ResearchPad - clinical-science https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Remission <i>vs</i> low disease activity: function, quality of life and structural outcomes in the Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Study and Network]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10163 To examine associations between function, quality of life and structural outcomes in patients achieving remission vs low disease activity in early RA.MethodsDemographic, clinical and radiographic variables were collected at baseline and then annually from the Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Study (ERAS) and Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Network (ERAN) inception cohorts in routine care from 1986 to 2012. Disease activity was categorized: mean DAS28 score between years 1 and 5: remission [mean remission DAS (mRDAS) <2.6] or low [mean low DAS (mLDAS) 2.6–3.2]; sustained low/remission DAS28 (sLDAS/sRDAS) at years 1 and 2; and sustained Boolean remission (sBR) at years 1 and 2. Changes in HAQ and Short Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire [SF-36; physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component score]) and total Sharp van der Heijde (SvdH) scores for each disease activity category were modelled using multi-level models. Covariates included year of onset, age, gender and DMARD use at first visit.ResultsOf 2701 patients, 562 (21%) were categorized mRDAS, 330 (12%) mLDAS, 279 (10%) sRDAS, 203 (7.5%) sLDAS and 93 (3%) sBR. Patients categorized as mRDAS had increasingly divergent improved HAQ, SF-36 PCS, MCS and total SvdH scores compared with mLDAS (P-values 0.001 to <0.0001, all time points). Patients categorized as sRDAS had better HAQ, SF-36 PCS and MCS scores (P-values 0.05 to <0.0001, all time points) and SvdH scores (P = 0.05, years 3–5) over sLDAS. sBR was associated with better HAQ, and SF-36 PCS and MCS scores over sLDAS (P-values 0.002 to <0.0001, all time points).ConclusionThese findings from routine care support ACR/EULAR guidelines that remission is a preferable goal over low disease activity in early RA. ]]> <![CDATA[The quantitative assessment of interstitial lung disease with positron emission tomography scanning in systemic sclerosis patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10162 The reversibility of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in SSc is difficult to assess by current diagnostic modalities and there is clinical need for imaging techniques that allow for treatment stratification and monitoring. 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT scanning may be of interest for this purpose by detection of metabolic activity in lung tissue. This study aimed to investigate the potential role of 18F-FDG PET/CT scanning for the quantitative assessment of SSc-related active ILD.Methods 18F-FDG PET/CT scans and high resolution CT scans of eight SSc patients, including five with ILD, were analysed. For comparison, reference groups were included: eight SLE patients and four primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) patients, all without ILD. A total of 22 regions of interest were drawn in each patient at apical, medial and dorsobasal lung levels. 18F-FDG uptake was measured as mean standardized uptake value (SUVmean) in each region of interest. Subsequently, basal/apical (B/A) and medial/apical (M/A) ratios were calculated at patient level (B/A-p and M/A-p) and at tissue level (B/A-t and M/A-t).ResultsSUVmean values in dorsobasal ROIs and B/A-p ratios were increased in SSc with ILD compared with SSc without ILD (P = 0.04 and P = 0.07, respectively), SLE (P = 0.003 and P = 0.002, respectively) and pSS (P = 0.03 and P = 0.02, respectively). Increased uptake in the dorsobasal lungs and increased B/A-t ratios corresponded to both ground glass and reticulation on high resolution CT.ConclusionSemi-quantitative assessment of 18F-FDG PET/CT is able to distinguish ILD from non-affected lung tissue in SSc, suggesting that it may be used as a new biomarker for SSc-ILD disease activity. ]]> <![CDATA[How do patients with systemic sclerosis experience currently provided healthcare and how should we measure its quality?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10160 To gain insight into SSc patients’ perspective on quality of care and to survey their preferred quality indicators.MethodsAn online questionnaire about healthcare setting, perceived quality of care (CQ index) and quality indicators, was sent to 2093 patients from 13 Dutch hospitals.ResultsSix hundred and fifty patients (mean age 59 years, 75% women, 32% limited cutaneous SSc, 20% diffuse cutaneous SSc) completed the questionnaire. Mean time to diagnosis was 4.3 years (s.d. 6.9) and was longer in women compared with men (4.8 (s.d. 7.3) vs 2.5 (s.d. 5.0) years). Treatment took place in a SSc expert centre for 58%, regional centre for 29% or in both for 39% of patients. Thirteen percent of patients was not aware of whether their hospital was specialized in SSc. The perceived quality of care was rated with a mean score of 3.2 (s.d. 0.5) (range 1.0–4.0). There were no relevant differences between expert and regional centres. The three prioritized process indicators were: good patient-physician interaction (80%), structural multidisciplinary collaboration (46%) and receiving treatment according to SSc guidelines (44%). Absence of disease progression (66%), organ involvement (33%) and digital ulcers (27%) were the three highest rated outcome indicators.ConclusionThe perceived quality of care evaluated in our study was fair to good. No differences between expert and regional centres were observed. Our prioritized process and outcome indicators can be added to indicators suggested by SSc experts in earlier studies and can be used to evaluate the quality of care in SSc. ]]> <![CDATA[Secukinumab provides sustained low rates of radiographic progression in psoriatic arthritis: 52-week results from a phase 3 study, FUTURE 5]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10159 To evaluate the effect of secukinumab on radiographic progression through 52 weeks in patients with PsA from the FUTURE 5 study.MethodsPatients with active PsA, stratified by prior anti-TNF use (naïve or inadequate response), were randomized to s.c. secukinumab 300 mg load (300 mg), 150 mg load (150 mg), 150 mg no load regimens or placebo at baseline, at weeks 1, 2 and 3 and every 4 weeks starting at week 4. Radiographic progression was assessed by change in van der Heijde-modified total Sharp score (vdH-mTSS; mean of two readers). Statistical analysis used a linear mixed-effects model (random slope) at weeks 24 and 52, and observed data at week 52. Assessments at week 52 included additional efficacy endpoints (non-responders imputation and mixed-effects models for repeated measures) and safety.ResultsThe majority (86.6%) of patients completed 52 weeks of treatment. The proportion of patients with no radiographic progression (change from baseline in vdH-mTSS ⩽0.5) was 91.8, 85.2 and 87.2% in 300, 150 and 150 mg no load groups, respectively, at week 52. The change in vdH-mTSS from baseline to week 52 using random slope [mean change (s.e.)] was –0.18 (0.17), 0.11 (0.18) and –0.20 (0.18) in 300, 150 and 150 mg no load groups, respectively; the corresponding observed data [mean change (s.d.)] was –0.09 (1.02), 0.13 (1.39) and 0.21 (1.15). Clinical efficacy endpoints were sustained, and no new or unexpected safety signals were reported through 52 weeks.ConclusionSecukinumab 300 and 150 mg with or without s.c. loading regimen provided sustained low rates of radiographic progression through 52 weeks of treatment.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov, http://clinicaltrials.gov, NCT02404350. ]]> <![CDATA[Improving the feasibility of MRI in clinically suspect arthralgia for prediction of rheumatoid arthritis by omitting scanning of the feet]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10156 The use of MR-imaging is recommended for the early detection of RA. Next to the small joints of the hands, foot-joints are often involved. Therefore, imaging inflammation of the feet in addition to hands may be informative, but prolongs scan-time and leads to additional costs. We studied the value of MRI of the feet alone and complementary to MRI of the hands in patients with clinically suspect arthralgia (CSA).Methods357 consecutively included CSA patients underwent contrast-enhanced 1.5 T-MRI of hand (MCP2-5 and wrist) and foot (MTP1-5) joints at baseline. Scans were scored for synovitis, osteitis and tenosynovitis. After ⩾1 year follow-up, the development of clinically apparent inflammatory arthritis (IA) was studied. Cox regression was performed and test characteristics were evaluated. Sensitivity analyses were performed for the outcome RA-development (2010-criteria).ResultsMRI-detected tenosynovitis of the feet was associated with IA-development, independently from synovitis and osteitis hazard ratio (HR) (95%CI) 4.75 (2.38; 9.49), and independently from ACPA and CRP, HR 3.13 (1.48; 6.64). From all CSA patients, 11% had inflammation in hands and feet, 29% only in hands and 3% only in feet. In line with this finding, the addition of MRI-feet to MRI-hands did not increase the predictive accuracy; the sensitivity remained 77%, while the specificity decreased from 66% to 62%. Sensitivity analyses with RA development as outcome showed similar results.ConclusionTenosynovitis at the forefeet in CSA predicted IA and RA development. Addition of foot MRI to hand MRI did not increase the accuracy. Foot MRI can be omitted to reduce scan time and costs and increase the feasibility. ]]> <![CDATA[Prognostic value of comorbidity indices and lung diseases in early rheumatoid arthritis: a UK population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10155 We assessed comorbidity burden in people with RA at diagnosis and early disease (3 years) and its association with early mortality and joint destruction. The association between lung disease and mortality in RA is not well studied; we also explored this relationship.MethodsFrom a contemporary UK-based population (n = 1, 475 762) we identified a cohort with incident RA (n = 6591). The prevalence of comorbidities at diagnosis of RA and at 3 years was compared with age- and gender-matched controls (n = 6591). In individuals with RA we assessed the prognostic value of the Charlson Comorbidity Index and Rheumatic Disease Comorbidity Index calculated at diagnosis for all-cause mortality and joint destruction (with joint surgery as a surrogate marker). We separately evaluated the association between individual lung diseases [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and interstitial lung disease] and mortality.ResultsRespiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, previous fracture and depression were more common (P < 0.05) in patients with RA at diagnosis than controls. Comorbidity (assessed using RDCI) was associated with all-cause mortality in RA [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.26, 95% CI 1.00–1.60]. There was no association with joint destruction. COPD, but not asthma, was associated with mortality (COPD HR 2.84, 95% CI 1.13–7.12).ConclusionThere is an excess burden of comorbidity at diagnosis of RA including COPD, asthma and interstitial lung disease. COPD is a major predictor of early mortality in early RA. Early assessment of comorbidity including lung disease should form part of the routine management of RA patients. ]]> <![CDATA[Differential DNA methylation correlates with response to methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10153 Identifying blood-based biomarkers that predict treatment response in RA is a clinical priority. We investigated differential DNA methylation as a candidate biomarker of response for the first-line drug used in RA, MTX.MethodsDNA methylation was measured in DNA samples from individuals recruited to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Medication Study. Differentially methylated positions were compared between whole blood samples collected at baseline and at 4 weeks from patients who, by 6 months, had a good (n = 34) or poor response (n = 34) to MTX using linear modelling, adjusting for gender, age, cell composition, baseline 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28) and smoking status. Analyses also compared methylation with changes in DAS28 and changes in swollen joint count and tender joint count, and changes in CRP over the initial 6 months after MTX commencement. Differentially methylated positions showing significant differences with any response parameter were tested using pyrosequencing in an independent group of 100 patients from the Rheumatoid Arthritis Medication Study.ResultsIn the discovery group, two CpG sites showed methylation changes at 4 weeks associated with clinical EULAR response by 6 months. Significant changes in methylation for three differentially methylated positions associated with change in tender joint counts, three with change in swollen joint count and a further four with change in CRP. Of the 12 CpGs, four showed replicated association in an independent dataset of samples from the Rheumatoid Arthritis Medication Study.ConclusionThese data represent an advance on current practice by contributing to a personalized medicine strategy allowing an escalation or change in therapy as early as 4 weeks. ]]> <![CDATA[The risk of uveitis in patients with JIA receiving etanercept: the challenges of analysing real-world data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10152 To describe and compare the occurrence of newly diagnosed uveitis in children with JIA receiving MTX, etanercept, adalimumab and infliximab.MethodsThis on-drug analysis included patients within UK JIA registries (British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Etanercept Cohort Study and Biologics for Children with Rheumatic Diseases) with non-systemic disease, registered at MTX or biologic start with no history of uveitis. Follow-up began from date of first treatment, continuing until first uveitis, discontinuation of registered drug, most recent follow-up up or death, whichever came first. Hazard ratios comparing risk of uveitis between drugs were calculated using propensity-adjusted Cox regression.ResultsA total of 2294 patients were included (943 MTX, 304 adalimumab/infliximab, 1047 etanercept). There were 44 reported cases of uveitis (27 MTX, 16 etanercept, 1 adalimumab). Unadjusted hazard ratio showed a reduced risk of uveitis in biologic cohorts compared with MTX. After adjusting for propensity deciles, there was no significant difference in the risk of uveitis between patients receiving etanercept or MTX [hazard ratio 0.5 (0.2–1.1)]. Fully adjusted comparisons were not possible for adalimumab/infliximab as there were too few events.ConclusionsIn this first paper to compare the rate of new onset uveitis across the three main anti-TNF therapies used in JIA, a new diagnosis of uveitis is less common among patients starting biologics compared with MTX, although this did not reach statistical significance. The suggested protective effect of etanercept is likely explained by confounding, whereby patients in the MTX cohort are younger and earlier in disease, and therefore at greater risk of developing uveitis compared with etanercept patients. ]]> <![CDATA[A blinded clinical study using a subepidermal moisture biocapacitance measurement device for early detection of pressure injuries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8301 This study aimed to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of subepidermal moisture (SEM), a biomarker employed for early detection of pressure injuries (PI), compared to the “Gold Standard” of clinical skin and tissue assessment (STA), and to characterize the timing of SEM changes relative to the diagnosis of a PI. This blinded, longitudinal, prospective clinical study enrolled 189 patients (n = 182 in intent‐to‐treat [ITT]) at acute and post‐acute sites (9 USA, 3 UK). Data were collected from patients' heels and sacrums using a biocapacitance measurement device beginning at admission and continuing for a minimum of 6 days to: (a) the patient developing a PI, (b) discharge from care, or (c) a maximum of 21 days. Standard of care clinical interventions prevailed, uninterrupted. Principal investigators oversaw the study at each site. Blinded Generalists gathered SEM data, and blinded Specialists diagnosed the presence or absence of PIs. Of the ITT population, 26.4% developed a PI during the study; 66.7% classified as Stage 1 injuries, 23% deep tissue injuries, the remaining being Stage 2 or Unstageable. Sensitivity was 87.5% (95% CI: 74.8%‐95.3%) and specificity was 32.9% (95% CI: 28.3%‐37.8%). Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was 0.6713 (95% CI 0.5969‐0.7457, P < .001). SEM changes were observed 4.7 (± 2.4 days) earlier than diagnosis of a PI via STA alone. Latency between the SEM biomarker and later onset of a PI, in combination with standard of care interventions administered to at‐risk patients, may have confounded specificity. Aggregate SEM sensitivity and specificity and 67.13% AUC exceeded that of clinical judgment alone. While acknowledging specificity limitations, these data suggest that SEM biocapacitance measures can complement STAs, facilitate earlier identification of the risk of specific anatomies developing PIs, and inform earlier anatomy‐specific intervention decisions than STAs alone. Future work should include cost‐consequence analyses of SEM informed interventions.

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<![CDATA[Long‐term quality of life and cost‐effectiveness of treatment of partial thickness burns: A randomized controlled trial comparing enzyme alginogel vs silver sulfadiazine (FLAM study)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7016 The clinical effectiveness and scar quality of the randomized controlled trial comparing enzyme alginogel with silver sulfadiazine (SSD) for treatment of partial thickness burns were previously reported. Enzyme alginogel did not lead to faster wound healing (primary outcome) or less scar formation. In the current study, the health‐related quality of life (HRQoL), costs, and cost‐effectiveness of enzyme alginogel compared with SSD in the treatment of partial thickness burns were studied. HRQoL was evaluated using the Burn Specific Health Scale‐Brief (BSHS‐B) and the EQ‐5D‐5L questionnaire 1 week before discharge and at 3, 6, and 12 months postburn. Costs were studied from a societal perspective (health care and nonhealth‐care costs) for a follow‐up period of 1 year. A cost‐effectiveness analysis was performed using cost‐effectiveness acceptability curves and comparing differences in societal costs and Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) at 1 year postburn. Forty‐one patients were analyzed in the enzyme alginogel group and 48 patients in the SSD group. None of the domains of BSHS‐B showed a statistically significant difference between the treatment groups. Also, no statistically significant difference in QALYs was found between enzyme alginogel and SSD (difference −0.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.09 to 0.03; P = .30). From both the health care and the societal perspective, the difference in costs between enzyme alginogel and SSD was not statistically significant: the difference in health‐care costs was €3210 (95% CI, €‐1247 to €7667; P = .47) and in societal costs was €3377 (95% CI €‐6229 to €12 982; P = .49). The nonsignificant differences in costs and quality‐adjusted life‐years in favor of SSD resulted in a low probability (<25%) that enzyme alginogel is cost‐effective compared to SSD. In conclusion, there were no significant differences in quality of life between both treatment groups. Enzyme alginogel is unlikely to be cost‐effective compared with SSD in the treatment of partial thickness burns.

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<![CDATA[Validity of thermography for measuring burn wound healing potential]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6974 Accurate assessment of burn wound depth and the associated healing potential is vital in determining the need for surgical treatment in burns. Infrared thermography measures the temperature of the burn wound noninvasively, thereby providing indirect information on its blood flow. Previous research demonstrated that a small, low‐priced, handheld thermal imager has an excellent reliability, but a moderate validity for measuring burn wound healing potential. A new and more sensitive version of this convenient device has become available. The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of thermography for measuring burn wound healing potential, compared to Laser Doppler Imaging (LDI) as a reference standard. Thermal images and LDI scans were obtained from burn wounds between 2 and 5 days postburn. Temperature differences between burned and nonburned skin (ΔT) were calculated. To evaluate validity, ΔT values were compared to the healing potential categories assessed by LDI. Two receiver operating characteristic curves were created and two ΔT cutoff values were calculated to illustrate the ability to discriminate between burn wounds that heal in a time period of less than 14 days, between 14 and 21 days, and more than 21 days. Between June and October 2018, 43 burn wounds in 32 patients were measured. ΔT cutoff values of 0.6°C (sensitivity 68%, specificity 95%) and −2.3°C (sensitivity 30%, specificity 95%) were calculated to discriminate between burn wounds that heal in <14 and ≥14 days, and burn wound that heal in ≤21 and >21 days, respectively. This study shows a good validity of the feasible thermal imager for the assessment of burn wound healing potential. Therefore, we consider it a promising technique to be used for triage in local hospitals and general practices, and as a valuable addition to clinical evaluation in burn centers.

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<![CDATA[Evidence for a rebalanced hemostatic system in pediatric liver transplantation: A prospective cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6853 This prospective exploratory study shows that children with end‐stage liver disease undergoing liver transplantation are in a fragile hemostatic balance, with a temporary heparin‐induced hypocoagulable state during transplantation, which rapidly converts to a rebalanced hemostatic state with distinct hypercoagulable features posttransplantation.

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<![CDATA[Novel IncR/IncP6 Hybrid Plasmid pCRE3-KPC Recovered from a Clinical KPC-2-Producing Citrobacter braakii Isolate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nfc08bbda-08bb-4f9f-ad11-6f92d6b31338

Reports of human-pathogenic C. braakii strains, especially of strains showing resistance to carbapenems, are rare. To the best of our knowledge, our results represent the first detection of carbapenemase gene blaKPC-2 in C. braakii strains. In addition, we have studied detailed genetic characteristics of the novel IncR/IncP6 hybrid plasmid pCRE3-KPC, which was isolated from a clinical multidrug-resistant Citrobacter braakii CRE3 strain. Our results may provide further insight into the horizontal transfer of multidrug resistance genes in bacteria and into the genomic diversity and molecular evolution of plasmids.

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<![CDATA[Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Is Associated with Reduced Dynamics of Gut Microbiota during the First Half of Pregnancy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6a7ce71f-fa33-4ab2-90e6-940d9244d55e

GDM is one of the most common metabolic disorders during pregnancy and is associated with adverse short-term and long-term maternal and fetal outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine the connection between dynamic variations in gut microbiota and development of GDM. Whereas shifts in gut microbiota composition and function have been previously reported to be associated with GDM, very little is known regarding the early microbial changes that occur before the diagnosis of GDM. This study demonstrated that the dynamics in gut microbiota during the first half of pregnancy differed significantly between GDM and normoglycemic women. Our findings suggested that gut microbiota may potentially serve as an early biomarker for GDM.

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<![CDATA[Microsphere-Based IgM and IgG Avidity Assays for Human Parvovirus B19, Human Cytomegalovirus, and Toxoplasma gondii]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1d1be240-1b2a-4793-88aa-3c1af0f8421f

Human parvovirus B19, human cytomegalovirus, and Toxoplasma gondii are ubiquitous pathogens. Their infections are often asymptomatic or mild in the general population yet may be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy. Maternal infections by these pathogens can cause severe complications to the fetus or congenital abnormalities. As a rule, the risk of maternal transmission is critically related to the infection time; hence, it is important to determine when a pregnant woman has acquired the infection. In this study, we developed new diagnostic approaches for the timing of infections by three pathogens. All the new assays appeared to be highly sensitive and specific, providing powerful tools for medical diagnosis.

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<![CDATA[Multicenter Hospital-Based Prospective Surveillance Study of Bacterial Agents Causing Meningitis and Seroprevalence of Different Serogroups of Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae Type b, and Streptococcus pneumoniae during 2015 to 2018 in Turkey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8fc297c6-9d18-41ad-b4ef-1bee3d4b732c

Acute bacterial meningitis (ABM) is one of the most common life-threatening infections in children. The incidence and prevalence of ABM vary both geographically and temporally; therefore, surveillance systems are necessary to determine the accurate burden of ABM. The Turkish Meningitis Surveillance Group has been performing a hospital-based meningitis surveillance study since 2005 across several regions in Turkey. Meningococcus was the major ABM-causing agent during the 2015-to-2018 period, during which MenB was the dominant serogroup.

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<![CDATA[A Front Line on Klebsiella pneumoniae Capsular Polysaccharide Knowledge: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy as an Accurate and Fast Typing Tool]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ncdbe8caf-eaba-489d-8eee-b19a68cb1ad6

Klebsiella pneumoniae is nowadays recognized as one of the most defiant human pathogens, whose infections are increasingly more challenging to treat and control. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) has been key for clarifying the population structure of K. pneumoniae, and it is still instrumental to provide insights into potential pathogenicity and evolutionary markers, such as the capsular locus. However, this information and WGS are still far from being accessible and translated into routine clinical microbiology laboratories as quick and cost-efficient strain diagnostic tools. Here, we propose a biochemical fingerprinting approach based on Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and multivariate data analysis tools for K. pneumoniae capsular typing that, because of its high resolution, speed, and low cost, can be an asset to provide enough information to support real-time epidemiology and infection control decisions. Besides, it provides a simple framework for phenotypic/biochemical validation of K. pneumoniae capsular diversity.

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<![CDATA[Different Types of Atrial Fibrillation Share Patterns of Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf705c63e-15fd-4ac2-925c-56b50400f9df

Atrial fibrillation has been identified to be associated with disordered gut microbiota. Notably, atrial fibrillation is a progressive disease and could be categorized as paroxysmal and persistent based on the duration of the episodes. The persistent atrial fibrillation patients are accompanied by higher risk of stroke and lower success rate of rhythm control. However, the microbial signatures of different categories of atrial fibrillation patients remain unknown. We sought to determine whether disordered gut microbiota occurs in the self-terminating PAF or intestinal flora develops dynamically during atrial fibrillation progression. We found that different types of atrial fibrillation show a limited degree of gut microbiota shift. Gut microbiota dysbiosis has already occurred in mild stages of atrial fibrillation, which might act as an early modulator of disease, and therefore may be regarded as a potential target to postpone atrial fibrillation progression.

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<![CDATA[New Mutations Involved in Colistin Resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N71edb61b-f137-4622-bc9e-16edd70a6235

Acinetobacter baumannii is an important Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen commonly infecting critically ill patients. It possesses a remarkable ability to survive in the hospital environment and acquires resistance determinants corresponding to a wide range of antibacterial agents. Given that the current treatment options for multidrug resistant A. baumannii are extremely limited, colistin administration has become the treatment of last resort. However, colistin-resistant A. baumannii strains have recently been reported. The mechanism of resistance to colistin in A. baumannii has rarely been reported. Here, we found two novel mutations in pmrA (I13M) and pmrB (Q270P) that caused colistin resistance. It is also first reported here that the presence of miaA with a I221V mutation enhanced the colistin resistance of pmrAP102R.

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<![CDATA[Circulating angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 activity in patients with chronic kidney disease without previous history of cardiovascular disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2e0c354f-14e5-44b2-bf01-45b7ecb7c80a

Abstract

Background

Patients with cardiovascular (CV) disease have an increased circulating angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) activity, but there is little information about changes in ACE2 in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients without history of CV disease. We examined circulating ACE2 activity in CKD patients at stages 3–5 (CKD3-5) and in dialysis (CKD5D) without any history of CV disease.

Methods

Circulating ACE2 activity was measured in human ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid (EDTA)-plasma samples from the NEFRONA study (n = 2572): control group (CONT) (n = 568), CKD3-5 (n = 1458) and CKD5D (n = 546). Different clinical and analytical variables such as gender; age; history of diabetes mellitus (DM), dyslipidemia and hypertension; glycaemic, renal, lipid and anaemia profiles; vitamin D analogues treatment and antihypertensive treatments (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blockade) were analysed. Circulating ACE2 and ACE activities were measured using modified fluorimetric assay for EDTA-plasma samples, where zinc chloride was added to recover enzymatic activity.

Results

In CKD3-5 and CKD5D, significant decrease in circulating ACE2 activity was observed when compared with CONT, but no differences were found between CKD3-5 and CKD5 when performing paired case-control studies. By multivariate linear regression analysis, male gender and advanced age were identified as independent predictors of ACE2 activity in all groups. Diabetes was identified as independent predictor of ACE2 activity in CKD3-5. Significant increase in the activity of circulating ACE was found in CKD3-5 and CKD5D when compared with CONT and in CKD5D when compared with CKD3-5. By multiple regression analysis, female gender and younger age were identified as independent predictors of ACE activity in CONT and CKD3-5. Diabetes was also identified as an independent predictor of ACE activity in CKD3-5 patients.

Conclusions

Circulating ACE2 and ACE activities can be measured in human EDTA-plasma samples with zinc added to recover enzymatic activity. In a CKD population without previous history of CV disease, ACE2 activity from human EDTA-plasma samples directly correlated with the classical CV risk factors namely older age, diabetes and male gender. Our data suggest that circulating ACE2 is altered in CKD patients at risk for CV event.

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