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Gainotti S.,National Center for Rare Diseases
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2016

The increased international sharing of data in research consortia and the introduction of new technologies for sequencing challenge the informed consent (IC) process, adding complexities that require coordination between research centres worldwide. Rare disease consortia present special challenges since available data and samples may be very limited. Thus, it is especially relevant to ensure the best use of available resources but at the same time protect patients’ right to integrity. To achieve this aim, there is an ethical duty to plan in advance the best possible consent procedure in order to address possible ethical and legal hurdles that could hamper research in the future. Therefore, it is especially important to identify key core elements (CEs) to be addressed in the IC documents for international collaborative research in two different situations: (1) new research collections (biobanks and registries) for which information documents can be created according to current guidelines and (2) established collections obtained without IC or with a previous consent that does not cover all CEs. We propose here a strategy to deal with consent in these situations. The principles have been applied and are in current practice within the RD-Connect consortia – a global research infrastructure funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework program but forward looking in terms of issues addressed. However, the principles established, the lessons learned and the implications for future research are of direct relevance to all internationally collaborative rare-disease projects.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 10 February 2016; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2016.2. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited Source

Loeber J.G.,National Institute for Public Health RIVM | Burgard P.,University of Heidelberg | Cornel M.C.,VU University Amsterdam | Rigter T.,VU University Amsterdam | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease | Year: 2012

In many European countries neonatal screening has been introduced over the last 50 years as an important public health programme. Depending on health care structure, available funds, local politics, input from professional groups, parent groups, and the general public this introduction has led to different approaches in the way the screening programmes have been set up, financed and governed. To get some insight about the current situation, in 2009 the European Union, via its EAHC agency, put out a call for a tender that was acquired by our project group. An online survey was compiled in which the whole screening programme was covered by a questionnaire. This survey covered the EU member states, (potential) candidate member states and EFTA countries, in total 40 countries. Results showed little consensus concerning 1. information of parents including informed consent; 2. which conditions are screened for, ranging from 1 to around 30 conditions; 3. sampling time post partum; 4. screening methodology including cut-offs values even between screening laboratories within countries.; 5. storage of residual specimens, varying from 3 months to 1000 years. In addition, confirmatory diagnostics and follow-up also show large discrepancies (Burgard et al. http://www.iss.it/cnmr/prog/cont.php?id= 1621&lang=1&tipo=64 2011). In addition to the current practices report an expert opinion document has been produced with recommendations to the EU Commission for future improvements, e.g. in parallel to the way the USA has harmonized its practices based on recommendations by the American College of Medical Genetics (Watson et al., Pediatrics 117: S296-S307, 2006). © SSIEM and Springer 2012. Source

Diociaiuti M.,Istituto Superiore di Sanita | Macchia G.,Istituto Superiore di Sanita | Paradisi S.,Istituto Superiore di Sanita | Frank C.,National Center for Rare Diseases | And 5 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease | Year: 2014

Many proteins belonging to the amyloid family share the tendency to misfold and aggregate following common steps, and display similar neurotoxicity. In the aggregation pathway different kinds of species are formed, including several types of oligomers and eventually mature fibers. It is now suggested that the pathogenic aggregates are not the mature fibrils, but the intermediate, soluble oligomers. Many kinds of aggregates have been described to exist in a metastable state and in equilibrium with monomers. Up to now it is not clear whether a specific structure is at the basis of the neurotoxicity. Here we characterized, starting from the early aggregation stages, the oligomer populations formed by an amyloid protein, salmon calcitonin (sCT), chosen due to its very slow aggregation rate. To prepare different oligomer populations and characterize them by means of photoinduced cross-linking SDS-PAGE, Energy Filtered-Transmission Electron Microscopy (EF-TEM) and Circular Dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, we used Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC), a technique that does not influence the aggregation process leaving the protein in the native state. Taking advantage of sCT low aggregation rate, we characterized the neurotoxic potential of the SEC-separated, non-crosslinked fractions in cultured primary hippocampal neurons, analyzing intracellular Ca2+ influx and apoptotic trend. We provide evidence that native, globular, metastable, prefibrillar oligomers (dimers, trimers and tetramers) were the toxic species and that low concentrations of these aggregates in the population was sufficient to render the sample neurotoxic. Monomers and other kind of aggregates, such as annular or linear protofibers and mature fibers, were totally biologically inactive. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Villa L.,Parasitic Immune Mediated Diseases | Carattoli A.,Parasitic Immune Mediated Diseases | Nordmann P.,University Paris - Sud | Carta C.,National Center for Rare Diseases | Poirel L.,University Paris - Sud
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2013

The gene encoding the carbapenemase OXA-181 (an OXA-48 variant) was identified from a Citrobacter freundii isolate coproducing NDM-1. The whole sequence of plasmid pT-OXA-181 bearing the blaOXA-181 gene was determined and revealed a 84-kb mobilizable but non-self-conjugative IncT-type plasmid. It totally differs from the 7.6-kb ColE-type and bla OXA-181-bearing plasmid recently identified in a Klebsiella pneumoniae isolate. However, in both plasmids, insertion sequence ISEcp1 might have played a role in acquisition of the blaOXA-181 gene. Copyright © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

Taruscio D.,National Center for Rare Diseases
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2010

This analysis of national plans and strategies on RD in Europe shows that a few countries have already set up national plans. Existing national plans show a good consistency, but also a quite different stage of progress, depending on start date as well as on resource allocation. Several other EU countries have launched actions on RD, often with a considerable strategic effort; however, such initiatives are yet not integrated in a consistent national strategy taking into account the EC recommendations. The project EUROPLAN represents a major initiative to support the development of a shared strategy on RD at EU and Member State level; critical steps include the comparative evaluation of existing plans and actions, identification of gaps and achievements, the development of consensus indicators, as well as the integration of successful national achievements within the EU strategy. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010. Source

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