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1.
Infect Drug Resist ; 15: 1399-1410, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775533

ABSTRACT

Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) represents a major threat to public health, especially in the hospital environment, and the massive use of disinfectants to prevent COVID-19 transmission might intensify this risk, possibly leading to future AMR pandemics. However, the control of microbial contamination is crucial in hospitals, since hospital microbiomes can cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which are particularly frequent and severe in pediatric wards due to children having high susceptibility. Aim: We have previously reported that probiotic-based sanitation (PCHS) could stably decrease pathogens and their AMR in the hospital environment, reduce associated HAIs in adult hospitals, and inactivate enveloped viruses. Here, we aimed to test the effect of PCHS in the emergency room (ER) of a children's hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Conventional chemical disinfection was replaced by PCHS for 2 months during routine ER sanitation; the level of environmental bioburden was characterized before and at 2, 4, and 9 weeks after the introduction of PCHS. Microbial contamination was monitored simultaneously by conventional culture-based CFU count and molecular assays, including 16S rRNA NGS for bacteriome characterization and microarrays for the assessment of the resistome of the contaminating population. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 was also monitored by PCR. Results and conclusions: PCHS usage was associated with a stable 80% decrease in surface pathogens compared to levels detected for chemical disinfection (P < 0.01), accompanied by an up to 2 log decrease in resistance genes (Pc < 0.01). The effects were reversed when reintroducing chemical disinfection, which counteracted the action of the PCHS. SARS-CoV-2 was not detectable in both the pre-PCHS and PCHS periods. As the control of microbial contamination is a major issue, especially during pandemic emergencies, collected data suggest that PCHS may be successfully used to control virus spread without simultaneous worsening of the AMR concern.

2.
Microorganisms ; 10(2)2022 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643625

ABSTRACT

The high and sometimes inappropriate use of disinfectants and antibiotics has led to alarming levels of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and to high water and hearth pollution, which today represent major threats for public health. Furthermore, the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has deeply influenced our sanitization habits, imposing the massive use of chemical disinfectants potentially exacerbating both concerns. Moreover, super-sanitation can profoundly influence the environmental microbiome, potentially resulting counterproductive when trying to stably eliminate pathogens. Instead, environmentally friendly procedures based on microbiome balance principles, similar to what applied to living organisms, may be more effective, and probiotic-based eco-friendly sanitation has been consistently reported to provide stable reduction of both pathogens and AMR in treated-environments, compared to chemical disinfectants. Here, we summarize the results of the studies performed in healthcare settings, suggesting that such an approach may be applied successfully also to non-healthcare environments, including the domestic ones, based on its effectiveness, safety, and negligible environmental impact.

3.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502533

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply influenced sanitization procedures, and high-level disinfection has been massively used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 spread, with potential negative impact on the environment and on the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Aiming to overcome these concerns, yet preserving the effectiveness of sanitization against enveloped viruses, we assessed the antiviral properties of the Probiotic Cleaning Hygiene System (PCHS), an eco-sustainable probiotic-based detergent previously proven to stably abate pathogen contamination and AMR. PCHS (diluted 1:10, 1:50 and 1:100) was tested in comparison to common disinfectants (70% ethanol and 0.5% sodium hypochlorite), in suspension and carrier tests, according with the European UNI EN 14476:2019 and UNI EN 16777:2019 standards. Human alpha- and beta-coronaviruses hCoV-229E and SARS-CoV-2, human herpesvirus type 1, human and animal influenza viruses, and vaccinia virus were included in the study. The results showed that PCHS was able to inactivate 99.99% of all tested viruses within 1-2 h of contact, both in suspension and on surface. Notably, while control disinfectants became inactive within 2 h after application, the PCHS antiviral action persisted up to 24 h post-application, suggesting that its use may effectively allow a continuous prevention of virus spread via contaminated environment, without worsening environmental pollution and AMR concern.


Subject(s)
Disinfection/methods , Probiotics/pharmacology , Sanitation/methods , Virus Diseases/prevention & control , Viruses/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Disinfectants/pharmacology , Environmental Microbiology , Herpesvirus 1, Human/drug effects , Humans , Orthomyxoviridae/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vaccinia virus/drug effects , Virus Diseases/virology
4.
J Autoimmun ; 124: 102727, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446793

ABSTRACT

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease secondary to three cardinal pathological features: immune-system alterations, diffuse microangiopathy, and fibrosis involving the skin and internal organs. The etiology of SSc remains quite obscure; it may encompass multiple host genetic and environmental -infectious/chemical-factors. The present review focused on the potential role of environmental agents in the etiopathogenesis of SSc based on epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory investigations previously published in the world literature. Among infectious agents, some viruses that may persist and reactivate in infected individuals, namely human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6), and parvovirus B19 (B19V), and retroviruses have been proposed as potential causative agents of SSc. These viruses share a number of biological activities and consequent pathological alterations, such as endothelial dysfunction and/or fibroblast activation. Moreover, the acute worsening of pre-existing interstitial lung involvement observed in SSc patients with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection might suggest a potential role of this virus in the overall disease outcome. A variety of chemical/occupational agents might be regarded as putative etiological factors of SSc. In this setting, the SSc complicating silica dust exposure represents one of the most promising models of study. Considering the complexity of SSc pathogenesis, none of suggested causative factors may explain the appearance of the whole SSc; it is likely that the disease is the result of a multifactorial and multistep pathogenetic process. A variable combination of potential etiological factors may modulate the appearance of different clinical phenotypes detectable in individual scleroderma patients. The in-deep investigations on the SSc etiopathogenesis may provide useful insights in the broad field of human diseases characterized by diffuse microangiopathy or altered fibrogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cytomegalovirus Infections/complications , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Parvoviridae Infections/complications , Retroviridae Infections/complications , Roseolovirus Infections/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Scleroderma, Systemic/etiology , Cytomegalovirus , Herpesvirus 6, Human , Humans , Parvovirus B19, Human , Retroviridae , Scleroderma, Systemic/virology
5.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 687513, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305658

ABSTRACT

The human oral microbiome (HOM) is the second largest microbial community after the gut and can impact the onset and progression of several localized and systemic diseases, including those of viral origin, especially for viruses entering the body via the oropharynx. However, this important aspect has not been clarified for the new pandemic human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, causing COVID-19 disease, despite it being one of the many respiratory viruses having the oropharynx as the primary site of replication. In particular, no data are available about the non-bacterial components of the HOM (fungi, viruses), which instead has been shown to be crucial for other diseases. Consistent with this, this study aimed to define the HOM in COVID-19 patients, to evidence any association between its profile and the clinical disease. Seventy-five oral rinse samples were analyzed by Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to simultaneously identify oral bacteria, fungi, and viruses. To correlate the HOM profile with local virus replication, the SARS-CoV-2 amount in the oral cavity was quantified by digital droplet PCR. Moreover, local inflammation and secretory immune response were also assessed, respectively by measuring the local release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (L-6, IL-17, TNFα, and GM-CSF) and the production of secretory immunoglobulins A (sIgA). The results showed the presence of oral dysbiosis in COVID-19 patients compared to matched controls, with significantly decreased alpha-diversity value and lower species richness in COVID-19 subjects. Notably, oral dysbiosis correlated with symptom severity (p = 0.006), and increased local inflammation (p < 0.01). In parallel, a decreased mucosal sIgA response was observed in more severely symptomatic patients (p = 0.02), suggesting that local immune response is important in the early control of virus infection and that its correct development is influenced by the HOM profile. In conclusion, the data presented here suggest that the HOM profile may be important in defining the individual susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, facilitating inflammation and virus replication, or rather, inducing a protective IgA response. Although it is not possible to determine whether the alteration in the microbial community is the cause or effect of the SARS-CoV-2 replication, these parameters may be considered as markers for personalized therapy and vaccine development.

6.
Biology (Basel) ; 9(11)2020 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965887

ABSTRACT

The pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2 has been reported to be able to enter the body via the eye conjunctiva, but the presence of antiviral response in the eye remains poorly known. Our study was thus aimed to analyze the presence of secretory mucosal anti-SARS-CoV-2 type A immunoglobulins (IgA) in the conjunctival fluid of COVID-19 patients. The tears of 28 COVID-19 patients and 20 uninfected controls were collected by the Schirmer test and analyzed by a specific ELISA assay detecting anti-spike (S1) virus protein IgA. The results showed that 35.7% of COVID-19 subjects have specific antiviral IgA at the ocular level, persisting till 48 days post disease onset. Most of the IgA positive subjects presented mild symptoms. The collected data indicate a prolonged persistence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA at the eye level and suggest that IgA detection may be extremely helpful in clarifying virus pathology and epidemiology.

7.
Cells ; 9(12)2020 12 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965318

ABSTRACT

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a ß-herpesvirus that is highly prevalent in the human population. HHV-6 comprises two recognized species (HHV-6A and HHV-6B). Despite different cell tropism and disease association, HHV-6A/B show high genome homology and harbor the conserved U94 gene, which is limited to HHV-6 and absent in all the other human herpesviruses. U94 has key functions in the virus life cycle and associated diseases, having demonstrated or putative roles in virus replication, integration, and reactivation. During natural infection, U94 elicits an immune response, and the prevalence and extent of the anti-U94 response are associated with specific diseases. Notably, U94 can entirely reproduce some virus effects at the cell level, including inhibition of cell migration, induction of cytokines and HLA-G expression, and angiogenesis inhibition, supporting a direct U94 role in the development of HHV-6-associated diseases. Moreover, specific U94 properties, such as the ability to modulate angiogenesis pathways, have been exploited to counteract cancer development. Here, we review the information available on this key HHV-6 gene, highlighting its potential uses.


Subject(s)
Herpesvirus 6, Human/genetics , Herpesvirus 6, Human/immunology , Roseolovirus Infections/virology , Viral Proteins/physiology , Animals , Cell Line , Cell Movement , Cytokines/metabolism , Genome, Viral , HLA-G Antigens/metabolism , Humans , Immune System , Mice , Neovascularization, Pathologic , Rats , Roseolovirus Infections/epidemiology , Viral Proteins/genetics , Virus Integration , Virus Replication
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