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Diseases, Volume 10, Issue 3 (September 2022) – 31 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Due to the complexity of the pathogenesis of sarcopenia, it is of great significance to identify nutritional biomarkers that could contribute to the prediction and monitoring of this condition. Therefore, this narrative review aims to define a set of biomarkers associated with nutrition and sarcopenia. First of all, higher levels of serum uric acid are related to better muscle function and, thus, may slow the progression of sarcopenia. Vitamin D status acts as a useful biomarker for predicting total mortality, hip fractures, and the development of sarcopenia. Additionally, there is an important focus on dietary antioxidants and their effects on muscle tissue. In conclusion, many nutritional biomarkers were found to be associated with sarcopenia and can therefore be used as prognostic indexes and risk factors. View this paper
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14 pages, 353 KiB  
Essay
The Promotion and Development of One Health at Swiss TPH and Its Greater Potential
by Jakob Zinsstag, Karin Hediger, Yahya Maidane Osman, Said Abukhattab, Lisa Crump, Andrea Kaiser-Grolimund, Stephanie Mauti, Ayman Ahmed, Jan Hattendorf, Bassirou Bonfoh, Kathrin Heitz-Tokpa, Mónica Berger González, Alvar Bucher, Monique Lechenne, Rea Tschopp, Brigit Obrist and Kristina Pelikan
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030065 - 14 Sep 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2942
Abstract
One Health, an integrated health concept, is now an integral part of health research and development. One Health overlaps with other integrated approaches to health such as EcoHealth or Planetary Health, which not only consider the patient or population groups but include them [...] Read more.
One Health, an integrated health concept, is now an integral part of health research and development. One Health overlaps with other integrated approaches to health such as EcoHealth or Planetary Health, which not only consider the patient or population groups but include them in the social-ecological context. One Health has gained the widest foothold politically, institutionally, and in operational implementation. Increasingly, One Health is becoming part of reporting under the International Health Legislation (IHR 2005). The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) has played a part in these developments with one of the first mentions of One Health in the biomedical literature. Here, we summarise the history of ideas and processes that led to the development of One Health research and development at the Swiss TPH, clarify its theoretical and methodological foundations, and explore its larger societal potential as an integrated approach to thinking. The history of ideas and processes leading to the development of One Health research at the Swiss TPH were inspired by far-sighted and open ideas of the directors and heads of departments, without exerting too much influence. They followed the progressing work and supported it with further ideas. These in turn were taken up and further developed by a growing number of individual scientists. These ideas were related to other strands of knowledge from economics, molecular biology, anthropology, sociology, theology, and linguistics. We endeavour to relate Western biomedical forms of knowledge generation with other forms, such as Mayan medicine. One Health, in its present form, has been influenced by African mobile pastoralists’ integrated thinking that have been taken up into Western epistemologies. The intercultural nature of global and regional One Health approaches will inevitably undergo further scrutiny of successful ways fostering inter-epistemic interaction. Now theoretically well grounded, the One Health approach of seeking benefits for all through better and more equitable cooperation can clearly be applied to engagement in solving major societal problems such as social inequality, animal protection and welfare, environmental protection, climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and conflict transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Honour of Marcel Tanner, Parasitologist Extraordinaire)
16 pages, 339 KiB  
Article
Mediterranean Diet, a Posteriori Dietary Patterns, Time-Related Meal Patterns and Adiposity: Results from a Cross-Sectional Study in University Students
by Paraskevi Detopoulou, Vassilis Dedes, Dimitra Syka, Konstantinos Tzirogiannis and Georgios I. Panoutsopoulos
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030064 - 11 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2467
Abstract
The transition to university is connected to potentially obesogenic dietary changes. Our aim was to assess the relation of Mediterranean diet adherence, and a posteriori dietary and meal patterns with adiposity in Greek students at the University of the Peloponnese. A total of [...] Read more.
The transition to university is connected to potentially obesogenic dietary changes. Our aim was to assess the relation of Mediterranean diet adherence, and a posteriori dietary and meal patterns with adiposity in Greek students at the University of the Peloponnese. A total of 346 students (269 women) participated. Anthropometry was performed, and a food frequency questionnaire was administered. The MedDietScore was higher in women and was not linearly related to adiposity. Principal component analysis revealed six patterns: (1) legumes/vegetables/fruits/tea/dairy/whole grains, (2) juice/sodas/liquid calories, (3) olive oil/fats, (4) meat/poultry/fish, (5) alcohol/eggs/dairy and (6) fast foods/sweets. Patterns 4 and 6 were related to overweight/obesity probability (OR = 1.5, 95% CI: 0.995–2.538 and OR = 2.5, 95% CI: 1.07–6.06, respectively) and higher waist circumference (men). Men “early eaters” (breakfast/morning/afternoon snack) had a higher MedDietScore and lower overweight probability (OR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.220–1.020). Poor meal and dietary patterns relate to overweight and central obesity, which is important for targeted health promotion programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Nutrition and Diseases)
19 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
Savings Groups for Social Health Protection: A Social Resilience Study in Rural Tanzania
by Brigit Obrist, Angel Dillip, Albino Kalolo, Iddy M. Mayumana, Melina Rutishauser and Vendelin T. Simon
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030063 - 9 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Global health experts use a health system perspective for research on social health protection. This article argues for a complementary actor perspective, informed by the social resilience framework. It presents a Saving4Health initiative with women groups in rural Tanzania. The participatory qualitative research [...] Read more.
Global health experts use a health system perspective for research on social health protection. This article argues for a complementary actor perspective, informed by the social resilience framework. It presents a Saving4Health initiative with women groups in rural Tanzania. The participatory qualitative research design yielded new insights into the lived experience of social health protection. The study shows how participation in saving groups increased women’s collective and individual capacities to access, combine and transform five capitals. The groups offered a mechanism to save for the annual insurance premium and to obtain health loans for costs not covered by insurance (economic capital). The groups organized around aspirations of mutual support and protection, fostered social responsibility and widened women’s interaction arena to peers, government and NGO representatives (social capital). The groups expanded women’s horizon by exposing them to new ways of managing financial health risk (cultural capital). The groups strengthened women’s social recognition in their family, community and beyond and enabled them to initiate transformative change through advocacy for health insurance (symbolic capital). Savings groups shape the evolving field of social health protection in interaction with governmental and other powerful actors and have further potential for mobilization and transformative change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Honour of Marcel Tanner, Parasitologist Extraordinaire)
8 pages, 1653 KiB  
Case Report
Oral Health Status and Multiple Sclerosis: Classic and Non-Classic Manifestations—Case Report
by Céu Costa, Hugo Santiago, Sofia Pereira, Ana Rita Castro and Sandra Clara Soares
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030062 - 9 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 8748
Abstract
Background: Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with neurological and motor symptoms that affect the orofacial region. The aim of this work is to present a patient that lacks the three classic orofacial manifestations but has other less [...] Read more.
Background: Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with neurological and motor symptoms that affect the orofacial region. The aim of this work is to present a patient that lacks the three classic orofacial manifestations but has other less common clinical alterations. Case presentation: A 49-year-old female patient diagnosed with long-term relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis visited the dentist complaining of mild but persistent orofacial pain including the temporomandibular joint and pain not specific to any tooth. She presented mucosal irritation, xerostomia, halitosis, and localized gingivitis. There was excessive wear of the upper and lower incisal edges and the occlusal faces of the upper canines and loss of six teeth due to caries. After a clinical oral examination, the diagnosis was temporomandibular joint disorder, gingivitis, dental hypersensitivity, bruxism, hyposalivation, xerostomia, and halitosis. Conclusions: Patients with multiple sclerosis present classic orofacial manifestations. Although these were not observed in this patient, she had others, such as gingivitis, tooth hypersensitivity, and bruxism. In addition, despite few studies associating a higher prevalence of caries with these patients, the number of carious and missing teeth in this patient highlight the evidence that multiple sclerosis has had a significant impact on the patient’s dental status over the years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Mechanisms and Treatments of Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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13 pages, 21537 KiB  
Article
A Case Series of Gastric Metastatic Growths
by Mustafa Gandhi, Harleen Kaur Chela, Hamza Ertugrul, Alhareth Al Juboori, Karthik Gangu, Deepthi Rao and Ebubekir Daglilar
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030061 - 7 Sep 2022
Viewed by 2165
Abstract
Gastric cancer is one of the gastrointestinal malignancies that can be quite devastating with high morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, it is a malignancy that is encountered all across the world and is often brought into suspicion based on symptoms of the patient. The [...] Read more.
Gastric cancer is one of the gastrointestinal malignancies that can be quite devastating with high morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, it is a malignancy that is encountered all across the world and is often brought into suspicion based on symptoms of the patient. The presentation differs based on the symptomatology and can be quite variable in each and every case. Malignant lesions in the stomach discovered endoscopically can represent as primary gastric growths or can be secondary as a consequence of metastatic spread from a distant primary site. It is important to recognize the different patterns of presentation of metastatic disease and to be aware of the primary tumor sites. The treatment and ultimately the prognosis changes drastically when dealing with a metastatic disease as opposed to a primary localized source with limited spread. The aim of our study is to present a mini series of cases that manifest as metastatic gastric growths. Their clinical, endoscopic and histological appearance is depicted to provide an understanding of each case. The primary sites of origin for our patients were the lungs, skin, lymphoid tissue and kidneys. Their overall clinical course is presented including the approach to the management in each case as well as their outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastroenterology)
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40 pages, 5489 KiB  
Review
Emerging Trends in Immunotherapy for Cancer
by Alok K. Mishra, Amjad Ali, Shubham Dutta, Shahid Banday and Sunil K. Malonia
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030060 - 6 Sep 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 10903
Abstract
Recent advances in cancer immunology have enabled the discovery of promising immunotherapies for various malignancies that have shifted the cancer treatment paradigm. The innovative research and clinical advancements of immunotherapy approaches have prolonged the survival of patients with relapsed or refractory metastatic cancers. [...] Read more.
Recent advances in cancer immunology have enabled the discovery of promising immunotherapies for various malignancies that have shifted the cancer treatment paradigm. The innovative research and clinical advancements of immunotherapy approaches have prolonged the survival of patients with relapsed or refractory metastatic cancers. Since the U.S. FDA approved the first immune checkpoint inhibitor in 2011, the field of cancer immunotherapy has grown exponentially. Multiple therapeutic approaches or agents to manipulate different aspects of the immune system are currently in development. These include cancer vaccines, adoptive cell therapies (such as CAR-T or NK cell therapy), monoclonal antibodies, cytokine therapies, oncolytic viruses, and inhibitors targeting immune checkpoints that have demonstrated promising clinical efficacy. Multiple immunotherapeutic approaches have been approved for specific cancer treatments, while others are currently in preclinical and clinical trial stages. Given the success of immunotherapy, there has been a tremendous thrust to improve the clinical efficacy of various agents and strategies implemented so far. Here, we present a comprehensive overview of the development and clinical implementation of various immunotherapy approaches currently being used to treat cancer. We also highlight the latest developments, emerging trends, limitations, and future promises of cancer immunotherapy. Full article
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10 pages, 756 KiB  
Perspective
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Pulmonary Edema, and Sodium Toxicity: A Grounded Theory
by Ronald B. Brown
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030059 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3109
Abstract
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) occurs unexpectedly in an otherwise healthy infant with no identifiable cause of death following a thorough investigation. A general hypervolemic state has been identified in SIDS, and fluid in the lungs suggests the involvement of pulmonary edema and [...] Read more.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) occurs unexpectedly in an otherwise healthy infant with no identifiable cause of death following a thorough investigation. A general hypervolemic state has been identified in SIDS, and fluid in the lungs suggests the involvement of pulmonary edema and hypoxia as the cause of death. The present perspective paper reviews pathophysiological, epidemiological, and dietary evidence in SIDS. A grounded theory is presented that proposes an association of SIDS with sodium toxicity from excessive sodium chloride intake, mediated by noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, hypoxia, and alveolar damage. The peak of SIDS cases occurs in infants 2–4 months of age, who are less efficient in excreting excessive dietary sodium load. Evidence implicating sodium toxicity in SIDS includes increased levels of sodium associated with fever and with inflammatory/immune responses in the lungs. Conditions in near-miss SIDS cases are linked to dysregulated sodium, and increased sodium dietary intake suggests that sodium toxicity from a high-salt diet potentially mediates the association of seasonality and socioeconomic status with SIDS incidence. In addition, exposure to sodium toxicity meets three main criteria of the triple risk model of SIDS. The proposed pathophysiological effects of pulmonary edema related to sodium toxicity in SIDS merit further investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Nutrition and Diseases)
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22 pages, 745 KiB  
Review
The Menace of Candida auris Epidemic Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review
by Hala Najeeb, Sarush Ahmed Siddiqui, Zahra Anas, Syed Hasan Ali, Shajie Ur Rehman Usmani, Fareeha Jawed and Hafsa Nazir Jatoi
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030058 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4676
Abstract
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has sparked a medical emergency worldwide. With the rise in COVID-19 infections and an eventual increase in hospitalized critically ill patients, a trend of bacterial, fungal, and [...] Read more.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has sparked a medical emergency worldwide. With the rise in COVID-19 infections and an eventual increase in hospitalized critically ill patients, a trend of bacterial, fungal, and viral superinfection has been noted. One important agent of co-infection identified is Candida auris. Due to its multidrug-resistant nature and easy transmissibility, C. auris is difficult to manage in COVID-positive patients. Patients with comorbidities, immunosuppressive states, intubated and on ventilators are more likely to contract the fungal infection. Therefore, it is essential to the first screen, diagnose, and isolate patients with C. auris infection and manage and treat them while preventing the spread of the disease. Failure to recognize and prevent its spread may lead to an eventual epidemic or even a pandemic during the current COVID-pandemic, which the exhausted healthcare system can most definitely not handle. This systematic review investigates the prevalence of C. auris, its pathophysiology, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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9 pages, 268 KiB  
Review
Gastric Cancer Due to Chronic H. pylori Infection: What We Know and Where We Are Going
by Patrick Joseph Tempera, Mark Michael, Omar Tageldin and Stephen Hasak
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030057 - 25 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2829
Abstract
Helicobacter pylori is an established cause of many gastrointestinal pathologies including peptic ulcer disease, gastritis, and gastric cancer. It is an entity that affects the global population, and its true nature has only been known since the 1980s. Although there is much known [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pylori is an established cause of many gastrointestinal pathologies including peptic ulcer disease, gastritis, and gastric cancer. It is an entity that affects the global population, and its true nature has only been known since the 1980s. Although there is much known about H. pylori including its pathophysiology, detection, and eradication, resistance to current therapy models is common. This is problematic because untreated or inadequately treated H. pylori increases morbidity and mortality related to gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease among others. In order to improve the treatment and reduce resistance, there is significant ongoing research identifying new detection and eradication methods for H. pylori. This review aims to highlight what has already been established regarding H. pylori’s epidemiology, pathophysiology, detection, and treatment as well as the most current and novel research involving detection and treatment of H. pylori. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gastrointestinal Tract Inflammation and Cancers)
10 pages, 7433 KiB  
Article
A Deep Learning Methodology for the Detection of Abnormal Parathyroid Glands via Scintigraphy with 99mTc-Sestamibi
by Ioannis D. Apostolopoulos, Nikolaos D. Papathanasiou and Dimitris J. Apostolopoulos
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030056 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2431
Abstract
Background: Parathyroid proliferative disorder encompasses a wide spectrum of diseases, including parathyroid adenoma (PTA), parathyroid hyperplasia, and parathyroid carcinoma. Imaging modalities that deliver their results preoperatively help in the localisation of parathyroid glands (PGs) and assist in surgery. Artificial intelligence and, more specifically, [...] Read more.
Background: Parathyroid proliferative disorder encompasses a wide spectrum of diseases, including parathyroid adenoma (PTA), parathyroid hyperplasia, and parathyroid carcinoma. Imaging modalities that deliver their results preoperatively help in the localisation of parathyroid glands (PGs) and assist in surgery. Artificial intelligence and, more specifically, image detection methods, can assist medical experts and reduce the workload in their everyday routine. Methods: The present study employs an innovative CNN topology called ParaNet, to analyse early MIBI, late MIBI, and TcO4 thyroid scan images simultaneously to perform first-level discrimination between patients with abnormal PGs (aPG) and patients with normal PGs (nPG). The study includes 632 parathyroid scans. Results: ParaNet exhibits a top performance, reaching an accuracy of 96.56% in distinguishing between aPG and nPG scans. Its sensitivity and specificity are 96.38% and 97.02%, respectively. PPV and NPV values are 98.76% and 91.57%, respectively. Conclusions: The proposed network is the first to introduce the automatic discrimination of PG and nPG scans acquired by scintigraphy with 99mTc-sestamibi (MIBI). This methodology could be applied to the everyday routine of medics for real-time evaluation or educational purposes. Full article
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11 pages, 573 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Post-COVID-19 Conditions among SARS-CoV-2-Infected Patients in Saudi Arabia: A Web-Based Cross-Sectional Study
by Mohammed Samannodi, Hassan Alwafi, Abdallah Y. Naser, Abdullah A. Al Qurashi, Jumanah T. Qedair, Emad Salawati, Mohammed A. Almatrafi, Rakan Ekram, Rahaf I. Bukhari, Maryam Dahlawi, Bayan Hafiz, Roaa Mandora, Ranin K. Alsindi, Sarah Tayeb and Faisal Minshawi
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030055 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3026
Abstract
Background: Large numbers of people infected with COVID-19 developed acute symptoms. Post-COVID-19 conditions have been reported after recovery or discharge from the hospital. However, little is known about the prevalence and possible risk factors of post-COVID-19 conditions in the Saudi community. Here, we [...] Read more.
Background: Large numbers of people infected with COVID-19 developed acute symptoms. Post-COVID-19 conditions have been reported after recovery or discharge from the hospital. However, little is known about the prevalence and possible risk factors of post-COVID-19 conditions in the Saudi community. Here, we describe the incidence of post-COVID-19 conditions among the general population of Saudi Arabia. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, nationwide study using an online survey in Saudi Arabia from 1 September 2021 to 28 February 2022. The survey was distributed using social media platforms, such as Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook. Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were included in the questionnaire adapted from published studies. Result: The study enrolled 7520 individuals who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. Most patients in our study were symptomatic and their acute symptoms may persist for more than six days. On the other hand, long-term complications may develop and continue for an extended period (post-COVID-19 conditions). Most of these complications are respiratory, neurological, psychological, or skin related. The proportion of long-term complications reported in this study is 36% among SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals. In addition, being female, old age, number of chronic complications, long-term medication, length of stay in hospital and intensive care unit, and duration of acute symptoms may be significant predictors of post-COVID-19 symptoms. Conclusion: In conclusion, the incidence of post-COVID-19 conditions among the Saudi population was high, which urges further investigation into the risk factors associated with post-COVID-19 symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Global Chronic Disease II)
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14 pages, 2952 KiB  
Case Report
Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis in the Setting of Therapy-Induced Acute Myeloid Leukemia: An Autopsy Report
by Hisham F. Bahmad, Samantha Gogola, Mohamad K. Elajami, Carole Brathwaite, Amilcar A. Castellano-Sánchez, Vathany Sriganeshan and Yumna Omarzai
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030054 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 2538
Abstract
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a life-threatening hyper-inflammatory disorder that occurs due to immunologic dysregulation. HLH can be primary (hereditary) or secondary to infections, autoimmune diseases, immune deficiencies, metabolic diseases, drugs, or malignancies. Lymphoid neoplasms mostly accompany malignancy-associated HLH. We present a case of [...] Read more.
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a life-threatening hyper-inflammatory disorder that occurs due to immunologic dysregulation. HLH can be primary (hereditary) or secondary to infections, autoimmune diseases, immune deficiencies, metabolic diseases, drugs, or malignancies. Lymphoid neoplasms mostly accompany malignancy-associated HLH. We present a case of a 12-year-old boy with a history of precursor B lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), who subsequently developed chemotherapy-induced acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML). The patient was admitted for febrile neutropenia and initial laboratory tests revealed hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). The hospital course was complicated by multiple infections and septic shock. The patient received several broad-spectrum antimicrobials, dexamethasone, as well as a pericardial drain to drain the hemorrhagic pericardial effusion. Despite intervention, the patient expired, and an autopsy was performed. We provide a synopsis of the main autopsy findings. Full article
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13 pages, 1045 KiB  
Review
Acute Kidney Injury in COVID-19 Patients: Pathogenesis, Clinical Characteristics, Therapy, and Mortality
by Venice Chávez-Valencia, Citlalli Orizaga-de-la-Cruz and Francisco Alejandro Lagunas-Rangel
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030053 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3029
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and has represented one of the greatest challenges humanity has faced in recent years. The virus can infect a large number of organs, including the lungs and upper respiratory [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and has represented one of the greatest challenges humanity has faced in recent years. The virus can infect a large number of organs, including the lungs and upper respiratory tract, brain, liver, kidneys, and intestines, among many others. Although the greatest damage occurs in the lungs, the kidneys are not exempt, and acute kidney injury (AKI) can occur in patients with COVID-19. Indeed, AKI is one of the most frequent and serious organic complications of COVID-19. The incidence of COVID-19 AKI varies widely, and the exact mechanisms of how the virus damages the kidney are still unknown. For this reason, the purpose of this review was to assess current findings on the pathogenesis, clinical features, therapy, and mortality of COVID-19 AKI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Global Chronic Disease II)
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16 pages, 1332 KiB  
Article
Effective Combination Immunotherapy with Oncolytic Adenovirus and Anti-PD-1 for Treatment of Human and Murine Ovarian Cancers
by Camilla Heiniö, James Clubb, Tatiana Kudling, Dafne Quixabeira, Victor Cervera-Carrascon, Riikka Havunen, Susanna Grönberg-Vähä-Koskela, João Manuel Santos, Johanna Tapper, Anna Kanerva and Akseli Hemminki
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030052 - 8 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2594
Abstract
Ovarian cancer (OvCa) is one of the most common gynecological cancers and has the highest mortality in this category. Tumors are often detected late, and unfortunately over 70% of OvCa patients experience relapse after first-line treatments. OvCa has shown low response rates to [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer (OvCa) is one of the most common gynecological cancers and has the highest mortality in this category. Tumors are often detected late, and unfortunately over 70% of OvCa patients experience relapse after first-line treatments. OvCa has shown low response rates to immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatments, thus leaving room for improvement. We have shown that oncolytic adenoviral therapy with Ad5/3-E2F-d24-hTNFa-IRES-hIL2 (aka. TILT-123) is promising for single-agent treatment of cancer, but also for sensitizing tumors for T-cell dependent immunotherapy approaches, such as ICI treatments. Therefore, this study set out to determine the effect of inhibition of the immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), in the context of TILT-123 therapy of OvCa. We show that simultaneous treatment of patient derived samples with TILT-123 and ICIs anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 efficiently reduced overall viability. The combinations induced T cell activation, T cells expressed activation markers more often, and the treatment caused positive microenvironment changes, measured by flow cytometric assays. Furthermore, in an immunocompetent in vivo C57BL/6NHsda mouse model, tumor growth was hindered, when treated with TILT-123, ICI or both. Taken together, this study provides a rationale for using TILT-123 virotherapy in combination with TILT-123 and immune checkpoint inhibitors together in an ovarian cancer OvCa clinical trial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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16 pages, 364 KiB  
Article
Time to Death and Associated Factors among Tuberculosis Patients in South West Ethiopia: Application of Shared Frailty Model
by Yasin Negash Jabir, Tafere Tilahun Aniley, Reta Habtamu Bacha, Legesse Kassa Debusho, Teshita Uke Chikako, John Elvis Hagan, Jr., Abdul-Aziz Seidu and Bright Opoku Ahinkorah
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030051 - 5 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2277
Abstract
(1) Background: Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease mainly caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is one of the major public health problems in the world and now ranks alongside human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the leading infectious cause of death. The objective of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease mainly caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is one of the major public health problems in the world and now ranks alongside human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the leading infectious cause of death. The objective of this study was to investigate the potential risk factors affecting the time to death of TB patients in southwest Ethiopia using parametric shared frailty models. (2) Methods: A retrospective study design was used to collect monthly records of TB patients in three selected hospitals in southwest Ethiopia. The data used in the study were obtained from patients who took part in the directly observed treatment, short-course (DOTS) program from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2019. The survival probability was analyzed by the Kaplan–Meier method. Log-rank tests and parametric shared frailty models were applied to investigate factors associated with death during TB treatment. (3) Results: Out of the total sample of 604 registered TB patients, 46 (7.6%) died during the study period and 558 (92.4%) were censored. It was found that the median time of death for TB patients was 5 months. Hospitals were used to assess the cluster effect of the frailty model. A Gamma shared frailty model with Weibull distribution for baseline hazard function was selected among all models considered and was used for this study. It was found that the covariates, age, initial weight, extrapulmonary type of TB patient, patient category, and HIV status of TB patient were significant risk factors associated with death status among TB patients. (4) Conclusions: The risk of death was high, especially with cases of HIV co-infected, retreated, and returned-after-treatment categories of TB patients. During the treatment period, the risk of death was high for older TB patients and patients with low baseline body weight measurements. Therefore, health professionals should focus on the identified factors to improve the survival time of TB patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Respiratory Diseases)
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11 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Work Conditions of Italian Nurses and Their Related Risk Factors: A Cohort Investigatory Study
by Elsa Vitale
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030050 - 3 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1919
Abstract
(1) Background: Nursing is a satisfying employment pathway, as nurses preserve lives, but it is also considered one of the most stressful care professions. Nursing is a lifesaving and highly satisfying profession, yet it is considered one of the most stressful occupations. This [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Nursing is a satisfying employment pathway, as nurses preserve lives, but it is also considered one of the most stressful care professions. Nursing is a lifesaving and highly satisfying profession, yet it is considered one of the most stressful occupations. This study aimed to assess differences in anxiety, depression and stress states among nurses according to gender, work history, shift and body mass index (BMI) characteristics. (2) Methods: An online questionnaire was addressed to all Italian nurses during May 2022, investigating anxiety, depression and stress conditions according to the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 Items (DASS-21) and sampling characteristics, such as sex, work experience, shift and BMI values. (3) Results: A total of 408 Italian nurses answered the questionnaire. Significant differences between the following were reported: anxiety levels and work experience, since nurses employed over 6 years reported higher anxiety levels than their younger colleagues (p = 0.035); depression levels and sex (p = 0.017), as females reported higher depression levels than males; and also between depression levels and BMI levels (p = 0.003), as 5.90% of overweight and 2.50% of obese participants reported extremely severe depression. By considering stress levels according to sampling characteristics, significant differences were registered according to BMI levels (p < 0.001), as overweight subjects reported higher stress levels (7.40%) than the other subgroups. Finally, significant associations were recorded between anxiety, depression and stress conditions with sex, work experience, shift and BMI. (4) Conclusions: The data were in agreement with the current literature, indicating that nurses might take care not only of their patients but also of themselves, in both the physical and mental aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammation in Neuro-Psychiatric Disorders 2.0)
8 pages, 962 KiB  
Brief Report
T-Cell Assay after COVID-19 Vaccination Could Be a Useful Tool? A Pilot Study on Interferon-Gamma Release Assay in Healthcare Workers
by Silva Seraceni, Elena Zocca, Tamara Emanuela Cervone, Flaminia Tomassetti, Isabella Polidori, Massimiliano Valisi, Francesco Broccolo, Graziella Calugi, Sergio Bernardini and Massimo Pieri
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030049 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2428
Abstract
Background: SARS-CoV-2 T-cells are crucial for long-term protection against reinfection. The aim was to demonstrate the Interferon-gamma Release Assay (IGRA) test could be useful for vaccination monitoring. Methods: In a prospective cohort of 98 vaccinated healthcare workers for SARS-CoV-2, we selected 23 people [...] Read more.
Background: SARS-CoV-2 T-cells are crucial for long-term protection against reinfection. The aim was to demonstrate the Interferon-gamma Release Assay (IGRA) test could be useful for vaccination monitoring. Methods: In a prospective cohort of 98 vaccinated healthcare workers for SARS-CoV-2, we selected 23 people in low-antibodies (Group 1, N = 8), high-antibodies (Group 2, N = 9), and negative control groups (Group 3, N = 6). SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral and cellular responses were analyzed at 8 months after two doses of Pfizer BioNTech, evaluating anti-RBD (Receptor Binding Domain) and RBD-ACE2 (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme-2) blocking antibodies in sera through a Chemiluminescence Immunoassay (CLIA) and T-cells through the IGRA test in heparinized plasma. Moreover, lymphocyte subtyping was executed by a flow cytometer. Statistical analysis was performed. Results: The data confirmed that RBD and RBD-ACE2 blocking ACE2 antibody levels of Group 1 were significantly lower than Group 2; p < 0.001. However, T-cells showed no significant difference between Group 1 and Group 2. Conclusions: This work suggests the need for new strategies for booster doses administration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Serological Studies on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Infection)
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10 pages, 553 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Use of Long-Term Second-Generation Antipsychotics on Liver and Kidney Function: A Prospective Study
by Evangelia Papatriantafyllou, Dimitris Efthymiou, Maria Markopoulou, Efthymia-Maria Sakellariou and Emilia Vassilopoulou
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030048 - 22 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3816
Abstract
(1) Background: The second-generation antipsychotics (SGAPs) induce metabolic and inflammatory side effects, but documentation of their effects on the liver and kidneys is scarce. Aim: To study the three-year fluctuation of selected markers of renal and hepatic function in forensic psychiatric patients receiving [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The second-generation antipsychotics (SGAPs) induce metabolic and inflammatory side effects, but documentation of their effects on the liver and kidneys is scarce. Aim: To study the three-year fluctuation of selected markers of renal and hepatic function in forensic psychiatric patients receiving SGAPs for more than five years. (2) Methods: Thirty-five forensic psychiatric patients (N = 35) were classified into two groups according to the type of SGAPs used for their treatment and the relevant risk of weight gain and metabolic complications. The three-year medication history, anthropometric data and biochemical data relevant to renal and hepatic function were retrieved from the individual medical files, specifically: serum levels of urea, uric acid, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase and amylase; the liver function enzymes, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase(γ-GT), and also the inflammatory index C-reactive protein (CRP). (3) Results: The patients receiving the SGAPs with a low risk for weight gain showed no significant fluctuation in the biochemical markers over the three-year period. The patients receiving the SGAPs with a high risk for weight gain showed significant differences between at least two measurements of uric acid (p = 0.015), SGOT (p = 0.018) and SGPT (p = 0.051). They showed significantly higher levels of creatinine in the third year compared to the second year (p = 0.029), and SGOT in the second year compared to the first (p = 0.038), and lower levels of SGPT in the third year compared to the second (p = 0.024). (4) Conclusion:In addition to consideration of possible metabolic and inflammatory complications, the choice of an antipsychotic drug for long-term treatment should also take into account the risk of hepatotoxicity and kidney damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Nutrition and Diseases)
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14 pages, 1233 KiB  
Article
Unmet Nutritional and Psychological Needs of Cancer Patients: An Integrated Multi-Professional Model Approach
by Giuseppe Carruba, Maria Luisa Calagna, Ildegarda Campisi, Stella Cutrera, Laura Napoli, Giovanni Pitti, Valentina Palmisano, Giuseppina Savio, Antonella Usset, Vita Leonardi, Angela Di Pasquale, Salvatore Requirez and Livio Blasi
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030047 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2709
Abstract
This paper presents a multi-professional integrated approach toward the recognition and management of the nutritional and psychological needs of cancer patients. In particular, the patients undertook a multi-professional, multistep process that included the collection of both personal and clinical data, the evaluation of [...] Read more.
This paper presents a multi-professional integrated approach toward the recognition and management of the nutritional and psychological needs of cancer patients. In particular, the patients undertook a multi-professional, multistep process that included the collection of both personal and clinical data, the evaluation of anthropometric measures, nutritional status and psychometric indices, and an ensuing personalized nutritional prescription and psychological support, ultimately leading to combined nutritional and psychological interventions to control their adherence to a nutritional program and to consolidate motivation to change. Overall, 120 patients were recruited for the study. The majority (84.2%) were female. Breast cancer was by far the most frequent malignancy (52.5%), followed by colorectal (17.5%), pancreatic (9.2%), ovarian (9.2%) and lung (5.0%) cancers. The results of the nutritional and psychological screening at baseline indicated that only 35% of patients had a normal BMI, whilst a relatively high proportion (nearly 32%) was overweight or obese (25%). The INRAN and MEDI-LITE questionnaires, which were used to assess the eating habits and adherence to a Mediterranean diet, respectively, revealed a mixed prevalence of cereals/cereal-based, fresh/processed meat, and fish or fishery food, with a medium–low adherence to the Mediterranean diet in nearly 38% of patients. The BUT, HADS and SF-36 tests, which were used to assess psychological disturbances, showed that 37.5% of patients had disorders regarding body image, 29.2% had abnormal anxiety and 20.0% had a depressive state, while no significant association was observed between the SF-36 PCS and MCS and the patients′ characteristics. The results of the potential impact of this novel approach on the QoL of patients after completion of the course are awaited with expectation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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17 pages, 2908 KiB  
Article
Immunological Effects of Dimethyldioctadecylammonium Bromide and Saponin as Adjuvants for Outer Membrane Vesicles from Neisseria meningitidis
by Victor Araujo Correa, Amanda Izeli Portilho and Elizabeth De Gaspari
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030046 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2509
Abstract
The meningococcal disease is a global health threat, but is preventable through vaccination. Adjuvants improve meningococcal vaccines and are able to trigger different aspects of the immune response. The present work evaluated the immune response of mice against Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane vesicles [...] Read more.
The meningococcal disease is a global health threat, but is preventable through vaccination. Adjuvants improve meningococcal vaccines and are able to trigger different aspects of the immune response. The present work evaluated the immune response of mice against Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane vesicles (OMV) complexed with the adjuvants aluminium hydroxide (AH), via subcutaneous route; and dimethyldioctadecylammonium bromide (DDA) or Saponin (Sap), via intranasal/subcutaneous routes. ELISA demonstrated that all adjuvants increased IgG titers after the booster dose, remaining elevated for 18 months. Additionally, adjuvants increased the avidity of the antibodies and the bactericidal titer: OMVs alone were bactericidal until 1:4 dilution but, when adjuvanted by Alum, DDA or Sap, it increased to 1/32. DDA and Sap increased all IgG isotypes, while AH improved IgG1 and IgG2a levels. Thus, Sap led to the recognition of more proteins in Immunoblot, followed by DDA and AH. Sap and AH induced higher IL-4 and IL-17 release, respectively. The use of adjuvants improved both cellular and humoral immune response, however, each adjuvant contributed to particular parameters. This demonstrates the importance of studying different adjuvant options and their suitability to stimulate different immune mechanisms, modulating the immune response. Full article
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14 pages, 287 KiB  
Review
Gastrointestinal Tract Microbiome Effect and Role in Disease Development
by Neira Crnčević, Mirsada Hukić, Sara Deumić, Amir Selimagić, Ada Dozić, Ismet Gavrankapetanović, Dženana Klepo and Monia Avdić
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030045 - 8 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3241
Abstract
In recent years, it has been shown that gastrointestinal microflora has a substantial impact on the development of a large number of chronic diseases. The imbalance in the number or type of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to diseases and conditions, [...] Read more.
In recent years, it has been shown that gastrointestinal microflora has a substantial impact on the development of a large number of chronic diseases. The imbalance in the number or type of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to diseases and conditions, including autism spectrum disorder, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and small bowel cancers. This can occur as a result of genetics, alcohol, tobacco, chemotherapeutics, cytostatics, as well as antibiotic overuse. Due to this, essential taxa can be lost, and the host’s metabolism can be severely affected. A less known condition called small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can be seen in patients who suffer from hypochlorhydria and small intestine cancers. It is characterized as a state in which the bacterial population in the small intestine exceeds 105–106 organisms/mL. The latest examination methods such as double-balloon enteroscopy and wireless capsule endoscopy have the potential to increase the accuracy and precision of diagnosis and provide better patient care. This review paper aims to summarize the effect of the gastrointestinal environment on chronic disease severity and the development of cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gastrointestinal Tract Inflammation and Cancers)
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16 pages, 4377 KiB  
Review
The 8th Wonder of the Cancer World: Esophageal Cancer and Inflammation
by Harleen Kaur Chela, Karthik Gangu, Hamza Ertugrul, Alhareth Al Juboori, Ebubekir Daglilar and Veysel Tahan
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030044 - 7 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3225
Abstract
Esophageal cancer is a devastating malignancy which can be detected at an early stage but is more often diagnosed as an advanced process. It affects both men and women and inflicts the young and the elderly. There are multiple underlying factors involved in [...] Read more.
Esophageal cancer is a devastating malignancy which can be detected at an early stage but is more often diagnosed as an advanced process. It affects both men and women and inflicts the young and the elderly. There are multiple underlying factors involved in the pathogenesis of this cancer including inflammation. The interplay of these factors promotes inflammation through various mechanisms including the recruitment of pro-inflammatory cells, mediators such as cytokines, reactive oxygen species, and interleukins, among others. The presentation can vary widely with one of the most notable symptoms being dysphagia. Diagnosis is based on clinical symptomatology, imaging and endoscopy with biopsy. Once the diagnosis has been established, treatment and prognosis are based on the stage of the disease. This review outlines esophageal cancer and its link to inflammation in relation to pathogenesis, along with clinical features, diagnosis and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gastrointestinal Tract Inflammation and Cancers)
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11 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Clinical Application of the Food Compass Score: Positive Association to Mediterranean Diet Score, Health Star Rating System and an Early Eating Pattern in University Students
by Paraskevi Detopoulou, Dimitra Syka, Konstantina Koumi, Vasileios Dedes, Konstantinos Tzirogiannis and Georgios I. Panoutsopoulos
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030043 - 7 Jul 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2438
Abstract
Nutrient profiling systems (NPS) assist consumers in food choices. Several scores based on NPS have been proposed, but data on their clinical application are lacking. The food compass score (FCS) is a newly developed NPS per 100 kcal (from 1 “least healthy” to [...] Read more.
Nutrient profiling systems (NPS) assist consumers in food choices. Several scores based on NPS have been proposed, but data on their clinical application are lacking. The food compass score (FCS) is a newly developed NPS per 100 kcal (from 1 “least healthy” to 100 “most healthy”). We examined the correlations of FCS with other indices, food groups, and meal patterns. A total of 346 students of the University of the Peloponnese (269 women and 77 men) participated. Dietary habits were evaluated with a food frequency questionnaire, and FCS, health star rating score (HSR), and MedDietScore were computed. Meal and snack frequency consumption was reported. Principal component analysis revealed three meal patterns: “early eater” (breakfast, morning snack and afternoon snack), “medium eater” (lunch and dinner), and “late eater” (bedtime snack). Pearson partial correlations between ranked variables were used to test the correlation coefficients between FCS, other scores, and meal patterns, after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, and underreporting. FCS was positively correlated to HSR (rho = 0.761, p ≤ 0.001) in a multi-adjusted analysis. In the highest tertile of MedDietScore FCS was also positively correlated to MedDietScore (rho = 0.379, p < 0.001). The FCS was positively correlated with juices, high-fat dairy, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and olive oil and negatively correlated with sodas, alcoholic drinks, red meat, refined grains, sweets, fats other than olive oil, fast foods, and coffee. In addition, it related positively to the “early eater” pattern (rho = 0.207, p < 0.001). The FCS was associated with other quality indices and better nutritional habits, such as being an early eater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Nutrition and Diseases)
13 pages, 306 KiB  
Review
Nutritional and Nutrition-Related Biomarkers as Prognostic Factors of Sarcopenia, and Their Role in Disease Progression
by Sousana K. Papadopoulou, Gavriela Voulgaridou, Foivi S. Kondyli, Mariella Drakaki, Kyriaki Sianidou, Rozalia Andrianopoulou, Nikolaos Rodopaios and Agathi Pritsa
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030042 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4204
Abstract
Due to the multifactorial pathogenesis of sarcopenia, it is crucial to identify biomarkers that are risk factors for sarcopenia, and which therefore have a prognostic function. Aim: This narrative review aims to define a set of biomarkers associated with nutrition and sarcopenia. [...] Read more.
Due to the multifactorial pathogenesis of sarcopenia, it is crucial to identify biomarkers that are risk factors for sarcopenia, and which therefore have a prognostic function. Aim: This narrative review aims to define a set of biomarkers associated with nutrition and sarcopenia. These biomarkers could contribute to individualized monitoring and enable preventive and therapeutic methods. Methods: Two electronic databases, PubMed and Google Scholar, were used. The search strategy was based on a controlled vocabulary (MeSH) and includes studies published up to February 2022. Discussion: Higher levels of serum uric acid are associated with higher handgrip strength and better muscle function in elderly people and, thus, may slow the progression of sarcopenia. Leptin, an adipokine secreted by adipose tissue, promotes the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which in turn lead to sarcopenia. This makes leptin a significant indirect biomarker for physical disability and sarcopenic obesity. Additionally, creatinine is a reliable biomarker for muscle mass status because of its easy accessibility and cost-effectiveness. Vitamin D status acts as a useful biomarker for predicting total mortality, hip fractures, early death, and the development of sarcopenia. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in dietary antioxidants and their effects on age-related losses of muscle mass and function. On the other hand, 3-Methylhistidine is a valuable biomarker for detecting increased muscle catabolism, as it is excreted through urine during muscle degradation. In addition, IGF-1, whose concentration in plasma is stimulated by food intake, is associated with the loss of skeletal muscle mass, which probably plays a crucial role in the progression of sarcopenia. Conclusions: Many nutritional biomarkers were found to be associated with sarcopenia, and can therefore be used as prognostic indexes and risk factors. Nutrition plays an important role in the prevention and management of sarcopenia, affecting muscle mass, strength, and function in elderly people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Nutrition and Diseases)
15 pages, 855 KiB  
Review
Interleukin Inhibitors in Cytokine Release Syndrome and Neurotoxicity Secondary to CAR-T Therapy
by Puri Ferreros and Isabel Trapero
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030041 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2970
Abstract
Introduction: Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy is an innovative therapeutic option for addressing certain recurrent or refractory hematological malignancies. However, CAR-T cells also cause the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines that lead to life-threatening cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity. Objective: To study the [...] Read more.
Introduction: Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy is an innovative therapeutic option for addressing certain recurrent or refractory hematological malignancies. However, CAR-T cells also cause the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines that lead to life-threatening cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity. Objective: To study the efficacy of interleukin inhibitors in addressing cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurotoxicity secondary to CAR-T therapy. Methodology: The authors conducted a bibliographic review in which 10 articles were analyzed. These included cut-off studies, case reports, and clinical trials involving 11 cancer centers and up to 475 patients over 18 years of age. Results: Tocilizumab is the only interleukin inhibitor approved to address CRS secondary to CAR-T therapy due to its efficacy and safety. Other inhibitors, such as siltuximab and anakinra, could be useful in combination with tocilizumab for preventing severe cytokine release and neurotoxicity. In addition, the new specific inhibitors could be effective in mitigating CRS without affecting the cytotoxic efficacy of CAR-T therapy. Conclusion: More lines of research should be opened to elucidate the true implications of these drugs in treating the side effects of CAR-T therapy. Full article
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10 pages, 697 KiB  
Article
Are We Identifying Malnutrition in Hospitalized Patients with Hematologic Malignancies? Results from a Quality Clinical Audit
by Eftychia Kanioura, Ioannis-Georgios Tzanninis, Kalliopi-Anna Poulia, Aliki Stamou, Athanasios Liaskas, Dimitrios Politis, Athina Kaoura, Georgios Garefalakis, Nora Athina Viniou and Panagiotis Diamantopoulos
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030040 - 4 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
Disease-related malnutrition (DRM) is highly prevalent among patients with hematologic malignancies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of DRM in hospitalized patients with hematologic malignancies and investigate the level of awareness of DRM among the medical team treating [...] Read more.
Disease-related malnutrition (DRM) is highly prevalent among patients with hematologic malignancies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of DRM in hospitalized patients with hematologic malignancies and investigate the level of awareness of DRM among the medical team treating this group of patients. A cross sectional quality clinical audit took place in two hematology units of a tertiary university hospital. Inpatients were screened within 48 h of their admission using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) to identify their nutritional risk, and they were reassessed to identify the implemented interventions during their hospitalization. One hundred eighty-five patients were included in the audit analysis. On admission, 37.3% of the audited population was identified as being at high risk of malnutrition according to the MUST score. Forty-nine (26.5%) patients reported reduced food intake during the past 5 days, while four (2.2%) reported no food intake. During the hospitalization, only five patients (2.7%) received nutritional support, as indicated. Low levels of awareness of the early detection and treatment of DMS were found. Moreover, the prevalence of DRM and low nutritional intake was reported to be low. Measures to increase awareness of DMR in the medical team and better coordination of the nutrition support teams is vital to ensure better management and early nutrition intervention in hematological patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Nutrition and Diseases)
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14 pages, 1258 KiB  
Article
Plasma Nickel Levels Correlate with Low Muscular Strength and Renal Function Parameters in Patients with Prostate Cancer
by Antoni Alegre-Martínez, María Isabel Martínez-Martínez, José Rubio-Briones and Omar Cauli
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030039 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2282
Abstract
Nickel is associated with cancer in occupational exposure. However, few studies have been devoted to analyzing the effects of nickel at environmental concentrations in cancer patients. In this work, the concentration of nickel in blood samples from patients with prostate cancer (PCa) was [...] Read more.
Nickel is associated with cancer in occupational exposure. However, few studies have been devoted to analyzing the effects of nickel at environmental concentrations in cancer patients. In this work, the concentration of nickel in blood samples from patients with prostate cancer (PCa) was evaluated because this metal displays androgenic and estrogenic effects that play a crucial role in prostate carcinogenesis and treatment. We, therefore, compared blood nickel concentration in patients with PCa (non-occupationally exposed) (n = 46) with those in control age-matched individuals (n = 46). We also analyzed if there was any association between sociodemographic factors, clinical variables, geriatric evaluation assessment results, blood cell counts, or biochemical, androgen and estrogen concentrations. Using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy on the plasma samples, we observed a mean nickel level of 4.97 ± 1.20 µg/L in the PCa group and 3.59 ± 0.49 µg/L in the control group, with a non-significant effect (p = 0.293) between the two groups. The nickel concentration was significantly correlated with patient age (p = 0.005) and reduced handgrip strength (p = 0.003). Regarding biochemical parameters, significant associations were found with the renal glomerular filtration rate (p = 0.024) and blood urea levels (p = 0.016). No significant correlations were observed with other blood analytical parameters or testosterone or estradiol levels. These specific renal function and muscle strength effects were observed at environmental nickel exposure levels believed to be safe or at least far from the high concentrations observed after occupational exposure. Therefore, these parameters deserve further study, given that they could help pinpoint further public health concerns regarding nickel exposure in the general population. Full article
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11 pages, 3093 KiB  
Article
Predicting the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Italian Regions: The Calabria Case Study, February 2020–March 2022
by Francesco Branda, Ludovico Abenavoli, Massimo Pierini and Sandra Mazzoli
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030038 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2811
Abstract
Despite the stunning speed with which highly effective and safe vaccines have been developed, the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 causes high rates of (re)infection, a major impact on health care services, and a slowdown to the socio-economic system. For COVID-19, accurate [...] Read more.
Despite the stunning speed with which highly effective and safe vaccines have been developed, the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 causes high rates of (re)infection, a major impact on health care services, and a slowdown to the socio-economic system. For COVID-19, accurate and timely forecasts are therefore essential to provide the opportunity to rapidly identify risk areas affected by the pandemic, reallocate the use of health resources, design countermeasures, and increase public awareness. This paper presents the design and implementation of an approach based on autoregressive models to reliably forecast the spread of COVID-19 in Italian regions. Starting from the database of the Italian Civil Protection Department (DPC), the experimental evaluation was performed on real-world data collected from February 2020 to March 2022, focusing on Calabria, a region of Southern Italy. This evaluation shows that the proposed approach achieves a good predictive power for out-of-sample predictions within one week (R-squared > 0.9 at 1 day, R-squared > 0.7 at 7 days), although it decreases with increasing forecasted days (R-squared > 0.5 at 14 days). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Global Chronic Disease II)
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16 pages, 1013 KiB  
Review
Quercetin: A Molecule of Great Biochemical and Clinical Value and Its Beneficial Effect on Diabetes and Cancer
by Aikaterini-Spyridoula Michala and Agathi Pritsa
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030037 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 4488
Abstract
Quercetin belongs to the broader category of polyphenols. It is found, in particular, among the flavonols, and along with kaempferol, myricetin and isorhamnetin, it is recognized as a foreign substance after ingestion in contrast to vitamins. Quercetin occurs mainly linked to sugars with [...] Read more.
Quercetin belongs to the broader category of polyphenols. It is found, in particular, among the flavonols, and along with kaempferol, myricetin and isorhamnetin, it is recognized as a foreign substance after ingestion in contrast to vitamins. Quercetin occurs mainly linked to sugars with the most common compounds being quercetin-3-O-glucoside or as an aglycone, especially in the plant population. The aim of this review is to present a recent bibliography on the mechanisms of quercetin absorption and metabolism, bioavailability, and antioxidant and the clinical effects in diabetes and cancer. The literature reports a positive effect of quercetin on oxidative stress, cancer, and the regulation of blood sugar levels. Moreover, research-administered drug dosages of up to 2000 mg per day showed mild to no symptoms of overdose. It should be noted that quercetin is no longer considered a carcinogenic substance. The daily intake of quercetin in the diet ranges 10 mg–500 mg, depending on the type of products consumed. This review highlights that quercetin is a valuable dietary antioxidant, although a specific daily recommended intake for this substance has not yet been determined and further studies are required to decide a beneficial concentration threshold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Nutrition and Diseases)
6 pages, 226 KiB  
Review
Serum Biomarkers in a Radiological Pattern of Non-Fibrotic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis: Implications for Mechanistic Difference and Differential Diagnosis
by Takayuki Takimoto and Yukihiro Nakamura
Diseases 2022, 10(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10030036 - 27 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a consequence of immune-mediated reactions caused by recurrent exposure to environmental agents. Recently, clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis of HP were published and increased interest in HP. On the other hand, novel therapies have recently emerged for various [...] Read more.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a consequence of immune-mediated reactions caused by recurrent exposure to environmental agents. Recently, clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis of HP were published and increased interest in HP. On the other hand, novel therapies have recently emerged for various diseases, and the management of drug-related pneumonitis (DRP) has become increasingly important. Among DRP, the HP pattern (DRP-HP) shows small, poorly defined centrilobular nodules with or without widespread areas of ground-glass opacity or lobular areas of decreased attenuation and vascularity. A similar radiological pattern of non-fibrotic HP can be induced, irrespective of inhalation (non-fibrotic HP) or intravenous administration (DRP-HP). However, their difference has not been well described, although the distribution of lesions in the lungs was slightly different between these two conditions. In this review, we focus on serum biomarkers of lung epithelial cells in order to investigate the difference between DRP-HP and non-fibrotic HP (common-HP). Serum levels of Krebs von den Lungen 6 (KL-6) might be relatively lower (occasionally normal) in DRP-HP than in common-HP, implying a mechanistic difference. KL-6 could be useful in discriminating between DRP and non-fibrotic HP (common type). Full article
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