area 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91342.
Cystic hydatid disease is still an important health problem in European Mediterranean areas. In spite of being traditionally considered as a “benign” pathology, cystic echinococcosis is an important cause of morbidity in these areas. Nevertheless, there are few analyses of mortality attributed to human hydatidosis.
To describe the epidemiology, the mortality rate and the causes of mortality due to E. granulosus infection in an endemic area.
A retrospective study followed up over a period of 14 years (1998–2011).
Principal Findings
Of the 567 patients diagnosed with hydatid disease over the period 1998–2011, eleven deaths directly related to hydatid disease complications were recorded. Ten patients (90.9%) died due to infectious complications and the remaining one (9.1%) died due to mechanical complications after a massive hemoptysis. We registered a case fatality rate of 1.94% and a mortality rate of 3.1 per 100.000 inhabitants.
Hydatidosis is still a frequent parasitic disease that causes a considerable mortality. The main causes of mortality in patients with hydatidosis are complications related to the rupture of CE cysts with supurative collangitis. Therefore, an expectant management can be dangerous and it must be only employed in well-selected patients.
PMCID: PMC3954695  PMID: 24632824
2.  Evidence for Mycobacteria in Sarcoidosis 
Despite its recognition as a distinct granulomatous disease for over a century, the etiology of sarcoidosis remains to be defined. Since the early 1900s, infectious agents have been suspected in causing sarcoidosis. For much of this time, mycobacteria were considered a likely culprit, yet until recently, the supporting evidence has been tenuous at best. In this review, we evaluate the reported association between mycobacteria and sarcoidosis. Historically, mycobacterial infection has been investigated using histologic stains, cultures of lesional tissue or blood, and identification of bacterial nucleic acids or bacterial antigens. More recently, advances in biochemical, molecular, and immunological methods have produced a more rigorous analysis of the antigenic drivers of sarcoidosis. The result of these efforts indicates that mycobacterial products likely play a role in at least a subset of sarcoidosis cases. This information, coupled with a better understanding of genetic susceptibility to this complex disease, has therapeutic implications.
PMCID: PMC3361363  PMID: 21659662
sarcoidosis; mycobacteria; granulomas; microorganisms; peptides; immune response
3.  Palladium(0)-Catalyzed Arylative Dearomatization of Phenols 
The palladium-catalyzed arylative dearomatization of phenols to yield spirocyclohexadienone products in good to excellent yields has been developed. Preliminary results demonstrate that the formation of the spirocyclic all-carbon quaternary center can be accomplished with high levels of enantiocontrol (up to 91% ee).
PMCID: PMC3124856  PMID: 21612204
4.  Cystic Echinococcosis in Spain: Current Situation and Relevance for Other Endemic Areas in Europe 
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) remains an important health problem in many regions of the world, both where no control measures have been implemented, and where control programs have been incompletely successful with ensuing re-emergence of the disease. In Spain, official data on CE show an increase in the proportion of intermediate hosts with CE during the last few years, and autochthonous pediatric patients have been reported, a sign of active local transmission of disease. A similar picture emerges from data reported to the European Food Safety Authority by other European countries. Nevertheless, several crucial aspects related to CE that would help better understand and control the disease have not been tackled appropriately, in particular the emergence of infection in specific geographical areas. In this respect, while some data are missing, other data are conflicting because they come from different databases. We review the current situation of CE in Spain compared with areas in which similar problems in the CE field exist, and offer recommendations on how to overcome those limitations. Specifically, we believe that the introduction of national registries for CE with online data entry, following the example set by the European Registry for Alveolar Echinococcosis, would help streamline data collection on CE by eliminating the need for evaluating and integrating data from multiple regions, by avoiding duplication of data from patients who access several different health facilities over time, and by providing much needed clinical and epidemiological data that are currently accessible only to clinicians.
PMCID: PMC3026768  PMID: 21283615
5.  Dendritic Cells in the Pathogenesis of Sarcoidosis 
Sarcoidosis is a noncaseating granulomatous disease, likely of autoimmune etiology, that causes inflammation and tissue damage in multiple organs, most commonly the lung, but also skin, and lymph nodes. Reduced dendritic cell (DC) function in sarcoidosis peripheral blood compared with peripheral blood from control subjects suggests that blunted end organ cellular immunity may contribute to sarcoidosis pathogenesis. Successful treatment of sarcoidosis with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, which modulate DC maturation and migration, has also been reported. Together, these observations suggest that DCs may be important mediators of sarcoidosis immunology. This review focuses on the phenotype and function of DCs in the lung, skin, blood, and lymph node of patients with sarcoidosis. We conclude that DCs in end organs are phenotypically and functionally immature (anergic), while DCs in the lymph node are mature and polarize pathogenic Th1 T cells. The success of TNF inhibitors is thus likely secondary to inhibition of DC-mediated Th1 polarization in the lymph node.
PMCID: PMC2809219  PMID: 19372243
sarcoidosis; granuloma; dendritic cell; macrophage; inflammation
6.  Lactobacillus casei strain GG in the treatment of infants with acute watery diarrhea: A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial [ISRCTN67363048] 
BMC Pediatrics  2004;4:18.
Adjuvant therapy to ORT with probiotic bacteria for infants with acute watery diarrhea has been under active investigation. Most studies have been done in the developed world showing benefit only for viral mild gastroenteritis. We evaluated the effect of a milk formula containing one billion (109) cfu/ml of Lactobacillus casei strain GG (LGG) upon duration and severity of diarrhea in infants in an environment with more severe acute diarrhea, where etiologic agents other than rotavirus are involved more frequently, and where mixed infections are more prevalent.
Male infants aged 3–36 months brought for treatment of acute watery diarrhea of less than 48 hours were eligible. After rehydration was completed with the WHO's oral rehydration solution, patients were randomly assigned to receive a milk formula either containing LGG or not. Stool volume was periodically measured using a devise suited to collect stools separate from urine. Duration of diarrhea was estimated based on stools physical characteristics.
Eighty nine patients received the placebo milk formula and ninety received the LGG containing formula. Both groups were comparable in their baseline characteristics. Total stool output was significantly larger (p = 0.047) in the LGG group (247.8 ml/kg) than in the placebo group (195.0 ml/kg). No significant differences were found in duration of diarrhea (58.5 hours with LGG vs. 50.4 hours with placebo), rate of treatment failure (21.1% with LGG vs. 18.0% with placebo), and proportion of patients with unresolved diarrhea after 120 hours (12.2% with LGG vs. 12.5% with placebo). The rate of stools with reducing substances after 24 hours of treatment increased significantly in both groups (from 41.4% to 72.2% with LGG and from 45.9% to 68.0% with placebo).
This study did not show a positive effect of LGG on the clinical course of acute watery diarrhea. Positive beneficial effects of LGG, as had been reported elsewhere, could have been masked in our study by worsening diarrhea due to transient lactose malabsorption. Further studies with low-lactose or non-lactose conveyors of LGG are desirable.
PMCID: PMC517719  PMID: 15345099

Results 1-6 (6)