Natural rubber latex (NRL; Hevea brasiliensis) allergy is an IgE-mediated reaction to latex proteins. When latex glove exposure is the main sensitizing agent, Hev b 5 is one of the major allergens. Dendritic cells (DC), the main antigen presenting cells, modulated with pharmacological agents can restore tolerance in several experimental models, including allergy. In the current study, we aimed to generate DC with tolerogenic properties from NRL-allergic patients and evaluate their ability to modulate allergen-specific T and B cell responses. Here we show that dexamethasone-treated DC (dxDC) differentiated into a subset of DC, characterized by low expression of MHC class II, CD40, CD80, CD86 and CD83 molecules. Compared with LPS-matured DC, dxDC secreted lower IL-12 and higher IL-10 after CD40L activation, and induced lower alloantigenic T cell proliferation. We also show that dxDC pulsed with the dominant Hev b 5 T-cell epitope peptide, Hev b 5(46-65), inhibited both proliferation of Hev b 5-specific T-cell lines and the production of Hev b 5-specific IgE. Additionally, dxDC induced a subpopulation of IL-10-producing regulatory T cells that suppressed proliferation of Hev b 5-primed T cells. In conclusion, dxDC generated from NRL-allergic patients can modulate allergen-specific T-cell responses and IgE production, supporting their potential use in allergen-specific immunotherapy.
Globally, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects approximately 130 million people and 3 million new infections occur annually. HCV is also recognized as an important cause of chronic liver disease in children. The absence of proofreading properties of the HCV RNA polymerase leads to a highly error prone replication process, allowing HCV to escape host immune response. The adaptive nature of HCV evolution dictates the outcome of the disease in many ways. Here, we investigated the molecular evolution of HCV in three unrelated children who acquired chronic HCV infection as a result of mother-to-child transmission, two of whom were also coinfected with HIV-1. The persistence of discrete HCV variants and their population structure were assessed using median joining network and Bayesian approaches. While patterns of viral evolution clearly differed between subjects, immune system dysfunction related to HIV coinfection or persistent HCV seronegativity stand as potential mechanisms to explain the lack of molecular evolution observed in these three cases. In contrast, treatment of HCV infection with PegIFN, which did not lead to sustained virologic responses in all 3 cases, was not associated with commensurate variations in the complexity of the variant spectrum. Finally, the differences in the degree of divergence suggest that the mode of transmission of the virus was not the main factor driving viral evolution.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the etiological agent of gonorrhoea, which is a sexually transmitted disease widespread throughout the world. N. gonorrhoeae does not improve immune response in patients with reinfection, suggesting that gonococcus displays several mechanisms to evade immune response and survive in the host. N. gonorrhoeae is able to suppress the protective immune response at different levels, such as B and T lymphocytes and dendritic cells. In this study, we determined whether N. gonorrhoeae directly conditions the phenotype of RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cell line and its response. We established that gonococcus was effectively phagocytosed by the RAW 264.7 cells and upregulates production of immunoregulatory cytokines (IL-10 and TGF- ? 1) but not the production of proinflammatory cytokine TNF- ? , indicating that gonococcus induces a shift towards anti-inflammatory cytokine production. Moreover, N. gonorrhoeae did not induce significant upregulation of costimulatory CD86 and MHC class II molecules. We also showed that N. gonorrhoeae infected macrophage cell line fails to elicit proliferative CD4+ response. This implies that macrophage that can phagocytose gonococcus do not display proper antigen-presenting functions. These results indicate that N. gonorrhoeae induces a tolerogenic phenotype in antigen-presenting cells, which seems to be one of the mechanisms to induce evasion of immune response.
Asthma has been defined as a disease of chronic airway inflammation in which many cells and cellular products participate with variable degrees of airflow obstruction and hyperresponsiveness that lead to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. Prominent among these cellular elements are two cell types referred to as the invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells and a subpopulation of T cells expressing the molecule CD161, which are both thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of asthma. Although the presence of iNKT and other CD161(+) cells in murine models has been associated with asthma, relatively few studies have been performed in the adult patient with asthma that have been often conflicting and even fewer studies are available in children. The present study was performed to investigate the peripheral blood frequencies of iNKT and CD161(+) T cells in children with asthma. A total of 35 children, 19 stable asthmatic patients, 6 who had experienced an asthmatic attack within 24 hours and had not received any treatment, and 10 healthy controls, aged 6-12 years, were enrolled in the study. iNKT and CD161(+) T-cell frequencies in blood were measured together with quantitative levels of IL-4 and interferon (IFN) ? using a cytofluorimetric approach. The results show that iNKT cells are increased in pediatric asthmatic patients undergoing exacerbations of asthma. These cells also produced less IFN-? and more IL-4 than children with stable asthma and in healthy control children. These results suggest that iNKT cells might participate in the development of the asthmatic exacerbations. The increased production of IL-4 in conjunction with the decrease of IFN-? may be mechanistically responsible, at least partially, for the heightening of the immunologic response leading to the asthmatic attack in children. Knowledge of these interactive mechanisms involving the iNKT cell and our understanding of its role in the exacerbation of asthma hold great promise in the development of better diagnostic predictive markers of disease progression as well as new forms of therapeutic interventions.
We report a 25yearold mole admitted to a critical care unit for fever, lung opacities and acute respiratory failure. A chest angio-CAT sean showed multiple pulmonary artery aneurysms. A deep venous thrombosis of both lower limbs was also documented. A Hughes-Stovin syndrome was postulated. An inferior vena cava filter was placed. The patient received antimicrobial therapy subsiding fever and respiratory failure. Subsequently, he was treated with intravenous and oral steroids and one dose of cyclophosphamide. The patient was discharged in good conditions fifteen days after admission.
Tuberculosis is an important public health problem in Mexico. However, limited information about the genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains circulating in the country is available. In this work, 109 multidrug-resistant (MDR) M. tuberculosis isolates collected in 23 different states of Mexico in 2003 were retrospectively characterized by spoligotyping and MIRU-VNTRs. All isolates, except for a single cluster containing two strains (subcluster E1), were split when information from the 12-loci MIRUs and spoligo-pattern was simultaneously analyzed. The discriminative power of 12-loci MIRU-VNTR and spoligotyping, by the Hunter-Gaston index, were 0.9998 and 0.9011, respectively. These findings suggest that almost all cases were epidemiologically unrelated. Instead, the genetic variations observed among these strains are suggestive of emergence of acquired drug-resistance during the course of treatment. The results suggest a high degree of genetic variability and a high frequency of SIT53 (T1 family) spoligotype among the MDR M. tuberculosis isolates included in the study.
The use of telaprevir and boceprevir, both protease inhibitors (PI), as part of the specifically targeted antiviral therapy for hepatitis C (STAT-C) has significantly improved sustained virologic response (SVR) rates. However, different clinical studies have also identified several mutations associated with viral resistance to both PIs. In the absence of selective pressure, drug-resistant hepatitis C virus (HCV) mutants are generally present at low frequency, making mutation detection challenging. Here, we describe a mismatch amplification mutation assay (MAMA) PCR method for the specific detection of naturally occurring drug-resistant HCV mutants. MAMA PCR successfully identified the corresponding HCV variants, while conventional methods such as direct sequencing, endpoint limiting dilution (EPLD), and bacterial cloning were not sensitive enough to detect circulating drug-resistant mutants in clinical specimens. Ultradeep pyrosequencing was used to confirm the presence of the corresponding HCV mutants. In treatment-naïve patients, the frequency of all resistant variants was below 1%. Deep amplicon sequencing allowed a detailed analysis of the structure of the viral population among these patients, showing that the evolution of the NS3 is limited to a rather small sequence space. Monitoring of HCV drug resistance before and during treatment is likely to provide important information for management of patients undergoing anti-HCV therapy.
Dengue virus (DENV) is the most important arthropod-borne viral infection in humans. Here, the genetic relatedness among autochthonous DENV Mexican isolates was assessed. Phylogenetic and median-joining network analyses showed that viral strains recovered from different geographic locations are genetically related and relatively homogeneous, exhibiting limited nucleotide diversity.
Varicella (chickenpox) exhibits a characteristic epidemiological pattern which is associated with climate. In general, primary infections in tropical regions are comparatively less frequent among children than in temperate regions. This peculiarity regarding varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection among certain age groups in tropical regions results in increased susceptibility during adulthood in these regions. Moreover, this disease shows a cyclic behavior in which the number of cases increases significantly during winter and spring. This observation further supports the participation of environmental factors in global epidemiology of chickenpox. However, the underlying mechanisms responsible for this distinctive disease behavior are not understood completely. In a recent publication, Philip S. Rice has put forward an interesting hypothesis suggesting that ultra-violet (UV) radiation is the major environmental factor driving the molecular evolution of VZV.
Several studies have identified associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) occurring near the interleukin-28B (IL-28B) gene and response to antiviral treatment among hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients. Here, we describe a reliable melt-mismatch amplification mutation assay (melt-MAMA) PCR-based genotyping method for IL-28B which can be used in the management of HCV patients, helping to better define the course of therapy.
Regulatory T cells (Treg) are important in the development of immune tolerance under normal physiological conditions. However, in pathological situations such as cancer, Treg increases have been correlated with bad prognoses. Treg depletion can be achieved in vitro under several stimuli, including the activation of the purinergic P2X7 receptor. Our aim was to determine whether polymyxin B (PMB), which is a positive modulator of this receptor, could affect mice Treg depletion by ATP and related compounds. For that purpose, we evaluated by flow cytometry changes in Treg populations under several treatments with PMB and/or purinergic agonists and antagonists. We found that both ATP and NAD induce a dose-dependent decrease on the Treg CD4+ CD25+ population. PMB not only potentiated the effect of exogenous ATP and NAD, but also decreased the CD4+ CD25+ population when it was applied alone. While ATP mediated effects are related to the P2X7 receptor, PMB effects appear to be related to another mechanism. We conclude that PMB positively modulates the depletion of the CD4+ CD25+ population of Treg. Therefore PMB could constitute a non-canonical drug with potential use on Treg depletion and cancer treatment.
The purinergic P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) plays an important role during the immune response, participating in several events such as cytokine release, apoptosis, and necrosis. The bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is one of the strongest stimuli of the immune response, and it has been shown that P2X7R activation can modulate LPS-induced responses. Moreover, a C-terminal binding site for LPS has been proposed. In order to evaluate if LPS can directly modulate the activity of the P2X7R, we tested several signaling pathways associated with P2X7R activation in HEK293 cells that do not express the TLR-4 receptor. We found that LPS alone was unable to induce any P2X7R-related activity, suggesting that the P2X7R is not directly activated by the endotoxin. On the other hand, preapplication of LPS inhibited ATP-induced currents, intracellular calcium increase, and ethidium bromide uptake and had no effect on ERK activation in HEK293 cells. In splenocytes-derived T-regulatory cells, in which ATP-induced apoptosis is driven by the P2X7R, LPS inhibited ATP-induced apoptosis. Altogether, these results demonstrate that LPS modulates the activity of the P2X7R and suggest that this effect could be of physiological relevance.
Citrullinated vimentin (cVIM) is one of the antigens specifically targeted by anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The association between ACPA and certain HLA-DRB1 alleles, those coding for the shared epitope (SE), suggests that this response could be T-cell mediated. HLA-DR9 alleles, which do not code for the SE, have recently been associated with ACPA (+) RA. The objective of this work was to study CD4+ T cell responses to cVIM in RA patients and healthy controls carrying HLA-DR9 alleles. Fourteen RA patients and ten healthy controls previously genotyped for HLA-DRB1 were studied for the presence of serum anti-cVIM antibodies by Western blot and ELISA. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with native vimentin and cVIM, and CD4+ T cells proliferation was assessed by flow cytometry. Citrulline-specific CD4+ T cells proliferation was found not only in RA patients but also in healthy controls. Although most patients carrying HLA-DR9 alleles present anti-cVIM antibodies, HLA-DR9 alleles were associated with weaker cVIM-driven CD4+ T-cell responses among RA patients. These results suggest that HLA-DR9 alleles could exert a protective effect on the recognition of cVIM epitopes by CD4+ T cells. In this context, other citrullinated proteins may break T and B cell tolerance, with cVIM only acting as a cross-reactive target for ACPA.
Arsenic has been associated with multiple harmful effects at the cellular level. Indirectly these defects could be related to impairment of the integrity of the immune system, in particular in lymphoid population. To characterize the effect of Arsenic on redox status on this population, copper smelter workers and arsenic unexposed donors were recruited for this study. We analyzed urine samples and lymphocyte enriched fractions from donors to determinate arsenic levels and lymphocyte proliferation. Moreover, we studied the presence of oxidative markers MDA, vitamin E and SOD activity in donor plasma. Here we demonstrated that in human beings exposed to high arsenic concentrations, lymphocyte MDA and arsenic urinary levels showed a positive correlation with SOD activity, and a negative correlation with vitamin E serum levels. Strikingly, lymphocytes from the arsenic exposed population respond to a polyclonal stimulator, phytohemaglutinin, with higher rates of thymidine incorporation than lymphocytes of a control population. As well, similar in vitro responses to arsenic were observed using a T cell line. Our results suggest that chronic human exposure to arsenic induces oxidative damage in lymphocytes and could be considered more relevant than evaluation of T cell surveillance.
The prevalence of diabetes in Mexico among those 20-64 years of age has increased from 7.2% in 1993 to 10.7% in 2000. National population-based surveys in Mexico demonstrated that 50% of the total population with diabetes had blood glucose levels of 200mg/dl or higher. Thus, diabetes care has become one of the most important public health challenges in this country. The aim of the study was to improve the quality of diabetes care in primary health care centers using the chronic care model and the breakthrough series (BTS) collaborative methodology.
Full-length genome analysis of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) has shown that viral strains can be classified into seven different genotypes: European (E), Mosaic (M), and Japanese (J), and the E and M genotypes can be further subclassified into E1, E2, and M1 through 4, respectively. The distribution of the main VZV genotypes in Mexico was described earlier, demonstrating the predominance of E genotype, although other genotypes (M1 and M4) were also identified. However, no information regarding the circulation of either E genotype in the country is available. In the present study, we confirm the presence of both E1 and E2 genotypes in the country and explore the possibility of coinfection as the triggering factor for increased virulence among severe cases. A total of 61 different European VZV isolates collected in the Mexico City metropolitan area from 2005 to 2006 were typed by using a PCR method based on genotype-specific primer amplification. Fifty isolates belonged to the E1 genotype, and the eleven remaining samples were classified as E2 genotypes. No coinfection with both E genotypes was identified among these specimens. We provide here new information on the distribution of VZV genotypes circulating in Mexico City.
Scarce information on the seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi among Amerindians is available, and the distribution of this disease in Mexican Indian populations is unknown. In this study, the presence of specific antibodies against T. cruzi among Teenek Amerindians in nine different communities located in San Luis Potosi State was analyzed. An average seroprevalence of 6.5% was found in these populations, suggesting that active transmission of disease occurs in this relatively isolated population in Mexico, and therefore, further studies should be conducted to identify risk factor associated to Chagas disease in other isolated populations across the country to determine the prevalence of Chagas disease in Mexican Amerindians.
Different studies regarding VZV genotype distribution worldwide have demonstrated that genetic diversity and epidemiology of infection significantly vary from region to region. In Mexico, VZV genotype distribution is largely unknown mostly due to the lack of a surveillance system that monitors accurately the presence of viral strains circulating in the country.
Varicella-zoster virus-associated arthritis has not been well documented in adults. We present the case of a 27-year-old female patient with monoarthritis of the knee associated with clinical symptoms typical of varicella. Arthroscopic examination showed unusual oval and circular lesions in cartilage, some of which measured 5 +/- 3 mm in diameter in weight-supporting zones. Such lesions have not been described previously and were type III-A lesions on the Noyes scale or grade IV on the Outerbridge scale. On microscopic observation, synovial fluid cultures and hemocultures were negative for the presence of bacteria. A biopsy sample and synovial liquid from the affected knee produced a positive polymerase chain reaction for varicella-zoster virus, genotype E. These findings suggest a strong relation between clinical varicella infection and important lesion invasion in the knee articulation of such a young adult, probably related to the virus. However, it remains necessary to corroborate this relation between cartilage destruction and clinical symptoms of varicella associated with monoarthritis of an adult knee. Nevertheless, it is advisable to initiate the appropriate antiviral treatment in adults with varicella-related gonalgia because the lesions produce the most severe effects on exposure to the knee bone.
The aim of this work was to assess immunologic response, disease progression, and post-treatment survival of melanoma patients vaccinated with autologous dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed with a novel allogeneic cell lysate (TRIMEL) derived from three melanoma cell lines.
Here, we analyze the viral divergence among hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronic cases infected with genotype 1. The intrahost viral evolution was assessed by deep sequencing using the 454 Genome Sequencer platform. The results showed a rapid nucleotide sequence divergence. This notorious short-term viral evolution is of the utmost importance for the study of HCV transmission, because direct links between related samples were virtually lost. Thus, rapid divergence of HCV significantly affects genetic relatedness studies and outbreak investigations.
The folding and insertion of ?-barrel proteins in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is mediated by the BAM complex, which is composed of the outer membrane protein BamA and four lipoproteins BamB to BamE. In Escherichia coli and/or Salmonella, the BamB lipoprotein is involved in (i) ?-barrel protein assembly in the outer membrane, (ii) outer membrane permeability to antibiotics, (iii) the control of the expression of T3SS which are major virulence factors and (iv) the virulence of Salmonella. In E. coli, this protein has been shown to interact directly with BamA. In this study, we investigated the structure-function relationship of BamB in order to assess whether the roles of BamB in these phenotypes were inter-related and whether they require the interaction of BamB with BamA. For this purpose, recombinant plasmids harbouring point mutations in bamB were introduced in a ?Salmonella bamB mutant. We demonstrated that the residues L173, L175 and R176 are crucial for all the roles of BamB and for the interaction of BamB with BamA. Moreover, the results obtained with a D229A BamB variant, which is unable to immunoprecipitate BamA, suggest that the interaction of BamB with BamA is not absolutely necessary for BamB function in outer-membrane protein assembly, T3SS expression and virulence. Finally, we showed that the virulence defect of the ?bamB mutant is not related to its increased susceptibility to antimicrobials, as the D227A BamB variant fully restored the virulence of the mutant while having a similar antibiotic susceptibility to the ?bamB strain. Overall, this study demonstrates that the different roles of BamB are not all inter-related and that L173, L175 and R176 amino-acids are privileged sites for the design of BamB inhibitors that could be used as alternative therapeutics to antibiotics, at least against Salmonella.
A comparison was made of the effects of levamisole, the bacterial fractions of Staphylococcus, and Freunds adjuvant on the immunization of rats with the excretory and secretory antigens of Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae. Wistar rats were immunized with the antigen and a saline solution, levamisole (LV), Staphylococcus (ST), or Freunds adjuvant (FA). After immunization, rats were infected, and the parasite burden at muscular phase was calculated for each group. Levels of IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies, as well as levels of two cytokines, IL-4 and IFN-?, were evaluated during the immunization and postinfection periods. Differences were found in the kinetics of antibody production between groups (p < 0.01). In all cases, there was reactivity with the main 45-, 50-, and 55-kDa antigens of Trichinella muscle larvae. Immunization with FA and ST enhanced the production of IgG1, but only FA showed a significant increase in the production of IFN-? (p < 0.01), resulting in 86% protection against the infection. In contrast, only 60-70% protection was attained in the ST and LV groups (p < 0.01). These data support the idea that levamisole and Staphylococcus can be used as adjuvant to enhance the humoral response and, at the same time, demonstrate that IFN-? could be involved in protection against Trichinella.
The epidemiological patterns of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection, which are strongly associated with climate, are characterized by more frequent infections occurring among children in temperate regions than in the tropics. In temperate regions, varicella exhibits a seasonal cyclic behavior in which the number of cases increases significantly during the winter and spring seasons, further supporting the role of environmental factors in disease transmission. However, the underlying mechanisms responsible for this distinctive behavior are not fully understood. In Mexico, information regarding the epidemiology of varicella is scarce, and the distribution of VZV infection has not been analyzed.
Here, we describe a transmission event of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among injection drug users. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was used to assess the intrahost viral genetic variation. Deep amplicon sequencing of HCV hypervariable region 1 allowed for a detailed analysis of the structure of the viral population. Establishment of the genetic relatedness between cases was accomplished by phylogenetic analysis. NGS is a powerful tool with applications in molecular epidemiology studies and outbreak investigations.
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