ResearchPad - drug-screening https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Simultaneous administration of imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam with selected intravenous antimicrobials, a stewardship approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15724 Imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam is a β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor that has been recently FDA approved for complicated intra-abdominal and urinary tract infections under the brand name Recarbrio®. It has activity against imipenem non-susceptible Pseudomonas species as well as KPC-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Optimization of PK/PD of antimicrobials particularly in critically-ill patients is essential, but unfortunately, is hindered by separate administration that requires significant resources. The objective of the study is to investigate the compatibility of Y-site administration of imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam with a wide range of antimicrobials. After admixture, physical characteristics, pH changes and turbidity were measured for each 2-drug combination at a time. With the exception of amphotericin B deoxycholate, and posaconazole, imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam was compatible with a variety of antimicrobial agents. The compatibility profile described, will facilitate incorporation into hospital protocols, contribute to therapy optimization and guide clinicians to avoid successive administration, consequently resulting in reduction of total infusion time, optimization of PK/PD, economizing nursing time and cost containment.

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<![CDATA[Patient-derived oral mucosa organoids as an <i>in vitro</i> model for methotrexate induced toxicity in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15720 We have recently established a protocol to grow wildtype human oral mucosa organoids. These three-dimensional structures can be maintained in culture long-term, do not require immortalization, and recapitulate the multilayered composition of the epithelial lining of the oral mucosa. Here, we validate the use of this model to study the effect of Leucovorin (LV) on Methotrexate (MTX)-induced toxicity. MTX is a chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Although effective, the use of MTX often results in severe side-effects, including oral mucositis, which is characterized by epithelial cell death. Here, we show that organoids are sensitive to MTX, and that the addition of LV reduces MTX toxicity, in both a concentration- and timing-dependent manner. Additionally, we show that a 24 hour ‘pretreatment’ with LV reduces MTX-induced cell death, suggesting that such a pretreatment could decrease mucositis in patients. Taken together, we provide the first in vitro model to study the effect of MTX on wildtype oral mucosa cells. Our findings underscore the relevance of the clinically applied LV regimen and highlight the potential of this model to further optimize modifications in dosing and timing of Leucovorin on oral mucosa cells.

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<![CDATA[High prevalence of phenotypic pyrazinamide resistance and its association with <i>pncA</i> gene mutations in <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> isolates from Uganda]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14718 Susceptibility testing for pyrazinamide (PZA), a cornerstone anti-TB drug is not commonly done in Uganda because it is expensive and characterized with technical difficulties thus resistance to this drug is less studied. Resistance is commonly associated with mutations in the pncA gene and its promoter region. However, these mutations vary geographically and those conferring phenotypic resistance are unknown in Uganda. This study determined the prevalence of PZA resistance and its association with pncA mutations.Materials and methodsUsing a cross-sectional design, archived isolates collected during the Uganda national drug resistance survey between 2008–2011 were sub-cultured. PZA resistance was tested by BACTEC Mycobacterial Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) 960 system. Sequence reads were downloaded from the NCBI Library and bioinformatics pipelines were used to screen for PZA resistance–conferring mutations.ResultsThe prevalence of phenotypic PZA resistance was found to be 21%. The sensitivity and specificity of pncA sequencing were 24% (95% CI, 9.36–45.13%) and 100% (73.54% - 100.0%) respectively. We identified four mutations associated with PZA phenotypic resistance in Uganda; K96R, T142R, R154G and V180F.ConclusionThere is a high prevalence of phenotypic PZA resistance among TB patients in Uganda. The low sensitivity of pncA gene sequencing confirms the already documented discordances suggesting other mechanisms of PZA resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. ]]> <![CDATA[Time-lapse imaging of HeLa spheroids in soft agar culture provides virtual inner proliferative activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nceafa1bd-f75c-4e08-9c15-587118f668b1

Cancer is a complex disease caused by multiple types of interactions. To simplify and normalize the assessment of drug effects, spheroid microenvironments have been utilized. Research models that involve agent measurement with the examination of clonogenic survival by monitoring culture process with image analysis have been developed for spheroid-based screening. Meanwhile, computer simulations using various models have enabled better predictions for phenomena in cancer. However, user-based parameters that are specific to a researcher’s own experimental conditions must be inputted. In order to bridge the gap between experimental and simulated conditions, we have developed an in silico analysis method with virtual three-dimensional embodiment computed using the researcher’s own samples. The present work focused on HeLa spheroid growth in soft agar culture, with spheroids being modeled in silico based on time-lapse images capturing spheroid growth. The spheroids in silico were optimized by adjusting the growth curves to those obtained from time-lapse images of spheroids and were then assigned virtual inner proliferative activity by using generations assigned to each cellular particle. The ratio and distribution of the virtual inner proliferative activities were confirmed to be similar to the proliferation zone ratio and histochemical profiles of HeLa spheroids, which were also consistent with those identified in an earlier study. We validated that time-lapse images of HeLa spheroids provided virtual inner proliferative activity for spheroids in vitro. The present work has achieved the first step toward an in silico analysis method using computational simulation based on a researcher’s own samples, helping to bridge the gap between experiment and simulation.

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<![CDATA[A compound attributes-based predictive model for drug induced liver injury in humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndeb57c49-a1cc-41d4-9618-08dc56c45dac

Drug induced liver injury (DILI) is one of the key safety concerns in drug development. To assess the likelihood of drug candidates with potential adverse reactions of liver, we propose a compound attributes-based approach to predicting hepatobiliary disorders that are routinely reported to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). Specifically, we developed a support vector machine (SVM) model with recursive feature extraction, based on physicochemical and structural properties of compounds as model input. Cross validation demonstrates that the predictive model has a robust performance with averaged 70% of both sensitivity and specificity over 500 trials. An independent validation was performed on public benchmark drugs and the results suggest potential utility of our model for identifying safety alerts. This in silico approach, upon further validation, would ultimately be implemented, together with other in vitro safety assays, for screening compounds early in drug development.

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<![CDATA[Evaluating the quality of antihypertensive drugs in Lagos State, Nigeria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc98fd5eed0c484529e32

Background

As the burden of noncommunicable diseases grows, access to safe medical therapy is increasing in importance. The aim of this study was to develop a method for evaluating the quality of antihypertensive drugs and to examine whether this prevalence varies by socioeconomic variables.

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional survey of registered pharmacies in 6 local government areas (LGAs) in Lagos State, Nigeria. In each LGA, we sampled 17 pharmacies from a list of all registered pharmacies derived from the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria. We assessed drug quality based on (1) the level of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), which identified falsely labeled drug samples; and (2) the amount of impurities, which revealed substandard drug samples in accordance with the international pharmacopoeia guidelines. Good-quality drugs met specifications for both API and impurity.

Results

Of the 102 drug samples collected, 30 (29.3%) were falsely labeled, 76 (74.5%) were substandard,78 (76.5%) were of poor quality and 24 (23.5%) were of good quality.Among the falsely labeled drugs, 2 samples met standards set for purity while 28 did not. Among the 76 substandard drug samples, 28 were also falsely labeled. Of the falsely labeled drugs, 17 (56.7%) came from LGAs with low socioeconomic status, and 40 (52.6%) of the substandard drug samples came from LGAs with high socioeconomic status. Most of the good-quality drug samples, 14 (58.3%), were from LGAs with low socioeconomic status. Eighteen (60%) of the falsely labeled samples, 37 (48.7%) of the substandard samples, and 15 (62.5%) of the good-quality drug samples were from manufacturers based in Asia. The average price was 375.67 Nigerian naira (NGN) for falsely labeled drugs, 383.33 NGN for substandard drugs, and 375.67 NGN for good-quality drugs. The prevalence of falsely labeled and substandard drug samples did not differ by LGA-level socioeconomic status (P = .39) or region of manufacturer (P = .24); however, there was a trend for a difference by price (P = .06).

Conclusion

The prevalence of falsely labeled and substandard drug samples was high in Lagos. Treatment of noncommunicable diseases in this setting will require efforts to monitor and assure drug quality.

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<![CDATA[A novel cell-free method to culture Schistosoma mansoni from cercariae to juvenile worm stages for in vitro drug testing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d63ed5eed0c484031973

Background

The arsenal in anthelminthic treatment against schistosomiasis is limited and relies almost exclusively on a single drug, praziquantel (PZQ). Thus, resistance to PZQ could constitute a major threat. Even though PZQ is potent in killing adult worms, its activity against earlier stages is limited. Current in vitro drug screening strategies depend on newly transformed schistosomula (NTS) for initial hit identification, thereby limiting sensitivity to new compounds predominantly active in later developmental stages. Therefore, the aim of this study was to establish a highly standardized, straightforward and reliable culture method to generate and maintain advanced larval stages in vitro. We present here how this method can be a valuable tool to test drug efficacy at each intermediate larval stage, reducing the reliance on animal use (3Rs).

Methodology/Principal findings

Cercariae were mechanically transformed into skin-stage (SkS) schistosomula and successfully cultured for up to four weeks with no loss in viability in a commercially available medium. Under these serum- and cell-free conditions, development halted at the lung-stage (LuS). However, the addition of human serum (HSe) propelled further development into liver stage (LiS) worms within eight weeks. Skin and lung stages, as well as LiS, were submitted to 96-well drug screening assays using known anti-schistosomal compounds such as PZQ, oxamniquine (OXM), mefloquine (MFQ) and artemether (ART). Our findings showed stage-dependent differences in larval susceptibility to these compounds.

Conclusion

With this robust and highly standardized in vitro assay, important developmental stages of S. mansoni up to LiS worms can be generated and maintained over prolonged periods of time. The phenotype of LiS worms, when exposed to reference drugs, was comparable to most previously published works for ex vivo harvested adult worms. Therefore, this in vitro assay can help reduce reliance on animal experiments in search for new anti-schistosomal drugs.

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<![CDATA[Development of a preliminary in vitro drug screening assay based on a newly established culturing system for pre-adult fifth-stage Onchocerca volvulus worms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4a305ed5eed0c4844bfe74

Background

The human filarial parasite Onchocerca volvulus is the causative agent of onchocerciasis (river blindness). It causes blindness in 270,000 individuals with an additional 6.5 million suffering from severe skin pathologies. Current international control programs focus on the reduction of microfilaridermia by annually administering ivermectin for more than 20 years with the ultimate goal of blocking of transmission. The adult worms of O. volvulus can live within nodules for over 15 years and actively release microfilariae for the majority of their lifespan. Therefore, protracted treatment courses of ivermectin are required to block transmission and eventually eliminate the disease. To shorten the time to elimination of this disease, drugs that successfully target macrofilariae (adult parasites) are needed. Unfortunately, there is no small animal model for the infection that could be used for discovery and screening of drugs against adult O. volvulus parasites. Here, we present an in vitro culturing system that supports the growth and development of O. volvulus young adult worms from the third-stage (L3) infective stage.

Methodology/Principal findings

In this study we optimized the culturing system by testing several monolayer cell lines to support worm growth and development. We have shown that the optimized culturing system allows for the growth of the L3 worms to L5 and that the L5 mature into young adult worms. Moreover, these young O. volvulus worms were used in preliminary assays to test putative macrofilaricidal drugs and FDA-approved repurposed drugs.

Conclusion

The culture system we have established for O. volvulus young adult worms offers a promising new platform to advance drug discovery against the human filarial parasite, O. volvulus and thus supports the continuous pursuit for effective macrofilaricidal drugs. However, this in vitro culturing system will have to be further validated for reproducibility before it can be rolled out as a drug screen for decision making in macrofilaricide drug development programs.

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<![CDATA[Cost minimization analysis of line probe assay for detection of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Arkhangelsk region of Russian Federation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59feccd5eed0c484135480

Background

The development of new diagnostic tools allows for faster detection of both tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB and should lead to reduced transmission by earlier initiation of anti TB therapy. The research conducted in the Arkhangelsk region of the Russian Federation in 2012–14 included economic evaluation of Line Probe Assay (LPA) implementation in MDR-TB diagnostics compared to existing culture-based diagnostics of Löwenstein Jensen (LJ) and BacTAlert. Clinical superiority of LPA was demonstrated and results were reported elsewhere.

Study aim

The PROVE-IT Russia study aimed to report the outcomes of the cost minimization analysis.

Methods

Costs of LPA-based diagnostic algorithm (smear positive (SSm+) and for smear negative (SSm-) culture confirmed TB patients by Bactec MGIT or LJ were compared with conventional culture-based algorithm (LJ–for SSm- and SSm+ patients and BacTAlert–for SSm+ patients). Cost minimization analysis was conducted from the healthcare system, patient and societal perspectives and included the direct and indirect costs to the healthcare system (microscopy and drug susceptibility test (DST), hospitalization, medications obtained from electronic medical records) and non-hospital direct costs (patient’s travel cost, additional expenses associated with hospitalization, supplementary medicine and food) collected at the baseline and two subsequent interviews using the WHO-approved questionnaire.

Results

Over the period of treatment the LPA-based diagnostic corresponded to lesser direct and indirect costs comparing to the alternative algorithms. For SSm+ LPA-based diagnostics resulted in the costs 4.5 times less (808.21 US$) than LJ (3593.81 US$) and 2.5 times less than BacTAlert liquid culture (2009.61 US$). For SSm- LPA in combination with Bactec MGIT (1480.75 US$) vs LJ (1785.83 US$) showed the highest cost minimization compared to LJ (2566.09 US$). One-way sensitivity analyses of the key parameters and threshold analyses were conducted and demonstrated that the results were robust to variations in the cost of hospitalization, medications and length of stay.

Conclusion

From the perspective of Russian Federation healthcare system, TB diagnostic algorithms incorporating LPA method proved to be both more clinically effective and less expensive due to reduction in the number of hospital days to the correct MDR-TB diagnosis and treatment initiation. LPA diagnostics comparing conventional culture diagnostic algorithm MDR-TB was a cost minimizing strategy for both patients and healthcare system.

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<![CDATA[Polypharmacy in outpatients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: A single-center study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c53699fd5eed0c484a4620b

Background

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system. Given the chronic and heterogenous nature of the disease, treatment with various therapies is a frequent scenario in clinical practice. In persons with chronic morbidity such as MS patients, polypharmacy can give rise to considerable health problems.

Objectives

The aim of the present study was to examine the frequency of polypharmacy among relapsing-remitting (RR) MS patients as well as to analyse sociodemographic and clinical factors, which might be associated with polypharmacy (use of five or more medications). Differences in medication between MS patients with and without secondary illnesses (PwSI and Pw/oSI), between men and women and between patients with and without polypharmacy (PwP and Pw/oP) were examined.

Methods

For 145 RRMS outpatients, we prospectively collected data by means of anamnesis, patient records, clinical examination and a structured patient interview. This was followed by comparative analyses of various patient subgroups (PwP vs. Pw/oP, PwSI vs. Pw/oSI, men vs. women).

Results

The proportion of included MS patients with polypharmacy (use of ≥5 medications) was 30.3%. PwP were significantly older than Pw/oP (45.9 vs. 41.7 years), had a lower level of education and showed a significantly higher median EDSS score (3.0 vs. 2.0). Comorbidities (p<0.001; odds ratio [OR] = 6.293) and higher EDSS scores (p = 0.029; OR = 1.440) were associated with a higher risk of polypharmacy. The proportion of polypharmacy among PwSI was approximately four times higher than among Pw/oSI (46.8% vs. 11.8%). Particularly in the use of antihypertensives, gastrointestinal drugs and dietary supplements, there were differences between Pw/oP and PwP.

Conclusion

We found a high burden of polypharmacy in patients with RRMS. This particularly applies to more severely disabled MS patients who suffer from comorbidities.

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<![CDATA[The impact of improved detection and treatment of isoniazid resistant tuberculosis on prevalence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis: A modelling study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5369f3d5eed0c484a46b1f

Introduction

Isoniazid-resistant, rifampin susceptible tuberculosis (INHR-TB) is the most common form of drug resistant TB globally. Treatment of INHR-TB with standard first-line therapy is associated with high rates of multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB). We modelled the potential impact of INHR-TB detection and appropriate treatment on MDR-TB prevalence.

Methods

A decision analysis model was developed to compare three different strategies for the detection of TB (AFB smear, Xpert MTB/RIF, and Line-Probe Assays (LPA)), combined with appropriate treatment. The population evaluated were patients with a globally representative prevalence of newly diagnosed, drug-susceptible (88.6%), isoniazid-resistant (7.3%), and multidrug resistant (4.1%) pulmonary TB. Our primary outcome was the proportion of patients with MDR-TB after initial attempt at diagnosis and treatment within a 2-year period. Secondary outcomes were the proportion of i) individuals with detected TB who acquired MDR-TB ii) individuals who died after initial attempt at diagnosis and treatment.

Results

After initial attempt at diagnosis and treatment, LPA combined with appropriate INHR-TB therapy resulted in a lower proportion of prevalent MDR-TB (1.61%; 95% Uncertainty Range (UR: 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles generated from 10 000 Monte Carlo simulation trials) 1.61–1.65), when compared to Xpert (1.84%; 95% UR 1.82–1.85) and AFB smear (3.21%; 95% UR 3.19–3.26). LPA also resulted in fewer cases of acquired MDR-TB in those with detected TB (0.35%; 95% UR 0.34–0.35), when compared to Xpert (0.67%; 95% UR 0.65–0.67) and AFB smear (0.68%; 95% UR 0.67–0.69). The majority of acquired MDR-TB arose from the treatment of INHR-TB in all strategies. Xpert-based strategies resulted in a lower proportion of death (2.89%; 95% UR 2.87–2.90) compared to LPA (2.93%; 95% UR 2.91–2.94) and AFB smear (3.21%; 95% UR 3.19–3.23).

Conclusion

Accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment of INHR-TB with LPA led to an almost 50% relative decrease in acquired MDR-TB when compared with an Xpert MTB/RIF strategy. Continued reliance on diagnostic and treatment protocols that ignore INHR-TB will likely result in further generation of MDR-TB.

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<![CDATA[Using the drug-protein interactome to identify anti-ageing compounds for humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5f7d5eed0c484caa9c2

Advancing age is the dominant risk factor for most of the major killer diseases in developed countries. Hence, ameliorating the effects of ageing may prevent multiple diseases simultaneously. Drugs licensed for human use against specific diseases have proved to be effective in extending lifespan and healthspan in animal models, suggesting that there is scope for drug repurposing in humans. New bioinformatic methods to identify and prioritise potential anti-ageing compounds for humans are therefore of interest. In this study, we first used drug-protein interaction information, to rank 1,147 drugs by their likelihood of targeting ageing-related gene products in humans. Among 19 statistically significant drugs, 6 have already been shown to have pro-longevity properties in animal models (p < 0.001). Using the targets of each drug, we established their association with ageing at multiple levels of biological action including pathways, functions and protein interactions. Finally, combining all the data, we calculated a ranked list of drugs that identified tanespimycin, an inhibitor of HSP-90, as the top-ranked novel anti-ageing candidate. We experimentally validated the pro-longevity effect of tanespimycin through its HSP-90 target in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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<![CDATA[The integration of pharmacophore-based 3D QSAR modeling and virtual screening in safety profiling: A case study to identify antagonistic activities against adenosine receptor, A2A, using 1,897 known drugs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7a7d5eed0c4844907ff

Safety pharmacology screening against a wide range of unintended vital targets using in vitro assays is crucial to understand off-target interactions with drug candidates. With the increasing demand for in vitro assays, ligand- and structure-based virtual screening approaches have been evaluated for potential utilization in safety profiling. Although ligand based approaches have been actively applied in retrospective analysis or prospectively within well-defined chemical space during the early discovery stage (i.e., HTS screening and lead optimization), virtual screening is rarely implemented in later stage of drug discovery (i.e., safety). Here we present a case study to evaluate ligand-based 3D QSAR models built based on in vitro antagonistic activity data against adenosine receptor 2A (A2A). The resulting models, obtained from 268 chemically diverse compounds, were used to test a set of 1,897 chemically distinct drugs, simulating the real-world challenge of safety screening when presented with novel chemistry and a limited training set. Due to the unique requirements of safety screening versus discovery screening, the limitations of 3D QSAR methods (i.e., chemotypes, dependence on large training set, and prone to false positives) are less critical than early discovery screen. We demonstrated that 3D QSAR modeling can be effectively applied in safety assessment prior to in vitro assays, even with chemotypes that are drastically different from training compounds. It is also worth noting that our model is able to adequately make the mechanistic distinction between agonists and antagonists, which is important to inform subsequent in vivo studies. Overall, we present an in-depth analysis of the appropriate utilization and interpretation of pharmacophore-based 3D QSAR models for safety screening.

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<![CDATA[Tox_(R)CNN: Deep learning-based nuclei profiling tool for drug toxicity screening]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae429d5eed0c48458907f

Toxicity is an important factor in failed drug development, and its efficient identification and prediction is a major challenge in drug discovery. We have explored the potential of microscopy images of fluorescently labeled nuclei for the prediction of toxicity based on nucleus pattern recognition. Deep learning algorithms obtain abstract representations of images through an automated process, allowing them to efficiently classify complex patterns, and have become the state-of-the art in machine learning for computer vision. Here, deep convolutional neural networks (CNN) were trained to predict toxicity from images of DAPI-stained cells pre-treated with a set of drugs with differing toxicity mechanisms. Different cropping strategies were used for training CNN models, the nuclei-cropping-based Tox_CNN model outperformed other models classifying cells according to health status. Tox_CNN allowed automated extraction of feature maps that clustered compounds according to mechanism of action. Moreover, fully automated region-based CNNs (RCNN) were implemented to detect and classify nuclei, providing per-cell toxicity prediction from raw screening images. We validated both Tox_(R)CNN models for detection of pre-lethal toxicity from nuclei images, which proved to be more sensitive and have broader specificity than established toxicity readouts. These models predicted toxicity of drugs with mechanisms of action other than those they had been trained for and were successfully transferred to other cell assays. The Tox_(R)CNN models thus provide robust, sensitive, and cost-effective tools for in vitro screening of drug-induced toxicity. These models can be adopted for compound prioritization in drug screening campaigns, and could thereby increase the efficiency of drug discovery.

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<![CDATA[Treatment outcomes for isoniazid-monoresistant tuberculosis in Peru, 2012-2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1028e5d5eed0c48424867e

Background

Resistance to isoniazid is the most common form of drug-resistance in tuberculosis. However only a tiny proportion of TB patients in the world have access to isoniazid drug susceptibility testing—the widely implemented Xpert MTB/RIF technology only tests for resistance to rifampicin. Patients with isoniazid mono resistance that is not identified at baseline are treated with a standard regimen that effectively results in rifampicin mono-therapy during the latter four months of the six month treatment course, exposing remaining viable organisms to a single agent and greatly increasing the risk of development of multi drug-resistant TB. Unusually, Peru has pioneered universal pre-treatment drug susceptibility testing with methods that identify isoniazid resistance and has thus identified a large number of individuals requiring tailored therapy. Since 2010, treatment in Peru for isoniazid-resistant tuberculosis without multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (Hr-TB) has been with a standardized nine-month regimen of levofloxacin, rifampicin, ethambutol and pyrazinamide. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the outcomes of treatment for patients with Hr-TB initiating treatment with this regimen between January 2012 and December 2014 and to determine factors affecting these outcomes.

Methods

Retrospective cross-sectional study; case data were obtained from the national registry of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Patients diagnosed with isoniazid resistant TB without resistance to rifampicin, pyrazinamide, ethambutol and quinolones as determined by either a rapid drug susceptibility testing (DST) (nitrate reductase test, MODS, Genotype MTBDRplus) or by the proportion method were included.

Findings

A total of 947 cases were evaluated (a further 403 without treatment end date were excluded), with treatment success in 77.2% (731 cases), loss to follow-up in 19.7% (186 cases), treatment failure in 1.2% (12 cases), and death in 1.9% (18 cases). Unfavorable outcomes were associated in multivariate analysis with male gender (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.34–0.72, p<0.05), lack of rapid DST (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.50–0.91, p = 0.01), additional use of an injectable second-line anti-tuberculous drug (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.31–0.70, p<0.05), and treatment initiation in 2014 (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.62–0.94, p = 0.01).

Interpretation

The treatment regimen implemented in Peru for isoniazid resistant TB is effective for TB cure and is not improved by addition of an injectable second-line agent. Access to rapid DST and treatment adherence need to be strengthened to increase favorable results.

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<![CDATA[Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitor Extends Caenorhabditis elegans Life Span]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2dab0ee8fa60bd1bb9

Animal aging is characterized by progressive, degenerative changes in many organ systems. Because age-related degeneration is a major contributor to disability and death in humans, treatments that delay age-related degeneration are desirable. However, no drugs that delay normal human aging are currently available. To identify drugs that delay age-related degeneration, we used the powerful Caenorhabdtitis elegans model system to screen for FDA-approved drugs that can extend the adult lifespan of worms. Here we show that captopril extended mean lifespan. Captopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure in humans. To explore the mechanism of captopril, we analyzed the acn-1 gene that encodes the C. elegans homolog of ACE. Reducing the activity of acn-1 extended the mean life span. Furthermore, reducing the activity of acn-1 delayed age-related degenerative changes and increased stress resistance, indicating that acn-1 influences aging. Captopril could not further extend the lifespan of animals with reduced acn-1, suggesting they function in the same pathway; we propose that captopril inhibits acn-1 to extend lifespan. To define the relationship with previously characterized longevity pathways, we analyzed mutant animals. The lifespan extension caused by reducing the activity of acn-1 was additive with caloric restriction and mitochondrial insufficiency, and did not require sir-2.1, hsf-1 or rict-1, suggesting that acn-1 functions by a distinct mechanism. The interactions with the insulin/IGF-1 pathway were complex, since the lifespan extensions caused by captopril and reducing acn-1 activity were additive with daf-2 and age-1 but required daf-16. Captopril treatment and reducing acn-1 activity caused similar effects in a wide range of genetic backgrounds, consistent with the model that they act by the same mechanism. These results identify a new drug and a new gene that can extend the lifespan of worms and suggest new therapeutic strategies for addressing age-related degenerative changes.

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<![CDATA[A numerical investigation of intrathecal isobaric drug dispersion within the cervical subarachnoid space]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc7ac

Intrathecal drug and gene vector delivery is a procedure to release a solute within the cerebrospinal fluid. This procedure is currently used in clinical practice and shows promise for treatment of several central nervous system pathologies. However, intrathecal delivery protocols and systems are not yet optimized. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of injection parameters on solute distribution within the cervical subarachnoid space using a numerical platform. We developed a numerical model based on a patient-specific three dimensional geometry of the cervical subarachnoid space with idealized dorsal and ventral nerve roots and denticulate ligament anatomy. We considered the drug as massless particles within the flow field and with similar properties as the CSF, and we analyzed the effects of anatomy, catheter position, angle and injection flow rate on solute distribution within the cerebrospinal fluid by performing a series of numerical simulations. Results were compared quantitatively in terms of drug peak concentration, spread, accumulation rate and appearance instant over 15 seconds following the injection. Results indicated that solute distribution within the cervical spine was altered by all parameters investigated within the time range analyzed following the injection. The presence of spinal cord nerve roots and denticulate ligaments increased drug spread by 60% compared to simulations without these anatomical features. Catheter position and angle were both found to alter spread rate up to 86%, and catheter flow rate altered drug peak concentration up to 78%. The presented numerical platform fills a first gap towards the realization of a tool to parametrically assess and optimize intrathecal drug and gene vector delivery protocols and systems. Further investigation is needed to analyze drug spread over a longer clinically relevant time frame.

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<![CDATA[Three Dimensional Human Neuro-Spheroid Model of Alzheimer’s Disease Based on Differentiated Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da40ab0ee8fa60b89872

The testing of candidate drugs to slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) requires clinical trials that are lengthy and expensive. Efforts to model the biochemical milieu of the AD brain may be greatly facilitated by combining two cutting edge technologies to generate three-dimensional (3D) human neuro-spheroid from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) derived from AD subjects. We created iPSC from blood cells of five AD patients and differentiated them into 3D human neuronal culture. We characterized neuronal markers of our 3D neurons by immunocytochemical staining to validate the differentiation status. To block the generation of pathologic amyloid β peptides (Aβ), the 3D-differentiated AD neurons were treated with inhibitors targeting β-secretase (BACE1) and γ-secretases. As predicted, both BACE1 and γ-secretase inhibitors dramatically decreased Aβ generation in iPSC-derived neural cells derived from all five AD patients, under standard two-dimensional (2D) differentiation conditions. However, BACE1 and γ-secretase inhibitors showed less potency in decreasing Aβ levels in neural cells differentiated under 3D culture conditions. Interestingly, in a single subject AD1, we found that BACE1 inhibitor treatment was not able to significantly reduce Aβ42 levels. To investigate underlying molecular mechanisms, we performed proteomic analysis of 3D AD human neuronal cultures including AD1. Proteomic analysis revealed specific reduction of several proteins that might contribute to a poor inhibition of BACE1 in subject AD1. To our knowledge, this is the first iPSC-differentiated 3D neuro-spheroid model derived from AD patients’ blood. Our results demonstrate that our 3D human neuro-spheroid model can be a physiologically relevant and valid model for testing efficacy of AD drug.

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<![CDATA[A novel early onset phenotype in a zebrafish model of merosin deficient congenital muscular dystrophy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbd14

Merosin deficient congenital muscular dystrophy (MDC1A) is a severe neuromuscular disorder with onset in infancy that is associated with severe morbidities (particularly wheelchair dependence) and early mortality. It is caused by recessive mutations in the LAMA2 gene that encodes a subunit of the extracellular matrix protein laminin 211. At present, there are no treatments for this disabling disease. The zebrafish has emerged as a powerful model system for the identification of novel therapies. However, drug discovery in the zebrafish is largely dependent on the identification of phenotypes suitable for chemical screening. Our goal in this study was to elucidate novel, early onset abnormalities in the candyfloss (caf) zebrafish, a model of MDC1A. We uncovered and characterize abnormalities in spontaneous coiling, the earliest motor movement in the zebrafish, as a fully penetrant change specific to caf mutants that is ideal for future drug testing.

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<![CDATA[MDR-TB treatment as prevention: The projected population-level impact of expanded treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbe9d

Background

In 2013, approximately 480,000 people developed active multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), while only 97,000 started MDR-TB treatment. We sought to estimate the impact of improving access to MDR-TB diagnosis and treatment, under multiple diagnostic algorithm and treatment regimen scenarios, on ten-year projections of MDR-TB incidence and mortality.

Methods

We constructed a dynamic transmission model of an MDR-TB epidemic in an illustrative East/Southeast Asian setting. Using approximate Bayesian computation, we investigated a wide array of potential epidemic trajectories consistent with current notification data and known TB epidemiology.

Results

Despite an overall projected decline in TB incidence, data-consistent simulations suggested that MDR-TB incidence is likely to rise between 2015 and 2025 under continued 2013 treatment practices, although with considerable uncertainty (median 17% increase, 95% Uncertainty Range [UR] -38% to +137%). But if, by 2017, all identified active TB patients with previously-treated TB could be tested for drug susceptibility, and 85% of those with MDR-TB could initiate MDR-appropriate treatment, then MDR-TB incidence in 2025 could be reduced by 26% (95% UR 4–52%) relative to projections under continued current practice. Also expanding this drug-susceptibility testing and appropriate MDR-TB treatment to treatment-naïve as well as previously-treated TB cases, by 2020, could reduce MDR-TB incidence in 2025 by 29% (95% UR 6–55%) compared to continued current practice. If this diagnosis and treatment of all MDR-TB in known active TB cases by 2020 could be implemented via a novel second-line regimen with similar effectiveness and tolerability as current first-line therapy, a 54% (95% UR 20–74%) reduction in MDR-TB incidence compared to current-practice projections could be achieved by 2025.

Conclusions

Expansion of diagnosis and treatment of MDR-TB, even using current sub-optimal second-line regimens, is expected to significantly decrease MDR-TB incidence at the population level. Focusing MDR diagnostic efforts on previously-treated cases is an efficient first-step approach.

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