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BMC Complement Med Ther ; 21(1): 141, 2021 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388756


BACKGROUND: Herbal remedies of Echinacea purpurea tinctures are widely used today to reduce common cold respiratory tract infections. METHODS: Transcriptome, epigenome and kinome profiling allowed a systems biology level characterisation of genomewide immunomodulatory effects of a standardized Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench extract in THP1 monocytes. RESULTS: Gene expression and DNA methylation analysis revealed that Echinaforce® treatment triggers antiviral innate immunity pathways, involving tonic IFN signaling, activation of pattern recognition receptors, chemotaxis and immunometabolism. Furthermore, phosphopeptide based kinome activity profiling and pharmacological inhibitor experiments with filgotinib confirm a key role for Janus Kinase (JAK)-1 dependent gene expression changes in innate immune signaling. Finally, Echinaforce® treatment induces DNA hypermethylation at intergenic CpG, long/short interspersed nuclear DNA repeat elements (LINE, SINE) or long termininal DNA repeats (LTR). This changes transcription of flanking endogenous retroviral sequences (HERVs), involved in an evolutionary conserved (epi) genomic protective response against viral infections. CONCLUSIONS: Altogether, our results suggest that Echinaforce® phytochemicals strengthen antiviral innate immunity through tonic IFN regulation of pattern recognition and chemokine gene expression and DNA repeat hypermethylated silencing of HERVs in monocytes. These results suggest that immunomodulation by Echinaforce® treatment holds promise to reduce symptoms and duration of infection episodes of common cold corona viruses (CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-CoV, and new occurring strains such as SARS-CoV-2, with strongly impaired interferon (IFN) response and weak innate antiviral defense.

COVID-19/drug therapy , Echinacea , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Monocytes/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interferons/drug effects , Phytotherapy , Plant Extracts/therapeutic use
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis ; 31(2): 399-402, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-885398


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: In Italy, the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2) required lifestyle changes that have affected food choices and people's health condition. We explore people's perception of the role of food consumption as a preventive measure and how it reconfigures consumption habits. METHOD AND RESULTS: We conducted an online survey of a representative sample of 1004 Italian citizens. Around 40% of the population perceive that strengthening the immune defences through nutrition is not important to reduce the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. People with lower levels of perceived importance are slightly younger and have a less healthy lifestyle. They are less worried about the emergency. During the last months, they have bought less food supplements and also intend to decrease their purchase in the next 6 months. CONCLUSION: In COVID-19 pandemic, scholars underline the importance of having a strong immune system. However, the Italians who attribute less importance to food that helps the immune system seem to differ negatively in their psychological attitude towards the emergency and food consumption. Today, Italians are asked to engage in preventive food practices to protect against possible chronic diseases; exploring their perceptions is important to orient them towards this change.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Diet/methods , Feeding Behavior , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Attitude to Health , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Food , Habits , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Life Style , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
Hum Genomics ; 14(1): 35, 2020 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-810348


Precision medicine aims to empower clinicians to predict the most appropriate course of action for patients with complex diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiomyopathy, and COVID-19. With a progressive interpretation of the clinical, molecular, and genomic factors at play in diseases, more effective and personalized medical treatments are anticipated for many disorders. Understanding patient's metabolomics and genetic make-up in conjunction with clinical data will significantly lead to determining predisposition, diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive biomarkers and paths ultimately providing optimal and personalized care for diverse, and targeted chronic and acute diseases. In clinical settings, we need to timely model clinical and multi-omics data to find statistical patterns across millions of features to identify underlying biologic pathways, modifiable risk factors, and actionable information that support early detection and prevention of complex disorders, and development of new therapies for better patient care. It is important to calculate quantitative phenotype measurements, evaluate variants in unique genes and interpret using ACMG guidelines, find frequency of pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants without disease indicators, and observe autosomal recessive carriers with a phenotype manifestation in metabolome. Next, ensuring security to reconcile noise, we need to build and train machine-learning prognostic models to meaningfully process multisource heterogeneous data to identify high-risk rare variants and make medically relevant predictions. The goal, today, is to facilitate implementation of mainstream precision medicine to improve the traditional symptom-driven practice of medicine, and allow earlier interventions using predictive diagnostics and tailoring better-personalized treatments. We strongly recommend automated implementation of cutting-edge technologies, utilizing machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) approaches for the multimodal data aggregation, multifactor examination, development of knowledgebase of clinical predictors for decision support, and best strategies for dealing with relevant ethical issues.

Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Diabetes Mellitus/genetics , Neoplasms/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Precision Medicine/trends , COVID-19 , Cardiomyopathies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Data Analysis , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Genomics/trends , Humans , Metabolomics/trends , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Proteomics/trends