The performance of a real-time PCR assay targeting the Tropheryma whipplei rpoB gene was evaluated using test strains and 1,236 clinical specimens in a national reference laboratory. The novel rpoB-PCR assay proved to be specific, revealed improved analytical sensitivity, and substantially accelerated detection of T. whipplei DNA in clinical specimens.
During antimicrobial treatment of classic Whipples disease (CWD), the chronic systemic infection with Tropheryma whipplei, immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), is a serious complication. The aim of our study was to characterize the immunological processes underlying IRIS in CWD. Following the definition of IRIS, we describe histological features of IRIS and immunological parameters of 24 CWD IRIS patients, 189 CWD patients without IRIS, and 89 healthy individuals. T cell reconstitution, Th1 reactivity, and the phenotype of T cells were described in the peripheral blood, and infiltration of CD4(+) T cells and regulatory T cells in the duodenal mucosa was determined. During IRIS, tissues were heavily infiltrated by CD3(+), predominantly CD45RO(+)CD4(+) T cells. In the periphery, initial reduction of CD4(+) cell counts and their reconstitution on treatment was more pronounced in CWD patients with IRIS than in those without IRIS. The ratio of activated and regulatory CD4(+) T cells, nonspecific Th1 reactivity, and the proportion of naive among CD4(+) T cells was high, whereas serum IL-10 was low during IRIS. T. whipplei-specific Th1 reactivity remained suppressed before and after emergence of IRIS. The findings that IRIS in CWD mainly are mediated by nonspecific activation of CD4(+) T cells and that it is not sufficiently counterbalanced by regulatory T cells indicate that flare-up of pathogen-specific immunoreactivity is not instrumental in the pathogenesis of IRIS in CWD.
Targeting of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with monoclonal antibodies has become an established antitumor strategy in clinical use or in late stages of drug development. The mAbs effector mechanisms have been widely analyzed based on in vivo or cell studies. Hereby we intend to complement these functional studies by investigating the mAb-EGFR interactions on a molecular level. Surface plasmon resonance, isothermal titration calorimetry, and static light scattering were employed to characterize the interactions of matuzumab, cetuximab, and panitumumab with the extracellular soluble form ecEGFR. The kinetic and thermodynamic determinants dissected the differences in mAbs binding mechanism toward ecEGFR. The quantitative stoichiometric data clearly demonstrated the bivalent binding of the mAbs to two ecEGFR molecules. Our results complement earlier studies on simultaneous binding of cetuximab and matuzumab. The antibodies retain their bivalent binding mode achieving a 1:2:1 complex formation. Interestingly the binding parameters remain nearly constant for the individual antibodies in this ternary assembly. In contrast the binding of panitumumab is almost exclusive either by directly blocking the accessibility for the second antibody or by negative allosteric modulation. Overall we provide a comprehensive biophysical dataset on binding parameters, the complex assembly, and relative epitope accessibility for therapeutic anti-EGFR antibodies.
Russell bodies are pink eosinophilic accumulations within plasma cells. To date, two hypotheses have attempted to elucidate the biological events behind the formation of these bodies. One theory sustains that such bodies constitute cytoplasmic accumulation of immunoglobulin derivatives contained in the perinuclear cistern of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum because of an increased synthesis or altered secretion. On the other hand, since its initial description in the medical literature, several authors have attributed the formation of such bodies to the presence of microorganisms such as in the case of Russell body gastritis and its association to Helicobacter pylori infection. In an attempt to possibly characterize the presence of an infectious organism, we performed a thorough biomolecular analysis on a case of a 69-year-old female presenting with Russell body duodenitis which, to the best of our knowledge, constitutes the second report of this clinical entity in the English literature. In light that the events behind formation of such bodies in H. pylori-negative individuals remain unclear, we hypothesize on the possible pathways that could have led to their reactive mechanical and immune derivation.
The polymicrobial nature of periodontal diseases is reflected by the diversity of phylotypes detected in subgingival plaque and the finding that consortia of suspected pathogens rather than single species are associated with disease development. A number of these microorganisms have been demonstrated in vitro to interact and enhance biofilm integration, survival or even pathogenic features. To examine the in vivo relevance of these proposed interactions, we extended the spatial arrangement analysis tool of the software daime (digital image analysis in microbial ecology). This modification enabled the quantitative analysis of microbial co-localization in images of subgingival biofilm species, where the biomass was confined to fractions of the whole-image area, a situation common for medical samples. Selected representatives of the disease-associated red and orange complexes that were previously suggested to interact with each other in vitro (Tannerella forsythia with Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis with Prevotella intermedia) were chosen for analysis and labeled with specific fluorescent probes via fluorescence in situ hybridization. Pair cross-correlation analysis of in vivo grown biofilms revealed tight clustering of F. nucleatum/periodonticum and T. forsythia at short distances (up to 6 µm) with a pronounced peak at 1.5 µm. While these results confirmed previous in vitro observations for F. nucleatum and T. forsythia, random spatial distribution was detected between P. gingivalis and P. intermedia in the in vivo samples. In conclusion, we successfully employed spatial arrangement analysis on the single cell level in clinically relevant medical samples and demonstrated the utility of this approach for the in vivo validation of in vitro observations by analyzing statistically relevant numbers of different patients. More importantly, the culture-independent nature of this approach enables similar quantitative analyses for "as-yet-uncultured" phylotypes which cannot be characterized in vitro.
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