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Hooper D.G.,RealTime Laboratories Inc | Bolton V.E.,RealTime Laboratories Inc | Sutton J.S.,S and S BioConsulting LLC | Guilford F.T.,Your Energy Systems | And 9 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2012

In this study we pursued a diagnostic target in Aspergillus fumigatus (AF) by using qualitative Realtime PCR combined with proprietary DNA primers and a hydrolysis probe specific for this fungal target. Qualitative Realtime PCR is a diagnostic tool that utilizes Realtime PCR technology and detects the presence or absence target specific DNA within a predetermined detection range. Respiratory tissue and fluids from experimentally infected guinea pigs were tested by extracting DNA from the samples which were amplified and detected using AF specific DNA primers and probe. This study included qualitative evaluations of all specimens for the presence of the DNA of AF. The findings in the tissues after AF infection were compared to the numbers of spores in aerosolized samples used to inoculate the animals. Results demonstrated that the specific probe and primer set could detect the presence or absence of AF DNA in the sample. The qualitative detection limit of the assay ranged from 6 × 10 4 copies to 6 copies. Since blood cultures are rarely positive for Aspergillosis, our data indicate that qualitative Realtime PCR, in combination with the appropriate DNA primers and probe can serve as an effective diagnostic tool in the early detection of fungal infections. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Guerra C.,Western University of Health Sciences | Morris D.,Western University of Health Sciences | Sipin A.,California State Polytechnic University, Pomona | Kung S.,California State Polytechnic University, Pomona | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Glutathione (GSH), a tripeptide antioxidant, is essential for cellular homeostasis and plays a vital role in diverse cellular functions. Individuals who are infected with Human immuno deficiency virus (HIV) are known to be susceptible to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) infection. We report that by enhancing GSH levels, T-cells are able to inhibit the growth of M. tb inside macrophages. In addition, those GSH-replenished T cell cultures produced increased levels of Interleukin-2 (IL-2), Interleukin-12 (IL-12), and Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), cytokines, which are known to be crucial for the control of intracellular pathogens. Our study reveals that T lymphocytes that are derived from HIV infected individuals are deficient in GSH, and that this deficiency correlates with decreased levels of Th1 cytokines and enhanced growth of M. tb inside human macrophages. © 2011 Guerra et al.


Morris D.,Western University of Health Sciences | Khurasany M.,Western University of Health Sciences | Nguyen T.,Western University of Health Sciences | Kim J.,Western University of Health Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2013

Background: The tripeptide γ-glutamylcysteinylglycine or glutathione (GSH) has demonstrated protective abilities against the detrimental effects of oxidative stress within the human body, as well as protection against infection by exogenous microbial organisms. Scope of review: In this review we describe how GSH works to modulate the behavior of many cells including the cells of the immune system, augmenting the innate and the adaptive immunity as well as conferring protection against microbial, viral and parasitic infections. This article unveils the direct antimicrobial effects of GSH in controlling Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) infection within macrophages. In addition, we summarize the effects of GSH in enhancing the functional activity of various immune cells such as natural killer (NK) cells and T cells resulting in inhibition in the growth of M. tb inside monocytes and macrophages. Most importantly we correlate the decreased GSH levels previously observed in individuals with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) with an increase in the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines which aid in the growth of M. tb. Major conclusions: In conclusion, this review provides detailed information on the protective integral effects of GSH along with its therapeutic effects as they relate to the human immune system and health. General significance: It is important to note that the increases in the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines are not only detrimental to the host due to the sequel that follow such as fever and cachexia, but also due to the alteration in the functions of immune cells. The additional protective effects of GSH are evident after sequel that follows the depletion of this antioxidant. This is evident in a condition such as Cystic Fibrosis (CF) where an increased oxidant burden inhibits the clearance of the affecting organism and results in oxidant-induced anti-protease inhibition. GSH has a similar protective effect in protozoans as it does in human cells. Thus GSH is integral to the survival of some of the protozoans because some protozoans utilize the compound trypanothione [T(SH)2] as their main antioxidant. T(SH)2 in turn requires GSH for its production. Hence a decrease in the levels of GSH (by a known inhibitor such as buthionine sulfoximine [BSO] can have adverse effects of the protozoan parasites. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Cellular functions of glutathione. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Morris D.,Western University of Health Sciences | Guerra C.,Western University of Health Sciences | Khurasany M.,Western University of Health Sciences | Guilford F.,Your Energy Systems | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research | Year: 2013

In this study, we determined the effects of glutathione (GSH)-enhancing agents in restoring the levels of GSH in isolated macrophages from individuals with HIV infection thereby resulting in improved control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Our results indicate that treatment with N-acetyl cysteine or a liposomal formulation of glutathione (lGSH) resulted in replenishment of reduced also known as free GSH (rGSH), and correlated with a decrease in the intracellular growth of M. tuberculosis. Finally, we observed differences in the amount of the catalytic subunit of glutamine-cysteine ligase (GCLC), glutathione synthase, and glutathione reductase present in macrophages derived from healthy and HIV-infected individuals. These changes correlated with changes in free radicals as well as rGSH levels. Our results indicate that HIV infection leads to increased production of free radicals and decreased production of GCLC resulting in depletion of rGSH and this may lead, in part, to the loss of innate immune function observed in HIV patients. These findings represent a novel mechanism for control of M. tuberculosis infection, and a possible supplement to current HIV treatments. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


PubMed | Your Energy Systems
Type: | Journal: HIV/AIDS (Auckland, N.Z.) | Year: 2011

Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of coronary heart disease and stroke. Since 1981, more than 980,000 cases of AIDS have been reported in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 1 million Americans may be infected with HIV. By killing or damaging CD4+ T cells of the bodys immune system, HIV progressively destroys the bodys ability to fight infections. People diagnosed with AIDS often suffer from life-threatening diseases caused by opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis. HIV-infected individuals have increased risks for atherosclerosis. This review summarizes the effects of oxidized low density lipoproteins in impairing macrophage functions in individuals with atherosclerosis (with and without HIV infection) thereby enhancing the susceptibility to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.

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