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Microorganisms ; 9(7)2021 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288956


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), α- and ß-defensins, possess antiviral properties. These AMPs achieve viral inhibition through different mechanisms of action. For example, they can: (i) bind directly to virions; (ii) bind to and modulate host cell-surface receptors, disrupting intracellular signaling; (iii) function as chemokines to augment and alter adaptive immune responses. Given their antiviral properties and the fact that the development of an effective coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment is an urgent public health priority, they and their derivatives are being explored as potential therapies against COVID-19. These explorations using various strategies, range from their direct interaction with the virus to using them as vaccine adjuvants. However, AMPs do not work in isolation, specifically in their role as potent immune modulators, where they interact with toll-like receptors (TLRs) and chemokine receptors. Both of these receptors have been shown to play roles in COVID-19 pathogenesis. In addition, it is known that a healthy lifestyle accompanied by controlled physical activity can represent a natural weapon against COVID-19. In competitive athletes, an increase in serum defensins has been shown to function as self-protection from the attack of microorganisms, consequently a controlled physical activity could act as a support to any therapies in fighting COVID-19. Therefore, including information on all these players' interactions would produce a complete picture of AMP-based therapies' response.

Vet Med Int ; 2020: 6207297, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611219


Infectious diseases are a common cause of death in young dogs. Several factors are thought to predispose young dogs to microbiological infections. Identifying the cause of death is often a challenge, and broad diagnostic analysis is often needed. Here, we aimed to determine the infectious causes of death in young dogs aged up to 1 year, examining how it relates to age (under and over 6 months), lifestyle (owned versus ownerless), breed (purebred and crossbreed), and gender. A retrospective study was conducted in a 3-year period (2015-2017) on 138 dead dogs that had undergone necropsy and microbiological diagnostics. Enteritis and pneumonia were the most commonly observed lesions. Polymicrobism was more prevalent (62.3%) than single-agent infections and associated with a higher rate of generalised lesions. Ownerless dogs showed over a three-fold higher predisposition to viral coinfections than owned dogs. Above all, canine parvovirus was the most prevalent agent (77.5%), followed by canine coronavirus (31.1%) and canine adenovirus (23.9%); ownerless pups had a higher predisposition to these viruses. Escherichia coli (23.9%), Clostridium perfringens type A (18.1%), and Enterococcus spp. (8.7%) were the most commonly identified bacteria, which mostly involved in coinfections. A lower prevalence of CDV and Clostridium perfringens type A was observed in puppies under 6 months of age. In conclusion, this study is the first comprehensive survey on a wide panel of microbiological agents related to necropsy lesions. It lays the groundwork for future studies attempting to understand the circulation of infectious agents in a determined area.