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Pires-Marczeski F.C.,National Institute for Infectious Disease | Martinez V.P.,National Institute for Infectious Disease | Nemirovsky C.,Italian Hospital | Padula P.J.,National Institute for Infectious Disease
Journal of Medical Virology | Year: 2011

During the period 2007-2008 several epizootics of Yellow fever with dead of monkeys occurred in southeastern Brasil, Paraguay, and northeastern Argentina. In 2008 after a Yellow fever outbreak an exhaustive prevention campaign took place in Argentina using 17D live attenuated Yellow fever vaccine. This vaccine is considered one of the safest live virus vaccines, although serious adverse reactions may occur after vaccination, and vaccine-associated neurotropic disease are reported rarely. The aim of this study was to confirm two serious adverse events associated to Yellow fever vaccine in Argentina, and to describe the analysis performed to assess the origin of specific IgM against Yellow fever virus (YFV) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Both cases coincided with the Yellow fever vaccine-associated neurotropic disease case definition, being clinical diagnosis longitudinal myelitis (case 1) and meningoencephalitis (case 2). Specific YFV antibodies were detected in CSF and serum samples in both cases by IgM antibody-capture ELISA. No other cause of neurological disease was identified. In order to obtain a conclusive diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) infection the IgM antibody index (AI IgM) was calculated. High AI IgM values were found in both cases indicating intrathecal production of antibodies and, therefore, CNS post-vaccinal YFV infection could be definitively associated to YFV vaccination. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Severa M.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Giacomini E.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Gafa V.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Gafa V.,University of Reims Champagne Ardenne | And 7 more authors.
European Journal of Immunology | Year: 2013

Plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) are crucial mediators in the establishment of immunity against most viruses, given their extraordinary capacity to produce a massive quantity of type I IFN. In this study we investigate the response of pDCs to infection with EBV, a γ-herpes virus that persists with an asymptomatic infection in immunocompetent hosts, although in certain conditions it can promote development of cancers or autoimmune diseases. We show that high amounts of type I IFNs were released from isolated pDCs after exposure to EBV by a mechanism requiring TLRs and a functional autophagic machinery. We next demonstrate that EBV can infect pDCs via viral binding to MHC class II molecule HLA-DR and that pDCs express EBV-induced latency genes. Furthermore, we observe that EBV is able to induce activation but not maturation of pDCs, which correlates with an impaired TNF-α release. Accordingly, EBV-infected pDCs are unable to mount a full T-cell response, suggesting that impaired pDC maturation, combined with a concomitant EBV-mediated upregulation of the T-cell inhibitory molecules B7-H1 and ICOS-L, could represent an immune-evasion strategy promoted by the virus. These mechanisms might lead to persistence in immunocompetent hosts or to dysregulated immune responses linked to EBV-associated diseases. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Armstrong J.L.,Northumbria University | Corazzari M.,National Institute for Infectious Disease | Martin S.,Northumbria University | Pagliarini V.,National Institute for Infectious Disease | And 9 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2011

Purpose: Metastatic melanoma is characterized by extremely poor survival rates and hence novel therapies are urgently required. The ability of many anticancer drugs to activate autophagy, a lysosomalmediated catabolic process which usually promotes cell survival, suggests targeting the autophagy pathway may be a novel means to augment therapy. Experimental Design: Autophagy and apoptosis were assessed in vitro in human melanoma cell lines in response to clinically achievable concentrations of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-inducing drugs fenretinide or bortezomib, and in vivo using a s.c. xenograft model. Results: Autophagy was activated in response to fenretinide or bortezomib in B-RAF wild-type cells, shown by increased conversion of LC3 to the autophagic vesicle-associated form (LC3-II) and redistribution to autophagosomes and autolysosomes, increased acidic vesicular organelle formation and autophagic vacuolization. In contrast, autophagy was significantly reduced in B-RAF-mutated melanoma cells, an effect attributed partly to oncogenic B-RAF. Rapamycin treatment was unable to stimulate LC3-II accumulation or redistribution in the presence of mutated B-RAF, indicative of de-regulated mTORC1-dependent autophagy. Knockdown of Beclin-1 or ATG7 sensitized B-RAF wild-type cells to fenretinide-or bortezomib-induced cell death, demonstrating a pro-survival function of autophagy. In addition, autophagy was partially reactivated in B-RAF-mutated cells treated with the BH3 mimetic ABT737 in combination with fenretinide or bortezomib, suggesting autophagy resistance is partly mediated by abrogated Beclin-1 function. Conclusions: Our findings suggest inhibition of autophagy in combination with ER stress-inducing agents may represent a means by which to harness autophagy for the therapeutic benefit of B-RAF wild-type melanoma. © 2011 American Association for Cancer Research.


Kowalik M.A.,University of Cagliari | Perra A.,University of Cagliari | Ledda-Columbano G.M.,University of Cagliari | Ippolito G.,National Institute for Infectious Disease | And 4 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Although inhibition of autophagy has been implicated in the onset and progression of cancer cells, it is still unclear whether its dysregulation at early stages of tumorigenesis plays an oncogenic or a tumor suppressor role. To address this question, we employed the Resistant-Hepatocyte rat model to study the very early stages of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. We detected a different autophagyrelated gene expression and changes in the ultrastructural profile comparing the most aggressive preneoplastic lesions, namely those positive for the putative progenitor cell marker cytokeratin-19 (KRT-19) with the negative ones. The ultrastructural and immunohistochemical analyses of KRT-19-positive preneoplastic hepatocytes showed the presence of autophagic vacuoles which was associated with p62, Ambra1 and Beclin1 protein accumulation suggesting that a differential modulation of autophagy occurs at early stages of the oncogenesis in KRT-19-positive vs negative lesions. We observed an overall decrease of the autophagy-related genes transcripts and a strong up-regulation of miR-224 in the KRT-19-positive nodules. Interestingly, the treatment with the autophagy inducer, Amiodarone, caused a marked increase in the proliferation of KRT-19 positive preneoplastic lesions associated with a strong increase of their size; by contrast, Chloroquine, an inhibitor of the autophagic process, led to their reduction. These results show that autophagy modulation is a very early event in hepatocarcinogenesis and is restricted to a hepatocytes subset in the most aggressive preneoplastic lesions. Our findings highlight the induction of autophagy as a permissive condition favouring cancer progression indicating in its inhibition a therapeutic goal to interfere with the development of HCC.


PubMed | National Institute for Infectious Disease
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Journal of medical virology | Year: 2011

During the period 2007-2008 several epizootics of Yellow fever with dead of monkeys occurred in southeastern Brasil, Paraguay, and northeastern Argentina. In 2008 after a Yellow fever outbreak an exhaustive prevention campaign took place in Argentina using 17D live attenuated Yellow fever vaccine. This vaccine is considered one of the safest live virus vaccines, although serious adverse reactions may occur after vaccination, and vaccine-associated neurotropic disease are reported rarely. The aim of this study was to confirm two serious adverse events associated to Yellow fever vaccine in Argentina, and to describe the analysis performed to assess the origin of specific IgM against Yellow fever virus (YFV) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Both cases coincided with the Yellow fever vaccine-associated neurotropic disease case definition, being clinical diagnosis longitudinal myelitis (case 1) and meningoencephalitis (case 2). Specific YFV antibodies were detected in CSF and serum samples in both cases by IgM antibody-capture ELISA. No other cause of neurological disease was identified. In order to obtain a conclusive diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) infection the IgM antibody index (AI(IgM) ) was calculated. High AI(IgM) values were found in both cases indicating intrathecal production of antibodies and, therefore, CNS post-vaccinal YFV infection could be definitively associated to YFV vaccination.


PubMed | National Institute for Infectious Disease
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2014

Diagnosis of HIV infection during early stages is mandatory to catch up with the challenge of limiting HIV viral replication and reservoirs formation, as well as decreasing HIV transmissions by immediate cART initiation.Aims were to describe (a) virological characteristics of AHI identified, (b) epidemiological and clinical factors associated with being diagnosed with AHI.Cross-sectional, retrospective study. All individuals diagnosed with AHI according to Fiebigs staging between Jan 2013 and Mar 2014 at the INMI L. Spallanzani were included. Serum samples reactive to a fourth generation HIV-1/2 assay (Architect HIV Ag/Ab Combo, Abbott) were retested with another fourth generation assay (VIDAS DUO HIV Ultra, Biomrieux) and underwent confirmation with HIV-1 WB (New Lav I Bio-Rad) and/or with Geenius confirmatory assay (Bio-Rad). WHO criteria (two env products reactivity) were used to establish positivity of confirmatory assays. In case of clinically suspected AHI, HIV-1 RNA (Real time, Abbott) and p24 assay (VIDAS HIV P24 Bio-Rad) were also performed. Avidity test was carried out, on confirmed positive samples lacking p31 reactivity, to discriminate between recent (true Fiebig V phase) and late infections; to avoid possible misclassifications, clinical data were also used. Demographic, epidemiological, clinical and laboratory data are routinely, and anonymously recorded in the SENDIH and SIREA studies.During the study period, we observed 483 newly HIV diagnosed individuals, of whom 40 were identified as AHI (8.3%). Fiebig classification showed: 7 stage II/III, 13 stage IV, 20 stage V. Demographic, epidemiological, and clinical characteristics of patients are shown in the Table. Overall, the study population had a median S/Co ratio at fourth generation EIA (Architect) of 49.50 (IQR, 23.54-98.05): values were significantly lower in Fiebig II-IV than in Fiebig V (38.68 [IQR, 20.08-54.84] vs 75.72 [IQR, 42.66-249.80], p=0.01). Overall, median HIV-1 RNA was 5.44 log copies/mL (IQR, 4.29-6.18) and the value observed in Fiebig phase II-IV was higher than that found in Fiebig stage V (6.10 [IQR, 5.49-7.00] vs 4.69 [3.71-5.44], p<0.001). Median CD4+ cell count was 596/mmc (IQR, 410-737). cART was started in 26 patients: TDF/FTC/DRV/r/RAL=18; TDF/FTC/DRV/r=2; TDF/FTC/ATV/r=2; TDF+FTC+EFV=2; TDF/FTC/RAL=1; DRV/r+RAL=1.Integration of careful epidemiological investigation, partner notification, and technical advances in virological testing are key elements in AHI case-finding. Significant differences were found between Fiebig stages II-IV and Fiebig V with regard to virological exams.


PubMed | National Institute for Infectious Disease
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2014

Reduced bone mass density (BMD) is a frequent observation in HIV-infected persons. Relationship between body mass index (BMI), weight, height and BMD was reported for many populations. In particular, BMI has been found to be inversely related to the risk of osteoporosis.This is a cross-sectional, monocentric study where all HIV-infected patients referred to first DXA scan in clinical routine during 2010-2013 were included. Osteopenia and osteoporosis were defined by T- score <-1 and <-2.5, respectively. Patients were categorized according to WHO BMI classification: underweight <18.5 kg/m(2); normal weight 18.5-24.9 kg/m(2); over weight 25-29.9 kg/m(2); obese >30 kg/m(2). Statistical analysis was carried using logistic regression.A total of 918 patients were included: median age 49 years (IQR, 44-55); 59.4% male; 93% Caucasian. Median anthrometric characteristics were: 68 kg (IQR, 59-78); 1.7 m (IQR, 1.6-1.75); 23.5 kg/m(2) (IQR, 21.4-26.2). Underweight was found in 5%, normal weight in 61%, overweight in 26% and obesity in 8% of patients. According to T-scores, 110 (11.2%) patients were osteoporotic and 502 (54.7%) had osteopenia. In the femoral neck area, the prevalence of osteoporosis was slightly lower (5.7%) than lumbar spine site (9.2%). Agreements between sites of T-scores for the diagnosis of osteoporosis were 26 and 172 and 346 for osteopenia and normal BMD values, respectively. T-scores at femoral neck or lumbar spine positively correlated with BMI (p<0.001) (Figure 1). Among predictors of osteopenia/osteoporosis, univariable analysis showed: older age (p<0.0001); lower weight (p<0.0001); increasing height (p<0.002). Patients underweight had a higher risk of osteopenia (p=0.02) as well as of osteoporosis (p=0.003). Patients with BMI above normal had a reduced risk of low BMD (osteopenia p<0.0001; osteoporosis p<0.03). Controlling for calendar year, gender, ethnicity, and age, BMI was confirmed as risk factor if below normal (AdjOR of osteopenia 2.42 [95% CI 1.16-5.07] p=0.02; AdjOR of osteoporosis 3.22 [95% CI 1.60-6.49] p=0.001).Our findings indicate that almost 66% of HIV-infected patients have subnormal bone mass. Further, as in other patient populations, in the HIV infection also low BMI is an important risk factor for osteopenia/osteoporosis. This finding highlights the compelling need for standardized screening actions, particularly in patients weighting below normal.


Vennarecci G.,San Camillo Hospital | Santoro R.,San Camillo Hospital | Antonini M.,National Institute for Infectious Disease | Ceribelli C.,San Camillo Hospital | And 5 more authors.
World Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2013

Hepatic adenoma (HA) is a rare indication for liver transplantation (LTx). So far 20 cases of LTx for ha are reported in pubmed. In rare cases HA presents as multiple hepatic adenomas or recurrent adenoma after initial liver resection and in such cases LTx is the only potential cure and prevents the risk of bleeding or cancer transformation into hepatocellular carcinoma. We report the case of a 56 years old lady who underwent a left hepatectomy for giant adenoma in 2005 and resection of segment 5-6 for recurrence of liver adenoma in 2007. She developed a second recurrence of HA with 3 new lesions in the right liver in 2008. The patient underwent LTx. after 3 years the patient is alive with no evidence of disease. LTx is indicated in patients with HA in which resection is not technically feasible. © 2013 Baishideng.

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