Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases

A special issue of Biomedicines (ISSN 2227-9059). This special issue belongs to the section "Microbiology in Human Health and Disease".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 15704

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Medicine, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 050474 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: infectious diseases; behaviours related to vaccines; attitudes and practices
Department of Biomedical Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interests: autophagy; endosomal trafficking; metastasis; mitosis; Ca2+ signaling; viral infection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Infectious diseases represent a major threat to the health and wellbeing of humans on a global scale, especially following the COVID pandemic. The Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030 aims to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, and to combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases by 2030, which is extremely important. However, the global burden of infectious diseases is caused by a much wider variety of infectious diseases, and globalization and the recently emerging conflicts in worldwide have increased the risk for disease transmission, but also the risk of emerging new pathogens and new diseases. These diseases could be particularly deadly in countries experiencing or recovering from a natural disaster or conflict. Damage to health infrastructure and health services disrupt routine immunization, and overcrowding in residential settings greatly increases the risk of infection.

On the other hand, the COVID pandemic sharpened the focus on developing new technologies to prevent diseases and protect the people, and all these achievements should be promoted, explored, and discussed among scientists, in order to increase their benefits for all.

Sharing experience and knowledge about the recent developments related to infectious diseases will be beneficial for all scientists and countries to improve the surveillance and control of these diseases in their countries and improve resilience of the health systems. Authors are invited to submit their recent studies on the pathogenesis, diagnostic and therapy for infectious diseases as well as responses of health systems.

Dr. Adriana Pistol
Dr. Jianbo Yue
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • infectious diseases
  • pathogens
  • health systems
  • therapy

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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23 pages, 3582 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors for Pulmonary Embolism in Individuals Infected with SARS-CoV2—A Single-Centre Retrospective Study
by Alexandra Herlo, Adelina Raluca Marinescu, Talida Georgiana Cut, Ruxandra Laza, Cristian Iulian Oancea, Diana Manolescu, Elena Hogea, Tamara Mirela Porosnicu, Suzana Vasilica Sincaru, Raluca Dumache, Sorina Ispas, Andreea Nelson Twakor, Maria Nicolae and Voichita Elena Lazureanu
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040774 - 01 Apr 2024
Viewed by 537
Abstract
The emergence of SARS-CoV2 has presented itself as a significant global health crisis. The prevalence of thrombotic events is known to be high in these patients, affecting various organ systems, sometimes leading to cutaneous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke, or coronary thrombosis. The [...] Read more.
The emergence of SARS-CoV2 has presented itself as a significant global health crisis. The prevalence of thrombotic events is known to be high in these patients, affecting various organ systems, sometimes leading to cutaneous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke, or coronary thrombosis. The available evidence suggests that thromboembolism, hypercoagulability, and the excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines play a significant role in the development of multiorgan failure. Methodology: This retrospective single-centre study was conducted at “Victor Babes” University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Timisoara, Romania, involving a total of 420 patients diagnosed with COVID-19. We separated them into a CONTROL group that included 319 patients, and an intervention group (PE) with 101 patients that, subsequent to infection with the virus, developed pulmonary embolism. The study included the reporting of demographic data, laboratory findings, and comorbidities. Results: Out of a total of 420 patients, 24% experienced pulmonary embolism, while 21.42% died. Arterial thrombotic events were found to be associated with factors such as age, cardiovascular disease, levels of white blood cells, D-dimers, and albumin in the blood. The findings of the study indicate that there is an independent association between pulmonary thrombosis and hypertension (odds ratio (OR): 1.1; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7 to 1.7; p = 0.6463), cancer (OR: 1.1; 95% CI: 0.6 to 2.3; p = 0.6014), and COPD (OR: 1.2; 95% CI: 0.6 to 2.3; p = 0.4927). On the other hand, there is a stronger correlation between PE and obesity (OR: 2.8; 95% CI: 1.7 to 4.6; p < 0.0001), diabetes (OR: 3.3; 95% CI: 2 to 5.3; p < 0.0001), and dyslipidemia (OR: 3.6; 95% CI: 2.3 to 5.8; p < 0.0001) in a multivariable regression logistic model. Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with severe forms of COVID-19 display a comparable incidence of arterial thrombotic events, which have been linked to poor survival rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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18 pages, 2124 KiB  
Article
Using the Traditional Ex Vivo Whole Blood Model to Discriminate Bacteria by Their Inducible Host Responses
by Heather M. Chick, Megan E. Rees, Matthew L. Lewis, Lisa K. Williams, Owen Bodger, Llinos G. Harris, Steven Rushton and Thomas S. Wilkinson
Biomedicines 2024, 12(4), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12040724 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 777
Abstract
Whole blood models are rapid and versatile for determining immune responses to inflammatory and infectious stimuli, but they have not been used for bacterial discrimination. Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis and Escherichia coli are the most common causes of invasive disease, and rapid [...] Read more.
Whole blood models are rapid and versatile for determining immune responses to inflammatory and infectious stimuli, but they have not been used for bacterial discrimination. Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis and Escherichia coli are the most common causes of invasive disease, and rapid testing strategies utilising host responses remain elusive. Currently, immune responses can only discriminate between bacterial ‘domains’ (fungi, bacteria and viruses), and very few studies can use immune responses to discriminate bacteria at the species and strain level. Here, whole blood was used to investigate the relationship between host responses and bacterial strains. Results confirmed unique temporal profiles for the 10 parameters studied: IL-6, MIP-1α, MIP-3α, IL-10, resistin, phagocytosis, S100A8, S100A8/A9, C5a and TF3. Pairwise analysis confirmed that IL-6, resistin, phagocytosis, C5a and S100A8/A9 could be used in a discrimination scheme to identify to the strain level. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) confirmed that (i) IL-6, MIP-3α and TF3 could predict genera with 95% accuracy; (ii) IL-6, phagocytosis, resistin and TF3 could predict species at 90% accuracy and (iii) phagocytosis, S100A8 and IL-10 predicted strain at 40% accuracy. These data are important because they confirm the proof of concept that host biomarker panels could be used to identify bacterial pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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20 pages, 4492 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Infection Causes Heightened Disease Severity and Mortality in a Mouse Model of Down Syndrome
by Roger D. Pechous, Priyangi A. Malaviarachchi, Zhuo Xing, Avrium Douglas, Samantha D. Crane, Hayley M. Theriot, Zijing Zhang, Alireza Ghaffarieh, Lu Huang, Y. Eugene Yu and Xuming Zhang
Biomedicines 2024, 12(3), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12030543 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Recent epidemiological studies suggest that individuals with Down syndrome are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and have higher rates of hospitalization and mortality than the general population. However, the main drivers behind these disparate health outcomes remain unknown. Herein, we performed experimental infections [...] Read more.
Recent epidemiological studies suggest that individuals with Down syndrome are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and have higher rates of hospitalization and mortality than the general population. However, the main drivers behind these disparate health outcomes remain unknown. Herein, we performed experimental infections with SARS-CoV-2 in a well-established mouse model of Down syndrome. We observed similar SARS-CoV-2 replication kinetics and dissemination in the primary and secondary organs between mice with and without Down syndrome, suggesting that both groups have similar susceptibilities to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, Down syndrome mice exhibited more severe disease as defined by clinical features including symptoms, weight loss, pulmonary function, and survival of mice. We found that increased disease severity in Down syndrome mice could not be attributed solely to increased infectivity or a more dramatic pro-inflammatory response to infection. Rather, results from RNA sequencing suggested that differences in the expression of genes from other physiological pathways, such as deficient oxidative phosphorylation, cardiopulmonary dysfunction, and deficient mucociliary clearance in the lungs may also contribute to heightened disease severity and mortality in Down syndrome mice following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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14 pages, 3389 KiB  
Communication
Fulminant Leptospirosis Presenting with Rapidly Developing Acute Renal Failure and Multiorgan Failure
by Yu-Hsien Liu, Yu-Hsuan Chen and Chuan-Mu Chen
Biomedicines 2024, 12(2), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12020435 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 732
Abstract
Leptospirosis, caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the Leptospira genus, is a common zoonosis in tropical and subtropical regions and can lead to an epidemic following heavy rainfall or flooding. The primary reservoirs of Leptospira include rodents, wild animals, dogs, cats, amphibians, and [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis, caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the Leptospira genus, is a common zoonosis in tropical and subtropical regions and can lead to an epidemic following heavy rainfall or flooding. The primary reservoirs of Leptospira include rodents, wild animals, dogs, cats, amphibians, and others, but the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) remains the main source of human Leptospirosis. Humans are often accidental hosts and they can be infected through cuts, abrasions, mucosa, conjunctiva, or by ingesting contaminated water. The clinical manifestation of leptospirosis can vary from mild, nonspecific symptoms to a fatal outcome involving liver and renal failure, pulmonary hemorrhage, meningitis, and septic shock. The severity of fatal outcomes is likely to be due to virulence factors, host susceptibility, and epidemiological conditions. L. interrogans are associated with high-risk individuals, particularly patients older than 60 years of age in clinical settings. The current case study showed a foreign worker who presented with rapidly deteriorating clinical signs of fever, jaundice, impaired consciousness, and oliguric acute renal failure. Drawing from our experience, it is advisable to consider the possibility of leptospirosis diagnosis in patients who show clinical symptoms such as fever, hepatic failure with jaundice, and acute renal failure. This is particularly important for those individuals with a prior history of pathogen exposure. This case study had a strong suspicion of leptospirosis, which was confirmed by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) and, later, the patient’s recovery following treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 1578 KiB  
Article
Serum Insulin-like Growth Factor-Binding Protein-2 as a Prognostic Factor for COVID-19 Severity
by Patricia Mester, Ulrich Räth, Stephan Schmid, Pablo Amend, Dennis Keller, Sabrina Krautbauer, Sofiia Bondarenko, Martina Müller, Christa Buechler and Vlad Pavel
Biomedicines 2024, 12(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12010125 - 08 Jan 2024
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP)-2 is a regulator of anabolic pathways, which become inactivated in severe illness. Here, we measured the serum IGFBP-2 levels of COVID-19 patients with moderate and severe disease as well as healthy controls to identify the associations of serum [...] Read more.
Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP)-2 is a regulator of anabolic pathways, which become inactivated in severe illness. Here, we measured the serum IGFBP-2 levels of COVID-19 patients with moderate and severe disease as well as healthy controls to identify the associations of serum IGFBP-2 levels with disease severity. Patients with severe COVID-19 had higher serum IGFBP-2 levels than those with moderate disease and healthy controls, who had similar levels. Non-survivors of COVID-19 tended to have elevated serum IGFBP-2 levels compared to survivors. Increased serum IGFBP-2 levels were observed in patients requiring dialysis and vasopressor therapy. Serum IGFBP-2 was positively correlated with procalcitonin in both patient groups. Bacterial co-infection in severe COVID-19 patients did not influence serum IGFBP-2 levels. Patients with liver cirrhosis and obesity, showing increased and decreased serum IGFBP-2 levels, respectively, were excluded from the study. The present analysis showed that higher serum IGFBP-2 levels are associated with increased disease severity in COVID-19 patients. The similarity in serum IGFBP-2 levels between patients with moderate COVID-19 and healthy controls suggests that elevated IGFBP-2 is associated with critical illness rather than SARS-CoV-2 infection itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 765 KiB  
Article
Prognostic and Diagnostic Power of Delta Neutrophil Index and Mean Platelet Component in Febrile Patients with Suspected Sepsis
by Taehun Lee, Jongwook Lee, Dong Hoon Shin, Hyungdon Lee and Soo-Ki Kim
Biomedicines 2023, 11(12), 3190; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11123190 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 764
Abstract
Background: The delta neutrophil index (DNI), a prognostic and diagnostic marker for sepsis, is based on the leukocyte count. Platelet activation, similar to leukocyte activation, plays a crucial role in host defense against pathogens and may serve as a predictor of sepsis outcome. [...] Read more.
Background: The delta neutrophil index (DNI), a prognostic and diagnostic marker for sepsis, is based on the leukocyte count. Platelet activation, similar to leukocyte activation, plays a crucial role in host defense against pathogens and may serve as a predictor of sepsis outcome. However, the combined evaluation of mean platelet component (MPC) and DNI has rarely been used to assess sepsis. Methods: To assess the prognostic and diagnostic validity of the simultaneous evaluation of DNI and MPC in cases of human febrile sepsis, we conducted measurements of cellular indices, including DNI and MPC, as well as molecular biomarkers, including procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP). This study was carried out in patients admitted to the emergency department with suspected sepsis. Results: Using a cutoff value of 2.65%, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of the DNI in sepsis were found to be 69%, 73.9%, 77.9%, and 64.1%, respectively. Furthermore, significant differences in DNI and MPC levels were observed between the sepsis and non-sepsis groups (6.7 ± 7.8% versus 2.1 ± 2.2% (p = 0.000) and 26.0 ± 1.9 g/dL versus 26.8 ± 1.4 g/dL (p = 0.002), respectively). Notably, there was a negative correlation between DNI and MPC, with the strength of the correlation varying based on the cause of sepsis. By setting the cutoff value of the DNI to 6.2%, its sensitivity, specificity, and NPV improved to 100%, 80.3%, and 100%, respectively, although the PPV remained at 10.6%. Conclusions: In our study, the DNI demonstrates superior effectiveness compared with other molecular biomarkers, such as CRP and procalcitonin, in distinguishing septic febrile patients from non-septic febrile patients. Additionally, a negative correlation exists between MPC and DNI, making MPC a valuable marker for differentiating the etiology of sepsis. These findings hold significant clinical implications, as DNI/MPC evaluation is a cost-effective and readily applicable approach in various impending sepsis scenarios. Notably, this study represents the first examination of the prognostic and diagnostic validity of employing the simultaneous evaluation of DNI and MPC in human cases of febrile sepsis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 703 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors for CMV and BK Infections in an Elderly Veteran Population Following Kidney Transplantation: Implications for Immunosuppression Induction and Management
by Anne Thorndyke, Cara Joyce, Manpreet Samra, Laura Cotiguala, Christine Trotter, Oswaldo Aguirre, W. James Chon, Rupinder Sodhi and Reynold I. Lopez-Soler
Biomedicines 2023, 11(11), 3060; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11113060 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and BK Polyomavirus (BKPyV) are the most common opportunistic pathogens following kidney transplantation. We evaluated 102 patients with a median age of 63 at Edward Hines VA Hospital from November 2020 to December 2022. Our primary interest was the incidence of [...] Read more.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and BK Polyomavirus (BKPyV) are the most common opportunistic pathogens following kidney transplantation. We evaluated 102 patients with a median age of 63 at Edward Hines VA Hospital from November 2020 to December 2022. Our primary interest was the incidence of CMV and BKPyV infections, as well as CMV and BKPyV coinfection. Secondary interests included time to infection, rejection, and graft and patient survival. There were no statistically significant differences in patient age, donor age, race, transplant type, incidence of delayed graft function, or induction in both cohorts (any infection (N = 46) vs. those without (N = 56)). There was a 36% (37/102) incidence of CMV, a 17.6% (18/102) of BKPyV and an 8.8% (9/102) incidence of coinfection. There was a decreased incidence of CMV infection in Basiliximab induction versus antithymocyte globulin (21% and 43%). CMV risk status had no effect on the incidence of CMV infection following transplant. African American recipients had a lower incidence of BKPyV infection (12% vs. 39%), yet a higher incidence was observed in those with high cPRA (50% vs. 14%). Most CMV and/or BKPyV infections occurred within the first six months post-transplant (54%). Immunosuppression management of the elderly should continually be evaluated to reduce opportunistic infections post-transplant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 1701 KiB  
Article
HLA-DR Expression on Monocytes and Sepsis Index Are Useful in Predicting Sepsis
by Bibiana Quirant-Sánchez, Oriol Plans-Galván, Ester Lucas, Eduard Argudo, Eva María Martinez-Cáceres and Fernando Arméstar
Biomedicines 2023, 11(7), 1836; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11071836 - 26 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1668
Abstract
The reduction of mortality in patients with sepsis depends on the early identification and treatment of at-risk patients. The aim was to evaluate the HLA-DR expression on the surface of monocytes (MHLA-DR ratio), the sepsis index (CD64 expression on neutrophils/M [...] Read more.
The reduction of mortality in patients with sepsis depends on the early identification and treatment of at-risk patients. The aim was to evaluate the HLA-DR expression on the surface of monocytes (MHLA-DR ratio), the sepsis index (CD64 expression on neutrophils/MHLA-DR ratio), and C-reactive protein (CRP) with the development of sepsis. We prospectively enrolled 77 critically ill patients, 59 with stroke and 18 with traumatic brain injuries. The biomarkers were tested at the baseline and 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 days later. Most patients (71%) developed sepsis (4.2 ± 1.3 days after admission). On day 3, those subsequently developing sepsis had lower levels of MHLA-DR+ (81.7 ± 16.2% vs. 88.5 ± 12.1%, p < 0.05) and higher sepsis indexes (0.19 ± 0.19 vs. 0.08 ± 0.08, p < 0.01) than those not developing sepsis. The MHLA-DR ratio slowly recovered before day 6, while the sepsis index remained raised in septic patients up to day 9 (p < 0.05). To predict the development of sepsis, optimal cut-offs were CRP levels > 106.90 mg/mL (74.19% sensitivity, 69.49 specificity) and MHLA-DR expression rate < 72.80% (45.31% sensitivity, 89.47% specificity). The periodic monitoring of the MHLA-DR expression together with CRP and sepsis index may help to identify patients in the ICU at increased risk of developing sepsis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 3302 KiB  
Article
TLR7 Agonist GS–9620 Combined with Nicotinamide Generate Viral Reactivation in Seronegative SHIVSF162P3-Infected Rhesus Monkeys
by Zhe Cong, Yuting Sun, Cui Dang, Chenbo Yang, Jingjing Zhang, Jiahan Lu, Ting Chen, Qiang Wei, Wei Wang and Jing Xue
Biomedicines 2023, 11(6), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11061707 - 14 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1223
Abstract
Antiretroviral therapy is capable of inhibiting HIV replication, but it fails to completely achieve a cure due to HIV persistence. The commonly used HIV cure approach is the “shock and kill” strategy, which employs latency-reversing agents to trigger viral reactivation and boost cellular [...] Read more.
Antiretroviral therapy is capable of inhibiting HIV replication, but it fails to completely achieve a cure due to HIV persistence. The commonly used HIV cure approach is the “shock and kill” strategy, which employs latency-reversing agents to trigger viral reactivation and boost cellular immunity. Finding the appropriate drug combination for the “shock and kill” strategy would greatly facilitate clinical trials. The toll-like receptor (TLR) 7 agonist GS–9620 and nicotinamide (NAM) are reported as potential latency-reversing agents. Herein, we found the absence of viral reactivation when SHIVSF162P3-aviremic rhesus macaques were treated with GS–9620 monotherapy. However, our findings demonstrate that viral blips emerged in half of the macaques treated with the combination therapy of GS–9620 and NAM. Notably, an increase in the reactivation of the replication-competent latent virus was measured in monkeys treated with the combination therapy. These findings suggest that the GS–9620 and NAM combination could be used as a multipronged HIV latency stimulation approach, with potential for optimizing antiviral therapy design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 522 KiB  
Article
Transplacental Transfer of SARS-CoV-2 Receptor-Binding Domain IgG Antibodies from Mothers to Neonates in a Cohort of Pakistani Unvaccinated Mothers
by Steve Harakeh, Ihsan Alam Khan, Gulab Fatima Rani, Muhammad Ibrahim, Aysha Sarwar Khan, Mohammed Almuhayawi, Rajaa Al-Raddadi, Addisu D. Teklemariam, Mohannad S. Hazzazi, Waleed M. Bawazir, Hanouf A. Niyazi, Turki Alamri, Hatoon A. Niyazi and Yasar Mehmood Yousafzai
Biomedicines 2023, 11(6), 1651; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11061651 - 06 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
The presence of COVID-19 antibodies in the maternal circulation is assumed to be protective for newborns against SARS-CoV-2 infection. We investigated whether maternal COVID-19 antibodies crossed the transplacental barrier and whether there was any difference in the hematological parameters of neonates born to [...] Read more.
The presence of COVID-19 antibodies in the maternal circulation is assumed to be protective for newborns against SARS-CoV-2 infection. We investigated whether maternal COVID-19 antibodies crossed the transplacental barrier and whether there was any difference in the hematological parameters of neonates born to mothers who recovered from COVID-19 during pregnancy. The cross-sectional study was conducted at the Saidu Group of Teaching Hospitals, located in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. After obtaining written informed consent, 115 healthy, unvaccinated mother-neonate dyads were included. A clinical history of COVID-19-like illness, laboratory-confirmed diagnosis, and contact history were obtained. Serum samples from mothers and neonates were tested for SARS-CoV-2 anti-receptor-binding domain (anti-RBD) IgG antibodies. Hematological parameters were assessed with complete blood counts (CBC) and peripheral blood smear examinations. The study population consisted of 115 mothers, with a mean age of 29.44 ± 5.75 years, and most women (68/115 (59.1%)) were between 26 and 35 years of age. Of these mothers, 88/115 (76.5 percent) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 anti-RBD IgG antibodies, as did 83/115 (72.2 percent) neonatal cord blood samples. The mean levels of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in maternal and neonatal blood were 19.86 ± 13.82 (IU/mL) and 16.16 ± 12.90 (IU/mL), respectively, indicating that maternal antibodies efficiently crossed the transplacental barrier with an antibody transfer ratio of 0.83. The study found no significant difference in complete blood count (CBC) parameters between seropositive and seronegative mothers, nor between neonates born to seropositive and seronegative mothers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 1727 KiB  
Article
TMPRSS2 Impacts Cytokine Expression in Murine Dendritic Cells
by Sandra Gunne, Marie Schwerdtner, Marina Henke, Ann-Kathrin Schneider, Lucas Keutmann, Eva Böttcher-Friebertshäuser and Susanne Schiffmann
Biomedicines 2023, 11(2), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11020419 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
Background: The transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) proteolytically activates the envelope proteins of several viruses for viral entry via membrane fusion and is therefore an interesting and promising target for the development of broad-spectrum antivirals. However, the use of a host protein as [...] Read more.
Background: The transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) proteolytically activates the envelope proteins of several viruses for viral entry via membrane fusion and is therefore an interesting and promising target for the development of broad-spectrum antivirals. However, the use of a host protein as a target may lead to potential side effects, especially on the immune system. We examined the effect of a genetic deletion of TMPRSS2 on dendritic cells. Methods: Bone marrow cells from wild-type (WT) and TMPRSS2-deficient mice (TMPRSS2−/−) were differentiated to plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and classical DCs (cDCs) and activated with various toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists. We analyzed the released cytokines and the mRNA expression of chemokine receptors, TLR7, TLR9, IRF7 and TCF4 stimulation. Results: In cDCs, the lack of TMPRSS2 led to an increase in IL12 and IFNγ in TLR7/8 agonist resiquimod or TLR 9 agonist ODN 1668-activated cells. Only IL-10 was reduced in TMPRSS2−/− cells in comparison to WT cells activated with ODN 1668. In resiquimod-activated pDCs, the lack of TMPRSS2 led to a decrease in IL-6, IL-10 and INFγ. ODN 1668 activation led to a reduction in IFNα. The effect on receptor expression in pDCs and cDCs was low. Conclusion: The effect of TMPRSS2 on pDCS and cDCs depends on the activated TLR, and TMPRSS2 seems to affect cytokine release differently in pDCs and cDCs. In cDCs, TMPRSS2 seems to suppress cytokine release, whereas in pDCS TMPRSS2 possibly mediates cytokine release. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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Review

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16 pages, 1942 KiB  
Review
Rift Valley Fever Virus: An Overview of the Current Status of Diagnostics
by Daniele Lapa, Silvia Pauciullo, Ida Ricci, Anna Rosa Garbuglia, Fabrizio Maggi, Maria Teresa Scicluna and Silvia Tofani
Biomedicines 2024, 12(3), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12030540 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Rift Valley fever is a vector-borne zoonotic disease caused by the Rift Valley fever virus (Phlebovirus genus) listed among the eight pathogens included in the Bluepoint list by the WHO. The transmission is mainly vehicled by Aedes and Culex mosquito species. Symptoms of [...] Read more.
Rift Valley fever is a vector-borne zoonotic disease caused by the Rift Valley fever virus (Phlebovirus genus) listed among the eight pathogens included in the Bluepoint list by the WHO. The transmission is mainly vehicled by Aedes and Culex mosquito species. Symptoms of the disease are varied and non-specific, making clinical diagnosis often challenging, especially in the early stages. Due to the difficulty in distinguishing Rift Valley fever from other viral hemorrhagic fevers, as well as many other diseases that cause fever, an early diagnosis of the infection is important to limit its spread and to provide appropriate care to patients. To date, there is no validated point-of-care diagnostic tool. The virus can only be detected in the blood for a brief period, suggesting that molecular methods alone are not sufficient for case determination. For this, it is preferable to combine both molecular and serological tests. The wide distribution of competent vectors in non-endemic areas, together with global climate change, elicit the spread of RVFV to continents other than Africa, making surveillance activities vital to prevent or to limit the impact of human outbreaks and for a rapid identification of positive cases, making diagnosis a key factor for this achievement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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20 pages, 1001 KiB  
Review
HIV-HBV Coinfection—Current Challenges for Virologic Monitoring
by Simona Ruta, Laura Grecu, Diana Iacob, Costin Cernescu and Camelia Sultana
Biomedicines 2023, 11(5), 1306; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11051306 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2467
Abstract
HIV-HBV coinfected patients have higher rates of liver-related morbidity, hospitalizations, and mortality compared to HBV or HIV mono-infected ones. Clinical studies have shown an accelerated progression of liver fibrosis and an increased incidence of HCC, resulting from the combined action of HBV replication, [...] Read more.
HIV-HBV coinfected patients have higher rates of liver-related morbidity, hospitalizations, and mortality compared to HBV or HIV mono-infected ones. Clinical studies have shown an accelerated progression of liver fibrosis and an increased incidence of HCC, resulting from the combined action of HBV replication, immune-mediated hepatocytolysis, and HIV-induced immunosuppression and immunosenescence. Antiviral therapy based on dually active antiretrovirals is highly efficient, but late initiation, global disparities in accessibility, suboptimal regimens, and adherence issues may limit its impact on the development of end-stage liver disease. In this paper, we review the mechanisms of liver injuries in HIV-HBV coinfected patients and the novel biomarkers that can be used for treatment monitoring in HIV-HBV coinfected persons: markers that assess viral suppression, markers for liver fibrosis evaluation, and predictors of oncogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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