The establishment of Taenia solium adult parasite in the human intestine causes taeniosis. Importantly, the immunological mechanisms occurring at the interface between the parasite and its host are not fully known. The development of experimental animal models has facilitated the understanding of the host-parasite relationship. In this study we standardized a quantitative RT-PCR method for analyzing hamster messenger RNA for interferon-gamma (IFN-?) and interleukins (IL): IL-4 IL-10, IL-12 and IL-13. This method was then used to evaluate the local cytokine response elicited against the adult parasite at the attachment site in the intestine of infected hamsters. The results showed an intense IFN-? response, as well as an up-regulation of IL-4 as early as three days post-infection, permanence of IL-10 until the end of the experiment and down regulation of IL-12. These data are in agreement with a bias toward a Th-2 response as the infection progresses.
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.
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 objective of this study was to identify associations in the prevalence of overweight, obesity and high blood pressure between children and their parents, as well as their eating and physical patterns.
Elevated blood pressure at a young age is a predictor of blood pressure elevation later in life and has been associated with being overweight. However, it seems that there are other factors related to hypertension in childhood.
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 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.
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