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Miccheli A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Capuani G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Marini F.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Tomassini A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 10 more authors.
International Journal of Obesity | Year: 2015

Background:Nowadays, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common chronic liver diseases in children. Our recent clinical trial demonstrated that dietary and VSL#3-based interventions may improve fatty liver by ultrasound and body mass index (BMI) after 4 months.Objectives:As in this short-term trial, as in others, it is impracticable to monitor response to therapy or treatment by liver biopsy, we aimed to identify a panel of potential non-invasive metabolic biomarkers by a urinary metabolic profiling.Methods:Urine samples from a group of 31 pediatric NAFLD patients, enrolled in a VSL#3 clinical trial, were analyzed by high-resolution proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in combination with analysis of variance-Simultaneous Component Analysis model and multivariate data analyses. Urinary metabolic profiles were interpreted in terms of clinical patient feature, treatment and chronology pattern correlations.Results:VSL#3 treatment induced changes in NAFLD urinary metabolic phenotype mainly at level of host amino-acid metabolism (that is, valine, tyrosine, 3-amino-isobutyrate or β-aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA)), nucleic acid degradation (pseudouridine), creatinine metabolism (methylguanidine) and secondarily at the level of gut microbial amino-acid metabolism (that is, 2-hydroxyisobutyrate from valine degradation). Furthermore, some of these metabolites correlated with clinical primary and secondary trial end points after VSL#3 treatment: tyrosine and the organic acid U4 positively with alanine aminotransferase (R=0.399, P=0.026) and BMI (R=0.36, P=0.045); BAIBA and tyrosine negatively with active glucagon-like-peptide 1 (R=-0.51, P=0.003; R=-0.41, P=0.021, respectively).Conclusions:VSL#3 treatment-dependent urinary metabotypes of NAFLD children may be considered as non-invasive effective biomarkers to evaluate the response to treatment. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Di Girolamo F.,Laboratory Medicine | Lante I.,Laboratory Medicine | Muraca M.,Laboratory Medicine | Putignani L.,Parasitology Unit | Putignani L.,Metagenomics Unit
Current Organic Chemistry | Year: 2013

Mass spectrometry (MS) is one of the key analytical technology on which the emerging "-omics" approaches are based. It may provide detection and quantization of thousands of proteins and biologically active metabolites from a tissue, body fluid or cell culture working in a "global" or "targeted" manner, down to ultra-trace levels. It can be expected that the high performance of MS technology, coupled to routine data handling, will soon bring fruit in the request for a better understanding of human diseases, leading to new molecular biomarkers, hence affecting drug targets and therapies. In this review, we focus on the main advances in the MS technologies, influencing genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics fields, up to the most recent MS applications to meta-omic studies. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

Bracaglia G.,Unit of Parasitology | Ranno S.,Unit of Parasitology | Mancinelli L.,Unit of Parasitology | Santoro M.,Unit of Parasitology | And 11 more authors.
Pathogens and Global Health | Year: 2015

Many waterborne helminthes are opportunistic parasites that can travel directly from animals to man and may contain forms capable of penetrating the skin. Among these, Sparganum is the pseudophyllidean tapeworm that belongs to the genus Spirometra, which is responsible for parasitic zoonosis; it is rarely detected in Europe and is caused by the plerocercoid infective larva. Thus far, only six cases of cutaneous and ocular sparganosis have been reported in Europe; two and four cases have occurred in France and Italy, respectively. Herein, we describe a new case of sparganosis in Italy that affected a male diver who presented to the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital of Rome. The patient’s skin biopsy was submitted to the Parasitology department who, in consultation with Pathology, concluded that the morphologic and microscopic findings were those of Sparganum spp. larvae. The patient recovered following a single dose of 600 mg praziquantel. © 2016 W. S. Maney and Son Ltd.

Del Chierico F.,Parasitology Unit | Del Chierico F.,Metagenomics Unit | Petrucca A.,Parasitology Unit | Petrucca A.,Metagenomics Unit | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Proteomics | Year: 2014

In order to characterize newborn mouse gut microbiota phylotypes in very early-life stages, an original metaproteomic pipeline, based on LC-MS2-spectra and Mascot driven NCBI non-redundant repository database interrogation was developed. An original computational analysis assisted in the generation of a taxonomic gut architecture from protein hits to operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and related functional categories. Regardless of the mouse's genetic background, a prevalence of Firmicutes (Lactobacillaceae) and Proteobacteria (Enterobacteriaceae) was observed among the entire Eubacteria taxonomic node. However, a higher abundance of Firmicutes was retrieved for Balb/c gut microbiota compared to Rag2ko mice, the latter was mainly characterized by a Proteobacteria enriched microbiota. The metaproteomic-obtained OTUs were supported, for the identification (ID) of the cultivable bacteria fraction, corroborated by axenic culture-based MALDI-TOF MS IDs. Particularly, functional analysis of Rag2ko mice gut microbiota proteins revealed the presence of abundant glutathione, riboflavin metabolism and pentose phosphate pathway components, possibly related to genetic background.The metaproteomic pipeline herein presented may represent a useful tool to investigate the highly debated onset of the human gut microbiota in the first days of life, when the bacterial composition, despite its very low diversity (complexity), is still very far from an exhaustive description and other complex microbial consortia. © 2013 The Authors.

D'Amato A.,Polytechnic of Milan | Signore F.,San Camillo Forlanini Hospital | Putignani L.,Parasitology Unit | Putignani L.,Metagenomics Unit
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2014

Due to the incompleteness of animal genome sequencing, the analysis and characterization of serum proteomes of most farm animals are still in their infancy, compared to the already well-documented human serum proteome. This review focuses on the implications of the farm animal serum proteomics in order to identify novel biomarkers for animal welfare, early diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of infectious disease treatment, and develop new vaccines, aiming at determining the reciprocal benefits for humans and animals. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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