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Genes (Basel) ; 13(4)2022 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1834773


Inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) account for over one third of the underlying causes of blindness in the paediatric population. Patients with IRDs often experience long delays prior to reaching a definitive diagnosis. Children attending a tertiary care paediatric ophthalmology department with phenotypic (i.e., clinical and/or electrophysiologic) evidence suggestive of IRD were contacted for genetic testing during the SARS-CoV-2-19 pandemic using a "telegenetics" approach. Genetic testing approach was panel-based next generation sequencing (351 genes) via a commercial laboratory (Blueprint Genetics, Helsinki, Finland). Of 70 patient samples from 57 pedigrees undergoing genetic testing, a causative genetic variant(s) was detected for 60 patients (85.7%) from 47 (82.5%) pedigrees. Of the 60 genetically resolved IRD patients, 5% (n = 3) are eligible for approved therapies (RPE65) and 38.3% (n = 23) are eligible for clinical trial-based gene therapies including CEP290 (n = 2), CNGA3 (n = 3), CNGB3 (n = 6), RPGR (n = 5) and RS1 (n = 7). The early introduction of genetic testing in the diagnostic/care pathway for children with IRDs is critical for genetic counselling of these families prior to upcoming gene therapy trials. Herein, we describe the pathway used, the clinical and genetic findings, and the therapeutic implications of the first systematic coordinated round of genetic testing of a paediatric IRD cohort in Ireland.

COVID-19 , Retinal Degeneration , Antigens, Neoplasm , Cell Cycle Proteins/genetics , Child , Cytoskeletal Proteins/genetics , Electrophysiology , Eye Proteins/genetics , Genetic Testing , Humans , Retinal Degeneration/diagnosis , Retinal Degeneration/genetics , Retinal Degeneration/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
J Med Virol ; 93(8): 5182-5187, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298501


Infections due to human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) are frequent during early childhood. Usually, they have a favorable clinical course. Conversely, HHV-6 congenital infections occur in about 1% of neonates and may present with more severe clinical pictures. HHV-6 can be found in lung tissues and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples from patients with pneumonia and in immunocompromised patients can cause mild to severe pneumonia. In neonates, the role of HHV-6 in the genesis of severe pneumonia is poorly defined still now. We describe a healthy infant with a late-onset (15 days of life) severe interstitial pneumonia and heavy HHV-6 genome load, persistently detected in its BAL fluid. The baby underwent high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, hydroxychloroquine, steroids, and ganciclovir for 6 weeks and at 9 months she died. Next-generation sequencing of genes known to cause neonatal respiratory insufficiency revealed the presence of a "probably pathogenetic" heterozygous variant in the autosomal recessive DRC1 gene, a heterozygous variant of unknown significance (VUS) in the autosomal recessive RSPH9 gene, and a heterozygous VUS in the autosomal recessive MUC5B gene. HHV-6 infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis of late-onset severe respiratory distress in neonates and the co-occurrence of genetic predisposing factors or modifiers should be tested by specific molecular techniques. The intensity of HHV-6 genome load in BAL fluid could be an indicator of the response to antiviral therapy.

Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/genetics , Roseolovirus Infections/genetics , Cytoskeletal Proteins/genetics , Fatal Outcome , Female , Genetic Variation , Herpesvirus 6, Human/genetics , Herpesvirus 6, Human/isolation & purification , Heterozygote , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/therapy , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/virology , Microtubule-Associated Proteins/genetics , Mucin-5B/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Roseolovirus Infections/therapy , Roseolovirus Infections/virology , Viral Load