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Chen J.-L.,Nanjing Medical University | Chen J.-L.,Nantong University | Ge Y.-Y.,Nanjing Medical University | Ge Y.-Y.,Institute of Pathogen Microbiology | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic intracellular parasite that is highly prevalent in human and warm-blooded animals throughout the world, leading to potentially severe congenital infections. Although the abortion caused by T. gondii is believed to be dependent on the timing of maternal infection during pregnancy, the mechanism remains unclear. This study was focused on the effects of T. gondii excreted-secreted antigens on pregnant outcomes and CD4+CD25+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells at different stages of pregnancy. The results showed that in mice the frequency and suppressive function of CD4+CD25+ regulatory cells were diminished after injection of T. gondii excreted-secreted antigens at early and intermediate stages of pregnancy. The abortion caused by T. gondii excreted-secreted antigens at early pregnancy could be partly prevented by adoptively transferring of CD4+CD25+ cells from the mice injected with T. gondii excreted-secreted antigens at late pregnancy, but not from the mice with the same treatment at early pregnancy. Furthermore, T. gondii excreted-secreted antigens induced apoptosis of CD4+CD25+ regulatory cells of mice in early and intermediate stages of pregnancy by down-regulating their Bcl-2 expressions and Bcl-2/Bax ratio. This study provides new insights into the mechanism that T. gondii infection is the high risk factor for abortion in early pregnancy. © 2013 Chen et al.


Cui L.,Institute of Pathogen Microbiology | Cui L.,Vanderbilt University | Cui L.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Ge Y.,Institute of Pathogen Microbiology | And 17 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2012

A virus known as severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) was recently identified as the etiological agent of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in China. Reliable laboratory detection and identification of this virus are likely to become clinically and epidemiologically desirable. We developed a nearly instrument-free, simple molecular method which incorporates reverse transcription-cross-priming amplification (RT-CPA) coupled with a vertical flow (VF) visualization strip for rapid detection of SFTSV. The RT-CPA-VF assay targets a conserved region of theMsegment of the SFTSV genome and has a limit of detection of 100 copies per reaction, with no cross-reaction with other vector-borne bunyaviruses and bacterial pathogens. The performance of the RT-CPA-VF assay was determined with 175 human plasma specimens collected from 89 clinically suspected SFTS patients and 86 healthy donors. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay were 94.1% and 100.0%, respectively, compared with a combination of virus culture and real-time RT-PCR. The entire procedure, from specimen processing to result reporting, can be completed within 2 h. The simplicity and nearly instrument-free platform of the RT-CPA-VF assay make it practical for point-of-care testing. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Cui L.,Institute of Pathogen Microbiology | Cui L.,Vanderbilt University | Qi Y.,Institute of Pathogen Microbiology | Li H.,Vanderbilt University | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Altered circulating microRNA (miRNA) profiles have been noted in patients with microbial infections. We compared host serum miRNA levels in patients with hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) caused by enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus 16 (CVA16) as well as in other microbial infections and in healthy individuals. Among 664 different miRNAs analyzed using a miRNA array, 102 were up-regulated and 26 were down-regulated in sera of patients with enteroviral infections. Expression levels of ten candidate miRNAs were further evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR assays. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed that six miRNAs (miR-148a, miR-143, miR-324-3p, miR-628-3p, miR-140-5p, and miR-362-3p) were able to discriminate patients with enterovirus infections from healthy controls with area under curve (AUC) values ranged from 0.828 to 0.934. The combined six miRNA using multiple logistic regression analysis provided not only a sensitivity of 97.1% and a specificity of 92.7% but also a unique profile that differentiated enterovirial infections from other microbial infections. Expression levels of five miRNAs (miR-148a, miR-143, miR-324-3p, miR-545, and miR-140-5p) were significantly increased in patients with CVA16 versus those with EV71 (p<0.05). Combination of miR-545, miR-324-3p, and miR-143 possessed a moderate ability to discrimination between CVA16 and EV71 with an AUC value of 0.761. These data indicate that sera from patients with different subtypes of enteroviral infection express unique miRNA profiles. Serum miRNA expression profiles may provide supplemental biomarkers for diagnosing and subtyping enteroviral HFMD infections. © 2011 Cui et al.


Cui L.,Institute of Pathogen Microbiology | Ge Y.,Institute of Pathogen Microbiology | Ge Y.,Nanjing Medical University | Zhao K.,Institute of Pathogen Microbiology | And 8 more authors.
Molecular Biology Reports | Year: 2013

Pertussis is a highly contagious, respiratory disease associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. A rapid and reliable diagnostic method is essential for appropriate treatment and prevention. Expression profiles of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have been proven as new non-invasive biomarkers for infectious diseases. We aimed to investigated the serum miRNA profile in pertussis patients and explored its potential as a novel diagnostic biomarker for pertussis. Among 664 different miRNAs analyzed using a miRNA array, 50 were overexpressed and 81 were underexpressed in the serum of pertussis patients. Expression levels of seven candidate miRNAs were further evaluated by real-time qRT-PCR. A panel of five miRNAs (miR-202, miR-342-5p, miR-206, miR-487b, miR-576-5p) was confirmed overexpressed in pertussis patients (p < 0.05). Risk score and receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis showed that the area under the curve of the five-member miRNA profile was 0.980. At an optimal cutoff value (0.707), this panel of miRNAs yielded a sensitivity of 97.4 % and a specificity of 94.3 %. These data suggest that the five-member serum miRNA profile may serve as a new biomarker for pertussis diagnosis with high specificity and sensitivity. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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