Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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Saksida A.,University of Ljubljana | Duh D.,University of Ljubljana | Wraber B.,University of Ljubljana | Dedushaj I.,University of Prishtina | And 2 more authors.
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2010

Until now, the pathogenesis of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) has not been well described. However, it has been hypothesized that it could be a result of the direct injury of virus-infected tissues in combination with the indirect effects of host immune responses, including cytokines. To shed more light on the role of viral load and cytokines, differential influences of CCHF virus (CCHFV) RNA load, antibody response, and cytokine production on severity and outcome of the disease were studied in sera of 46 patients with confirmed acute CCHF from Kosovo. In this study, viral load proved to be strongly related to the severity and outcome of the disease, with higher viral loads detected in patients with fatal outcomes than in surviving patients. Also, patients with fatal outcome had on average a weaker antibody response, if one was present at all. High levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10), gamma interferon (IFN-γ), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were associated with poor outcome, since detected concentrations were highest in patients with fatal outcome and lowest in patients with moderate disease course. Additionally, a positive linear dependence between viral load and these cytokines was observed. Interestingly, reduced levels of IL-12 were detected in all CCHF patients. Our study favors the hypothesis that CCHF could be a result of a delayed and downregulated immune response caused by IL-10, which leads to an increased replication and spread of CCHFV throughout the body. This consequently triggers increased production of IFN-γ and TNF-α, cytokines mediating vascular dysfunction, disseminated intravascular coagulation, organ failure, and shock. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Fajs L.,University of Ljubljana | Jakupi X.,National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo | Ahmeti S.,Clinic of Infectious Diseases | Humolli I.,National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo | And 2 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2014

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a zoonotic agent that causes severe, life-threatening disease, with a case fatality rate of 10-50%. It is the most widespread tick-borne virus in the world, with cases reported in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. CCHFV is a genetically diverse virus. Its genetic diversity is often correlated to its geographical origin. Genetic variability of CCHFV was determined within few endemic areas, however limited data is available for Kosovo. Furthermore, there is little information about the spatiotemporal genetic changes of CCHFV in endemic areas. Kosovo is an important endemic area for CCHFV. Cases were reported each year and the case-fatality rate is significantly higher compared to nearby regions. In this study, we wanted to examine the genetic variability of CCHFV obtained directly from CCHF-confirmed patients, hospitalized in Kosovo from 1991 to 2013. We sequenced partial S segment CCHFV nucleotide sequences from 89 patients. Our results show that several viral variants are present in Kosovo and that the genetic diversity is high in relation to the studied area. We also show that variants are mostly uniformly distributed throughout Kosovo and that limited evolutionary changes have occurred in 22 years. Our results also suggest the presence of a new distinct lineage within the European CCHF phylogenetic clade. Our study provide the largest number of CCHFV nucleotide sequences from patients in 22 year span in one endemic area. © 2014 Fajs et al.


Mera S.,Clinic of Infectious Diseases | Tatulescu D.,Clinic of Infectious Diseases | Cismaru C.,Clinic of Infectious Diseases | Bondor C.,University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca | And 3 more authors.
APMIS | Year: 2011

A major goal for the clinical research in sepsis is mapping the various mediators driving the systemic manifestations of infection. Identifying relevant mediators responsible for the physiological alterations during sepsis may offer diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities. We aimed to explore the novel approach of simultaneously measuring several biomolecules using the multiplex technique and to study its relevance in diagnosing and monitoring septic patients. In 30 patients fulfilling American College of Chest Physicians and the Society of Critical Care Medicine sepsis criteria, we simultaneously measured 17 cytokines during the first 7 days after admission. We analysed the results with respect to the presence of septic shock and survival. Five patients died during the study. We found a significant positive correlation between the monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1β and interleukin (IL)-8 levels in the first 3 days and Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment score on day 1. Most cytokines showed no significant difference between patients with mild or severe sepsis. The initial levels of MIP-1β and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor were lower in patients with septic shock than in patients without shock. IL-8 and MCP-1 early after admission were higher in the non-survivors (p < 0.05). In the multivariate logistical regression, the initial levels of IL-8 were the most predictive for fatal outcome. Moreover, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, interferon-γ, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and tumour necrosis factor-α exhibited persistent increases in non-survivors. The simultaneous evaluation of multiple cytokines in sepsis may identify complex cytokine patterns that reflect the systemic response associated with shock and mortality. © 2010 The Authors. APMIS © 2010 APMIS.


PubMed | Santa Maria Annunziata Hospital, University of Bari, University of Florida, University of Milan Bicocca and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2016

Data on the effects of sustained virologic response (SVR) to hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy on the outcome of extrahepatic complications are scarce. We conducted this study to assess the impact of SVR on the occurrence of chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes mellitus (DM), and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. We analyzed coinfected HIV/HCV patients in the Management of Standardized Evaluation of Retroviral HIV Infection (MASTER) cohort. Only event-free patients with a serum HCV-RNA determination at baseline were included. Patients were divided into four groups: INF-exposed with SVR; INF-exposed without SVR; spontaneous HCV clearance; untreated viremic patients. We estimated the incidence of extrahepatic complications and employed Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression to assess the association of SVR/INF strata adjusted for a series of confounders. Data from 1676 patients were analyzed (20.29% started an INF-based regimen). Overall, the incidence of CKD, DM, CVD, and death was 5.32 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 3.99-6.98], 10.13 (95 % CI 8.20-12.37), 6.79 (95 % CI 5.26-8.65), and 13.49 (95 % CI 11.29-16.0) per 1000 person-years of follow-up, respectively. In the Cox model for treated patients, SVR was not associated with a lower risk of CKD, DM, CVD, and death compared to non-SVR. Cirrhosis was significantly associated with a higher risk of CKD [hazard ratio (HR) 2.13; 95 % CI 1.06-4.31], DM (HR 3.48; 95 % CI 2.18-5.57), and death (HR 6.18; 95 % CI 4.1-9.31), but not of CVD (HR 1.14; 95 % CI 0.57-2.3). There are still many unknowns regarding the impact of SVR on the occurrence of extrahepatic complications in coinfected HIV/HCV patients. Further investigations are needed in order to elucidate the role of SVR as an independent prognostic factor for extrahepatic events.


PubMed | Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, University of Bari, S M Annunziata Hospital, S Anna Hospital and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: BMC public health | Year: 2016

We aimed at evaluating frequency and factors associated with late presentation and advanced HIV disease and excess risk of death due to these conditions from 1985 to 2013 among nave HIV infected patients enrolled in the Italian MASTER Cohort.All antiretroviral naive adults with available CD4+ T cell count after diagnosis of HIV infection were included. Multivariable logistic regression analysis investigated factors associated either with late presentation or advanced HIV disease. Probabilities of survival were estimated both at year-1 and at year-5 according to the Kaplan-Meier method. Flexible parametric models were used to evaluate changes in risk of death overtime according to late presentation and advanced HIV disease. The analyses were stratified for calendar periods.19,391 patients were included (54 % were late presenters and 37.6 % were advanced presenters). At multivariable analysis, the following factors were positively associated with late presentation: male gender (OR=1.29), older age (55years vs. <25years; OR=7.45), migration (OR=1.54), and heterosexual risk factor for HIV acquisition (OR=1.52) or IDU (OR=1.27) compared to homosexual risk. Survival rates at year-5 increased steadily and reached 92.1 % for late presenters vs. 97.4 % for non-late presenters enrolled in the period 2004-2009. Using flexible parametric models we found a sustained reduction of hazard ratios over time for any cause deaths between late and non-late presenters over time. Similar results were found for advanced HIV disease.Screening polices need to be urgently implemented, particularly in most-at-risk categories for late presentation, such as migrants, older patients and those with heterosexual intercourse or IDU as risk factors for HIV acquisition. Although in recent years the impact of late presentation on survival decreased, about 10% of patients diagnosed in more recent years remains at increased risk of death over a long-term follow-up.


PubMed | National Reference Center for Borrelia, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Clinic of Infectious Diseases, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca and Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Experimental & applied acarology | Year: 2016

The objective of this study was to evaluate different methods used for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) in ticks: immunohistochemistry followed by focus floating microscopy (FFM) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) targeting the ospA and hbb genes. Additionally, an optimized ospA real-time PCR assay was developed with an integrated internal amplification control (IAC) for the detection of inhibition in the PCR assay and was validated as an improved screening tool for B. burgdorferi. One hundred and thirty-six ticks collected from humans in a hospital from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, were investigated regarding genus, stage of development and sex, and then tested by all three assays. A poor quality of agreement was found between FFM and each of the two real-time PCR assays, as assessed by concordance analysis (Cohens kappa), whereas the agreement between the two real-time PCR assays was moderate. The present study argues for a low sensitivity of FFM and underlines that discordant results of different assays used for detection of B. burgdorferi in ticks are frequent.


PubMed | Sacro Cuore Hospital, Clinic of Infectious Diseases, University of Pavia and Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Udine
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Infection | Year: 2016

We report an unusual case of acute acquired toxoplasmosis (AAT) presenting as lymphadenopathy and recurrent seizures in an immunocompetent 15-year-old boy.The patient reported an 18-day vacation to Africa (Ethiopia), 39 days prior to the first seizure. Electroencephalogram (EEG) showed sporadic single-spike or sharp-wave paroxysms and the magnetic resonance imaging (RMI) of the brain was negative. The serology for T. gondii was compatible with an acute infection defined as positive for both toxoplasma-specific IgG and IgM and a low avidity (6 %), confirmed by a reference laboratory. The patient reported other two episodes of seizures, occurring 7 days apart. He was treated with pyrimethamine plus sulfadiazine and leucovorin for 4 weeks, with an improvement of lymphadenitis and normalization of EEG. After 5 months, new seizures were reported and a diagnosis of epilepsy was done. Toxoplasma polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood were negative. A treatment with valproic acid was started, obtaining control of the neurological disease.Awareness of this neurologic manifestation by clinicians is required, also in immunocompetent patients. The relationship between toxoplasmosis and recurrent seizure needs to be investigated by new studies.


PubMed | University Ziekenhuizen Leuven, University of Bologna, Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Transplantation, Pediatric Hematology Oncology and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Invasive mucormycosis (IM) is an emerging life-threatening fungal infection. It is difficult to obtain a definite diagnosis and to initiate timely intervention. Mucorales-specific T cells occur during the course of IM and are involved in the clearance of the infection. We have evaluated the feasibility of detecting Mucorales-specific T cells in hematological patients at risk for IM, and have correlated the detection of such cells with the clinical conditions of the patients.By using an enzyme linked immunospot assay, the presence of Mucorales-specific T cells in peripheral blood (PB) samples has been investigated at three time points during high-dose chemotherapy for hematologic malignancies. Mucorales-specific T cells producing interferon-, interleukin-10 and interleukin-4 were analysed in order to detect a correlation between the immune response and the clinical picture. Twenty-one (10.3%) of 204 patients, accounting for 32 (5.3%) of 598 PB samples, tested positive for Mucorales-specific T cells. Two groups could be identified. Group 1, including 15 patients without signs or symptoms of invasive fungal diseases (IFD), showed a predominance of Mucorales-specific T cells producing interferon-gamma. Group 2 included 6 patients with a clinical picture consistent with invasive fungal disease (IFD): 2 cases of proven IM and 4 cases of possible IFD. The proven patients had significantly higher number of Mucorales-specific T cells producing interleukin-10 and interleukin-4 and higher rates of positive samples by using derived diagnostic cut-offs when compared with the 15 patients without IFD.Mucorales-specific T cells can be detected and monitored in patients with hematologic malignancies at risk for IM. Mucorales-specific T cells polarized to the production of T helper type 2 cytokines are associated with proven IM and may be evaluated as a surrogate diagnostic marker for IM.


Pea F.,Institute of Clinical Pharmacology | Pea F.,University of Udine | Crapis M.,Clinic of Infectious Diseases | Cojutti P.,Institute of Clinical Pharmacology | And 2 more authors.
Infection | Year: 2014

We describe the case of an intravenous drug user affected by life-threatening Staphylococcus aureus-complicated skin and soft tissue infection with associated bacteraemia who, while on replacement therapy with methadone, required 11 mg/kg/day daptomycin to achieve trough (Cmin) and peak (Cmax) plasma levels similar to those observed with the standard dosage of 6 mg/kg in healthy volunteers (mean ± standard deviation: Cmin 12.35 ± 0.80 mg/L, C max 63.90 ± 8.71 mg/L). Clinical pharmacological advice based on real time therapeutic drug monitoring may be helpful for optimizing daptomycin exposure in these patients. Physicians should take into account that dosages much higher than the standard ones may be needed, probably as a consequence of augmented drug clearance. © Springer-Verlag 2013.


Pea F.,University of Udine | Cojutti P.,University of Udine | Pagotto A.,Clinic of Infectious Diseases | Cristini F.,University of Bologna | And 2 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2012

Cerebral nocardiosis is a severe infection that carries the highest mortality rate among all bacterial cerebral abscesses. We report on a case in an immunocompromised patient which was successfully treated with unexpectedly low doses of linezolid. Therapeutic drug monitoring was very helpful in highlighting issues of poor compliance and of drug-drug interactions. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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