ResearchPad - pharmaceutics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A screening of the MMV Pathogen Box® reveals new potential antifungal drugs against the etiologic agents of chromoblastomycosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13863 Chromoblastomycosis (CBM) is a chronic subcutaneous mycosis caused by traumatic implantation of many species of black fungi. Due to the refractoriness of some cases and common recurrence of CBM, a more effective and less time-consuming treatment is mandatory. The aim of this study was to identify compounds with in vitro antifungal activity in the Pathogen Box® compound collection against different CBM agents. Synergism of these compounds with drugs currently used to treat CBM was also assessed. An initial screening of the drugs present in this collection at 1 μM was performed with a Fonsecaea pedrosoi clinical strain according to the EUCAST protocol. The compounds with activity against this fungus were also tested against other seven etiologic agents of CBM (Cladophialophora carrionii, Phialophora verrucosa, Exophiala jeanselmei, Exophiala dermatitidis, Fonsecaea monophora, Fonsecaea nubica, and Rhinocladiella similis) at concentrations ranging from 0.039 to 10 μM. The analysis of potential synergism of these compounds with itraconazole and terbinafine was performed by the checkerboard method. Eight compounds inhibited more than 60% of the F. pedrosoi growth: difenoconazole, bitertanol, iodoquinol, azoxystrobin, MMV688179, MMV021013, trifloxystrobin, and auranofin. Iodoquinol produced the lowest MIC values (1.25–2.5 μM) and MMV688179 showed MICs that were higher than all compounds tested (5 - >10 μM). When auranofin and itraconazole were tested in combination, a synergistic interaction (FICI = 0.37) was observed against the C. carrionii isolate. Toxicity analysis revealed that MMV021013 showed high selectivity indices (SI ≥ 10) against the fungi tested. In summary, auranofin, iodoquinol, and MMV021013 were identified as promising compounds to be tested in CBM models of infection.

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<![CDATA[Aging-associated sinus arrest and sick sinus syndrome in adult zebrafish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13853 Because of its powerful genetics, the adult zebrafish has been increasingly used for studying cardiovascular diseases. Considering its heart rate of ~100 beats per minute at ambient temperature, which is very close to human, we assessed the use of this vertebrate animal for modeling heart rhythm disorders such as sinus arrest (SA) and sick sinus syndrome (SSS). We firstly optimized a protocol to measure electrocardiogram in adult zebrafish. We determined the location of the probes, implemented an open-chest microsurgery procedure, measured the effects of temperature, and determined appropriate anesthesia dose and time. We then proposed an PP interval of more than 1.5 seconds as an arbitrary criterion to define an SA episode in an adult fish at ambient temperature, based on comparison between the current definition of an SA episode in humans and our studies of candidate SA episodes in aged wild-type fish and Tg(SCN5A-D1275N) fish (a fish model for inherited SSS). With this criterion, a subpopulation of about 5% wild-type fish can be considered to have SA episodes, and this percentage significantly increases to about 25% in 3-year-old fish. In response to atropine, this subpopulation has both common SSS phenotypic traits that are shared with the Tg(SCN5A-D1275N) model, such as bradycardia; and unique SSS phenotypic traits, such as increased QRS/P ratio and chronotropic incompetence. In summary, this study defined baseline SA and SSS in adult zebrafish and underscored use of the zebrafish as an alternative model to study aging-associated SSS.

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<![CDATA[Placental transfer of Letermovir &amp; Maribavir in the <i>ex vivo</i> human cotyledon perfusion model. New perspectives for <i>in utero</i> treatment of congenital cytomegalovirus infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11236 Congenital cytomegalovirus infection can lead to severe sequelae. When fetal infection is confirmed, we hypothesize that fetal treatment could improve the outcome. Maternal oral administration of an effective drug crossing the placenta could allow fetal treatment. Letermovir (LMV) and Maribavir (MBV) are new CMV antivirals, and potential candidates for fetal treatment.MethodsThe objective was to investigate the placental transfer of LMV and MBV in the ex vivo method of the human perfused cotyledon. Term placentas were perfused, in an open-circuit model, with LMV or MBV at concentrations in the range of clinical peak plasma concentrations. Concentrations were measured using ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Mean fetal transfer rate (FTR) (fetal (FC) /maternal concentration), clearance index (CLI), accumulation index (AI) (retention of each drug in the cotyledon tissue) were measured. Mean FC were compared with half maximal effective concentrations of the drugs (EC50(LMV) and EC50(MBV)).ResultsFor LMV, the mean FC was (± standard deviation) 1.1 ± 0.2 mg/L, 1,000-fold above the EC50(LMV). Mean FTR, CLI and AI were 9 ± 1%, 35 ± 6% and 4 ± 2% respectively. For MBV, the mean FC was 1.4 ± 0.2 mg/L, 28-fold above the EC50(MBV). Mean FTR, CLI and AI were 10 ± 1%, 50 ± 7% and 2 ± 1% respectively.ConclusionsDrugs’ concentrations in the fetal side should be in the range for in utero treatment of fetuses infected with CMV as the mean FC was superior to the EC50 for both molecules. ]]> <![CDATA[Methamphetamine administration increases hepatic CYP1A2 but not CYP3A activity in female guinea pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7848 Methamphetamine use has increased over the past decade and the first use of methamphetamine is most often when women are of reproductive age. Methamphetamine accumulates in the liver; however, little is known about the effect of methamphetamine use on hepatic drug metabolism. Methamphetamine was administered on 3 occassions to female Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs of reproductive age, mimicking recreational drug use. Low doses of test drugs caffeine and midazolam were administered after the third dose of methamphetamine to assess the functional activity of cytochrome P450 1A2 and 3A, respectively. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the mRNA expression of factors involved in glucocorticoid signalling, inflammation, oxidative stress and drug transporters. This study showed that methamphetamine administration decreased hepatic CYP1A2 mRNA expression, but increased CYP1A2 enzyme activity. Methamphetamine had no effect on CYP3A enzyme activity. In addition, we found that methamphetamine may also result in changes in glucocorticoid bioavailability, as we found a decrease in 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 mRNA expression, which converts inactive cortisone into active cortisol. This study has shown that methamphetamine administration has the potential to alter drug metabolism via the CYP1A2 metabolic pathway in female guinea pigs. This may have clinical implications for drug dosing in female methamphetamine users of reproductive age.

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<![CDATA[Adherence to antiretroviral therapy and associated factors among Human immunodeficiency virus positive patients accessing treatment at Nekemte referral hospital, west Ethiopia, 2019]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7637 Antiretroviral therapy has a remarkable clinical effect in reducing the progress of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. The clinical outcome of Anti-Retroviral therapy depends on strict adherence. Poor adherence reduces the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy and increases viral replication. With changes in service delivery over time and differences in socio-demographic status from region to region, it is essential to measure adherence. Therefore, this study aimed to assess adherence to antiretroviral therapy and its associated factors among HIV/AIDS patients accessing treatment at Nekemte referral hospital, West Ethiopia.MethodsInstitutional based cross-sectional study was conducted on 311 HIV/AIDS patients from March 01 to March 30, 2019. The study participants were selected by a simple random sampling method and interviewed using structured questionnaires. Bivariable logistic regression was conducted to find an association between each independent variable and adherence to antiretroviral medication. Multivariable logistic regression was used to find the independent variables which best predict adherence. The statistical significance was measured using odds ratio at a 95% confidence interval with a p-value of less than 0.05.ResultsOut of a total of 311 patients sampled, 305 were participated in the study, making a response rate of 98.07%. From these 305 study participants,73.1% (95% CI = 68.2, 78.0) were adherent to their medication. Having knowledge about HIV and its treatment (AOR = 8.24, 95% CI: 3.10, 21.92), having strong family/social support (AOR = 6.21, 95% CI: 1.39, 27.62), absence of adverse drug reaction (AOR = 5.33, 95% CI: 1.95, 14.57), absence of comorbidity of other chronic diseases (AOR = 5.72, 95% CI: 1.91, 17.16) and disclosing HIV status to the family (AOR = 5.08, 95% CI: 2.09, 12.34) were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of adherence to antiretroviral medication.ConclusionThe level of adherence to antiretroviral therapy was found low compared to WHO recommendation. The clinician should emphasize reducing adverse drug reaction, detecting and treating co-morbidities early, improving knowledge through health education, and encouraging the patients to disclose their HIV status to their families. ]]> <![CDATA[Clinical role, optimal timing and frequency of serum infliximab and anti-infliximab antibody level measurements in patients with inflammatory bowel disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc1f4

Background

Serum infliximab (IFX) and antibody-to-infliximab (ATI) levels are objective parameters, that may have a great role in the therapeutic decisions during maintenance biological therapy.

Research design and methods

48 inflammatory bowel disease patients receiving maintenance IFX therapy were prospectively enrolled and divided into adequate (complete remission N = 20) and inadequate responder (partial response, loss of response, dose escalation; N = 28) groups. Blood samples were collected just before (trough level, TL) and two (W2aTL) and six weeks (W6aTL) after the administration of IFX.

Results

Single measurement of ATI titer was insufficient for predicting therapeutic response due to transient expression of ATI, however, using the three points’ measurements, significant difference has been detected between the adequate and inadequate responder group (5.0% vs 35.7%; p = 0.016). The mean value of TL was significantly higher in the adequate responder group (3.11±1.64 vs.1.19±1.11; p<0.001) without further difference on the second and sixth week. Sensitivity and specificity for predicting the therapeutic response were 85.0% and 71.4% based on the cut-off value of TL 2.0 μg/ml.

Conclusion

Simultaneous measurement of serum IFX level prior to administration of regular IFX infusion and ATI titers significantly increase the diagnostic accuracy for the therapeutic decision in patients uncertainly responding to the therapy. The measurement of W2aTL and W6aTL levels did not result in further improvement in the prediction of therapeutic response.

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<![CDATA[Oxycodone versus morphine for cancer pain titration: A systematic review and pharmacoeconomic evaluation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5c0f7a4c-4090-42ec-ba95-57e120b0c99c

Objective

To evaluate the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of Oxycodone Hydrochloride Controlled-release Tablets (CR oxycodone) and Morphine Sulfate Sustained-release Tablets (SR morphine) for moderate to severe cancer pain titration.

Methods

Randomized controlled trials meeting the inclusion criteria were searched through Medline, Cochrane Library, Pubmed, EMbase, CNKI,VIP and WanFang database from the data of their establishment to June 2019. The efficacy and safety data were extracted from the included literature. The pain control rate was calculated to eatimate efficacy. Meta-analysis was conducted by Revman5.1.4. A decision tree model was built to simulate cancer pain titration process. The initial dose of CR oxycodone and SR morphine group were 20mg and 30mg respectively. Oral immediate-release morphine was administered to treat break-out pain. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was performed with TreeAge Pro 2019.

Results

19 studies (1680 patients)were included in this study. Meta-analysis showed that the pain control rate of CR oxycodone and SR morphine were 86% and 82.98% respectively. The costs of CR oxycodone and SR morphine were $23.27 and $13.31. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per unit was approximate $329.76. At the willingness-to-pay threshold of $8836, CR oxycodone was cost-effective, while the corresponding probability of being cost-effective at the willingness-to-pay threshold of $300 was 31.6%. One-way sensitivity analysis confirmed robustness of results.

Conclusions

CR oxycodone could be a cost-effective option compared with SR morphine for moderate to severe cancer pain titration in China, according to the threshold defined by the WHO.

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<![CDATA[Gender norms and mass deworming program access in Comé, Benin: A qualitative assessment of gender-associated opportunities and challenges to achieving high mass drug administration coverage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0cbc3c85-9c5e-43fe-983c-4afc7d1b8db3

The World Health Organization’s Neglected Tropical Disease Roadmap has accelerated progress towards eliminating select neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This momentum has catalyzed research to determine the feasibility of interrupting transmission of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) using community-wide mass drug administration (MDA). This study aims to identify potential gender-specific facilitators and barriers to accessing and participating in community-wide STH MDA, with the goal of ensuring programs are equitable and maximize the probability of interrupting STH transmission. This research was conducted prior to the launch of community-wide MDA for STH in Comé, Benin. A total of 10 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted separately among 40 men, 38 women, and 15 community drug distributors (CDDs). Salient themes included: both men and women believe that community-wide MDA would reduce the financial burden associated with self-treatment, particularly for low income adults. Community members believe MDA should be packaged alongside water, sanitation, and other health services. Women feel past community-wide programs have been disorganized and are concerned these distributions will be similar. Women also expressed interest in increased engagement in the implementation of future community-based public health programs. Men often did not perceive themselves to be at great risk for STH infection and did not express a high demand for treatment. Finally, the barriers discussed by CDDs generally did not align with gender-specific concerns, but rather represented concerns shared by both genders. A door-to-door distribution strategy for STH MDA is preferred by women in this study, as this platform empowers women to participate as health decision makers for their family. In addition, involving women in planning and implementation of community-wide programs may help to increase treatment coverage and compliance.

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<![CDATA[Distinguishing moral hazard from access for high-cost healthcare under insurance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9aa1c21e-eb0c-47d9-9336-743c9eef5b98

Context

Health policy has long been preoccupied with the problem that health insurance stimulates spending (“moral hazard”). However, much health spending is costly healthcare that uninsured individuals could not otherwise access. Field studies comparing those with more or less insurance cannot disaggregate moral hazard versus access. Moreover, studies of patients consuming routine low-dollar healthcare are not informative for the high-dollar healthcare that drives most of aggregate healthcare spending in the United States.

Methods

We test indemnities as an alternative theory-driven counterfactual. Such conditional cash transfers would maintain an opportunity cost for patients, unlike standard insurance, but also guarantee access to the care. Since indemnities do not exist in U.S. healthcare, we fielded two blinded vignette-based survey experiments with 3,000 respondents, randomized to eight clinical vignettes and three insurance types. Our replication uses a population that is weighted to national demographics on three dimensions.

Findings

Most or all of the spending due to insurance would occur even under an indemnity. The waste attributable to moral hazard is undetectable.

Conclusions

For high-cost care, policymakers should be more concerned about the foregone efficient spending for those lacking full insurance, rather than the wasteful spending that occurs with full insurance.

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<![CDATA[Effect of moderate elevated intra-abdominal pressure on lung mechanics and histological lung injury at different positive end-expiratory pressures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nccafa6f6-e83a-4af1-be67-e451f21e0145

Introduction

Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) is a well-known phenomenon in critically ill patients. Effects of a moderately elevated intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) on lung mechanics are still not fully analyzed. Moreover, the optimal positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) in elevated IAP is unclear.

Methods

We investigated changes in lung mechanics and transformation in histological lung patterns using three different PEEP levels in eighteen deeply anesthetized pigs with an IAP of 10 mmHg. After establishing the intra-abdominal pressure, we randomized the animals into 3 groups. Each of n = 6 (Group A = PEEP 5, B = PEEP 10 and C = PEEP 15 cmH2O). End-expiratory lung volume (EELV/kg body weight (bw)), pulmonary compliance (Cstat), driving pressure (ΔP) and transpulmonary pressure (ΔPL) were measured for 6 hours. Additionally, the histological lung injury score was calculated.

Results

Comparing hours 0 and 6 in group A, there was a decrease of EELV/kg (27±2 vs. 16±1 ml/kg; p<0.05) and of Cstat (42±2 vs. 27±1 ml/cmH2O; p<0.05) and an increase of ΔP (11±0 vs. 17±1 cmH2O; p<0.05) and ΔPL (6±0 vs. 10±1 cmH2O; p<0.05). In group B, there was no significant change in EELV/kg (27±3 vs. 24±3 ml/kg), but a decrease in Cstat (42±3 vs. 32±1 ml/cmH20; p<0.05) and an increase in ΔP (11±1 vs. 15±1 cmH2O; p<0.05) and ΔPL (5±1 vs. 7±0 cmH2O; p<0.05). In group C, there were no significant changes in EELV/kg (27±2 vs. 29±3 ml/kg), ΔP (10±1 vs. 12±1 cmH2O) and ΔPL (5±1 vs. 7±1 cmH2O), but a significant decrease of Cstat (43±1 vs. 37±1 ml/cmH2O; p<0.05). Histological lung injury score was lowest in group B.

Conclusions

A moderate elevated IAP of 10 mmHg leads to relevant changes in lung mechanics during mechanical ventilation. In our study, a PEEP of 10 cmH2O was associated with a lower lung injury score and was able to overcome the IAP induced alterations of EELV.

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<![CDATA[Drug induced pancreatitis: A systematic review of case reports to determine potential drug associations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8c4889da-2d62-467b-8b66-b271dff2cf8d

Objective

A current assessment of case reports of possible drug-induced pancreatitis is needed. We systematically reviewed the case report literature to identify drugs with potential associations with acute pancreatitis and the burden of evidence supporting these associations.

Methods

A protocol was developed a priori (PROSPERO CRD42017060473). We searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and additional sources to identify cases of drug-induced pancreatitis that met accepted diagnostic criteria of acute pancreatitis. Cases caused by multiple drugs or combination therapy were excluded. Established systematic review methods were used for screening and data extraction. A classification system for associated drugs was developed a priori based upon the number of cases, re-challenge, exclusion of non-drug causes of acute pancreatitis, and consistency of latency.

Results

Seven-hundred and thirteen cases of potential drug-induced pancreatitis were identified, implicating 213 unique drugs. The evidence base was poor: exclusion of non-drug causes of acute pancreatitis was incomplete or poorly reported in all cases, 47% had at least one underlying condition predisposing to acute pancreatitis, and causality assessment was not conducted in 81%. Forty-five drugs (21%) were classified as having the highest level of evidence regarding their association with acute pancreatitis; causality was deemed to be probable or definite for 19 of these drugs (42%). Fifty-seven drugs (27%) had the lowest level of evidence regarding an association with acute pancreatitis, being implicated in single case reports, without exclusion of other causes of acute pancreatitis.

Discussion

Much of the case report evidence upon which drug-induced pancreatitis associations are based is tenuous. A greater emphasis on exclusion of all non-drug causes of acute pancreatitis and on quality reporting would improve the evidence base. It should be recognized that reviews of case reports, are valuable scoping tools but have limited strength to establish drug-induced pancreatitis associations.

Registration

CRD42017060473.

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<![CDATA[Towards a fully automated surveillance of well-being status in laboratory mice using deep learning: Starting with facial expression analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N201121b9-bfe0-423d-91d1-e349ea424365

Assessing the well-being of an animal is hindered by the limitations of efficient communication between humans and animals. Instead of direct communication, a variety of parameters are employed to evaluate the well-being of an animal. Especially in the field of biomedical research, scientifically sound tools to assess pain, suffering, and distress for experimental animals are highly demanded due to ethical and legal reasons. For mice, the most commonly used laboratory animals, a valuable tool is the Mouse Grimace Scale (MGS), a coding system for facial expressions of pain in mice. We aim to develop a fully automated system for the surveillance of post-surgical and post-anesthetic effects in mice. Our work introduces a semi-automated pipeline as a first step towards this goal. A new data set of images of black-furred laboratory mice that were moving freely is used and provided. Images were obtained after anesthesia (with isoflurane or ketamine/xylazine combination) and surgery (castration). We deploy two pre-trained state of the art deep convolutional neural network (CNN) architectures (ResNet50 and InceptionV3) and compare to a third CNN architecture without pre-training. Depending on the particular treatment, we achieve an accuracy of up to 99% for the recognition of the absence or presence of post-surgical and/or post-anesthetic effects on the facial expression.

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<![CDATA[Toxin-neutralizing antibodies elicited by naturally acquired cutaneous anthrax are elevated following severe disease and appear to target conformational epitopes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0733fdcc-4c39-44e4-82cd-032e69d54dbc

Understanding immune responses to native antigens in response to natural infections can lead to improved approaches to vaccination. This study sought to characterize the humoral immune response to anthrax toxin components, capsule and spore antigens in individuals (n = 46) from the Kayseri and Malatya regions of Turkey who had recovered from mild or severe forms of cutaneous anthrax infection, compared to regional healthy controls (n = 20). IgG antibodies to each toxin component, the poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule, the Bacillus collagen-like protein of anthracis (BclA) spore antigen, and the spore carbohydrate anthrose, were detected in the cases, with anthrax toxin neutralization and responses to Protective Antigen (PA) and Lethal Factor (LF) being higher following severe forms of the disease. Significant correlative relationships among responses to PA, LF, Edema Factor (EF) and capsule were observed among the cases. Though some regional control sera exhibited binding to a subset of the tested antigens, these samples did not neutralize anthrax toxins and lacked correlative relationships among antigen binding specificities observed in the cases. Comparison of serum binding to overlapping decapeptides covering the entire length of PA, LF and EF proteins in 26 cases compared to 8 regional controls revealed that anthrax toxin-neutralizing antibody responses elicited following natural cutaneous anthrax infection are directed to conformational epitopes. These studies support the concept of vaccination approaches that preserve conformational epitopes.

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<![CDATA[Efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy with S-1 in stage II oral squamous cell carcinoma patients: A comparative study using the propensity score matching method]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N83ad1f15-cdbb-4f4c-8d9c-388a45a97cce

It has been reported that 20% of early-stage oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients treated with surgery alone (SA) may exhibit postoperative relapse within 2–3 years and have poor prognoses. We aimed to determine the safety of S-1 adjuvant chemotherapy and the potential differences in the disease-free survival (DFS) between patients with T2N0 (stage II) OSCC treated with S-1 adjuvant therapy (S-1) and those treated with SA. This single-center retrospective cohort study was conducted at Kumamoto University, between April 2004 and March 2012, and included 95 patients with stage II OSCC. The overall cohort (OC), and propensity score-matched cohort (PSMC) were analyzed. In the OC, 71 and 24 patients received SA and S-1, respectively. The time to relapse (TTR), DFS, and overall survival were better in the S-1 group, but the difference was not significant. In the PSMC, 20 patients each received SA and S-1. The TTR was significantly lower in the S-1 group than in the SA group, while the DFS was significantly improved in the former. S-1 adjuvant chemotherapy may be more effective than SA in early-stage OSCC.

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<![CDATA[Resting state networks of the canine brain under sevoflurane anaesthesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0f88adec-494f-4799-9601-5a30499e23df

Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (rs-fMRI) has become an established technique in humans and reliably determines several resting state networks (RSNs) simultaneously. Limited data exist about RSN in dogs. The aim of this study was to investigate the RSNs in 10 healthy beagle dogs using a 3 tesla MRI scanner and subsequently perform group-level independent component analysis (ICA) to identify functionally connected brain networks. Rs-fMRI sequences were performed under steady state sevoflurane inhalation anaesthesia. Anaesthetic depth was titrated to the minimum level needed for immobilisation and mechanical ventilation of the patient. This required a sevoflurane MAC between 0.8 to 1.2. Group-level ICA dimensionality of 20 components revealed distributed sensory, motor and higher-order networks in the dogs’ brain. We identified in total 7 RSNs (default mode, primary and higher order visual, auditory, two putative motor-somatosensory and one putative somatosensory), which are common to other mammals including humans. Identified RSN are remarkably similar to those identified in awake dogs. This study proves the feasibility of rs-fMRI in anesthetized dogs and describes several RSNs, which may set the basis for investigating pathophysiological characteristics of various canine brain diseases.

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<![CDATA[Ivermectin as an adjuvant to anti-epileptic treatment in persons with onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy: A randomized proof-of-concept clinical trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2a703e18-6320-408f-bd4d-1f677396d877

Introduction

Recent findings from onchocerciasis-endemic foci uphold that increasing ivermectin coverage reduces the epilepsy incidence, and anecdotal evidence suggests seizure frequency reduction in persons with onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy, when treated with ivermectin. We conducted a randomized clinical trial to assess whether ivermectin treatment decreases seizure frequency.

Methods

A proof-of-concept randomized clinical trial was conducted in the Logo health zone in the Ituri province, Democratic Republic of Congo, to compare seizure frequencies in onchocerciasis-infected persons with epilepsy (PWE) randomized to one of two treatment arms: the anti-epileptic drug phenobarbital supplemented with ivermectin, versus phenobarbital alone. The primary endpoint was defined as the probability of being seizure-free at month 4. A secondary endpoint was defined as >50% reduction in seizure frequency at month 4, compared to baseline. Both endpoints were analyzed using multiple logistic regression. In longitudinal analysis, the probability of seizure freedom during the follow-up period was assessed for both treatment arms by fitting a logistic regression model using generalized estimating equations (GEE).

Results

Ninety PWE enrolled between October and November 2017 were eligible for analysis. A multiple logistic regression analysis showed a borderline association between ivermectin treatment and being seizure-free at month 4 (OR: 1.652, 95% CI 0.975–2.799; p = 0.062). There was no significant difference in the probability of experiencing >50% reduction of the seizure frequency at month 4 between the two treatment arms. Also, treatment with ivermectin did not significantly increase the odds of being seizure-free during the individual follow-up visits.

Conclusion

Whether ivermectin has an added value in reducing the frequency of seizures in PWE treated with AED remains to be determined. A larger study in persons with OAE on a stable AED regimen and in persons with recent epilepsy onset should be considered to further investigate the potential beneficial effect of ivermectin treatment in persons with OAE.

Trial registration

Registration: www.clinicaltrials.gov; NCT03052998.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of upconverting nanoparticles towards heart theranostics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf188e231-36c5-4bb6-9ed3-e7a465fadb41

Restricted and controlled drug delivery to the heart remains a challenge giving frequent off-target effects as well as limited retention of drugs in the heart. There is a need to develop and optimize tools to allow for improved design of drug candidates for treatment of heart diseases. Over the last decade, novel drug platforms and nanomaterials were designed to confine bioactive materials to the heart. Yet, the research remains in its infancy, not only in the development of tools but also in the understanding of effects of these materials on cardiac function and tissue integrity. Upconverting nanoparticles are nanomaterials that recently accelerated interest in theranostic nanomedicine technologies. Their unique photophysical properties allow for sensitive in vivo imaging that can be combined with spatio-temporal control for targeted release of encapsulated drugs.

Here we synthesized upconverting NaYF4:Yb,Tm nanoparticles and show for the first time their innocuity in the heart, when injected in the myocardium or in the pericardial space in mice. Nanoparticle retention and upconversion in the cardiac region did not alter heart rate variability, nor cardiac function as determined over a 15-day time course ensuing the sole injection. Altogether, our nanoparticles show innocuity primarily in the pericardial region and can be safely used for controlled spatiotemporal drug delivery. Our results support the use of upconverting nanoparticles as potential theranostics tools overcoming some of the key limitations associated with conventional experimental cardiology.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of drug–drug interaction in atrial fibrillation patients based on a large claims data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8861b373-c994-4a77-acd1-a0d16f2f19bb

This study aimed to compare and determine the prevalence of drug–drug interaction (DDI) and bleeding rate in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients receiving anticoagulants in a clinical setting. We used large claims data of AF patients obtained from the Japan Medical Data Center. The prevalence of DDIs and cases leading to bleeding events were surveyed clinically relevant DDIs extracted from 1) reported from a spontaneous adverse event reporting system (Japanese Adverse Drug Events Report system; JADER) ≥4 patients; 2) DDIs cited in the package inserts of each anticoagulant (each combination assessed according to “Drug interaction 2015” list; 3) warfarin and quinolone antibiotics DDIs. DDIs were categorized the mechanisms for pharmacokinetic DDI (Cytochrome P450 (CYP) or transporter etc. that modulate blood concentration of anticoagulants)/pharmacodynamic DDI (combination with similar pharmacological actions) or both in the analysis for each patients’ prescriptions obtained from a claims data. AF patients were compared between cases with and without bleeding after administered of anticoagulants. Bleeding was observed in 220/3290 (6.7%) AF patients. The bleeding rate in patients with both pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic DDI mechanisms (26.3%) was higher than that in patients with either mechanism (8.6% and 9.2%, respectively) or without DDIs (4.9%). The odds ratio for bleeding in AF patients with both of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic was (7.18 [4.69–11.00], p<0.001). Our study concluded multi mechanism based DDIs leads serious outcome as compared to that of single mechanism based DDIs in AF patients. We determined the prevalence and frequency of bleeding for anticoagulant-related DDIs. To manage DDIs, both pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic DDI mechanisms should be closely monitored for initial symptoms of bleeding within the first 3 months.

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<![CDATA[β-blockers after acute myocardial infarction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A nationwide population-based observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823d2d5eed0c4846390b1

Background

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) less often receive β-blockers after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). This may influence their outcomes after AMI. This study evaluated the efficacy of β-blockers after AMI in patients with COPD, compared with non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (NDCCBs) and absence of these two kinds of treatment.

Methods and results

We conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study using data retrieved from Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. We collected 28,097 patients with COPD who were hospitalized for AMI between January 2004 and December 2013. After hospital discharge, 24,056 patients returned to outpatient clinics within 14 days (the exposure window). Those who received both β-blockers and NDCCBs (n = 302) were excluded, leaving 23,754 patients for analysis. Patients were classified into the β-blocker group (n = 10,638, 44.8%), the NDCCB group, (n = 1,747, 7.4%) and the control group (n = 11,369, 47.9%) based on their outpatient prescription within the exposure window. The β-blockers group of patients had lower overall mortality risks (adjusted hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]: 0.91 [0.83–0.99] versus the NDCCB group; 0.88 [0.84–0.93] versus the control group), but the risk of major adverse cardiac events within 1 year was not statistically different. β-blockers decreased risks of re-hospitalization for COPD and other respiratory diseases by 12–32%.

Conclusions

The use of β-blockers after AMI was associated with a reduced mortality risk in patients with COPD. β-blockers did not increase the risk of COPD exacerbations.

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<![CDATA[Long term outcomes and prognostics of visceral leishmaniasis in HIV infected patients with use of pentamidine as secondary prophylaxis based on CD4 level: a prospective cohort study in Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fedd5eed0c48400792b

Background

The long-term treatment outcome of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients with HIV co-infection is complicated by a high rate of relapse, especially when the CD4 count is low. Although use of secondary prophylaxis is recommended, it is not routinely practiced and data on its effectiveness and safety are limited.

Methods

A prospective cohort study was conducted in Northwest Ethiopia from August 2014 to August 2017 (NCT02011958). HIV-VL patients were followed for up to 12 months. Patients with CD4 cell counts below 200/μL at the end of VL treatment received pentamidine prophylaxis starting one month after parasitological cure, while those with CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL were followed without secondary prophylaxis. Compliance, safety and relapse-free survival, using Kaplan-Meier analysis methods to account for variable time at risk, were summarised. Risk factors for relapse or death were analysed.

Results

Fifty-four HIV patients were followed. The probability of relapse-free survival at one year was 50% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 35–63%): 53% (30–71%) in 22 patients with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL without pentamidine prophylaxis and 46% (26–63%) in 29 with CD4 <200 cells/μL who started pentamidine. Three patients with CD4 <200 cells/μL did not start pentamidine. Amongst those with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL, VL relapse was an independent risk factor for subsequent relapse or death (adjusted rate ratio: 5.42, 95% CI: 1.1–25.8). Except for one case of renal failure which was considered possibly related to pentamidine, there were no drug-related safety concerns.

Conclusion

The relapse-free survival rate for VL patients with HIV was low. Relapse-free survival of patients with CD4 count <200cells/μL given pentamidine secondary prophylaxis appeared to be comparable to patients with a CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL not given prophylaxis. Patients with relapsed VL are at higher risk for subsequent relapse and should be considered a priority for secondary prophylaxis, irrespective of their CD4 count.

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