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1.
Nrf2-interacting nutrients and COVID-19 : time for research to develop adaptation strategies
Jean Bousquet, Jean-Paul Cristol, Wienczyslawa Czarlewski, Josep M. Antò i Boquè, Adrian Martineau, Tari Haahtela, Susana C. Fonseca, Guido Iaccarino, Hubert Blain, Alessandro Fiocchi, Nisera Bajrović, Natalija Edelbaher, Maja Jošt, Peter Kopač, Anja Koren, Mitja Košnik, Karmen Kramer Vrščaj, Samo Kreft, Nika Lalek, Bojan Madjar, Tonka Poplas-Susič, Irma Rozman Sinur, Tanja Soklič, Katja Triller Vadnal, Nadja Triller, Jure Urbančič, Mihaela Zidarn, 2020

Abstract: There are large between- and within-country variations in COVID-19 death rates. Some very low death rate settings such as Eastern Asia, Central Europe, the Balkans and Africa have a common feature of eating large quantities of fermented foods whose intake is associated with the activation of the Nrf2 (Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2) anti-oxidant transcription factor. There are many Nrf2-interacting nutrients (berberine, curcumin, epigallocatechin gallate, genistein, quercetin, resveratrol, sulforaphane) that all act similarly to reduce insulin resistance, endothelial damage, lung injury and cytokine storm. They also act on the same mechanisms (mTOR: Mammalian target of rapamycin, PPAR[gamma]:Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, NF[kappa]B: Nuclear factor kappa B, ERK: Extracellular signal-regulated kinases and eIF2[alpha]:Elongation initiation factor 2[alpha]). They may as a result be important in mitigating the severity of COVID-19, acting through the endoplasmic reticulum stress or ACE-Angiotensin-II-AT1R axis (AT1R) pathway. Many Nrf2-interacting nutrients are also interacting with TRPA1 and/or TRPV1. Interestingly, geographical areas with very low COVID-19 mortality are those with the lowest prevalence of obesity (Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia). It is tempting to propose that Nrf2-interacting foods and nutrients can re-balance insulin resistance and have a significant effect on COVID-19 severity. It is therefore possible that the intake of these foods may restore an optimal natural balance for the Nrf2 pathway and may be of interest in the mitigation of COVID-19 severity.
Keywords: Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, food, insulin resistance, obesity, Nrf2, nutrients, TRPA1
DiRROS - Published: 25.01.2021; Views: 82; Downloads: 50
.pdf Fulltext (1,61 MB)

2.
Clinical and molecular practice of European thoracic pathology laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic. The past and the near future
Paul Hofman, M. Ilié, E. Chamorey, P. Brest, R. Schiappa, V. Nakache, M. Antoine, M. Barberis, H. Begueret, F. Bibeau, Izidor Kern, 2020

Abstract: Background: This study evaluated the consequences in Europe of the COVID-19 outbreak on pathology laboratories orientated toward the diagnosis of thoracic diseases. Materials and methods: A survey was sent to 71 pathology laboratories from 21 European countries. The questionnaire requested information concerning the organization of biosafety, the clinical and molecular pathology, the biobanking, the workload, the associated research into COVID-19, and the organization of education and training during the COVID- 19 crisis, from 15 March to 31 May 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. Results: Questionnaires were returned from 53/71 (75%) laboratories from 18 European countries. The biosafety procedures were heterogeneous. The workload in clinical and molecular pathology decreased dramatically by 31% (range, 3%-55%) and 26% (range, 7%-62%), respectively. According to the professional category, between 28% and 41% of the staff members were not present in the laboratories but did teleworking. A total of 70% of the laboratories developed virtual meetings for the training of residents and junior pathologists. During the period of study, none of the staff members with confirmed COVID-19 became infected as a result of handling samples. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on most of the European pathology laboratories included in this study. Urgent implementation of several changes to the organization of most of these laboratories, notably to better harmonize biosafety procedures, was noted at the onset of the pandemic and maintained in the event of a new wave of infection occurring in Europe.
Keywords: covid-19, pathology, safety, lung neoplasms, biosafety, lung cancer
DiRROS - Published: 18.01.2021; Views: 97; Downloads: 143
.pdf Fulltext (665,44 KB)

3.
Chemokines during anaphylaxis : the importance of CCL2 and CCL2-dependent chemotactic activity for basophils
Romana Vantur, Maruša Rihar, Ana Koren, Matija Rijavec, Peter Kopač, Urška Bidovec, Renato Eržen, Peter Korošec, 2020

Abstract: Background: The role of chemokines in anaphylaxis is unclear. Methods: We prospectively recruited 49 patients presenting to the emergency department with an acute episode of anaphylaxis and 28 healthy subjects. We measured serum levels of the chemokines CCL2, CCL5, CCL7, CCL8, CCL11, CCL13, CCL17, CCL21, CCL22, CCL24, and CCL26, tryptase, the absolute number of circulating basophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, and PMNs, and whole blood FCER1A, CPA3 and HDC gene expression at two time points: during the anaphylactic episode and in convalescent samples collected approximately 3 months later. We then investigated the in vitro chemotactic activity of chemokines induced during anaphylaxis for the in vitro migration of the corresponding cells. Results: Only CCL2 chemokine levels were signifcantly increased in anaphylaxis samples (median 514 pg/ml) compared to convalescent samples (284 pg/ml, P<0.0001) and healthy subjects (279 pg/ml, P<0.0001); there was no signifcant diference in any of the other chemokines. There was a signifcant positive correlation between the rates of increase of serum CCL2 (median [range]: 106.0% [-44.7% to 557.4%]) and tryptase (133.8% [-6.6% to 893.4%]; r=0.68, P<0.0001) and between the acute concentration of serum CCL2 and the acute concentration of serum tryptase (r=0.77, P<0.0001). The number of circulating basophils, but not other blood cells, signifcantly decreased during anaphylaxis (median 5.0 vs. 19.1 cells/[micro]l in convalescent samples; P<0.0001); a decrease in whole-blood gene expression of basophil markers (PKeywords: anaphylaxis, chemokines, tryptases, basophils, chemotaxis, CCL2, cell migration
DiRROS - Published: 18.01.2021; Views: 99; Downloads: 63
.pdf Fulltext (2,04 MB)

4.
Inhaled therapies in patients with moderate COPD in clinical practice : current thinking
Ariel Amnon, Matjaž Fležar, 2018

Abstract: COPD is a complex, heterogeneous condition. Even in the early clinical stages, COPD carries a significant burden, with breathlessness frequently leading to a reduction in exercise capacity and changes that correlate with long-term patient outcomes and mortality. Implementation of an effective management strategy is required to reduce symptoms, preserve lung function, quality of life, and exercise capacity, and prevent exacerbations. However, current clinical practice frequently differs from published guidelines on the management of COPD. This review focuses on the current scientific evidence and expert opinion on the management of moderate COPD: the symptoms arising from moderate airflow obstruction and the burden these symptoms impose, how physical activity can improve disease outcomes, the benefits of dual bronchodilation in COPD, and the limited evidence for the benefits of inhaled corticosteroids in this disease. We emphasize the importance of maximizing bronchodilation in COPD with inhaled dual-bronchodilator treatment, enhancing patient-related outcomes, and enabling the withdrawal of inhaled corticosteroids in COPD in well-defined patient groups.
Keywords: dual bronchodilation, inhaled corticosteroid, LAMA, LABA, tiotropium, anticholinergic
DiRROS - Published: 17.12.2020; Views: 149; Downloads: 85
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)

5.
Safety and efficacy of immunotherapy with the recombinant B-cell epitope-based grass pollen vaccine BM32
Verena Niederberger, Angela Neubauer, Philippe Gevaert, Mihaela Zidarn, Margitta Worm, Werner Aberer, Hans Jørgen Malling, Oliver Pfaar, Ludger Klimek, Wolfgang Pfützner, 2018

Abstract: Background BM32 is a grass pollen allergy vaccine based on recombinant fusion proteins consisting of nonallergenic peptides from the IgE-binding sites of the 4 major grass pollen allergens and the hepatitis B preS protein. Objective We sought to study the safety and clinical efficacy of immunotherapy (allergen immunotherapy) with BM32 in patients with grass pollen-induced rhinitis and controlled asthma. Methods A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter allergen immunotherapy field study was conducted for 2 grass pollen seasons. After a baseline season, subjects (n = 181) were randomized and received 3 preseasonal injections of either placebo (n = 58) or a low dose (80 [micro]g, n = 60) or high dose (160 [micro]g, n = 63) of BM32 in year 1, respectively, followed by a booster injection in autumn. In the second year, all actively treated subjects received 3 preseasonal injections of the BM32 low dose, and placebo-treated subjects continued with placebo. Clinical efficacy was assessed by using combined symptom medication scores, visual analog scales, Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaires, and asthma symptom scores. Adverse events were graded according to the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Allergen-specific antibodies were determined by using ELISA, ImmunoCAP, and ImmunoCAP ISAC. Results Although statistical significance regarding the primary end point was not reached, BM32-treated subjects, when compared with placebo-treated subjects, showed an improvement regarding symptom medication, visual analog scale, Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire, and asthma symptom scores in both treatment years. This was accompanied by an induction of allergen-specific IgG without induction of allergen-specific IgE and a reduction in the seasonally induced increase in allergen-specific IgE levels in year 2. In the first year, more grade 2 reactions were observed in the active (n = 6) versus placebo (n = 1) groups, whereas there was almost no difference in the second year. Conclusions Injections of BM32 induced allergen-specific IgG, improved clinical symptoms of seasonal grass pollen allergy, and were well tolerated.
Keywords: allergy, allergen immunotherapy, B-cell epitope-based immunotherapy
DiRROS - Published: 17.12.2020; Views: 112; Downloads: 65
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)

6.
Hereditary angioedema due to C1-inhibitor deficiency in pediatric patients in Croatia : first national study, diagnostic and prophylactic challenges
Ljerka Karadža-Lapić, Marko Barešić, Renata Vrsalović, Irena Ivković-Jureković, Saša Sršen, Ingrid Prkačin, Matija Rijavec, Draško Cikojević, 2019

Abstract: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare autosomal dominant disease with deficiency (type I) or dysfunction (type II) of C1 inhibitor, caused by mutations in the C1-INH gene, characterized by recurrent submucosal or subcutaneous edemas including skin swelling, abdominal pain and life-threatening episodes of upper airway obstruction. The aim of this study was to investigate healthcare experiences in children with HAE due to C1 inhibitor deficiency (C1-INH-HAE) in Croatia in order to estimate the number of affected children and to recommend management protocols for diagnosis, short-term prophylaxis and acute treatment. Patients were recruited during a 4-year period at five hospitals in Croatia. Complement testing was performed in patients with a positive family history. This pilot study revealed nine pediatric patients positive for C1-INH- HAE type I, aged 1-16 years, four of them asymptomatic. Before the age of one year, C1-INH levels may be lower than in adults; it is advisable to confirm C1-INH-HAE after the age of one year. Plasma-derived C1- INH is recommended as acute and short-term prophylactic treatment. Recombinant C1-INH and icatibant are licensed for the acute treatment of pediatric patients. In Croatia, HAE is still underdiagnosed in pediatric population.
Keywords: hereditary angioedemas -- genetics -- Croatia, inborn genetic diseases -- Croatia, pediatrics -- Croatia, C1 inhibitor, SERPING1 gene, children
DiRROS - Published: 16.12.2020; Views: 141; Downloads: 143
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)

7.
Important and specific role for basophils in acute allergic reactions
Peter Korošec, Bernhard F. Gibbs, Matija Rijavec, Adnan Custovic, Paul J. Turner, 2018

Abstract: IgE-mediated allergic reactions involve the activation of effector cells, predominantly through the high-affinity IgE receptor (FceRI) on mast cells and basophils. Although the mast cell is considered the major effector cell during acute allergic reactions, more recent studies indicate a potentially important and specific role for basophils and their migration which occurs rapidly upon allergen challenge in humans undergoing anaphylaxis. We review the evidence for a role of basophils in contributing to clinical symptoms of anaphylaxis, and discuss the possibility that basophil trafficking during anaphylaxis might be a pathogenic (to target organs) or protective (preventing degranulation in circulation) response. Finally, we examine the potential role of basophils in asthma exacerbations. Understanding the factors that regulate basophil trafficking and activation might lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in anaphylaxis and asthma.
Keywords: allergy and immunology, basophils, anaphylaxis
DiRROS - Published: 14.12.2020; Views: 98; Downloads: 47
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)

8.
Advance care planning in patients with advanced cancer : a 6-country, cluster-randomised clinical trial
Ida Joanna Korfage, Giulia Carreras, Caroline M. Arnfeldt Christiansen, Pascalle Billekens, Louise Bramley, Linda Briggs, Francesco Bulli, Glenys Caswell, Branka Červ, Johannes JM van Delden, Hana Kodba Čeh, Urška Lunder, Alenka Mimič, Polona Ozbič, Anja Simonič, 2020

Abstract: Background. Advance care planning (ACP) supports individuals to define, discuss, and record goals and preferences for future medical treatment and care. Despite being internationally recommended, randomised clinical trials of ACP in patients with advanced cancer are scarce. Methods and findings. To test the implementation of ACP in patients with advanced cancer, we conducted a cluster-randomised trial in 23 hospitals across Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, and United Kingdom in 2015–2018. Patients with advanced lung (stage III/IV) or colorectal (stage IV) cancer, WHO performance status 0–3, and at least 3 months life expectancy were eligible. The ACTION Respecting Choices ACP intervention as offered to patients in the intervention arm included scripted ACP conversations between patients, family members, and certified facilitators; standardised leaflets; and standardised advance directives. Control patients received care as usual. Main outcome measures were quality of life (operationalised as European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer [EORTC] emotional functioning) and symptoms. Secondary outcomes were coping, patient satisfaction, shared decision-making, patient involvement in decision-making, inclusion of advance directives (ADs) in hospital files, and use of hospital care. In all, 1,117 patients were included (442 intervention; 675 control), and 809 (72%) completed the 12-week questionnaire. Patients’ age ranged from 18 to 91 years, with a mean of 66; 39% were female. The mean number of ACP conversations per patient was 1.3. Fidelity was 86%. Sixteen percent of patients found ACP conversations distressing. Mean change in patients’ quality of life did not differ between intervention and control groups (T-score −1.8 versus −0.8, p = 0.59), nor did changes in symptoms, coping, patient satisfaction, and shared decision-making. Specialist palliative care (37% versus 27%, p = 0.002) and AD inclusion in hospital files (10% versus 3%, p < 0.001) were more likely in the intervention group. A key limitation of the study is that recruitment rates were lower in intervention than in control hospitals. Conclusions. Our results show that quality of life effects were not different between patients who had ACP conversations and those who received usual care. The increased use of specialist palliative care and AD inclusion in hospital files of intervention patients is meaningful and requires further study. Our findings suggest that alternative approaches to support patient-centred end-of-life care in this population are needed.
Keywords: advanced care planning, medical treatment, advanced cancer, palliative care
DiRROS - Published: 14.12.2020; Views: 149; Downloads: 84
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)

9.
Mast cell activation test in the diagnosis of allergic disease and anaphylaxis
Rajia Bahri, Adnan Custovic, Peter Korošec, Marina Tsoumani, Martin Barron, Jiakai Wu, Rebekah Sayers, Alf Weimann, Monica Ruiz-Garcia, Nandinee Patel, Mira Šilar, 2018

Abstract: Background. Food allergy is an increasing public health issue and the commonest cause of life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. Conventional allergy tests assess for the presence of allergen-specific IgE, significantly overestimating the rate of true clinical allergy resulting in over-diagnosis and adverse impact on health-related quality of life. Objective. To undertake initial validation and assessment of a novel diagnostic tool, the mast cell activation test (MAT). Methods. Primary human mast cells (hMCs) were generated from peripheral blood precursors, and sensitized using patient sera and then incubated with allergen. Mast cell degranulation was assessed by flow cytometry and mediator release. We compared the diagnostic performance of MAT to existing diagnostic tools to assess in a cohort of peanut-sensitized individuals undergoing double-blind, placebo-controlled challenge. Results. hMCs sensitized with sera from peanut, grass pollen and hymenoptera- (wasp venom) allergic patients demonstrated allergen-specific and dose-dependent degranulation by both expression of surface activation markers (CD63 and CD107a) and functional assays (prostaglandins D2 and ß-hexosaminidase release). In this cohort of peanut-sensitized individuals, MAT was found to have superior discrimination performance compared to other testing modalities including component-resolved diagnostics and basophil activation test. Using functional principle component analysis, we identified 5 clusters or patterns of reactivity in the resulting dose-response curves, which at preliminary analysis corresponded to the reaction phenotypes seen at challenge. Conclusion. MAT is a robust tool which may confer superior diagnostic performance compared to existing allergy diagnostics, and may be useful to explore differences in effector cell function between basophils and mast cells during allergic reactions.
Keywords: allergy and immunology -- diagnosis, anaphylaxis, immunologic tests, mast cells, food hypersensitivity, basophil activation test, BAT, mast cell activation test
DiRROS - Published: 30.11.2020; Views: 149; Downloads: 71
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)

10.
Comparison of European ICU patients in 2012 (ICON) versus 2002 (SOAP)
Jean Louis Vincent, Jean-Yves Lefrant, Katarzyna Kotfis, Rahul Nanchal, Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Xavier Wittebole, Samir G. Sakka, Peter Pickkers, Rui P. Moreno, Yasser Sakr, 2018

Abstract: Purpose: To evaluate differences in the characteristics and outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU) patients over time. Methods: We reviewed all epidemiological data, including comorbidities, types and severity of organ failure, interventions, lengths of stay and outcome, for patients from the Sepsis Occurrence in Acutely ill Patients (SOAP) study, an observational study conducted in European intensive care units in 2002, and the Intensive Care Over Nations (ICON) audit, a survey of intensive care unit patients conducted in 2012. Results: We compared the 3147 patients from the SOAP study with the 4852 patients from the ICON audit admitted to intensive care units in the same countries as those in the SOAP study. The ICON patients were older (62.5 +/- 17.0 vs. 60.6 +/- 17.4 years) and had higher severity scores than the SOAP patients. The proportion of patients with sepsis at any time during the intensive care unit stay was slightly higher in the ICON study (31.9 vs. 29.6%, p = 0.03). In multilevel analysis, the adjusted odds of ICU mortality were significantly lower for ICON patients than for SOAP patients, particularly in patients with sepsis [OR 0.45 (0.35-0.59), p < 0.001]. Conclusions: Over the 10-year period between 2002 and 2012, the proportion of patients with sepsis admitted to European ICUs remained relatively stable, but the severity of disease increased. In multilevel analysis, the odds of ICU mortality were lower in our 2012 cohort compared to our 2002 cohort, particularly in patients with sepsis.
Keywords: intensive care units -- analysis -- epidemiology -- mortality, sepsis, severity of disease
DiRROS - Published: 30.11.2020; Views: 203; Downloads: 104
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)

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