Browsing by Subject "INFECTION"

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  • Domanska, Ausra; Flatt, Justin Wayne; Jukonen, Joonas; Geraets, James; Butcher, Sarah Jane (2019)
    Human parechovirus 3 (HPeV3) infection is associated with sepsis characterized by significant immune activation and subsequent tissue damage in neonates. Strategies to limit infection have been unsuccessful due to inadequate molecular diagnostic tools for early detection and the lack of a vaccine or specific antiviral therapy. Toward the latter, we present a 2.8-angstrom-resolution structure of HPeV3 in complex with fragments from a neutralizing human monoclonal antibody, AT12-015, using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and image reconstruction. Modeling revealed that the epitope extends across neighboring asymmetric units with contributions from capsid proteins VP0, VP1, and VP3. Antibody decoration was found to block binding of HPeV3 to cultured cells. Additionally, at high resolution, it was possible to model a stretch of RNA inside the virion and, from this, identify the key features that drive and stabilize protein-RNA association during assembly. IMPORTANCE Human parechovirus 3 (HPeV3) is receiving increasing attention as a prevalent cause of sepsis-like symptoms in neonates, for which, despite the severity of disease, there are no effective treatments available. Structural and molecular insights into virus neutralization are urgently needed, especially as clinical cases are on the rise. Toward this goal, we present the first structure of HPeV3 in complex with fragments from a neutralizing monoclonal antibody. At high resolution, it was possible to precisely define the epitope that, when targeted, prevents virions from binding to cells. Such an atomic-level description is useful for understanding host-pathogen interactions and viral pathogenesis mechanisms and for finding potential cures for infection and disease.
  • Jalkanen, Pinja; Pasternack, Arja; Maljanen, Sari; Melen, Krister; Kolehmainen, Pekka; Huttunen, Moona; Lundberg, Rickard; Tripathi, Lav; Khan, Hira; Ritvos, Mikael A.; Naves, Rauno; Haveri, Anu; Österlund, Pamela; Kuivanen, Suvi; Jääskeläinen, Anne J.; Kurkela, Satu; Lappalainen, Maija; Rantasärkkä, Kaisa; Vuorinen, Tytti; Hytönen, Jukka; Waris, Matti; Tauriainen, Sisko; Ritvos, Olli; Kakkola, Laura; Julkunen, Ilkka (2021)
    Background. Primary diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is based on detection of virus RNA in nasopharyngeal swab samples. In addition, analysis of humoral immunity against SARS-CoV-2 has an important role in viral diagnostics and seroprevalence estimates. Methods. We developed and optimized an enzyme immunoassays (EIA) using SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein (N), Si and receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein, and N proteins from SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and 4 low-pathogenic human CoVs. Neutralizing antibody activity was compared with SARS-CoV-2 IgG, IgA, and IgM EIA results. Results. The sensitivity of EIA for detecting immune response in COVID-19 patients (n = 101) was 77% in the acute phase and 100% in the convalescent phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection when N and RBD were used as antigens in IgG and IgA specific EIAs. SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly increased humoral immune responses against the 229E and NL63 N proteins. Si and RBD-based EIA results had a strong correlation with microneutralization test results. Conclusions. The data indicate a combination of SARS-CoV-2 Si or RBD and N proteins and analysis of IgG and IgA immunoglobulin classes in sera provide an excellent basis for specific and sensitive serological diagnostics of COVID-19.
  • Pryce, Rhys; Azarm, Kristopher; Rissanen, Ilona; Harlos, Karl; Bowden, Thomas A.; Lee, Benhur (2020)
    The emergent zoonotic henipaviruses, Hendra, and Nipah are responsible for frequent and fatal disease outbreaks in domestic animals and humans. Specificity of henipavirus attachment glycoproteins (G) for highly species-conserved ephrin ligands underpins their broad host range and is associated with systemic and neurological disease pathologies. Here, we demonstrate that Cedar virus (CedV)—a related henipavirus that is ostensibly nonpathogenic—possesses an idiosyncratic entry receptor repertoire that includes the common henipaviral receptor, ephrin-B2, but, distinct from pathogenic henipaviruses, does not include ephrin-B3. Uniquely among known henipaviruses, CedV can use ephrin-B1 for cellular entry. Structural analyses of CedV-G reveal a key region of molecular specificity that directs ephrin-B1 utilization, while preserving a universal mode of ephrin-B2 recognition. The structural and functional insights presented uncover diversity within the known henipavirus receptor repertoire and suggest that only modest structural changes may be required to modulate receptor specificities within this group of lethal human pathogens.
  • Foster, Graham R.; Chayama, Kazuaki; Chuang, Wan-Long; Fainboim, Hugo; Farkkila, Martti; Gadano, Adrian; Gaeta, Giovanni B.; Hezode, Christophe; Inada, Yukiko; Heo, Jeong; Kumada, Hiromitsu; Lu, Sheng-Nan; Marcellin, Patrick; Moreno, Christophe; Roberts, Stuart K.; Strasser, Simone I.; Thompson, Alexander J.; Toyota, Joji; Paik, Seung Woon; Vierling, John M.; Zignego, Anna L.; Cohen, David; McPhee, Fiona; Wind-Rotolo, Megan; Srinivasan, Subasree; Hruska, Matthew; Myler, Heather; Portsmouth, Simon D. (2016)
    Background and purpose: Peginterferon Lambda was being developed as an alternative to alfa interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We compared peginterferon Lambda-1a plus ribavirin (Lambda/RBV) and Lambda/RBV plus daclatasvir (DCV; pangenotypic NS5A inhibitor) with peginterferon alfa-2a plus RBV (alfa/RBV) in treatment-naive patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection. Methods: In this multicenter, double-blind, phase 3 randomized controlled trial, patients were assigned 2:2:1 to receive 24 weeks of Lambda/RBV, 12 weeks of Lambda/RBV + DCV, or 24 weeks of alfa/RBV. The primary outcome measure was sustained virologic response at post-treatment Week 12 (SVR12). Results: Overall, 874 patients were treated: Lambda/RBV, n = 353; Lambda/RBV + DCV, n = 349; alfa/RBV, n = 172. Patients were 65 % white and 33 % Asian, 57 % male, with a mean age of 47 years; 52 % were infected with genotype 2 (6 % cirrhotic) and 48 % with genotype 3 (9 % cirrhotic). In the Lambda/RBV + DCV group, 83 % (95 % confidence interval [CI] 78.5, 86.5) achieved SVR12 (90 % genotype 2, 75 % genotype 3) whereas SVR12 was achieved by 68 % (95 % CI 63.1, 72.9) with Lambda/RBV (72 % genotype 2, 64 % genotype 3) and 73 % (95 % CI 66.6, 79.9) with peginterferon alfa/RBV (74 % genotype 2, 73 % genotype 3). Lambda/RBV + DCV was associated with lower incidences of flu-like symptoms, hematological abnormalities, and discontinuations due to adverse events compared with alfa/RBV. Conclusion: The 12-week regimen of Lambda/RBV + DCV was superior to peginterferon alfa/RBV in the combined population of treatment-naive patients with genotype 2 or 3 infection, with an improved tolerability and safety profile compared with alfa/RBV.
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Yao, Rouan; Zusinaite, Eva; Lysvand, Hilde; Oksenych, Valentyn; Tenson, Tanel; Bjoras, Magnar; Kainov, Denis (2021)
    Background: Every year, millions of people are hospitalized and thousands die from influenza A virus (FLUAV) infection. Most cases of hospitalizations and death occur among the elderly. Many of these elderly patients are reliant on medical treatment of underlying chronic diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension. We hypothesized that the commonly prescribed medicines for treatment of underlying chronic diseases can affect host responses to FLUAV infection and thus contribute to the morbidity and mortality associated with influenza. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine whether commonly prescribed medicines could affect host responses to virus infection in vitro. Methods: We first identified 45 active compounds from a list of commonly prescribed medicines. Then, we constructed a drug-target interaction network and identified the potential implication of these interactions for FLUAV-host cell interplay. Finally, we tested the effect of 45 drugs on the viability, transcription, and metabolism of mock- and FLUAV-infected human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Results: In silico drug-target interaction analysis revealed that drugs such as atorvastatin, candesartan, and hydroxocobalamin could target and modulate FLUAV-host cell interaction. In vitro experiments showed that at non-cytotoxic concentrations, these compounds affected the transcription and metabolism of FLUAV- and mock-infected cells. Conclusion: Many commonly prescribed drugs were found to modulate FLUAV-host cell interactions in silico and in vitro and could therefore affect their interplay in vivo, thus contributing to the morbidity and mortality of patients with influenza virus infections.
  • Lavilla-Alonso, Sergio; Bauerschmitz, Gerd; Abo-Ramadan, Usama; Halavaara, Juha; Escutenaire, Sophie; Diaconu, Iulia; Tatlisumak, Turgut; Kanerva, Anna; Hemminki, Akseli; Pesonen, Sari (2010)
  • Aro, Karoliina; Nieminen, Pekka; Louvanto, Karolina; Jakobsson, Maija; Virtanen, Seppo; Lehtinen, Matti; Dillner, Joakim; Kalliala, Ilkka (2019)
    Background and aim. Age-specific type-distribution of high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) in cervical precancerous lesions is subject to change in the HPV vaccination era. Knowing the pre-vaccination type distribution helps to anticipate changes induced by mass vaccination and optimize screening. Methods. We recruited 1279 women referred to colposcopy for abnormal cytology into a population-based study on HPV type distribution in diagnostic cervical samples (ISRCTN10933736). The HPV genotyping findings were grouped as: HPV16/18+, other hrHPV+ (HPV31/33/35/39/45/51/52/56/58/59/66/68), non-vaccine targeted hrHPV+ (HPV35/39/51/56/59/66/68), low-risk HPV, and HPV negative. We estimated the HPV group-specific prevalence rates according to diagnostic histopathological findings in the age groups of = 45 (n = 326). Results. Altogether 503 cases with high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or worse (HSIL+) were diagnosed. More than half, 285 (56.7%) of HSIL+ cases were associated with HPV16/18: 64.3% (101/157) in women = 45 years of age (RR 0.55, 95% CI 039-0.75). Conversely, other hrHPV's were associated with 191 (38.0%) of HSIL+: 31.9% (50/157) in women = 45 (RR 1.71, 95% CI 126-2.33). The proportion of non-vaccine targeted hrHPV and HPV negative HSIL+ increased with advancing age. Conclusions. Pre-vaccination HPV type distribution in HSIL+ was distinctly polarised by age with HPV16/18 attributed disease being markedly more prevalent in women aged
  • Hannon, Eilis; Dempster, Emma; Viana, Joana; Burrage, Joe; Smith, Adam R.; Macdonald, Ruby; St Clair, David; Mustard, Colette; Breen, Gerome; Therman, Sebastian; Kaprio, Jaakko; Toulopoulou, Timothea; Pol, Hilleke E. Hulshoff; Bohlken, Marc M.; Kahn, Rene S.; Nenadic, Igor; Hultman, Christina M.; Murray, Robin M.; Collier, David A.; Bass, Nick; Gurling, Hugh; McQuillin, Andrew; Schalkwyk, Leonard; Mill, Jonathan (2016)
    Background: Schizophrenia is a highly heritable, neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by episodic psychosis and altered cognitive function. Despite success in identifying genetic variants associated with schizophrenia, there remains uncertainty about the causal genes involved in disease pathogenesis and how their function is regulated. Results: We performed a multi-stage epigenome-wide association study, quantifying genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation in a total of 1714 individuals from three independent sample cohorts. We have identified multiple differentially methylated positions and regions consistently associated with schizophrenia across the three cohorts; these effects are independent of important confounders such as smoking. We also show that epigenetic variation at multiple loci across the genome contributes to the polygenic nature of schizophrenia. Finally, we show how DNA methylation quantitative trait loci in combination with Bayesian co-localization analyses can be used to annotate extended genomic regions nominated by studies of schizophrenia, and to identify potential regulatory variation causally involved in disease. Conclusions: This study represents the first systematic integrated analysis of genetic and epigenetic variation in schizophrenia, introducing a methodological approach that can be used to inform epigenome-wide association study analyses of other complex traits and diseases. We demonstrate the utility of using a polygenic risk score to identify molecular variation associated with etiological variation, and of using DNA methylation quantitative trait loci to refine the functional and regulatory variation associated with schizophrenia risk variants. Finally, we present strong evidence for the co-localization of genetic associations for schizophrenia and differential DNA methylation.
  • Loikkanen, Emil; Oristo, Satu; Hämäläinen, Natalia; Jokelainen, Pikka; Kantala, Tuija; Sukura, Antti; Maunula, Leena (2020)
    The main animal reservoirs of zoonotic hepatitis E virus (HEV) are domestic pigs and wild boars, but HEV also infects cervids. In this study, we estimated the prevalence of HEV in Finnish cervid species that are commonly hunted for human consumption. We investigated sera from 342 European moose (Alces alces), 70 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and 12 European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). The samples had been collected from legally hunted animals from different districts of Finland during 2008–2009. We analysed the samples for total anti-HEV antibodies using a double-sandwich ELISA assay. Seropositive sera were analysed with RT-qPCR for HEV RNA. HEV seroprevalence was 9.1% (31/342) in moose and 1.4% (1/70) in white-tailed deer. None of the European roe deer were HEV seropositive (0/12). No HEV RNA was detected from samples of seropositive animals. HEV seropositive moose were detected in all districts. Statistically, HEV seroprevalence in moose was significantly higher (p 
  • Windbichler, Katharina; Michalopoulou, Eleni; Palamides, Pia; Pesch, Theresa; Jelinek, Christine; Vapalahti, Olli; Kipar, Anja; Hetzel, Udo; Hepojoki, Jussi (2019)
    Boid Inclusion Body Disease (BIBD) is a potentially fatal disease reported in captive boid snakes worldwide that is caused by reptarenavirus infection. Although the detection of intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies (IB) in blood cells serves as the gold standard for the ante mortem diagnosis of BIBD, the mechanisms underlying IB formation and the pathogenesis of BIBD are unknown. Knowledge on the reptile immune system is sparse compared to the mammalian counterpart, and in particular the response towards reptarenavirus infection is practically unknown. Herein, we investigated a breeding collection of 70 Boa constrictor snakes for BIBD, reptarenavirus viraemia, anti-reptarenavirus IgM and IgY antibodies, and population parameters. Using NGS and RT-PCR on pooled blood samples of snakes with and without BIBD, we could identify three different reptarenavirus S segments in the collection. The examination of individual samples by RT-PCR indicated that the presence of University of Giessen virus (UGV)-like S segment strongly correlates with IB formation. We could also demonstrate a negative correlation between BIBD and the presence of anti-UGV NP IgY antibodies. Further evidence of an association between antibody response and BIBD is the finding that the level of anti-reptarenavirus antibodies measured by ELISA was lower in snakes with BIBD. Furthermore, female snakes had a significantly lower body weight when they had BIBD. Taken together our findings suggest that the detection of the UGV-/S6-like S segment and the presence of anti-reptarenavirus IgY antibodies might serve as a prognostic tool for predicting the development of BIBD.
  • Grönthal, Thomas; Eklund, Marjut; Thomson, Katariina; Piiparinen, Heli; Sironen, Tarja; Rantala, Merja (2017)
    Objectives: To investigate antimicrobial susceptibility in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and the occurrence of methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP), to explore the molecular structure of the MRSP population and to analyse risk factors for MRSP. Methods: Susceptibility data for clinical S. pseudintermedius isolates in 2011-15 were analysed using WHONET. All MRSP isolates in 2010-14 (n = 362) were typed using PFGE. Representative isolates (n = 87) of clusters were analysed using MLST and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. Risk factors were analysed using logistic regression. Results: Of the clinical S. pseudintermedius (n-1958; 98% from dogs), 14% were MRSP. Resistance to other antimicrobials varied between 12% and 39%. No trends were observed over time. Among clinical specimens (from infection sites) and screening specimens (from potential carriers), respectively, 2.5% (267/10813) and 9% (211/2434) revealed MRSP. MLST revealed 42 different STs, including 19 new ones. Clonal complexes 71, 45 and 258 were the most common, but the MRSP population diversified over the years. A clinical S. pseudintermedius isolate was more likely to be MRSP if the patient was on antimicrobials at the time of sampling or was male. The presence of MRSP in screening specimens was more likely if the patient was on multiple antimicrobials at the time of sampling. Specimens from private clinics (versus the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Helsinki) had a higher likelihood of MRSP in both analyses. Conclusions: Resistance to antimicrobials among S. pseudintermedius in Finland is high, emphasizing the importance of infection control measures and susceptibility testing prior to therapy. The diverse MRSP population indicates non-clonal spread.
  • Kantele, Anu; Laaveri, Tinja; Mero, Sointu; Vilkman, Katri; Pakkanen, Sari H.; Ollgren, Jukka; Antikainen, Jenni; Kirveskari, Juha (2015)
    Background. More than 300 million travelers visit regions with poor hygiene annually. A significant percentage of them become colonized by resistant intestinal bacteria such as extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE) and may transmit the strains to others and to medical care settings when they return home. Despite the threats to global healthcare caused by an upsurge in antimicrobial resistance, no effort has been centered on prevention of colonization while traveling. Methods. Stool samples were collected from 430 Finns before and after traveling outside Scandinavia. All specimens were analyzed for ESBL-and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE). Questionnaires were used to survey volunteers about use of antimicrobials as well as other potential risk factors. The results were subjected to multivariable analysis. Results. Twenty-one percent (90/430) of the travelers became colonized by ESBL-PE and none by CPE. Geographic region, occurrence of travelers' diarrhea (TD), age, and use of antimicrobial (AB) for TD were identified as independent risk factors predisposing to contracting ESBL-PE. Eleven percent of those in subgroup TD-AB-, 21% in TD+AB-, and 37% in TD+AB+ acquired ESBL-PE. The risk proved to be highest in South Asia (46%); 23% became colonized in subgroup TD-AB-, 47% in TD+AB-, and 80% in TD+AB+. In Southeast Asia, the rates were 14%, 37%, and 69%, respectively. Conclusions. TDand antimicrobials for TD proved to be independent risk factors, with up to 80% of TD+AB+ travelers contracting ESBL-PE. Inmodernpre-travel counseling for those visiting high-risk regions, travelers should be advised against taking antibiotics for mild or moderate TD.
  • Seppala, Otto; Karvonen, Anssi; Kuosa, Marja; Haataja, Maarit; Jokela, Jukka (2013)
  • Österlund, Pamela; Jiang, Miao; Westenius, Veera; Kuivanen, Suvi; Järvi, Riia; Kakkola, Laura; Lundberg, Rickard; Melen, Krister; Korva, Misa; Avsic-Zupanc, Tatjana; Vapalahti, Olli; Julkunen, Ilkka (2019)
    Zika virus (ZIKV) infections in humans are considered to be mild or subclinical. However, during the recent epidemics in the Pacific Islands and the Americas, the infection was associated with Quillain-Barre syndrome and congenital infections with fetal brain abnormalities, including microcephaly. Thus, more detailed understanding of ZIKV-host cell interactions and regulation of innate immune responses by strains of differential evolutionary origin is required. Here, we characterized the infection and immune responses triggered by two epidemic Asian/American lineage viruses, including an isolate from fetal brains, and a historical, low passage 1947 African lineage virus in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages. The epidemic Asian/American ZIKV replicated well and induced relatively good antiviral responses in human DCs whereas the African strain replicated less efficiently and induced weaker immune responses. In macrophages both the African and Asian strains showed limited replication and relatively weak cytokine gene expression. Interestingly, in macrophages we observed host protein degradation, especially IRF3 and STAT2, at early phases of infection with both lineage viruses, suggesting an early proteasomal activation in phagocytic cells. Our data indicates that ZIKV evolution has led to significant phenotypic differences in the replication characteristics leading to differential regulation of host innate immune responses.
  • Torniainen-Holm, Minna; Suvisaari, Jaana; Lindgren, Maija; Härkänen, Tommi; Dickerson, Faith; Yolken, Robert H. (2018)
    Background: Earlier studies have documented an association between cytomegalovirus and cognitive impairment, but results have been inconsistent. Few studies have investigated the association of cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus with cognitive decline longitudinally. Our aim was to examine whether cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus are associated with cognitive decline, in adults. Method: The study sample is from the Finnish Health 2000 Survey (BRIF8901, n = 7112), which is representative of the Finnish adult population. The sample was followed up after 11 years in the Health 2011 Survey. In addition, persons with dementia were identified from healthcare registers. Results: In the Finnish population aged 30 and over, the seroprevalence of cytomegalovirus was estimated to be 84% and the seroprevalence of Epstein-Barr virus 98%. Seropositivity of the viruses and antibody levels were mostly not associated with cognitive performance. In the middle-aged adult group, cytomegalovirus serointensity was associated with impaired performance in verbal learning. However, the association disappeared when corrected for multiple testing. No interactions between infection and time or between the two infections were significant when corrected for multiple testing. Seropositivity did not predict dementia diagnosis. Conclusions: The results suggest that adult levels of antibodies to cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus may not be associated with a significant decline in cognitive function or with dementia at population level. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Markkula, Niina; Lindgren, Maija; Yolken, Robert H.; Suvisaari, Jaana (2020)
    Background Some prevalent infections have been associated with common mental disorders, but there are few longitudinal studies, and results are inconsistent. We aimed to assess whether serological evidence of exposure to Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Herpes Simplex virus Type 1 (HSV-1) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) predict development of new-onset depressive and anxiety disorders. Methods In a nationally representative sample of the Finnish adult population aged 30 and over (BRIF8901, n = 8028), IgG antibodies for T. gondii, EBV, HSV-1 and CMV were measured in plasma samples. The population was followed up for 11 years and new-onset depressive and anxiety disorders were diagnosed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Associations were analysed controlling for sex, age, educational level, region of residence and marital status, and in separate analyses also for C-reactive protein level. Results Seropositivity and serointensity of the four infectious agents were not associated with an increased risk of new-onset depressive or anxiety disorders. Seropositivity for CMV at baseline was associated with a lower risk of new-onset generalized anxiety disorder (adjusted OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.22–0.86 for CMV positive persons). Conclusion The results of this large, nationally representative longitudinal study suggest that common viral infections are not significant risk factors for common mental disorders. The association of CMV with a lower risk of generalized anxiety disorder warrants further investigation.
  • Penack, Olaf; Peczynski, Christophe; van der Werf, Steffie; Finke, Juergen; Ganser, Arnold; Schoemans, Helene; Pavlu, Jiri; Niittyvuopio, Riitta; Schroyens, Wilfried; Kaynar, Leylagul; Blau, Igor W.; van der Velden, Walter J. F. M.; Sierra, Jorge; Cortelezzi, Agostino; Wulf, Gerald; Turlure, Pascal; Rovira, Montserrat; Ozkurt, Zubeydenur; Pascual-Cascon, Maria J.; Moreira, Maria C.; Clausen, Johannes; Greinix, Hildegard; Duarte, Rafael F.; Basak, Grzegorz W. (2020)
    Elevated serum ferritin levels occur due to iron overload or during inflammation and macrophage activation. A correlation of high serum ferritin levels with increased mortality after alloSCT has been suggested by several retrospective analyses as well as by two smaller prospective studies. This prospective multicentric study aimed to study the association of ferritin serum levels before start of conditioning with alloSCT outcome. Patients with acute leukemia, lymphoma or MDS receiving a matched sibling alloSCT for the first time were considered for inclusion, regardless of conditioning. A comparison of outcomes between patients with high and low ferritin level was performed using univariate analysis and multivariate analysis using cause-specific Cox model. Twenty centers reported data on 298 alloSCT recipients. The ferritin cut off point was determined at 1500 mu g/l (median of measured ferritin levels). In alloSCT recipients with ferritin levels above cut off measured before the start of conditioning, overall survival (HR = 2.5, CI = 1.5-4.1, p = 0.0005) and progression-free survival (HR = 2.4, CI = 1.6-3.8, p <0.0001) were inferior. Excess mortality in the high ferritin group was due to both higher relapse incidence (HR = 2.2, CI = 1.2-3.8, p = 0.007) and increased non-relapse mortality (NRM) (HR = 3.1, CI = 1.5-6.4, p = 0.002). NRM was driven by significantly higher infection-related mortality in the high ferritin group (HR = 3.9, CI = 1.6-9.7, p = 0.003). Acute and chronic GVHD incidence or severity were not associated to serum ferritin levels. We conclude that ferritin levels can serve as routine laboratory biomarker for mortality risk assessment before alloSCT.
  • Zimmermann, Martina; Armeanu-Ebinger, Sorin; Bossow, Sascha; Lampe, Johanna; Smirnow, Irina; Schenk, Andrea; Lange, Sebastian; Weiss, Thomas S.; Neubert, Wolfgang; Lauer, Ulrich M.; Bitzer, Michael (2014)
  • Autio, Karoliina P. M.; Ruotsalainen, Janne J.; Anttila, Marjukka O.; Niittykoski, Minna; Waris, Matti; Hemminki, Akseli; Vähä-Koskela, Markus J. V.; Hinkkanen, Ari E. (2015)
    Background: Dogs suffer from spontaneous tumors which may be amenable to therapies developed for human cancer patients, and dogs may serve as large-animal cancer models. A non-pathogenic Semliki Forest virus vector VA7-EGFP previously showed promise in targeting human tumor xenografts in mice, but the oncolytic capacity of the virus in canine cancer cells and the safety of the virus in higher mammals such as dogs, are not known. We therefore assessed the oncolytic potency of VA7-EGFP against canine cancer cells by infectivity and viability assays in two dog solid tumor cell lines. Furthermore we performed a 3-week safety study in two adult Beagles which received a single intravenous injection of similar to 2 x 10(5) plaque forming units of parental A7(74) strain. Results: VA7-EGFP was able to replicate in and kill both canine cancer cell lines tested. No adverse events were observed in either of the two virus-injected adult Beagles and no infective virus could be recovered from any of the biological samples collected over the course of the study. Neutralizing antibodies to Semliki Forest virus became detectable in the dogs at 5 days post infection and remained elevated until study termination. Conclusions: Based on these results, testing of the oncolytic potential of attenuated Semliki Forest virus in canine cancer patients appears feasible.
  • Perez-Tanoira, Ramon; Horwat, David; Kinnari, Teemu J.; Perez-Jorge, Concepcion; Gomez-Barrena, Enrique; Migot, Sylvie; Esteban, Jaime (2016)
    The aim of this study was to compare the bacterial adhesion of Staphylococcus spp. on Ti-6Al-4V with respect to Ti-6Al-V modified alloys with a set of Cubic yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) and Ag-YSZ nanocomposite films. Silver is well known to have a natural biocidal character and its presence in the surface predicted to enhance the antimicrobial properties of biomedical surfaces. Microbial adhesion tests were performed using collection strains and twelve clinical strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. The adherence study was performed using a previously published protocol by Kinnari et al. Both collection strains and clinical isolates have shown lower bacterial adhesion to materials modified with respect to the alloy Ti-6Al-4V and the modification with silver reduced the bacterial adhesion for most of all the strains studied. Moreover the percentage of dead bacteria have been evaluated, demonstrating increased proportion of dead bacteria for the modified surfaces. Nanocrystalline silver dissolves releasing both Ag+ and Ag-0 whereas other silver sources release only Ag+. We can conclude that YSZ with nanocrystalline silver coating may lead to diminished postoperative infections and to increased corrosion and scratch resistance of YSZ incorporating alloys Ti-6Al-4V.