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1.
Comput Struct Biotechnol J ; 20: 4446-4463, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36051872

ABSTRACT

Klebsiella pneumoniae is a Gram-negative pathogen of clinical relevance, which can provoke serious urinary and blood infections and pneumonia. This bacterium is a major public health threat due to its resistance to several antibiotic classes. Using a reverse vaccinology approach, 7 potential antigens were identified, of which 4 were present in most of the sequences of Italian carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae clinical isolates. Bioinformatics tools demonstrated the antigenic potential of these bacterial proteins and allowed for the identification of T and B cell epitopes. This led to a rational design and in silico characterization of a multiepitope vaccine against carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae strains. As adjuvant, the mycobacterial heparin-binding hemagglutinin adhesin (HBHA), which is a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) agonist, was included, to increase the immunogenicity of the construct. The multiepitope vaccine candidate was analyzed by bioinformatics tools to assess its antigenicity, solubility, allergenicity, toxicity, physical and chemical parameters, and secondary and tertiary structures. Molecular docking binding energies to TLR-2 and TLR-4, two important innate immunity receptors involved in the immune response against K. pneumoniae infections, and molecular dynamics simulations of such complexes supported active interactions. A codon optimized multiepitope sequence cloning strategy is proposed, for production of recombinant vaccine in classical bacterial vectors. Finally, a 3 dose-immunization simulation with the multiepitope construct induced both cellular and humoral immune responses. These results suggest that this multiepitope construct has potential as a vaccination strategy against carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae and deserves further validation.

2.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 910864, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35923800

ABSTRACT

Dendritic cells (DCs) are important mediators of the induction and regulation of adaptive immune responses following microbial infection and inflammation. Sensing environmental danger signals including viruses, microbial products, or inflammatory stimuli by DCs leads to the rapid transition from a resting state to an activated mature state. DC maturation involves enhanced capturing and processing of antigens for presentation by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II, upregulation of chemokines and their receptors, cytokines and costimulatory molecules, and migration to lymphoid tissues where they prime naive T cells. Orchestrating a cellular response to environmental threats requires a high bioenergetic cost that accompanies the metabolic reprogramming of DCs during activation. We previously demonstrated that DCs undergo a striking functional transition after stimulation of the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) pathway with a synthetic 5' triphosphate containing RNA (termed M8), consisting of the upregulation of interferon (IFN)-stimulated antiviral genes, increased DC phagocytosis, activation of a proinflammatory phenotype, and induction of markers associated with immunogenic cell death. In the present study, we set out to determine the metabolic changes associated with RIG-I stimulation by M8. The rate of glycolysis in primary human DCs was increased in response to RIG-I activation, and glycolytic reprogramming was an essential requirement for DC activation. Pharmacological inhibition of glycolysis in monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MoDCs) impaired type I IFN induction and signaling by disrupting the TBK1-IRF3-STAT1 axis, thereby countering the antiviral activity induced by M8. Functionally, the impaired IFN response resulted in enhanced viral replication of dengue, coronavirus 229E, and Coxsackie B5.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Dendritic Cells , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Glycolysis , Humans , Monocytes , Tretinoin/metabolism
3.
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 2022 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35830367

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of Adenovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), HHV-6 and cytomegalovirus (CMV) nucleic acids in the gastrointestinal biopsies from active CD patients. METHODS: Gastrointestinal biopsies of 40 active CD patients and 40 non-CD patients were collected during the endoscopic investigation of gastrointestinal symptoms. RESULTS: HHV-6B was found in 62.5% of CD patients and in 65% of non-CD individuals, whereas the prevalence of EBV-positive samples was 20 and 10%, respectively. Nucleic acids from HHV-6A, CMV and adenovirus were not detected in any group. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that these viruses may not play a role in the pathogenesis of acute CD, but they do not exclude the possibility that viruses can act as a trigger for the onset of celiac disease.

4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35686318

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Molecular analysis (MA) on heart valve (HV) improves the microbiologic diagnosis of infectious endocarditis (IE). The main drawback of MA is the lack of antimicrobial susceptibility information. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort observational study of consecutive adult patients from April 2012 to May 2021 who underwent valve surgery at our hospital. The performance of MA, blood culture (BC) and valve cultures (VC), and the diagnostic and therapeutic impact of MA were evaluated. Molecular antibiogram results were compared to culture-based antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST). RESULTS: A total of 137 patients with definite IE and 52 patients with no IE were enrolled in the study. Among IE cases BC, VC and MA were positive in 75 (55%), 30 (22%) and 120 (88%) of IE cases, respectively. Among 62 cases of BC-negative IE (BCNE), 57 achieved diagnosis with MA. MA led to a change of antimicrobial therapy in 92% of BCNE. MA was negative in 100% of patients with no IE. Molecular antibiogram performed on 17 valve specimens that resulted positive for pathogens potential carrier of genes encoding for multidrug resistant mechanisms showed 100% concordance with AST. CONCLUSIONS: MA showed a high specificity and sensitivity in etiological diagnosis of IE. Molecular antibiogram could overcome the major limitation of MA that is the lack of susceptibility testing. We advocate for the inclusion of MA among diagnostic criteria for IE and for a more extensive use of molecular antibiogram when the culture result is negative and MA is the only positive test.

5.
Front Immunol ; 13: 856657, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35401503

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is modifying human activity all over the world with significant health and economic burden. The advent of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic prompted the scientific community to learn the virus dynamics concerning transmissibility, epidemiology, and usefulness of vaccines in fighting emerging health hazards. Pieces of evidence suggest that the first and second doses of mRNA vaccines induce a significant antibody response in vaccinated subjects or patients who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection, demonstrating the importance of the previously formed memory. The aim of this work has been to investigate the effects of BNT162b2 Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA-based vaccine booster dose in a cohort of 11 uninfected immunocompetent (ICs), evaluating the humoral and cellular responses, with more carefulness on memory B and T cells. Our findings underscore the potential benefit of the third dose of mRNA vaccine on the lifespan of memory B and T cells, suggesting that booster doses could increase protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , RNA, Messenger/genetics , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
6.
Microbiol Res ; 256: 126959, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34995971

ABSTRACT

In this work, we assessed and characterized the epidemiological scenario of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strains (CR-Kp) at IRCCS-ISMETT, a transplantation hospital in Palermo, Italy, from 2008 to 2017. A total of 288 K. pneumoniae clinical isolates were selected based on their resistance to carbapenems. Molecular characterization was also done in terms of the presence of virulence and resistance genes. All patients were inpatients from our facility and clinical isolates were collected from several sources, either from infection or colonization cases. We observed that, in agreement with the Italian epidemiological scenario, initially only ST258 and ST512 clade II (but not from clade I) were identified from 2008 to 2011. From 2012 onwards, other STs have been observed, including the clinically relevant ST101 and ST307, but also others not previously observed in other Italian health settings, such as ST220 and ST753. The presence of genes involved in resistance and virulence was confirmed, and a heterogeneous genetic resistance profile throughout the years was observed. Our work highlights that resistance genes are rapidly disseminating between different and novel K. pneumoniae clones which, combined with resistance to multiple antibiotics, can derive into more aggressive and pathogenic multidrug-resistant strains of clinical importance. Our results stress the importance of continuous surveillance of CR Enterobacterales in health facilities so that novel STs carrying resistance and virulence genes that may become increasingly pathogenic can be identified and adequate therapies to adopted to avoid their dissemination and derived pathologies.


Subject(s)
Klebsiella Infections , Klebsiella pneumoniae , Bacterial Proteins , Hospitals , Humans , Klebsiella Infections/epidemiology , Klebsiella pneumoniae/genetics , Retrospective Studies , Sicily , beta-Lactamases
7.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 7(12)2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34947039

ABSTRACT

Emerging fungal infections are a major challenge in solid organ transplantation (SOT) and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. We report two cases of Malassezia restricta pneumonia in SOT recipients. Infections were diagnosed with molecular analysis and histology. Patients were treated with antifungal therapy and have fully recovered.

8.
Cancers (Basel) ; 13(23)2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34885159

ABSTRACT

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) is a rare and aggressive primary liver tumor, characterized by a range of different clinical manifestations and by increasing incidence and mortality rates even after curative treatment with radical resection. In recent years, growing attention has been devoted to this disease and some evidence supports liver transplantation (LT) as an appropriate treatment for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma; evolving work has also provided a framework for better understanding the genetic basis of this cancer. The aim of this study was to provide a clinical description of our series of patients complemented with Next-Generation Sequencing genomic profiling. From 1999 to 2021, 12 patients who underwent LT with either iCCA or a combined hepatocellular and cholangiocellular carcinoma (HCC-iCCA) were included in this study. Mutations were observed in gene activating signaling pathways known to be involved with iCCA tumorigenesis (KRAS/MAPK, P53, PI3K-Akt/mTOR, cAMP, WNT, epigenetic regulation and chromatin remodeling). Among several others, a strong association was observed between the Notch pathway and tumor size (point-biserial rhopb = 0.93). Our results are suggestive of the benefit potentially derived from molecular analysis to improve our diagnostic capabilities and to devise new treatment protocols, and eventually ameliorate long-term survival of patients affected by iCCA or HCC-iCCA.

9.
ACS Infect Dis ; 7(11): 3034-3051, 2021 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34658235

ABSTRACT

The antimicrobial medication malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) is used as a fixed-dose combination for treating children and adults with uncomplicated malaria or as chemoprophylaxis for preventing malaria in travelers. It is an inexpensive, efficacious, and safe drug frequently prescribed around the world. Following anecdotal evidence from 17 patients in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, Canada, suggesting that malarone/atovaquone may present some benefits in protecting against COVID-19, we sought to examine its antiviral potential in limiting the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cellular models of infection. In VeroE6 expressing human TMPRSS2 and human lung Calu-3 epithelial cells, we show that the active compound atovaquone at micromolar concentrations potently inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of concern including the alpha, beta, and delta variants. Importantly, atovaquone retained its full antiviral activity in a primary human airway epithelium cell culture model. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that the atovaquone antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 is partially dependent on the expression of TMPRSS2 and that the drug can disrupt the interaction of the spike protein with the viral receptor, ACE2. Additionally, spike-mediated membrane fusion was also reduced in the presence of atovaquone. In the United States, two clinical trials of atovaquone administered alone or in combination with azithromycin were initiated in 2020. While we await the results of these trials, our findings in cellular infection models demonstrate that atovaquone is a potent antiviral FDA-approved drug against SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of concern in vitro.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Atovaquone/pharmacology , Humans , United States
10.
Biology (Basel) ; 10(9)2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34571706

ABSTRACT

Among the many activities attributed to the type I interferon (IFN) multigene family, their roles as mediators of the antiviral immune response have emerged as important components of the host response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Viruses likewise have evolved multiple immune evasion strategies to circumvent the host immune response and promote virus propagation and dissemination. Therefore, a thorough characterization of host-virus interactions is essential to understand SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Here, we summarize the virus-mediated evasion of the IFN responses and the viral functions involved, the genetic basis of IFN production in SARS-CoV-2 infection and the progress of clinical trials designed to utilize type I IFN as a potential therapeutic tool.

11.
J Virol Methods ; 298: 114276, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34499965

ABSTRACT

The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical performance of FTD SARS-CoV-2 compared to the RealStar RT-PCR kit 1.0. The analysis of 100 nasopharyngeal swabs showed an overall agreement of 88 %. The positive percentage agreement was 85.6 % and the negative percentage agreement was 91 %. In conclusion we observed a substantial agreement among the two methods, with discrepancies mainly observed in specimens with relatively low amount of viral RNA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frontotemporal Dementia , Humans , Nasopharynx , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
Trop Med Infect Dis ; 6(2)2021 Jun 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34205661

ABSTRACT

Odontogenic infections have the potential to develop into deep-space infections and may cause severe diseases with possible life-threatening complications. Dental infections during pregnancy require special attention in terms of possible complications and treatments due to the potential to affect the lives of two individuals. A case of a 36-year-old pregnant patient with a submandibular abscess caused by an odontogenic infection is reported, followed by a comprehensive systematic review of the literature in order to retrieve information regarding severe odontogenic infections and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines using PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases. A total of 69 cases were included in the qualitative analysis. The mean age was 27.72 years. Patients were managed with surgery in combination with antibiotics. Nine infectious-related cesarean sections were detected, and preterm birth was associated in 3 cases, low birth weight in 2 cases, death of the fetus in 9 cases (13%), and maternal death in 4 cases (5.8%). The possible compromise of oral health during pregnancy is well known; however, severe odontogenic infections are rarely considered in the literature, and they may be associated with severe and life-threatening complications for both mother and the fetus.

13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(6)2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33809670

ABSTRACT

Endoscopes are medical instruments that are used routinely in health structures. Due to their invasive nature and contact with many patients, they may cause hospital-acquired infections if not disinfected correctly. To ensure a high-level disinfection procedure or reprocessing, since the methods currently adopted in our institute are adequate, we evaluated retrospectively the presence of microorganisms in our endoscopes after reprocessing. Microbiological surveillance was performed from January 2016 to December 2019 in the instruments in use in our endoscopic room after reprocessing. In total, 35 endoscopes (3 duodenoscopes, 3 echoendoscopes, 12 bronchoscopes, 5 colonoscopes, and 12 gastroscopes) were evaluated for the presence of microorganisms, including multidrug-resistant pathogens and indicator microorganisms (IMOs). Our procedures were in agreement with an internal protocol based on Italian, international, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. Of a total of 811 samples, 799 (98.5%) complied with the regulatory guidelines, while 9 (1.1%) were positive for IMOs, and 3 (0.4%) displayed more than 10 colony-forming units (CFU) of environmental and commensal pathogens. Our results show that the internal reprocessing protocol is very efficient, leading to a very low number of observed contaminations, and it could be easily implemented by other health facilities that face a huge number of hospital-acquired infections due to incorrectly disinfected endoscopes.


Subject(s)
Endoscopes , Equipment Reuse , Disinfection , Equipment Contamination , Hospitals , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
14.
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses ; 37(6): 478-485, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33487130

ABSTRACT

To evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of switching to a dolutegravir (DTG)-based regimen in a cohort of virological suppressed HIV-infected patients who have previously been treated with different antiretroviral combination. The dynamics of total HIV-DNA and levels of high-sensitivity c-reactive protein, interleukin-6, soluble-CD14, and D-Dimer were also analyzed. Ninety-six individuals who switched to a DTG-containing regimen were followed up for 48 weeks. HIV RNA, CD4+ T cell count, weight, and levels of laboratory parameters were recorded at baseline, after 24 and 48 weeks of treatment for all study participants. In a subgroup of patients, HIV DNA and inflammation/coagulation marker levels were also analyzed until week 24. Ninety-three out of 96 patients maintained virological suppression, including patients who switched to dual-therapy from triple-drug combination. Eighteen out of 96 patients had residual viremia at baseline, of which 13 reached the maximal viral suppression at W48. Serum creatinine levels showed a significant increase at weeks 24 and 48. A progressive reduction of total cholesterol was observed from week 24 and up to week 48. No variation in body mass index was detected. HIV DNA, inflammation, and coagulation marker levels did not significantly change during follow-up. Switching to a DTG-based regimen may be a key option for achieving and maintaining maximal virological suppression, even in patients showing residual viremia at baseline. Furthermore, the improvement in blood lipid profile and the overall tolerability observed in this study strongly support the use of these regimens in the aging HIV population.


Subject(s)
Anti-HIV Agents , HIV Infections , HIV Integrase Inhibitors , Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Integrase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring/therapeutic use , Humans , Oxazines/therapeutic use , Piperazines/therapeutic use , Pyridones/therapeutic use , Treatment Outcome , Viral Load
15.
Virus Res ; 295: 198283, 2021 04 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33418027

ABSTRACT

The natural course of type I and III interferon (IFN) response in the respiratory tract of COVID-19 patients needs to be better defined. We showed that type I/III IFNs, IFN-regulatory factor 7 (IRF7), and IFN stimulated genes (ISGs), are highly expressed in the oropharyngeal cells of SARS-CoV-2 positive patients compared to healthy controls. Notably, the subgroup of critically-ill patients that required invasive mechanical ventilation had a general decrease in expression of IFN/ISG genes. Heterogeneous patterns of IFN-I/III response in the respiratory tract of COVID-19 patients may be associated to COVID-19 severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferons/genetics , Oropharynx/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
16.
Clin Nutr ; 40(4): 2355-2363, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33158589

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: In critically ill patients with liver disease, vitamin D deficiency is associated with higher disease severity, increased frequency of infections, and worse outcomes. This study sought to describe the trend of vitamin D in orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) recipients and its association with outcomes. METHODS: Prospective observational study of 67 consecutive OLT recipients enrolled between September, 2016 and August, 2017 at IRCCS-ISMETT, Palermo (Italy). Trend of vitamin D levels and potential factors influencing it levels were evaluated through a generalized linear mixed regression model. RESULTS: Sixty-four (95.5%) recipients were vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/ml), with a median value of 8.8 ng/ml [6.2-12.9], and forty-seven of these (70.1%) showed severe deficiency (<12 ng/ml) at baseline, 7.9 ng/ml [5.4-8.9]. The baseline vitamin D showed an inverse correlation with liver disease severity: Child-Pugh, MELD score, bilirubin, INR, and organ failure (p < 0.01) at baseline. Vitamin D increased on postoperative day (POD) 28 compared with POD1: +4.5 ng/ml, C.I. 95% 3.6-5.3 ng/ml, p < 0.01. Lower baseline vitamin D, donor age, transfusion of fresh frozen plasma (negative impact, all p < 0.05), and intra-operative bypass (positive impact at POD 28, p < 0.01) were associated with variation of vitamin D levels after transplantation. Incomplete graft recovery was associated with lower vitamin D on POD28: 8.2 ± 4.4 versus 13.8 ± 9.4 ng/ml, p < 0.01; the odds ratio (OR) was 0.84; CI 95% 0.73-0.97, p = 0.014. The OR for infections within POD 28 was inversely associated with baseline vitamin D: 0.87; CI 95% 0.79-0.98, p = 0.02, and with vitamin D level at baseline <12 ng/ml: OR 6.44; CI 95% 1.66-24.94; p < 0.01. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative Vitamin D is correlated with disease severity, and was highly associated with invasive infection in the first 28 PODs. After OLT, the value on POD 28 had a strong association with graft function.


Subject(s)
End Stage Liver Disease/surgery , Liver Transplantation , Vitamin D Deficiency/complications , Vitamin D/blood , End Stage Liver Disease/complications , Female , Humans , Infections/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Postoperative Period , Prospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome , Vitamin D/analogs & derivatives
17.
J Craniofac Surg ; 31(8): e767-e769, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33136906

ABSTRACT

Benign osseous tumors of the frontal bone can be treated with endoscopic surgery, minimizing postoperative complications associated with the coronal approach and guaranteeing more functional and aesthetic results. The authors describe a case of a patient who had endoscopic removal of osteoma of the forehead using two 1 cm incisions behind the hairline. No complications such as hematoma and edema were detected. Endoscopic technique offered both good illumination and excellent magnification; it permitted safe anatomic dissection, minimum bleeding, avoiding visible scars. The outcome achieved with endoscopic technique could be the first-line surgical treatment of benign bone tumors of the frontal area, offering more advantages and better results than the conventional surgical approaches.


Subject(s)
Forehead/surgery , Frontal Bone/surgery , Osteoma/surgery , Cicatrix , Female , Frontal Bone/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Middle Aged , Neuroendoscopy , Osteoma/diagnostic imaging
18.
J Clin Virol ; 133: 104660, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33126109

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The detection of a low amount of viral RNA is crucial to identify a SARS-CoV-2 positive individual harboring a low level of virus, especially during the convalescent period. However, the detection of one gene at high Cycle threshold (Ct) has to be interpreted with caution. In this study we address this specific issue and report our real-life experience. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 1639 nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) were analyzed with Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2. Positive samples showing high Ct values (Ct>35) were concentrated by centrifugation and re-tested with Cepheid or other methods (RealStar SARS-CoV2 RT-PCR, Altona Diagnostics; GeneFinder COVID-19 Plus RealAmp Kit, Elitech). RESULTS: 1599 (97.5%) negative samples, 36 (2.3%) positive samples and 4 (0.2%) presumptive positive samples were detected. In 17 out of 36 positive patients, very low viral RNA copies were suspected since positivity was detected at high Ct. We confirmed positivity for patients who showed both E and N genes detected and for patients with only N detected but with Ct <39. On the contrary, samples with only gene N detected with Ct values >39 were found negative. NPS taken 24 hours after the first collection confirmed the negativity of the 12 samples. Clinical data sustained these results since only 2 of these 12 patients showed COVID-19-like symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: These data support our consideration that detection of the N2 gene at high Ct needs to be interpreted with caution, suggesting that collaboration between virologists and clinicians is important for better understanding of results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , False Positive Reactions , RNA, Viral/analysis , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
19.
J Med Virol ; 93(2): 886-891, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32697357

ABSTRACT

Italy was one of the most affected nations by coronavirus disease 2019 outside China. The infections, initially limited to Northern Italy, spread to all other Italian regions. This study aims to provide a snapshot of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemiology based on a single-center laboratory experience in Rome. The study retrospectively included 6565 subjects tested for SARS-CoV-2 at the Laboratory of Virology of Sapienza University Hospital in Rome from 6 March to 4 May. A total of 9995 clinical specimens were analyzed, including nasopharyngeal swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, gargle lavages, stools, pleural fluids, and cerebrospinal fluids. Positivity to SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 8% (527/6565) of individuals, increased with age, and was higher in male patients (P < .001). The number of new confirmed cases reached a peak on 18 March and then decreased. The virus was detected in respiratory samples, in stool and in pleural fluids, while none of gargle lavage or cerebrospinal fluid samples gave a positive result. This analysis allowed to gather comprehensive information on SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology in our area, highlighting positivity variations over time and in different sex and age group and the need for a continuous surveillance of the infection, mostly because the pandemic evolution remains unknown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Feces/virology , Female , Hospitals, University , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Laboratories , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pleural Effusion/virology , Retrospective Studies , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Rome/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index
20.
J Med Virol ; 2020 May 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32531866

ABSTRACT

Group B Coxsackieviruses (CVB) include six serotypes (B1-6) responsible for a wide range of clinical diseases. Since no recent seroepidemiologic data are available in Italy, the study aim was to investigate CVB seroprevalence in a wide Italian population. The study retrospectively included 2459 subjects referring to a large academic hospital in Rome (Italy) in the period 2004-2016. Seroprevalence rates and neutralizing antibodies (nAb) titers were evaluated in relation to years of observation and subjects' characteristics. Positivity for at least one serotype was detected in 69.1% of individuals. Overall, the prevalent serotype was B4, followed by B3 (33.3%), B5 (26.2%), B1 (12.7%), B2 (11.0%), and B6 (1.7%). For B2, a significant decrease in seroprevalence over years was observed. Positivity to at least one virus was 25.2% in children aged 0 to 2 years, but significantly increased in preschool (3-5 years) (50.3%) and school (6-10 years) children (70.4%). Higher nAb responses for B3 and B4 were observed in children aged 3 to 5 years. A high overall CVB prevalence was found. Type-specific variations in prevalence over time probably reflect the fluctuations in circulation typical of Enteroviruses. Children are at greater risk for CVB infection given the high number of seronegative subjects aged 0 to 10 years.

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