There have been several studies assessing the epidemiology and effects of tobacco smoke in the cystic fibrosis (CF) population, but few address the efforts of smoking cessation interventions. Our objective is to present one tobacco prevention and cessation programme targeting patients with CF in the Mediterranean region of Murcia (Spain).
All registered patients in the Regional CF unit (n=105) in 2008 were included in a cross-sectional and prospective uncontrolled study of tobacco use and exposure in CF patients using a baseline and one-year follow-up. Target population includes both patients and other family members living at home. The study included an initial telephone questionnaire, measurement of lung function, urinary cotinine levels, and several telephone counselling calls and/or personalized smoking cessation services.
Of the 97 contacted patients, 59.8% (n=58) were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), 12.4% (n=12) had smoked at one time, and 14.3% (n=8) of patients over the age of 15 actively smoked. The mean age was 31.13 (range: 19-45). Of the non-smokers (n=89), 56.2% reported ETS and 26.9% live with at least one smoker at home. 49.2% had urinary cotinine levels >10 ng/ml. The correlation found between patients’ cotinine levels and their reported tobacco exposure was (0.77, p<0.0001). Active smoking by mothers during pregnancy was associated with significantly lower lung function in young CF patients (-0,385, p= 0.04). At the one-year follow-up, 13 individuals made attempts to stop smoking, 6 of which are now ex-smokers (12.5% of all smokers).
Smoking during pregnancy adversely affects lung function in individuals with CF. Tobacco he targeted tobacco prevention and cessation programmes are an effective and vital component for CF disease management. The trained professionals in prevention and smoking cessation services could provide patients with adequate follow-up, integrating an environmental health approach into CF patients’ healthcare
Environmental tobacco smoke; cystic fibrosis; smoking prevention
The present study reports an easy and efficient method for obtaining adult mesenchymal precursors from different adult mouse tissues.
Materials and Methods
We describe the isolation and expansion of mesenchymal precursors from skin and lung by a non-enzymatic method. Skin and lung mesenchymal precursors isolated by a modified explant technique were characterized in vitro by defined morphology and by a specific gene expression profile and surface markers.
Results and Conclusions
Our results show that these precursors express stem cell and mesenchymal surface markers as well as epithelial markers. However, they are negative for markers of endothelium, cardiac and skeletal muscle or adipose tissue, indicating that they have initiated commitment to the tissues from which were isolated. These precursors can migrate without any stimulus and in response to stimuli as SDF1, MCP1 and TNFα and can be differentiated into epithelial lineages. Based on the properties of these precursors from adult tissues, we propose their use as tools for regenerative biomedicine.
Antiretroviral treatment (ART) has contributed to increased life expectancy of HIV-1 infected children. In developed countries, an increasing number of children reaching adulthood are transferred to adult units. The objectives were to describe the demographic and clinical features, ART history, antiviral drug resistance and drug susceptibility in HIV-1 perinatally infected adolescents transferred to adult care units in Spain from the Madrid Cohort of HIV-1 infected children.
Clinical, virological and immunological features of HIV-1 vertically infected patients in the Madrid Cohort of HIV-infected children were analyzed at the time of transfer. Pol sequences from each patient were recovered before transfer. Resistance mutations according to the InternationaI AIDS Society 2011 list were identified and interpreted using the Stanford algorithm. Results were compared to the non-transferred HIV-1 infected pediatric cohort from Madrid.
One hundred twelve infected patients were transferred to adult units between 1997 and 2011. They were mainly perinatally infected (93.7%), with a mean nadir CD4+-T-cells count of 10% and presented moderate or severe clinical symptoms (75%). By the time of transfer, the mean age was 18.9 years, the mean CD4+T-cells count was 627.5 cells/ml, 64.2% presented more than 350 CD4+T-cells/ml and 47.3% had ≤200 RNA-copies/ml. Most (97.3%) were ART experienced receiving Highly Active ART (HAART) (84.8%). Resistance prevalence among pretreated was 50.9%, 76.9% and 36.5% for Protease Inhibitors (PI), Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTI) and Non-NRTI (NNRTI), respectively. Resistance mutations were significantly higher among transferred patients compared to non-transferred for the PI+NRTI combination (19% vs. 8.4%). Triple resistance was similar to non-transferred pediatric patients (17.3% vs. 17.6%).
Despite a good immunological and virological control before transfer, we found high levels of resistance to PI, NRTI and triple drug resistance in HIV-1 infected adolescents transferred to adult units.
A large number of genes are regulated to promote brain repair following stroke. The thorough analysis of this process can help identify new markers and develop therapeutic strategies. This study analyzes gene expression following experimental stroke.
A microarray study of gene expression in the core, periinfarct and contralateral cortex was performed in adult Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 60) after 24 hours (acute phase) or 3 days (delayed stage) of permanent middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion. Independent qRT-PCR validation (n = 12) was performed for 22 of the genes. Functional data were evaluated by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. The number of genes differentially expressed was 2,612 (24 h) and 5,717 (3 d) in the core; and 3,505 (24 h) and 1,686 (3 d) in the periinfarct area (logFC>|1|; adjP<0.05). Expression of many neurovascular unit development genes was altered at 24 h and 3 d including HES2, OLIG2, LINGO1 and NOGO-A; chemokines like CXCL1 and CXCL12, stress-response genes like HIF-1A, and trophic factors like BDNF or BMP4. Nearly half of the detected genes (43%) had not been associated with stroke previously.
This comprehensive study of gene regulation in the core and periinfarct areas at different times following permanent MCA occlusion provides new data that can be helpful in translational research.
Ingestion of fermented foods containing high levels of biogenic amines (BA) can be deleterious to human health. Less obvious is the threat posed by BA producing organisms contained within the food which, in principle, could form BA after ingestion even if the food product itself does not initially contain high BA levels. In this work we have investigated the production of tyramine and putrescine by Lactobacillus brevis IOEB 9809, of wine origin, under simulated gastrointestinal tract (GIT) conditions.
An in vitro model that simulates the normal physiological conditions in the human digestive tract, as well as Caco-2 epithelial human cell lines, was used to challenge L. brevis IOEB 9809, which produced both tyramine and putrescine under all conditions tested. In the presence of BA precursors and under mild gastric stress, a correlation between enhancement of bacterial survival and a synchronous transcriptional activation of the tyramine and putrescine biosynthetic pathways was detected. High levels of both BA were observed after exposure of the bacterium to Caco-2 cells.
L. brevis IOEB 9809 can produce tyramine and putrescine under simulated human digestive tract conditions. The results indicate that BA production may be a mechanism that increases bacterial survival under gastric stress.
Biogenic amines; Lactic acid bacteria; Putrescine; Tyramine; Food safety; Food toxicity
The ASR (for ABA/water stress/ripening) protein family, first described in tomato as nuclear and involved in adaptation to dry climates, is widespread in the plant kingdom, including crops of high agronomic relevance. We show both nuclear and cytosolic localization for ASR1 (the most studied member of the family) in histological plant samples by immunodetection, typically found in small proteins readily diffusing through nuclear pores. Indeed, a nuclear localization was expected based on sorting prediction software, which also highlight a monopartite nuclear localization signal (NLS) in the primary sequence. However, here we prove that such an “NLS” of ASR1 from tomato is dispensable and non-functional, being the transport of the protein to the nucleus due to simple diffusion across nuclear pores. We attribute such a targeting deficiency to the misplacing in that cryptic NLS of two conserved contiguous lysine residues. Based on previous in vitro experiments regarding quaternary structure, we also carried out live cell imaging assays through confocal microscopy to explore dimer formation in planta. We found homodimers in both the cytosol and the nucleus and demonstrated that assembly of both subunits together can occur in the cytosol, giving rise to translocation of preformed dimers. The presence of dimers was further corroborated by means of in vivo crosslinking of nuclei followed by SDS-PAGE.
The conserved heterodimeric endonuclease Mus81–Eme1/Mms4 plays an important role in the maintenance of genomic integrity in eukaryotic cells. Here, we show that budding yeast Mus81–Mms4 is strictly regulated during the mitotic cell cycle by Cdc28 (CDK)- and Cdc5 (Polo-like kinase)-dependent phosphorylation of the non-catalytic subunit Mms4. The phosphorylation of this protein occurs only after bulk DNA synthesis and before chromosome segregation, and is absolutely necessary for the function of the Mus81–Mms4 complex. Consistently, a phosphorylation-defective mms4 mutant shows highly reduced nuclease activity and increases the sensitivity of cells lacking the RecQ-helicase Sgs1 to various agents that cause DNA damage or replicative stress. The mode of regulation of Mus81–Mms4 restricts its activity to a short period of the cell cycle, thus preventing its function during chromosome replication and the negative consequences for genome stability derived from its nucleolytic action. Yet, the controlled Mus81–Mms4 activity provides a safeguard mechanism to resolve DNA intermediates that may remain after replication and require processing before mitosis.
The biofertilization of crops with plant-growth-promoting microorganisms is currently considered as a healthy alternative to chemical fertilization. However, only microorganisms safe for humans can be used as biofertilizers, particularly in vegetables that are raw consumed, in order to avoid sanitary problems derived from the presence of pathogenic bacteria in the final products. In the present work we showed that Rhizobium strains colonize the roots of tomato and pepper plants promoting their growth in different production stages increasing yield and quality of seedlings and fruits. Our results confirmed those obtained in cereals and alimentary oil producing plants extending the number of non-legumes susceptible to be biofertilized with rhizobia to those whose fruits are raw consumed. This is a relevant conclusion since safety of rhizobia for human health has been demonstrated after several decades of legume inoculation ensuring that they are optimal bacteria for biofertilization.
Fermented foods are among the food products more often complained of having caused episodes of biogenic amines (BA) poisoning. Concerning milk-based fermented foods, cheese is the main product likely to contain potentially harmful levels of BA, specially tyramine, histamine, and putrescine. Prompted by the increasing awareness of the risks related to dietary uptake of high biogenic amine loads, in this review we report all those elaboration and processing technological aspects affecting BA biosynthesis and accumulation in dairy foods. Improved knowledge of the factors involved in the synthesis and accumulation of BA should lead to a reduction in their incidence in milk products. Synthesis of BA is possible only when three conditions converge: (i) availability of the substrate amino acids; (ii) presence of microorganisms with the appropriate catabolic pathway activated; and (iii) environmental conditions favorable to the decarboxylation activity. These conditions depend on several factors such as milk treatment (pasteurization), use of starter cultures, NaCl concentration, time, and temperature of ripening and preservation, pH, temperature, or post-ripening technological processes, which will be discussed in this chapter.
biogenic amines; cheese; producing microorganisms; pasteurization; starters; ripening; chemico-physical factors
Vector-borne diseases closely associated with the environment, such as leishmaniases, have been a usual argument about the deleterious impact of climate change on public health. From the biological point of view interaction of different variables has different and even conflicting effects on the survival of vectors and the probability transmission of pathogens. The results on ecoepidemiology of leishmaniasis in Argentina related to climate variables at different scales of space and time are presented. These studies showed that the changes in transmission due to change or increase in frequency and intensity of climatic instability were expressed through changes in the probability of vector-human reservoir effective contacts. These changes of contact in turn are modulated by both direct effects on the biology and ecology of the organisms involved, as by perceptions and changes in the behavior of the human communities at risk. Therefore, from the perspective of public health and state policy, and taking into account the current nonlinear increased velocity of climate change, we concluded that discussing the uncertainties of large-scale models will have lower impact than to develop-validate mitigation strategies to be operative at local level, and compatibles with sustainable development, conservation biodiversity, and respect for cultural diversity.
Attenuated poxvirus vectors expressing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) antigens are considered promising HIV/AIDS vaccine candidates. Here, we describe the nature of T cell immune responses induced in healthy volunteers participating in a phase I clinical trial in Spain after intramuscular administration of three doses of the recombinant MVA-B-expressing monomeric gp120 and the fused Gag-Pol-Nef (GPN) polyprotein of clade B. The majority (92.3%) of the volunteers immunized had a positive specific T cell response at any time postvaccination as detected by gamma interferon (IFN-γ) intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) assay. The CD4+ T cell responses were predominantly Env directed, whereas the CD8+ T cell responses were similarly distributed against Env, Gag, and GPN. The proportion of responders after two doses of MVA-B was similar to that obtained after the third dose of MVA-B vaccination, and the responses were sustained (84.6% at week 48). Vaccine-induced CD8+ T cells to HIV-1 antigens after 1 year were polyfunctional and distributed mainly within the effector memory (TEM) and terminally differentiated effector memory (TEMRA) T cell populations. Antivector T cell responses were mostly induced by CD8+ T cells, highly polyfunctional, and of TEMRA phenotype. These findings demonstrate that the poxvirus MVA-B vaccine candidate given alone is highly immunogenic, inducing broad, polyfunctional, and long-lasting CD4 and CD8 T cell responses to HIV-1 antigens, with preference for TEM. Thus, on the basis of the immune profile of MVA-B in humans, this immunogen can be considered a promising HIV/AIDS vaccine candidate.
In bovines, there are significant differences within and among beef breeds in the time when bulls reach puberty. Although the timing of puberty is likely to be a multigenic trait, previous studies indicate that there may also be single genes that exert major effects on the timing of puberty within the general population. Despite its economic importance, there are not many SNPs or genetic markers associated with the age of puberty in male cattle. In the present work, we selected three candidate genes, GNRHR, LHR and IGF1, and associated their polymorphisms with the age of puberty in Angus male cattle.
After weaning, 276 Angus males were measured every month for weight (W), scrotal circumference (SC), sperm concentration (C) and percentage of motility (M). A total of 4 SNPs, two within GNRHR, one in LHR and one in IGF1 were genotyped using the pyrosequencing technique. IGF1-SnaBI SNP was significant associated (P < 0.01) with age at SC 28 cm, but it were not associated with age at M 10% and C 50 million. Genotype CC exhibited an average age at SC 28 cm of 7 and 11 days higher than CT (p = 0.037) and TT (p = 0.012), respectively. This SNP explained 1.5% of the genetic variance of age of puberty at SC28. LHR-I499L, GNRHR-SNP5 and GNRHR-SNP6 were not associated with any of the measurements. However, GNRHR haplotypes showed a suggestive association with age at SC 28 cm.
The findings presented here could support the hypothesis that IGF1 is a regulator of the arrival to puberty in male calves and is involved in the events that precede and initiate puberty in bull calves. Given that most studies in cattle, as well as in other mammals, were done in female, the present results are the first evidence of markers associated with age at puberty in male cattle.
Gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor; Luteinizing hormone receptor; Insulin-like growth factor 1; Bovine; Polymorphism; Male puberty
Biogenic amines (BA) in wine represent a toxicological risk for the health of the consumer, with several trade implications. In this study 26 strains of Lactobacillus plantarum were analyzed for their ability to degrade BA commonly found during wine fermentation. Two strains of L. plantarum were selected in reason of their ability to degrade putrescine and tyramine. The degradation was assessed in vitro, both in presence of the BA and in presence of the specific chemical precursor and of producer bacteria. The two L. plantarum biotypes were found capable to work synergically. In addition, the survival in wine-like medium and the aptitude to degrade malic acid after alcoholic fermentation of the selected L. plantarum strains was analyzed. Our results suggest the potential application of wine L. plantarum strains to design malolactic starter cultures able to degrade BA in wine.
lactic acid bacteria; amine degradation; biogenic amines; malolactic fermentation; wine; Lactobacillus plantarum; putrescine; tyramine
The studies regarding decolorization of dyes by laccase may not only inform about the possible application of this enzyme for environmental purposes, but also may provide important information about its reaction mechanism and the influence of several factors that could be involved. In this paper, decolorization of crystal violet and phenol red was carried out with different fractions of extracellular liquids from Trametes versicolor cultures, in order to describe the role of laccase in this reaction. Moreover, the possible role of the low molecular weight metabolites (LMWMs) also produced by the fungus was evaluated. The results confirm the existence of a nonenzymatic decolorization factor, since the nonprotein fraction of the extracellular liquids from cultures of T. versicolor has shown decolorization capability. Several experiments were performed in order to identify the main compounds related to this ability, which are probably low molecular weight peroxide compounds.
The CTX-M β-lactamases are an increasingly prevalent group of extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL). Point mutations in CTX-M β-lactamases are considered critical for enhanced hydrolysis of cefotaxime. In order to clarify the structural determinants of the activity against cefotaxime in CTX-M β-lactamases, screening for random mutations was carried out to search for decreased activity against cefotaxime, with the CTX-M-1 gene as a model. Thirteen single mutants with a considerable reduction in cefotaxime MICs were selected for biochemical and stability studies. The 13 mutated genes of the CTX-M-1 β-lactamase were expressed, and the proteins were purified for kinetic studies against cephalothin and cefotaxime (as the main antibiotics). Some of the positions, such as Val103Asp, Asn104Asp, Asn106Lys, and Pro107Ser, are located in the 103VNYN106 loop, which had been described as important in cefotaxime hydrolysis, although this has not been experimentally confirmed. There are four mutations located close to catalytic residues—Thr71Ile, Met135Ile, Arg164His, and Asn244Asp—that may affect the positioning of these residues. We show here that some distant mutations, such as Ala219Val, are critical for cefotaxime hydrolysis and highlight the role of this loop at the top of the active site. Other distant substitutions, such as Val80Ala, Arg191, Ala247Ser, and Val260Leu, are in hydrophobic cores and may affect the dynamics and flexibility of the enzyme. We describe here, in conclusion, new residues involved in cefotaxime hydrolysis in CTX-M β-lactamases, five of which are in positions distant from the catalytic center.
Lactococcus lactis is a prokaryotic microorganism with great importance as a culture starter and has become the model species among the lactic acid bacteria. The long and safe history of use of L. lactis in dairy fermentations has resulted in the classification of this species as GRAS (General Regarded As Safe) or QPS (Qualified Presumption of Safety). However, our group has identified several strains of L. lactis subsp. lactis and L. lactis subsp. cremoris that are able to produce putrescine from agmatine via the agmatine deiminase (AGDI) pathway. Putrescine is a biogenic amine that confers undesirable flavor characteristics and may even have toxic effects. The AGDI cluster of L. lactis is composed of a putative regulatory gene, aguR, followed by the genes (aguB, aguD, aguA, and aguC) encoding the catabolic enzymes. These genes are transcribed as an operon that is induced in the presence of agmatine. In some strains, an insertion (IS) element interrupts the transcription of the cluster, which results in a non-putrescine-producing phenotype. Based on this knowledge, a PCR-based test was developed in order to differentiate nonproducing L. lactis strains from those with a functional AGDI cluster. The analysis of the AGDI cluster and their flanking regions revealed that the capacity to produce putrescine via the AGDI pathway could be a specific characteristic that was lost during the adaptation to the milk environment by a process of reductive genome evolution.
The spatial-temporal analysis of the abundance of insects, vectors of tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) and visceral leishmaniasis (VL), was performed in Argentina using spatial-temporal increasing scales. In the microscale (microfocal), the effect of the primary vegetation-crop interface in vector abundance was observed, and also how the shelters, food sources, and other environmental characteristics contribute to habitat microheterogeneity and so to a microheterogeneous vector distribution. In the mesoscale (locality or epidemic focus), the results from different foci of TL (rural and periurban) and VL (urban) suggested a metapopulation structure determined partially by quantifiable habitat variables that could explain the increase of risk associated to an increase of vector-human contact due to climatic or anthropogenic changes. In the macroscale (regional), captures of vectors and records of human cases allowed the construction of risk maps and predictive models of vector distribution. In conclusion, in order to obtain valid results transferrable to control programs from spatial studies, special attention should be paid in order to assure the consistency between the spatial scales of the hypotheses, data, and analytical tools of each experimental or descriptive design.
The primary objective was to assess the effect of MVC intensification on latently infected CD4+ T cells in chronically HIV-1-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy.
We performed an open-label pilot phase II clinical trial involving chronically HIV-1-infected patients receiving stable antiretroviral therapy whose regimen was intensified with 48 weeks of maraviroc therapy. We analyzed the latent reservoir, the residual viremia and episomal 2LTR DNA to examine the relationship between these measures and the HIV-1 latent reservoir, immune activation, lymphocyte subsets (including effector and central memory T cells), and markers associated with bacterial translocation.
Overall a non significant reduction in the size of the latent reservoir was found (p = 0.068). A mean reduction of 1.82 IUPM was observed in 4 patients with detectable latent reservoir at baseline after 48 weeks of intensification. No effect on plasma residual viremia was observed. Unexpectedly, all the patients had detectable 2LTR DNA circles at week 24, while none of them showed those circles at the end of the study. No changes were detected in CD4+ or CD8+ counts, although a significant decrease was found in the proportion of HLA-DR+/CD38+ CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. LPS and sCD14 levels increased.
Intensification with MVC was associated with a trend to a decrease in the size of the latent HIV-1 reservoir in memory T cells. No impact on residual viremia was detected. Additional studies with larger samples are needed to confirm the results.
Although tobacco smoke is an established risk factor for adult cancer, studies of the association between parental smoking and childhood cancer have produced inconsistent results. To investigate the transgenerational relationship between pre-natal and post-natal tobacco smoke exposure from the grandmother’s pregnancies until after the post-natal period and childhood cancer.
Exposure to tobacco smoke was recorded for three generations. Data were collected through personal interviews using the paediatric environmental history, and were compared among 128 children with cancer and 128 matched controls. The contingency tables and a logistic multivariable regression model were used to control for possible confounding factors.
Smoke exposure during oogenesis (maternal grandmother smokers) – odds ratio (OR) 2.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1–4.9) – and during the mother’ pregnancies – OR 1.8 (95% CI 1.1–3.3) – were significantly associated with an increased risk of childhood cancer.
Tobacco smoke exposure during the grandmother’s and mother’s pregnancies increase the risk of cancer in the descendants. The results suggest that the biological plausibility of the association between parental smoking and paediatric cancer can be explained by the large latency period of paediatric carcinogenesis.
case-control studies; childhood cancer; tobacco smoke pollution
Most of the non-B HIV-1 subtypes are predominant in Sub-Saharan Africa and India although they have been found worldwide. In the last decade, immigration from these areas has increased considerably in Spain. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of non-B subtypes circulating in a cohort of HIV-1-infected immigrants in Seville, Southern Spain and to identify drug resistance-associated mutations.
Complete protease and first 220 codons of the reverse transcriptase coding regions were amplified and sequenced by population sequencing. HIV-1 subtypes were determined using Stanford University Drug Resistance Database, and phylogenetic analysis was performed comparing multiple reported sequences. Drug resistance mutations were defined according to the International AIDS Society-USA.
From 2000 to 2010 a total of 1,089 newly diagnosed HIV-1-infected patients were enrolled in our cohort. Of these, 121 were immigrants, of which 98 had ethical approval and informed consent to include in our study. Twenty-nine immigrants (29/98, 29.6%) were infected with non-B subtypes, of which 15/29 (51.7%) were CRF02-AG, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, and 2/29 (6.9%) were CRF01-AE from Eastern Europe. A, C, F, J and G subtypes from Eastern Europe, Central-South America and Sub-Saharan Africa were also present. Some others harboured recombinant forms CRF02-AG/CRF01-AE, CRF2-AG/G and F/B, B/C, and K/G, in PR and RT-coding regions. Patients infected with non-B subtypes showed a high frequency of minor protease inhibitor resistance mutations, M36I, L63P, and K20R/I. Only one patient, CRF02_AG, showed major resistance mutation L90M. Major RT inhibitor resistance mutations K70R and A98G were present in one patient with subtype G, L100I in one patient with CRF01_AE, and K103N in another patient with CRF01_AE. Three patients had other mutations such as V118I, E138A and V90I.
The circulation of non-B subtypes has significantly increased in Southern Spain during the last decade, with 29.6% prevalence, in association with demographic changes among immigrants. This could be an issue in the treatment and management of these patients. Resistance mutations have been detected in these patients with a prevalence of 7% among treatment-naïve patients compared with the 21% detected among patients under HAART or during treatment interruption.
non-B HIV-1 subtypes; immigrant; Spain; resistance mutation
Antibiotics which inhibit bacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis are the most widely used in current clinical practice. Nevertheless, resistant strains increase dramatically, with serious economic impact and effects on public health, and are responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Critical clinical situations should benefit from a rapid procedure to evaluate the sensitivity or resistance to antibiotics that act at the cell wall. We have adapted a kit for rapid determination of bacterial DNA fragmentation, to assess cell wall integrity.
Cells incubated with the antibiotic were embedded in an agarose microgel on a slide, incubated in an adapted lysis buffer, stained with a DNA fluorochrome, SYBR Gold and observed under fluorescence microscopy. The lysis affects the cells differentially, depending on the integrity of the wall. If the bacterium is susceptible to the antibiotic, the weakened cell wall is affected by the lysing solution so the nucleoid of DNA contained inside the bacterium is released and spread. Alternatively, if the bacterium is resistant to the antibiotic, it is practically unaffected by the lysis solution and does not liberate the nucleoid, retaining its normal morphological appearance. In an initial approach, the procedure accurately discriminates susceptible, intermediate and resistant strains of Escherichia coli to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. When the bacteria came from an exponentially growing liquid culture, the effect on the cell wall of the β-lactam was evident much earlier that when they came from an agar plate. A dose-response experiment with an E. coli strain susceptible to ampicillin demonstrated a weak effect before the MIC dose. The cell wall damage was not homogenous among the different cells, but the level of damage increased as dose increased with a predominant degree of effect for each dose. A microgranular-fibrilar extracellular background was evident in gram-negative susceptible strains after β-lactam treatment. This material was digested by DNase I, hybridised with a specific whole genome probe, and so recognized as DNA fragments released by the bacteria. Finally, 46 clinical strains from eight gram-negative and four gram-positive species were evaluated blind for susceptibility or resistance to one of four different β-lactams and vancomycin, confirming the applicability of the methodology.
The technique to assess cell wall integrity appears to be a rapid and simple procedure to identify resistant and susceptible strains to antibiotics that interfere with peptidoglycan biosynthesis.
GH and IGFs serum levels decline with age. Age-related changes appear to be associated to decreases in these anabolic hormones. We have previously demonstrated that IGF-I replacement therapy improves insulin resistance, lipid metabolism and reduces oxidative damage (in brain and liver) in aging rats. Using the same experimental model, the aim of this work was to study whether the exogenous administration of IGF-II, at low doses, acts analogous to IGF-I in aging rats.
Three experimental groups were included in this study: young healthy controls (yCO, 17 weeks old); untreated old rats (O, 103 weeks old); and aging rats treated with IGF-II (O+IGF-II, 2 μg * 100 g body weight-1 * day-1) for 30 days. Analytical parameters were determined in serum by routine laboratory methods using an autoanalyzer (Cobas Mira; Roche Diagnostic System, Basel, Switzerland). Serum levels of hormones (testosterone, IGF-I and insulin) were assessed by RIA. Serum Total Antioxidant Status was evaluated using a colorimetric assay. Mitochondrial membrane potential was evaluated using rhodamine 123 dye (adding different substrates to determine the different states). ATP synthesis in isolated mitochondria was determined by an enzymatic method.
Compared with young controls, untreated old rats showed a reduction of IGF-I and testosterone levels with a decrease of serum total antioxidant status (TAS). IGF-II therapy improved serum antioxidant capability without modifying testosterone and IGF-I circulating concentrations. In addition, IGF-II treatment reduced oxidative damage in brain and liver, improving antioxidant enzyme activities and mitochondrial function. IGF-II was also able to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides levels increasing free fatty acids concentrations.
We demonstrate that low doses of IGF-II induce hepatoprotective, neuroprotective and metabolic effects, improving mitochondrial function, without affecting testosterone and IGF-I levels.
This study explored the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and weight perception, self-esteem, positive body image, food beliefs, and mental health status, along with any gender differences in weight perception, in a sample of adolescents in Spain.
The sample comprised 85 students (53 females and 32 males, mean age 17.4 ± 5.5 years) with no psychiatric history who were recruited from a high school in Écija, Seville. Weight and height were recorded for all participants, who were then classified according to whether they perceived themselves as slightly overweight, very overweight, very underweight, slightly underweight, or about the right weight, using the question “How do you think of yourself in terms of weight?”. Finally, a series of questionnaires were administered, including the Irrational Food Beliefs Scale, Body Appreciation Scale, Self Esteem Scale, and General Health Questionnaire.
Overall, 23.5% of participants misperceived their weight. Taking into account only those with a normal BMI (percentile 5–85), there was a significant gender difference with respect to those who perceived themselves as overweight (slightly overweight and very overweight); 13.9% of females and 7.9% of males perceived themselves as overweight (χ2 = 3.957, P < 0.05). There was a significant difference for age, with participants who perceived their weight adequately being of mean age 16.34 ± 3.17 years and those who misperceived their weight being of mean age 18.50 ± 4.02 years (F = 3.112, P < 0.05).
Misperception of overweight seems to be more frequent in female adolescents, and mainly among older ones. Misperception of being overweight is associated with a less positive body image, and the perception of being very underweight is associated with higher scores for general psychopathology.
weight misperception; self-esteem; positive body image; psychological distress; food beliefs
Specific language impairment (SLI) is an unexpected deficit in the acquisition of language skills and affects between 5 and 8% of pre-school children. Despite its prevalence and high heritability, our understanding of the aetiology of this disorder is only emerging. In this paper, we apply genome-wide techniques to investigate an isolated Chilean population who exhibit an increased frequency of SLI. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) mapping and parametric and non-parametric linkage analyses indicate that complex genetic factors are likely to underlie susceptibility to SLI in this population. Across all analyses performed, the most consistently implicated locus was on chromosome 7q. This locus achieved highly significant linkage under all three non-parametric models (max NPL=6.73, P=4.0 × 10−11). In addition, it yielded a HLOD of 1.24 in the recessive parametric linkage analyses and contained a segment that was homozygous in two affected individuals. Further, investigation of this region identified a two-SNP haplotype that occurs at an increased frequency in language-impaired individuals (P=0.008). We hypothesise that the linkage regions identified here, in particular that on chromosome 7, may contain variants that underlie the high prevalence of SLI observed in this isolated population and may be of relevance to other populations affected by language impairments.
Specific language impairment (SLI); Robinson Crusoe Island; linkage; language
Infection with genital human papillomavirus (HPV) may cause anogenital cancers, oropharyngeal cancers, anogenital warts, and respiratory papillomas. Two prophylactic vaccines (a bivalent and a quadrivalent vaccine) are now licensed and currently in use in a number of countries. Both vaccines prevent infection with HPV-16 and HPV-18, which together cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers, and clinical trials have demonstrated 90%-100% efficacy in preventing precancerous cervical lesions attributable to HPV-16 and HPV-18. One vaccine also prevents HPV-6 and HPV-11, which cause 90% of genital warts. A growing literature describes associations between psychosocial, interpersonal, organizational, and societal factors that influence HPV vaccination acceptability. This paper summarizes the current literature and presents an integrated perspective, taking into account these diverse influences. The resulting integrated model can be used as a heuristic tool for organizing factors at multiple levels to guide intervention development and future research.
human papillomavirus; vaccine; psychosocial factors; theory; policy; health care systems