Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) represent a promising tool for therapy in regenerative medicine, transplantation and autoimmune disease due to their trophic and immunomodulatory activities. However we are still far from understanding the mechanisms of action of MSCs in these processes. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-?1 is a pleiotropic cytokine involved in MSC migration, differentiation and immunomodulation. Recently, glycoprotein A repetitions predominant (GARP) was shown to bind latency associated peptide (LAP)/TGF-?1 to the cell surface of activated Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) and megakaryocytes/platelets. In this manuscript we show that human and mouse MSCs express GARP which presents LAP/TGF-?1 on their cell surface. Silencing GARP expression in MSCs increased their secretion and activation of TGF-?1 and reduced their proliferative capacity in a TGF-?1-independent manner. Importantly, we showed that GARP expression on MSCs contributed to their ability to inhibit T cell responses in vitro. In summary, we have found that GARP is an essential molecule for MSC biology, regulating their immunomodulatory and proliferative activities. We envision GARP as a new target for improving the therapeutic efficacy of MSCs and also as a novel MSC marker. Stem Cells 2014.
We investigated the relationship between reported cases of influenza in Catalonia (Spain). Covariates analyzed were: population, age, data of report of influenza, and health region during 2010-2014 using data obtained from the SISAP program (Institut Catala de la Salut - Generalitat of Catalonia). Reported cases were related with the study of covariates using a descriptive analysis. Generalized Linear Models, Generalized Additive Models and Generalized Additive Mixed Models were used to estimate the evolution of the transmission of influenza. Additive models can estimate data dependence such as serial correlation in the residuals of the model; and mixed models can measurement of the variability in factor variables using random effects. The incidence rate of influenza was calculated as the incidence per 100?000 people. The mean rate was 13.75 (range 0-27.5) in the winter months (December, January, February) and 3.38 (range 0-12.57) in the remaining months. Statistical analysis showed that Generalized Additive Mixed Models were better adapted to the temporal evolution of influenza (serial correlation 0.59) than classical linear models.
To (1) evaluate lithium dilution (LiDCO) and transpulmonary thermodilution (PiCCOTD ) in relation to traditional thermodilution (PAC-TD) for determining cardiac output (CO) in 3 different hemodynamic states in dogs and to (2) compare the continuous CO values obtained using power analysis (PulseCO) with continuous PiCCO (PiCCOc).
Chitosan/cyclodextrin films (CS:CD) incorporating carvacrol were obtained by casting, and conditioned at 23°C and 75% relative humidity prior to being immersed in liquid carvacrol until they reached sorption equilibrium. In a previous work, the in vitro antimicrobial activity of these films was studied. In this work, active films were used to inhibit microbial growth in packaged chicken breast fillets. Samples of CS:CD films loaded with carvacrol, of different sizes and thus with different quantities of antimicrobial agent, were stuck to the aluminium lid used to seal PP/EVOH/PP cups containing 25g of chicken fillets. These samples were stored for 9days at 4°C. The packages were hermetically sealed and it was confirmed that they provided an infinite barrier to carvacrol. The partition of the antimicrobial agent within the food/packaging system was analysed. The antimicrobial devices rapidly released a large percentage of the agent load, amounts that were gained by the adhesive coating of the lid and especially by the chicken fillets. The latter were the main sorbent phase, with average concentrations ranging between 200 and 5000mg/Kg during the period of storage. The microbiota of the packaged fresh chicken fillets - mesophiles, psychrophiles, Pseudomonas spp., enterobacteria, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts and fungi - were analysed and monitored during storage. A general microbial inhibition was observed, increasing with the size of the active device. Inhibition with a 24cm(2) device ranged from 0.3 log reductions against lactic acid bacteria to 1.8logs against yeasts and fungi. However, the large amount of antimicrobial that was sorbed or that reacted with the fillet caused an unacceptable sensory deterioration. These high sorption values are probably due to a great chemical compatibility between chicken proteins and carvacrol.
Whooping cough is a communicable disease whose incidence has increased in recent years in some countries with vaccination. Since 1981, in Catalonia (Spain), cases must be reported to the Public Health Department. In 1997, surveillance changed from aggregated counts to individual report and the surveillance system was improved after 2002. Catalan public health is universal with equal coverage geographically. The aim of this study was to determine whether there are differences in whooping cough incidence in rural and urban counties.
This study compared the post-operative analgesic efficacy of continuous lidocaine administration with that of intramuscular (IM) methadone in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. Thirty-eight dogs were divided randomly into two groups. Following surgery, the lidocaine group (L) received a continuous lidocaine infusion (2?mg/kg/h) through a wound catheter inserted in the pre-peritoneal space; the control group (C) received methadone (0.2?mg/kg IM). A dynamic and interactive visual analogue scale (DIVAS), the Scale-Form Glasgow Composite Measure Scale (CMPS-SF), mechanical wound thresholds, heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure were assessed pre-operatively and 2, 4, 6, 18, and 24?h after surgery. The presence of the wound catheter prevented the evaluator from remaining blinded to group allocations. Plasma lidocaine and cortisol levels were measured 2, 6, 18, and 24?h after surgery. There were no intergroup differences in any pain assessment scale scores at any time point. Stable intravenous lidocaine levels were observed. Four animals in the control group but none in the lidocaine group required rescue analgesia. There were no differences in complication rates between groups. Continuous locoregional lidocaine delivered via a wound catheter between the parietal peritoneum and abdominal muscle offers effective analgesia in dogs during ovariohysterectomy and appears to be a promising analgesic option in veterinary surgery.
Background Brucella ceti infections have been increasingly reported in cetaceans. Brucellosis in these animals is associated with meningoencephalitis, abortion, discospondylitis¿, subcutaneous abscesses, endometritis and other pathological conditions B. ceti infections have been frequently described in dolphins from both, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In the Mediterranean Sea, only two reports have been made: one from the Italian Tyrrhenian Sea and the other from the Adriatic Sea.ResultsWe describe the clinical and pathological features of three cases of B. ceti infections in three dolphins stranded in the Mediterranean Catalonian coast. One striped dolphin had neurobrucellosis, showing lethargy, incoordination and lateral swimming due to meningoencephalitis, A B. ceti infected bottlenose dolphin had discospondylitis, and another striped dolphin did not show clinical signs or lesions related to Brucella infection. A detailed characterization of the three B. ceti isolates was performed by bacteriological, molecular, protein and fatty acid analyses.ConclusionsAll the B. ceti strains originating from Mediterranean dolphins cluster together in a distinct phylogenetic clade, close to that formed by B. ceti isolates from dolphins inhabiting the Atlantic Ocean. Our study confirms the severity of pathological signs in stranded dolphins and the relevance of B. ceti as a pathogen in the Mediterranean Sea.
Several diseases have a significant impact on American oyster populations in the Atlantic coasts of North America. Knowledge about the responses of oysters to pathogenic challenge could help in identifying potential markers of disease resistance and biomarkers of the health status of an oyster population. A previous analysis of the transcriptome of resistant and susceptible American oysters in response to challenge with the bacterial pathogen Roseovarius crassostreae, as well as sequencing of suppression subtractive hybridization libraries from oysters challenged with the protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus, provided a list of genes potentially involved in disease resistance or susceptibility. We investigated the patterns of inducible gene expression of several of these genes in response to experimental challenge with the oyster pathogens R. crassostreae, Vibrio tubiashii, and P. marinus. Oysters showing differential susceptibility to R. crassostreae demonstrated differential patterns of expression of genes coding for immune (serine protease inhibitor-1, SPI1) and stress-related (heat shock protein 70, HSP70; arginine kinase) proteins 30 days after challenge with this bacterial pathogen. Differential patterns of expression of immune (spi1, galectin and a matrix metalloproteinase) and stress-related (hsp70, histone H4, and arginine kinase) genes was observed in hemocytes from adult oysters challenged with P. marinus, but not with V. tubiashii. While levels of spi1 expression in hemocytes collected 8 and 21 days after P. marinus challenge were negatively correlated with parasite load in oysters tissues at the end of the challenge (62 days), levels of expression of hsp70 in hemocytes collected 1-day after challenge were positively correlated with oyster parasite load at 62 days. Our results confirm previous research on the role of serine protease inhibitor-1 in immunity and disease resistance in oysters. They also suggest that HSP70 and histone H4 could be used as a markers of health status or disease susceptibility in oysters.
Gliadin films cross-linked with cinnamaldehyde (1.5, 3, and 5%) and incorporated with natamycin (0.5%) were prepared by casting, and their antifungal activity, water resistance, and barrier properties were characterized. Incorporation of natamycin gave rise to films with greater water uptake, weight loss and diameter gain, and higher water vapor and oxygen permeabilities. These results may be associated to a looser packing of the protein chains as a consequence of the presence of natamycin. The different cross-linking degree of the matrices influenced the natamycin migration to the agar test media, increasing from 13.3 to 23.7 (?g/g of film) as the percentage of cinnamaldehyde was reduced from 5% to 1.5%. Antifungal activity of films was assayed against common food spoilage fungi (Penicillium species, Alternaria solani, Colletotrichum acutatum). The greatest effectiveness was obtained for films containing natamycin and treated with 5% of cinnamaldehyde. The level of cinnamaldehyde reached in the head-space of the test assay showed a diminishing trend as a function of time, which was in agreement with fungal growth and cinnamaldehyde metabolization. Developed active films were used in the packaging of cheese slices showing promising results for their application in active packaging against food spoilage.
Bt crops are able to produce Cry proteins, which were originally present in Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria. Although Bt maize is very efficient against corn borers, Spanish crops are also attacked by the earworm H. armigera, which is less susceptible to Bt maize. Many mechanisms could be involved in this low susceptibility to the toxin, including the insect's metabolic resistance to toxins due to cytochrome P450 monooxygenases. This paper examines the response of last instar H. armigera larvae to feeding on a diet with Bt and non-Bt maize leaves in larval development and in the gene expression of three P450 cytochromes: CYP6AE14, CYP6B2 and CYP9A12. Larvae fed on sublethal amounts of the Bt toxin showed reduced food ingestion and reduced growth and weight, preventing most of them from achieving the critical weight and pupating; additionally, after feeding for one day on the Bt diet the larvae showed a slight increase in juvenile hormone II in the hemolymp. Larvae fed on the non-Bt diet showed the highest CYP6AE14, CYP6B2 and CYP9A12 expression one day after feeding on the non-Bt diet, and just two days later the expression decreased abruptly, a finding probably related to the developmental programme of the last instar. Moreover, although the response of P450 genes to plant allelochemicals and xenobiotics has been related in general to overexpression in the resistant insect, or induction of the genes when feeding takes place, the expression of the three genes studied was suppressed in the larvae feeding on the Bt toxin. The unexpected inhibitory effect of the Cry1Ab toxin in the P450 genes of H. armigera larvae should be thoroughly studied to determine whether this response is somehow related to the low susceptibility of the species to the Bt toxin.
Chromatin insulators, such as the chicken ?-globin locus control region hypersensitive site 4 (HS4), and scaffold/matrix attachment regions (SARs/MARs) have been incorporated separately or in combination into retroviral vectors (RVs) in order to increase transgene expression levels, avoid silencing and reduce expression variability. However, their incorporation into RVs either produces a reduction on titer and/or expression levels or do not have sufficient effect on stem cells. In order to develop an improved insulator we decided to combine SAR elements with HS4 insulators. We designed several synthetic shorter SAR elements containing 4 or 5 MAR/SARs recognition signatures (MRS) and studied their effects on a lentiviral vector (LV) expressing eGFP through the SFFV promoter (SE). A 388 bp SAR element containing 5 MRS, named SAR2, was as efficient or superior to the other SARs analyzed. SAR2 enhanced transgene expression and reduced silencing and variability on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). We next compared the effect of different HS4-based insulators, the HS4-Core (250 bp), the HS4-Ext (400 bp) and the HS4-650 (650 bp). All HS4 elements reduced silencing and expression variability but they also had a negative effect on transgene expression levels and titer. In general, the HS4-650 element had a better overall effect. Based on these data we developed a chimeric insulator, IS2, combining the SAR2 and the HS4-650. When incorporated into the 3' LTR of the SE LV, the IS2 element was able to enhance expression, avoid silencing and reduce variability of expression on hESCs. Importantly, these effects were maintained after differentiation of the transduced hESCs toward the hematopoietic linage. Neither the HS4-650 nor the SAR2 elements had these effects. The IS2 element is therefore a novel insulator that confers expression stability and enhances expression of LVs on stem cells.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a severe debilitating disorder characterized by progressive demyelination and axonal damage of the central nervous system (CNS). Current therapies for MS inhibit the immune response and demonstrate reasonable benefits if applied during the early phase of relapsing–remitting MS (RRMS) while there are no treatments for patients that progress neither to the chronic phase nor for the primary progressive form of the disease. In this manuscript, we have studied the therapeutic efficacy of a cell and gene therapy strategy for the treatment of a mouse model of chronic MS [myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)]. We used allogenic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) asa therapeutic tool and also as vehicle to deliver fully processed 3.3-kDa vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) to the peripheral immune organs and to the inflamed CNS. Intraperitoneal administrations of MSCs expressing VIP stopped progression and reduced symptoms when administered at peak of disease. The improvement in clinical score correlated with diminished peripheral T-cell responses against MOG as well as lower inflammation,lower demyelination, and higher neuronal integrity in the CNS. Interestingly, neither lentiviral vectors expressing VIP nor unmodified MSCs were therapeutic when administer at the peak of disease. The increased therapeutic effect of MSCs expressing VIP over unmodified MSCs requires the immunoregulatory and neuroprotective roles of both VIP and MSCs and the ability of the MSCs to migrate to peripheral lymph organs and the inflamed CNS.
The current European debt crisis has drawn considerable attention to credit-rating agencies news about sovereign ratings. From a technical point of view, credit rating constitutes a typical ordinal regression problem because credit-rating agencies generally present a scale of risk composed of several categories. This fact motivated the use of an ordinal regression approach to address the problem of sovereign credit rating in this paper. Therefore, the ranking of different classes will be taken into account for the design of the classifier. To do so, a novel model is introduced in order to replicate sovereign rating, based on the negative correlation learning framework. The methodology is fully described in this paper and applied to the classification of the 27 European countries sovereign rating during the 2007--2010 period based on Standard and Poors reports. The proposed technique seems to be competitive and robust enough to classify the sovereign ratings reported by this agency when compared with other existing well-known ordinal and nominal methods.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate clinical effects of romifidine and low doses of tiletamine-zolazepam (TZ) in dogs. STUDY DESIGN: Randomized "blinded" cross-over study. ANIMALS: Six healthy beagle dogs (two males, four females). METHODS: In separate preliminary experiments dogs received intravenous (IV) tiletamine-zolazepam (TZ) at 1 and 2 mg kg(-1) . For the main trial, dogs received romifidine (R) followed 5 minutes later by IV at six dose regimens: R40TZ1, R60TZ1, R80TZ1 (Romifidine at 40, 60, 80 ?g kg(-1) and TZ at 1 mg kg(-1) ), R40TZ2, R60TZ2 and R80TZ2 (Romifidine at 40, 60, 80 ?g kg(-1) and TZ at 2 mg kg(-1) ). Dogs underwent endotracheal intubation, but breathed room air. Cardiorespiratory variables were measured and arterial blood analyzed. Quality of sedation, duration of anaesthesia and time to recovery (TR) were recorded. Data were analysed by anova or Friedman test as relevant. RESULTS: Endotracheal intubation was possible with all romifidine/TZ combinations but not with TZ alone. Mean times (minutes) from TZ injection to return of pedal reflex were 1-3 minutes for TZ alone, and 9-17 minutes for romifidine combinations. In the main trial (romifidine combinations) mean time (minutes) to standing increased with increasing dosage (R40TZ1 13; R80TZ2 32). Five minutes after TZ administration, when compared with baseline arterial blood pressures and arterial carbon dioxide had increased, and respiratory rate, pH and arterial oxygen tensions decreased, these changes becoming statistically significant with the higher dose rates. One dog in R60TZ2 and three dogs in R80TZ2 became hypoxaemic. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Romifidine improves the quality and lengthens the duration of anaesthesia induced by TZ. The combination provides a suitable protocol for induction of or short-term anaesthesia in healthy dogs. However, the higher doses cause cardiovascular stimulation and respiratory depression, and precautions should be taken accordingly.
Cinnamaldehyde treatment of gliadin films provided a means of decreasing their solubility, increasing their molecular weight profile, and reducing their overall migration into food simulants as a consequence of the high degree of polymerization achieved. Despite losses incurred in the film manufacturing process, and the amount that remained covalently bonded with protein because of cross-linking, the addition of 1.5, 3, and 5% of cinnamaldehyde (g/100 g protein) to gliadins at pH 2 rendered 1.8, 4.8, and 11.0 mg cinnamaldehyde/g film, respectively, available to be released, and therefore to exert antimicrobial activity. Cinnamaldehyde diffusivity was largely dependent on environmental conditions, increasing from 0.49×10(-15) m2/s at 30% relative humidity (RH) to 13.1×10(-15) m2/s at 90% RH and 23 °C. This water sensitivity of films provides a mechanism with a noteworthy potential to retain the compound before its use, to trigger its release when needed, and to modulate the release rate according to the product humidity.
Gliadin films incorporating 1.5, 3 and 5% cinnamaldehyde (g/100g protein) were tested against food-spoilage fungi Penicillium expansum and Aspergillus niger in vitro, and were employed in an active food packaging system for sliced bread and cheese spread. Gliadin films incorporating cinnamaldehyde were highly effective against fungal growth. P. expansum and A. niger were completely inhibited after storage in vitro for 10 days in the presence of films incorporating 3% cinnamaldehyde. Indeed 1.5% cinnamaldehyde was sufficient in the case of P. expansum. The amount of cinnamaldehyde retained in films after storage for 45 days at 20 °C and 0% RH was also sufficient in most cases to prevent fungal growth in vitro. Active food packaging with gliadin films incorporating 5% cinnamaldehyde increased the shelf-life of both sliced bread and cheese spread. Mold growth was observed on sliced bread after 27 days of storage at 23 °C with active packaging, whereas in the control bread packaged without the active film fungal growth appeared around the fourth day. In the cheese spread, no fungi were observed after 26 days of storage at 4 °C when the product was packaged with the active film. However, growth of fungi was observed in control packaged cheese after 16 days of storage. This work demonstrates a noteworthy potential of these novel bioplastics incorporating natural antimicrobial compounds as innovative solutions to be used in active food packaging to extend shelf-life of food products.
The aim of this work was to design new polymer-based systems exhibiting an adjustable loading capacity of carvacrol depending on the film formulation. For this purpose, biocomposite films were developed employing chitosan (CS) as the polymer matrix and hydroxypropyl-?-cyclodextrins (HP-?CDs) as an adjuvant to improve the sorption of carvacrol in the polymer matrix. The morphology, optical, mechanical and barrier properties of the resulting films were investigated, and the sorption capacity of carvacrol evaluated. Biocomposites resulted highly transparent with higher mechanical resistance and moisture barrier properties. Sorption of carvacrol was greatly affected by the humidity (RH) and glycerol (G) content of the biocomposites. The highest sorption values were achieved for composites incorporating 35% glycerol and conditioned at 75% these composites retained 216% carvacrol (g/100 g dry matter). These results indicate that inclusion of carvacrol in the films could be occurring by mechanisms other than formation of inclusion complexes.
Chitosan (CS) films incorporating the antimicrobial compound ethyl-N(?)-dodecanoyl-l-arginate (LAE) were developed for food packaging applications. Cast chitosan films were made with 1, 5 or 10% LAE and 20% glycerol in the film forming solution. Optical properties, release of LAE and antimicrobial activity of developed films was determined. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum biocide concentration (MBC) of LAE were determined. CS films with LAE were transparent and uniform, without discontinuities or visible particles and no visual differences could be perceived between CS and CS-LAE films. When in contact with an aqueous food simulant, the agent was fully released following a Fickian behavior in a few hours at 4 and 28°C. Antimicrobial activity of films against mesophiles, psychrophiles, Pseudomonas spp., colifoms, lactic acid bacteria, hydrogen sulfide-producing bacteria, yeast and fungi, was evaluated at two, six and eight days for its application on chicken breast fillets. Films were active against bacteria, yeasts and fungi in liquid and solid media. CS films evidenced antimicrobial activity in the range 0.47-2.96 log reductions, while CS-5%LAE film produced 1.78-5.81 log reduction. Results highlighted that LAE incorporation in a chitosan-based packaging structure may provide a relevant antimicrobial activity that could improve the stability of fresh poultry products.
The use of plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) has been proposed to improve the healing of Achilles tendon injuries, but there is debate about the effectiveness of this therapy. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the histological effects of PRGF, which is a type of leukocyte-poor platelet-rich plasma, on tendon healing.
Novel films of ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) containing flavonoid-rich cocoa were developed. To understand their potential application as active packaging material, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of the films were determined as well as the antioxidant activity of the release compounds in Caco-2 human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma cells. Exposure of the films to aqueous food simulant showed antioxidant capacity. The release of cocoa extract components was dependent on the antioxidant concentration incorporated in the film and on temperature. Cocoa extract and the fraction obtained after in vitro gastrointestinal digestion presented antioxidant activity against oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide in Caco-2 cells. Films with 10%, 15%, and 20% cocoa extract produced bactericidal effect against Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. The application of films to an infant milk formula, previously inoculated with L. monocytogenes, inhibited the growth of bacteria 1.5 log units the first day and showed sustained release, inhibiting 0.52 and 0.76 log units, respectively, by the sixth day, while cocoa powder added directly did not produce any effect.
Mutations in the WAS gene cause Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS), which is characterized by eczema, immunodeficiency and microthrombocytopenia. Although the role of WASP in lymphocytes and myeloid cells is well characterized, its role on megakaryocyte (MK) development is poorly understood. In order to develop a human cellular model that mimics the megakaryocytic-derived defects observed in WAS patients we used K562 cells, a well-known model for study of megakaryocytic development. We knocked out the WAS gene in K562 cells using a zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) pair targeting the WAS intron 1 and a homologous donor DNA that disrupted WASP expression. Knockout of WASP on K562 cells (K562WASKO cells) resulted in several megakaryocytic-related defects such as morphological alterations, lower expression of CD41, lower increments in F-actin polymerization upon stimulation, reduced CD43 expression and increased phosphatidylserine exposure. All these defects have been previously described either in WAS-knockout mice or in WAS patients, validating K562WASKO as a cell model for WAS. However, K562WASPKO cells showed also increased basal F-actin and adhesion, increased expression of CD61 and reduced expression of TGF? and Factor VIII, defects that have never been described before for WAS-deficient cells. Interestingly, these phenotypic alterations correlate with different roles for WASP in megakaryocytic differentiation. All phenotypic alterations observed in K562WASKO cells were alleviated upon expression of WAS following lentiviral transduction, confirming the role of WASP in these phenotypes. In summary, in this work we have validated a human cellular model, K562WASPKO, that mimics the megakaryocytic-related defects found in WAS-knockout mice and have found evidences for a role of WASP as regulator of megakaryocytic differentiation. We propose the use of K562WASPKO cells as a tool to study the molecular mechanisms involved in the megakaryocytic-related defects observed in WAS patients and as a cellular model to study new therapeutic strategies.
The aim of this work has been to study the modification of gliadin films with cinnamaldehyde as a potential cross-linker agent. The molecular weight profile and cross-linking density showed that cinnamaldehyde increased reticulation in the resulting films. The participation of free amino groups of the protein in the newly created entanglements could be a possible mechanism of connection between the polypeptidic chains. The combination of a Schiff base and a Michael addition is a feasible approach to understanding this mechanism. The protein solubility in different media pointed to lower participation by both noncovalent and disulfide bonds in stabilizing the structure of the cross-linked films. The new covalent bonds formed by the cinnamaldehyde treatment hampered water absorption and weight loss, leading to more water-resistant matrices which had not disintegrated after 5 months. The properties of this novel bioplastic could be modified to suit the intended application by using cinnamaldehyde, a naturally occurring compound.
Active food packaging systems based on the incorporation of agents into polymeric package walls are being designed to purposely release or retain compounds to maintain or even increase food quality. The objective of this work was to develop polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH)/?-cyclodextrin (?CD) composite films that can be applied to reduce undesirable component content such as cholesterol in foods through active retention of the compounds in the package walls during storage. Cyclodextrins were added to PVOH in a proportion of 1:1 and cross-linked with glyoxal under acidic media to reduce its water-soluble character. Three different cross-linking procedures were used: cross-linking of the polymer/polysaccharide mixture in solution and film casting, PVOH. ?CD*; cross-linking of the polymer, addition of ?CD, and casting of the mixture, PVOH*.CD; and casting of a PVOH film, addition of a ?CD/glyoxal solution onto the film, and cross-linking during drying, PVOH.CD*. Characterization studies showed that the PVOH*.CD and PVOH.CD* films provided the best physical characteristics with the lowest release values and the highest barrier properties. As a potential application, materials were tested as potential cholesterol-scavenging films. There was a significant reduction in the cholesterol concentration in milk samples when they were exposed to the materials developed.
The effectiveness of measles vaccine for postexposure prophylaxis at educational centers was investigated. A total of 166 children who shared the classroom with 10 confirmed cases during the infectious period of cases were studied. Of total susceptible exposed children, 72% (54/75) were vaccinated and 25 contracted measles. Vaccine effectiveness in children vaccinated within 72 hours of exposure was 90.5% (95% confidence interval, 34%-99%).
Ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) films containing green tea extract were successfully produced by extrusion. The films were brown and translucent, and the addition of the extract increased the water and oxygen barrier at low relative humidity but increased the water sensitivity, the glass transition temperature, and the crystallinity of the films and improved their thermal resistance. An analysis by HPLC revealed that the antioxidant components of the extract suffered partial degradation during extrusion, reducing the content of catechin gallates and increasing the concentration of free gallic acid. Exposure of the films to various food simulants showed that the liquid simulants increased their capacity to reduce DPPH(•) and ABTS(•+) radicals. The release of green tea extract components into the simulant monitored by HPLC showed that all compounds present in the green tea extract were partially released, although the extent and kinetics of release were dependent on the type of food. In aqueous food simulants, gallic acid was the main antioxidant component released with partition coefficient values ca. 200. In 95% ethanol (fatty food simulant) the K value for gallic acid decreased to 8 and there was a substantial contribution of catechins (K in the 1000 range) to a greatly increased antioxidant efficiency. Kinetically, gallic acid was released more quickly than catechins, owing to its faster diffusivity in the polymer matrix as a consequence of its smaller molecular size, although the most relevant effect is the plasticization of the matrix by alcohol, increasing the diffusion coefficient >10-fold. Therefore, the materials here developed with the combination of antioxidant substances that constitute the green tea extract could be used in the design of antioxidant active packaging for all type of foods, from aqueous to fatty products, the compounds responsible for the protection being those with the higher compatibility with the packaged product.
Cinnamaldehyde is a naturally occurring ?,?-unsaturated aldehyde. Its potential as a natural cross-linker to improve the physical performance of cast wheat gliadin films was evaluated. The cross-linking reaction was found to be dependent on the pH of the reaction medium, with pH 2 as the optimum. The water resistance (weight loss after immersion), mechanical properties (Youngs modulus, tensile strength and elongation at break), thermal properties (T(g) and decomposition behavior), optical properties and morphology of films were evaluated. Cross-linked films showed high transparency, maintained their integrity after immersion, and displayed significant improvements in tensile strength and Youngs modulus without impairment of their elongation properties. These effects, which were proportional to the amount of cinnamaldehyde added, highlight the possible formation of intermolecular covalent bonds between "monomeric" gliadins, leading to a polymerized network. Thus, this treatment could provide a new alternative to the toxic cross-linkers commonly employed and so extend the use of gliadin films.
Lentiviral vectors (LVs) are considered one of the most promising vehicles to efficiently deliver genetic information for basic research and gene therapy approaches. Combining LVs with drug-inducible expression systems should allow tight control of transgene expression with minimal side effect on relevant target cells. A new doxycycline-regulated system based on the original TetR repressor was developed in 1998 as an alternative to the TetR-VP16 chimeras (tTA and rtTA) to avoid secondary effects due to the expression of transactivator domains. However, previously described TetR-based systems required cell cloning and/or antibiotic selection of tetracycline-responsive cells in order to achieve good regulation. In the present manuscript we have constructed a dual Tet-ON system based on two lentiviral vectors, one expressing the TetR through the spleen focus forming virus (SFFV) promoter (STetR) and a second expressing eGFP through the regulatable CMV-TetO promoter (CTetOE). Using these vectors we have demonstrated that the TetR repressor, contrary to the reverse transactivator (rtTA), can be expressed in excess to bind and modulate a high number of TetO operons. We have also showed that this dual vector system can generate regulatable bulk cell lines (expressing high levels of TetR) that are able to modulate transgene expression either by varying doxycycline concentration and/or by varying the amount of CTetOE vector genomes per cell. Based on these results we have developed a new all-in-one lentiviral vector (CEST) driving the expression of TetR through the SFFV promoter and the expression of eGFP through the doxycycline-responsive CMV-TetO operon. This vector efficiently produced Tet-ON regulatable immortalized (293T) and primary (human mesenchymal stem cells and human primary fibroblasts) cells. Bulk doxycycline-responsive cell lines express high levels of the transgene with low amount of doxycycline and are phenotypically indistinct from its parental cells.
In 2006, a large measles outbreak occurred in Catalonia (Spain), where the immunization schedule included two doses of MMR vaccine at 15 months and 4 years. The aim of this study was to investigate the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of MMR in children attending day-care and pre-school centres and to estimate the number of cases that would have been avoided by administering the first dose of MMR at 12 months.
This study offers a description and comparison of the main models of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) which have proved to be useful in time series forecasting, and also a standard procedure for the practical application of ANN in this type of task. The Multilayer Perceptron (MLP), Radial Base Function (RBF), Generalized Regression Neural Network (GRNN), and Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models are analyzed. With this aim in mind, we use a time series made up of 244 time points. A comparative study establishes that the error made by the four neural network models analyzed is less than 10%. In accordance with the interpretation criteria of this performance, it can be concluded that the neural network models show a close fit regarding their forecasting capacity. The model with the best performance is the RBF, followed by the RNN and MLP. The GRNN model is the one with the worst performance. Finally, we analyze the advantages and limitations of ANN, the possible solutions to these limitations, and provide an orientation towards future research.
The objective of this work was to study the behaviour of influenza with respect to morbidity and all-cause mortality in Catalonia, and their association with influenza vaccination coverage. The study was carried out over 13 influenza seasons, from epidemiological week 40 of 1994 to week 20 of 2007, and included confirmed cases of influenza and all-cause mortality. Two generalized linear models were fitted: influenza-associated morbidity was modelled by Poisson regression and all-cause mortality by negative binomial regression. The seasonal component was modelled with the periodic function formed by the sum of the sinus and cosines. Expected influenza mortality during periods of influenza virus circulation was estimated by Poisson regression and its confidence intervals using the Bootstrap approach. Vaccination coverage was associated with a reduction in influenza-associated morbidity (p<0.001), but not with a reduction in all-cause mortality (p=0.149). In the case of influenza-associated morbidity, an increase of 5% in vaccination coverage represented a reduction of 3% in the incidence rate of influenza. There was a positive association between influenza-associated morbidity and all-cause mortality. Excess mortality attributable to influenza epidemics was estimated as 34.4 (95% CI: 28.4-40.8) weekly deaths. In conclusion, all-cause mortality is a good indicator of influenza surveillance and vaccination coverage is associated with a reduction in influenza-associated morbidity but not with all-cause mortality.
Access to quality spirometry is an essential objective in order to be able to minimize the underdiagnosis of respiratory diseases, especially in those that are most frequent, such as COPD and asthma. This objective can be reached in the short term, but it requires the simultaneous integration of different strategies: training of the health-care professionals who perform spirometry, definition of standards for the transmission of the information, technical requirements for acquiring apparatuses and the correct interpretation of the results. This present study shows the use of standards for the electronic exchange of clinical information. In order to normalize the treatment of the data related with spirometry and to enable the exchange of information, we have used the standard CDA R2 (Clinical Document Architecture, Release 2) of HL7 (Health Level Seven), version 3. HL7 is a product by HL7 International, a non-profit organization that deals in the production of standards in the health-care setting in order to facilitate interoperability. Furthermore, defining these standards is essential for ensuring that they are adopted by spirometer manufacturers. Be means of this process, the base is set for facilitating access to spirometry at the health-care level, while at the same time it is a fundamental technical element for designing quality control programs of the explorations.
Studies of human systemic lupus erythematosus patients and of murine congenic mouse strains associate genes in a DNA segment on chromosome 1 with a genetic predisposition for this disease. The systematic analysis of lupus-prone congenic mouse strains suggests a role for two isoforms of the Ly108 receptor in the pathogenesis of the disease. In this study, we demonstrate that Ly108 is involved in the pathogenesis of lupus-related autoimmunity in mice. More importantly, we identified a third protein isoform, Ly108-H1, which is absent in two lupus-prone congenic animals. Introduction of an Ly108-H1-expressing transgene markedly diminishes T cell-dependent autoimmunity in congenic B6.Sle1b mice. Thus, an immune response-suppressing isoform of Ly108 can regulate the pathogenesis of lupus.
Adefovir dipivoxil monotherapy in lamivudine-resistant patients is associated with more frequent development of resistance than in naïve patients. The virological response during treatment predicts the risk of developing resistance. The aims of this study were to assess the efficacy of adefovir dipivoxil treatment in naïve and lamivudine-resistant patients and to determine whether virological response predicts the development of adefovir resistance.
The new paradigm of personal health demands open standards and middleware components that permit transparent integration and end-to-end interoperability from new personal health devices to healthcare information system. The use of standards seems to be the internationally accepted way to face this challenge. In this article, the implementation of an end-to-end standard-based personal health solution is presented. It integrates the ISO/IEEE11073 standard for the interoperability of personal health devices in the patient environment and the ISO/EN13606 standard for the interoperable exchange of electronic healthcare records and proposes a new approach for the end-to-end ISO/IEEE11073-ISO/EN13606 communication. The design strictly fulfills all the technical requirements of the most recent versions of both standards. An entire prototype has been designed, developed, and tested as a proof-of-concept of a personal health solution.
It is widely assumed that the likelihood of invasion decreases with increased species richness in the recipient community. However, the invasion paradox supports a negative and a positive relationship between native biodiversity and the success of an invader. Here, we show that for a host-parasite system (Anguilla anguilla as host and Anguillicoloides crassus as parasitic invader), invasion increases with native micro- and macroparasitic species richness. In fact, about 30% of the A. crassus intensity in eels could be explained by the number of both micro- and macroparasite species. This pattern could be due to the fact that A. crassus exploits a niche (the swim bladder) that is unoccupied by native parasite species and by the Th1/Th2 trade-off between native microparasites and the invader. We conclude that the host-parasite system resistance to invasion may depend on both niche availability and the Th1/Th2 trade-off. As well, we encourage researchers to incorporate native parasite richness as a risk factor in epidemiological models of A. crassus.
Ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) films containing catechin or quercetin as antioxidant agents were successfully produced by extrusion. The addition of these bioactive compounds did not modify greatly their water and oxygen permeabilities, Tg, or crystallinity but improved their thermal resistance. Exposure of the films to different food simulants showed that both compounds were released, although the extent and kinetics of release were dependent on the type of food. In aqueous and alcoholic food simulants their release was greater in the case of the catechin-containing samples. Exposure of the films to isooctane and ethanol 95% (fatty food simulants) provided controversial results; no release was observed in isooctane, whereas both bioactive compounds were extracted by ethanol due to their high solubility in alcohol and the plasticizing effect of ethanol on the polymer. Packaging applications of these films can improve food stability and provide a method for adding such bioactive compounds.
Silver ion migration and antimicrobial activity of PLA (polylactic acid-polylactide)/silver zeolite composites were investigated. Films prepared by solution-casting/solvent evaporation, or by melt-mixing/compression molding were compared. Silver migration to food simulants and TSB (tryptone soy broth) was quantified at different temperatures. Antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli was measured following the Japanese Industrial Standard JIS Z 2801. All types of PLA/silver zeolite composites released Ag(+) ions. A more intense ionic exchange with the zeolites and a significant, but low, antimicrobial activity in solution were found in cast films. To attain antimicrobial effects, however, migrated ions ought to be in the range of the legal limit of 0.05 mg Ag(+)/kg food stated by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). Silver migration and antimicrobial activity were sensitive to the methodology chosen to process the PLA films, the ionic strength of the medium, and the ion motility in the polymer matrix.
The use of spectral entropy to determine anaesthetic depth and antinociception was evaluated in sevoflurane-anaesthetised Beagle dogs. Dogs were anaesthetised at each of five multiples of their individual minimum alveolar concentrations (MAC; 0.75, 1, 1.25, 1.5 and 1.75 MAC), and response entropy (RE), state entropy (SE), RE-SE difference, burst suppression rate (BSR) and cardiorespiratory parameters were recorded before and after a painful stimulus. RE, SE and RE-SE difference did not change significantly after the stimuli. The correlation between MAC-entropy parameters was weak, but these values increased when 1.75 MAC results were excluded from the analysis. BSR was different to zero at 1.5 and 1.75 MAC. It was concluded that RE and RE-SE differences were not adequate indicators of antinociception and SE and RE were unable to detect deep planes of anaesthesia in dogs, although they both distinguished the awake and unconscious states.
Brucella suis is responsible for swine brucellosis worldwide. Of the five different B. suis biovars (bv.), bv. 2 appears restricted to Europe where it is frequently isolated from wild boar and hares, can infect pigs and can cause human brucellosis. In this study, the differential gene expression profile was characterized in spleens of Eurasian wild boar naturally infected with B. suis bv. 2. Of the 20,201 genes analyzed in the microarray, 633 and 1,373 were significantly (fold change > 1.8; P < 0.01) upregulated and downregulated, respectively, in infected wild boar. The analysis was focused on genes that were over represented after conditional test for biological process gene ontology. Upregulated genes suggested that B. suis bv. 2 infection induced cell maturation, migration and/or proliferation in infected animals. The genes downregulated in infected wild boar impaired the activity of several important cellular metabolic pathways such as metabolism, cytoskeleton organization and biogenesis, immune response and lysosomal function and vesicle-mediated transport. In addition, the response to stress, sperm fertility, muscle development and apoptosis seemed to be also impaired in infected animals. These results suggested that B. suis bv. 2 may use strategies similar to other smooth brucellae to facilitate intracellular multiplication and the development of chronic infections. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the analysis of gene expression profile in hosts infected with B. suis bv. 2, which is important to understand the molecular mechanisms at the host-pathogen interface in the main reservoir species with possible implications in the zoonotic cycle of the pathogen.
Exosome vesicles of endocytic origin are involved in communication between tumor and immune cells. In addition, membrane rafts (MR) may support the sorting of proteins associated with exosomes. CD38 is found at the plasma membrane and in recycling endosomes, which are both redistributed toward the immunological synapse (IS) upon T cell antigen receptor (TCR) engagement. The data of this study provide evidence that CD38 is expressed on the surface of secreted exosomes derived from lymphoblastoid B cells. Exosomic CD38 is associated with the signaling molecules CD81, Hsc-70 and Lyn. Likewise, in MR, CD38 is associated with CD81, CD19, Lyn, Galphai-2, Hsc-70 and actin. Therefore, a high degree of overlap in the pattern of signaling proteins associated with CD38 in exosomes and MR exists. Exosomic and MR CD38, by virtue of these interactions, have signaling potential. Indeed, CD38 is enzymatically active in both exosomes and MR, and CD38 ligation induces Akt/PKB and Erk activation, which is accompanied by increased translocation of CD38 into MR. In conclusion, the present study indicates that CD38 localizes to MR, where it promotes cell signaling, and it is exported out of the cells through the exosome-mediated exocytic pathway, where it may act as an intercellular messenger.
The role of wildlife as a brucellosis reservoir for humans and domestic livestock remains to be properly established. The aim of this work was to determine the aetiology, apparent prevalence, spatial distribution and risk factors for brucellosis transmission in several Iberian wild ungulates.
Tuberculosis (TB) continues to cause millions of new cases and deaths worldwide every year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently estimated that in 2007 9,273,000 cases (incidence 139/100,000 inhabitants) and 1,772,000 deaths were attributed to TB and, in the previous year, the absolute figure was slightly lower (9,240,000 cases) and the incidence somewhat higher (140/100,000), making it difficult to determine whether there was a reduction or not. The objective of this study was to apply fovecasting models to TB, differentiating between indigenous and immigrant subjects, in a city in which the annual number of cases has been recorded since 1987. Adjusted segmented regression (piecewise regression) was applied to the series of new cases in the indigenous and immigrant populations of Barcelona. The evolution of TB differed radically; whereas in the indigenous population there was a downward trend, coinciding with the reduction in new of cases of AIDS, in immigrants there was an upward trend. The estimated number of new cases in 2009 was 168 (95% CI 109 - 227) in indigenous subjects and 227 (95% CI, 180 - 275) in immigrants.
The hepatitis A + B vaccination programme of preadolescents was introduced in 1998 in Catalonia. During the following years, one of the main objectives has been to quantify the reduction in the incidence of hepatitis A caused by the vaccination programme.
Abstract The development of vectors that express a therapeutic transgene efficiently and specifically in hematopoietic cells (HCs) is an important goal for gene therapy of hematological disorders. We have previously shown that a 500-bp fragment from the proximal Was gene promoter in a lentiviral vector (LV) was sufficient to achieve more than 100-fold higher levels of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein in HCs than in nonhematopoietic cells (non-HCs). We show now that this differential was reduced up to 10 times when the enhanced green fluorescent protein gene (eGFP) was expressed instead of Was in the same LV backbone. Insertion of Was cDNA sequences downstream of eGFP in these LVs had a negative effect on transgene expression. This effect varied in different cell types but, overall, Was cDNA sequences increased the hematopoietic specificity of Was promoter-driven LV. We have characterized the minimal fragment required to increase hematopoietic specificity and have demonstrated that the mechanism involves Was promoter regulation and RNA processing. In addition, we have shown that Was cDNA sequences interfere with the enhancer activity of the woodchuck posttranscriptional regulatory element. These results represent the first data showing the role of Was intragenic sequences in gene regulation.
The attenuated Brucella melitensis Rev 1 vaccine, used against brucellosis infection, interferes with serological diagnosis tests, may induce abortions in pregnant animals, and may infect humans. In order to overcome these drawbacks, we developed acellular vaccines based on a Brucella ovis antigenic complex (HS) containing outer membrane proteins and R-LPS entrapped in poly(anhydride) conventional and mannosylated nanoparticles (NP-HS and MAN-NP-HS) or in poly(epsilon-caprolactone) microparticles (HS-PEC) as antigen delivery systems and immunoadjuvants. Brucellosis free rams were vaccinated subcutaneously with a single dose of particles containing 3mg of HS, and challenged 6 months thereafter. Protection was evaluated by clinical, bacteriological and serological examinations, in comparison with non-vaccinated control rams. HS-PEC vaccine induced protection (7 out of 13 animals were infected) equivalent to that induced by the reference Rev 1 vaccine (8/14). In contrast, animals immunized with NP-HS were not protected, showing similar results to that obtained in the control unvaccinated rams. Furthermore HS-PEC vaccine did not interfere against B. melitensis serodiagnostic tests. In summary, HS-PEC microparticles could be used as a safe and effective vaccine against brucellosis in rams.
Infection of sheep with Brucella ovis results in ovine brucellosis, a disease characterized by infertility in rams, abortion in ewes and increased perinatal mortality in lambs. During the course of the infection both the ovine immune response and host cell gene expression are modified. The objective of this research was to conduct a preliminary characterization of differential gene expression in rams experimentally infected with B. ovis by microarray hybridization and real-time RT-PCR. Of the 600 ruminant inflammatory and immune response genes that were analyzed in the microarray, 20 and 14 genes displayed an expression fold change >1.75 with a P-value <0.05 at 15 and 60 days post-challenge (dpc), respectively. Of these genes, 16 were upregulated and 4 were downregulated in infected rams at 15 dpc. At 60 dpc, 11 and 3 genes were up- and down-regulated in infected rams, respectively. Only four genes, desmoglein, epithelial sodium channel, alpha subunit (ENaC-alpha), interleukin 18 binding protein (IL18BP) and macrophage migration inhibition factor (MIF) were found upregulated in infected rams at both 15 and 60 dpc. The analysis of differentially expressed genes demonstrated activation of inflammatory and innate immune pathways in infected animals. B. ovis infection also resulted in upregulation of genes involved in phagocytosis and downregulation of protective host defense mechanisms, both of which may contribute to the chronicity of B. ovis infection. The gene expression profiles differed between rams with severe and moderate B. ovis infection. This is the first analysis of differential gene expression in rough brucellae and particularly in B. ovis-infected rams. The characterization of the genes and their expression profiles in response to B. ovis infection further contributes to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of infection and the pathogenesis of brucellosis.
Vaccination with the live attenuated Brucella melitensis Rev 1 vaccine is used to control ovine brucellosis caused by Brucella ovis in sheep. The objective of this study was to identify possible correlates of protective response to B. ovis infection through the characterization by microarray hybridization and real-time RT-PCR of inflammatory and immune response genes differentially expressed in rams previously immunized with B. melitensis Rev 1 and experimentally challenged with B. ovis. Gene expression profiles were compared before and after challenge with B. ovis between rams protected and those vaccinated but found infected after challenge. The TLR10, Bak and ANXI genes were expressed at higher levels in vaccinated and protected rams. These genes provide possible correlates of protective response to B. ovis infection in rams immunized with the B. melitensis Rev 1 vaccine.
The effect of chitosan coating on the evolution of several volatile compounds relevant to the strawberry ( Fragaria x ananassa cv. Camarosa) aroma profile has been investigated. Strawberries dipped in chitosan acetate solution at 1 or 1.5% (w/w) and uncoated controls were stored at 10 degrees C for 1 week. Significant differences in aroma profile between coated and uncoated samples were observed. Most importantly, the buildup of the off-flavors acetaldehyde and ethanol was largely delayed in coated berries. With regard to the effect of chitosan on ester evolution, the levels of ethyl butanoate and ethyl hexanoate, important contributors to strawberry aroma related to fruity and sweet notes, were found to be enhanced in coated fruit. Acetate esters also increased during storage but more markedly in uncoated strawberries. These results show the potential of chitosan coatings in maintaining strawberry flavor during storage, something difficult to achieve with current conservation technologies. Moreover, differences in results for different coating concentrations are reported.
Classical brucellosis vaccines induce antibodies to the O-polysaccharide section of the lipopolysaccharide that interfere in serodiagnosis. Brucella rough (R) mutants lack the O-polysaccharide but their usefulness as vaccines is controversial. Here, Brucella melitensis R mutants in all main lipopolysaccharide biosynthetic pathways were evaluated in sheep in comparison with the reference B. melitensis Rev 1 vaccine. In a first experiment, these mutants were tested for ability to induce anti-O-polysaccharide antibodies, persistence and spread through target organs, and innocuousness. Using the data obtained and those of genetic studies, three candidates were selected and tested for efficacy as vaccines against a challenge infecting 100% of unvaccinated ewes. Protection by R vaccines was 54% or less whereas Rev 1 afforded 100% protection. One-third of R mutant vaccinated ewes became positive in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with smooth lipopolysaccharide due to the core epitopes remaining in the mutated lipopolysaccharide. We conclude that R vaccines interfere in lipopolysaccharide immunosorbent assays and are less effective than Rev 1 against B. melitensis infection of sheep.
The association between Goods syndrome (hypogammaglobulinemia and thymoma) with pure red aplasia is very uncommon. We report a 70-year-old male, who had a thymoma excised nine years before. Afterwards, he suffered frequent respiratory infections, which were attributed to a humoral immunodeficiency. Nine years later, he developed a pure red cell aplasia. He received prednisone and cyclosporine, resulting in a progressive rise of hemoglobin level, after one month of treatment. The patient died shortly thereafter due to infection, complicating a domestic accident.
This study aims to develop antimicrobial films consisting of chitosan and silver nanoparticles that are homogeneously distributed throughout the polymer matrix. Nanoparticles were generated in situ during the neutralization of the chitosan acetate film with sodium hydroxide. The temperature of neutralization and the concentration of silver in the film were crucial determinants of the shape and size of the nanoparticles. Neutralized films exhibited antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus in liquid growth media. However, the effectiveness of the films was considerably greater in diluted growth media. Furthermore, no significant differences were found either in the antimicrobial capacities of films incorporating different amounts of silver or in the amount of silver that migrated into the liquid media after 18 h of immersion of the film. Neutralized films maintained their activity after 1 month of immersion in deionized water, which can be attributed to the slow sustained release of silver ions and thus efficacy over time.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the best position and best exploration probe for determining liver stiffness (LS) in dogs using transient liver elastography (TE). Thirteen dogs were used in the study.
The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major cause of liver disease and liver cancer worldwide according to the World Health Organization. Following acute HBV infection, 1-5% of infected healthy adults and up to 90% of infected infants become chronic carriers and have an increased risk of cirrhosis and primary hepatocellular carcinoma. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the reduction in acute hepatitis B incidence and the universal vaccination programme in preadolescents in Catalonia (Spain), taking population changes into account, and to construct a model to forecast the future incidence of cases that permits the best preventive strategy to be adopted.
Genetic manipulation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is instrumental for tracing lineage commitment and to studying human development. Here we used hematopoietic-specific Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome gene (WAS)-promoter driven lentiviral vectors (LVs) to achieve highly specific gene expression in hESCs-derived hematopoietic cells. We first demonstrated that endogenous WAS gene was not expressed in undifferentiated hESCs but was evident in hemogenic progenitors (CD45(-)CD31(+)CD34(+)) and hematopoietic cells (CD45(+)). Accordingly, WAS-promoter driven LVs were unable to express the eGFP transgene in undifferentiated hESCs. eGFP(+) cells only appeared after embryoid body (EB) hematopoietic differentiation. The phenotypic analysis of the eGFP(+) cells showed marking of different subpopulations at different days of differentiation. At days 10-15, AWE LVs tag hemogenic and hematopoietic progenitors cells (CD45(-)CD31(+)CD34(dim) and CD45(+)CD31(+)CD34(dim)) emerging from hESCs and at day 22 its expression became restricted to mature hematopoietic cells (CD45(+)CD33(+)). Surprisingly, at day 10 of differentiation, the AWE vector also marked CD45(-)CD31(low/-)CD34(-) cells, a population that disappeared at later stages of differentiation. We showed that the eGFP(+)CD45(-)CD31(+) population generate 5 times more CD45(+) cells than the eGFP(-)CD45(-)CD31(+) indicating that the AWE vector was identifying a subpopulation inside the CD45(-)CD31(+) cells with higher hemogenic capacity. We also showed generation of CD45(+) cells from the eGFP(+)CD45(-)CD31(low/-)CD34(-) population but not from the eGFP(-)CD45(-)CD31(low/-)CD34(-) cells. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of a gene transfer vector which specifically labels hemogenic progenitors and hematopoietic cells emerging from hESCs. We propose the use of WAS-promoter driven LVs as a novel tool to studying human hematopoietic development.
The aim of this work was to develop antimicrobial films for active packaging applications containing the natural antimicrobial compound LAE (lauramide arginine ethyl ester) in EVOH copolymers with different mol % ethylene contents (i.e. EVOH-29 and EVOH-44). EVOH-29 and EVOH-44 films were made by casting and incorporating 0.25%, 1%, 5%, and 10% LAE in the film forming solution (w/w with respect to polymer weight). Previously, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of LAE against Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella enterica were determined by a microdilution assay. The antimicrobial activity of the resulting films was tested in vitro against these microorganisms in liquid culture media. The activity of the films was also evaluated over time. The results showed that films containing 5% and 10% LAE produced total growth inhibition and viable counts decreased with 0.25% and 1% LAE. Finally, the effectiveness of the films was tested by applying them to an infant formula milk inoculated with L. monocytogenes and S. enterica and stored for 6 days at 4°C. The application of films with LAE to infant formula milk inoculated with L. monocytogenes reduced at the end of storage period about 4 log in case of 10% LAE and with S. enterica reduced 3.74 log and 3.95 log with EVOH 29 5% and 10%, respectively, and EVOH-44 5% and 10% LAE reduced 1 log and 3.27 log, respectively, at the end of storage. The antimicrobial capacity of EVOH-29 films was greater than that of EVOH-44 films in all the cases tested. In general, the films were more effective in inhibiting the growth of L. monocytogenes than S. enterica, this inhibition being more acute at the end of the storage time.
The aim of the present work was to characterize the antimicrobial efficiency of films consisting of PP/EVOH structures with oregano essential oil and citral. Both substances are known for their antimicrobial activity based on their interaction with the cell membrane. The films developed were used to pack minimally processed salads, combining modified atmosphere technology to extend shelf-life and active packaging technology to reduce possible microbiological risks. The antimicrobial activity of the films against the pathogenic microorganisms Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes and natural microflora was investigated "in vitro" and also on the food itself. The effect of release of the antimicrobial agent on the sensory characteristics of the salad was also studied. The results showed that antimicrobial activity reduced spoilage flora on the salad as well as inhibited the growth of pathogens in contaminated salads. This effect was greater against Gram-negative bacteria. Sensory studies showed that the package that was most effective and most accepted by customers was the one containing 5% oregano essential oil.
The Extradomain A from fibronectin (EDA) has an immunomodulatory role as fusion protein with viral and tumor antigens, but its effect when administered with bacteria has not been assessed. Here, we investigated the adjuvant effect of EDA in mice immunizations against Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Enteritidis (Salmonella Enteritidis). Since lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major virulence factor and the LPS O-polysaccharide (O-PS) is the immunodominant antigen in serological diagnostic tests, Salmonella mutants lacking O-PS (rough mutants) represent an interesting approach for developing new vaccines and diagnostic tests to differentiate infected and vaccinated animals (DIVA tests). Here, antigenic preparations (hot-saline extracts and formalin-inactivated bacterins) from two Salmonella Enteritidis rough mutants, carrying either intact (SE?waaL) or deep-defective (SE?gal) LPS-Core, were used in combination with EDA. Biotinylated bacterins, in particular SE?waaL bacterin, decorated with EDAvidin (EDA and streptavidin fusion protein) improved the protection conferred by hot-saline or bacterins alone and prevented significantly the virulent infection at least to the levels of live attenuated rough mutants. These findings demonstrate the adjuvant effect of EDAvidin when administered with biotinylated bacterins from Salmonella Enteritidis lacking O-PS and the usefulness of BEDA-SE?waaL as non-live vaccine in the mouse model.
Swine brucellosis due to Brucella suis is considered an emerging zoonotic disease whose control is based on serological testing and the subsequent culling of seropositive animals or the full depopulation of affected flocks. Here we assessed the performance of several serological tests (Rose Bengal Test [RBT], indirect ELISA [i-ELISA], blocking ELISA [b-ELISA], and two competitive ELISAs [c-ELISA]) for diagnosing swine brucellosis caused by B. suis biovar 2. Both frequentistic and Bayesian statistical inference were used. A frequentistic analysis, using sera from known gold standard (GS) populations (i.e., from truly infected or brucellosis free animals), resulted in maximum (100%) diagnostic sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) in the RBT, i-ELISA and b-ELISA tests. However, c-ELISAs resulted in lower diagnostic Se (ranging from 68.5% to 92.6%, according to the different cut-offs selected). A Bayesian analysis of tests yielding the best diagnostic performance with GS sera (RBT, i-ELISA and b-ELISA), but using a large collection of field sera, resulted in similar Se among tests but markedly lower (? 80%) than that resulting from the frequentistic analysis using the GS serum populations. By contrast, the estimated Sp in the Bayesian analysis was only slightly lower than 100%, thus similar to that obtained frequentistically. Our results show that adequate diagnostic tests for brucellosis in swine are available, but also emphasize the need for more extensive validation studies before applying these tests under field conditions.
The development of effective vaccines against HIV-1 infection constitutes one of the major challenges in viral immunology. One of the protein candidates in vaccination against this virus is p24, since it is a conserved HIV antigen that has cytotoxic and helper T cell epitopes as well as B cell epitopes that may jointly confer enhanced protection against infection when used in immunization-challenge approaches. In this context, the adjuvant effect of EDA (used as EDAp24 fusion protein) and poly(I:C), as agonists of TLR4 and TLR3, respectively, was assessed in p24 immunizations using a recombinant Listeria monocytogenes HIV-1 Gag proteins (Lm-Gag, where p24 is the major antigen) for challenge in mice. Immunization with EDAp24 fusion protein together with poly(I:C) adjuvant induced a specific p24 IFN-? production (Th1 profile) as well as protection against a Lm-Gag challenge, suggesting an additive or synergistic effect between both adjuvants. The combination of EDA (as a fusion protein with the antigen, which may favor antigen targeting to dendritic cells through TLR4) and poly(I:C) could thus be a good adjuvant candidate to enhance the immune response against HIV-1 proteins and its use may open new ways in vaccine investigations on this virus.
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