ResearchPad - skin-diseases https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Evidence of recombination of vaccine strains of lumpy skin disease virus with field strains, causing disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14489 Vaccination against lumpy skin disease (LSD) is crucial for maintaining the health of animals and the economic sustainability of farming. Either homologous vaccines consisting of live attenuated LSD virus (LSDV) or heterologous vaccines consisting of live attenuated sheeppox or goatpox virus (SPPV/GPPV) can be used for control of LSDV. Although SPPV/GTPV-based vaccines exhibit slightly lower efficacy than live attenuated LSDV vaccines, they do not cause vaccine-induced viremia, fever, and clinical symptoms of the disease following vaccination, caused by the replication capacity of live attenuated LSDVs. Recombination of capripoxviruses in the field was a long-standing hypothesis until a naturally occurring recombinant LSDV vaccine isolate was detected in Russia, where the sheeppox vaccine alone is used. This occurred after the initiation of vaccination campaigns using LSDV vaccines in the neighboring countries in 2017, when the first cases of presumed vaccine-like isolate circulation were documented with concurrent detection of a recombinant vaccine isolate in the field. The follow-up findings presented herein show that during the period from 2015 to 2018, the molecular epidemiology of LSDV in Russia split into two independent waves. The 2015–2016 epidemic was attributable to the field isolate. Whereas the 2017 epidemic and, in particular, the 2018 epidemic represented novel disease importations that were not genetically linked to the 2015–2016 field-type incursions. This demonstrated a new emergence rather than the continuation of the field-type epidemic. Since recombinant vaccine-like LSDV isolates appear to have entrenched across the country’s border, the policy of using certain live vaccines requires revision in the context of the biosafety threat it presents.

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<![CDATA[Investigating barriers and challenges to the integrated management of neglected tropical skin diseases in an endemic setting in Nigeria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13828 Community perceptions of causation of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) of the skin may play an important role in access to or utilization of health services. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended empowerment of populations affected by or at risk of NTDs in control interventions. Furthermore, the WHO recommends that social mobilisation needs to be maintained in order to create demand for integrated management of skin NTDs and to address specific community aspects and concerns related to the diseases. There are no studies on community knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) on skin NTDs co-occurring in the same community in Nigeria. We surveyed community members and health workers and also held group discussions with community members, health workers and individuals with lymphatic filariasis and Buruli ulcer in order to assess their understanding of the causes, treatment and effects of the skin NTDs (leprosy, Buruli ulcer and lymphatic filariasis) which were all occurring in the study communities. There was a shared understanding that these NTDs were caused by germ/infection or through witchcraft/curse/poison. Also, a substantial proportion of the community believed that these conditions are not amenable to treatment. The focus group discussions reinforced these findings.

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<![CDATA[Evidence of a causal relationship between body mass index and psoriasis: A mendelian randomization study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca31cd5eed0c48441f191

Background

Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease that has been reported to be associated with obesity. We aimed to investigate a possible causal relationship between body mass index (BMI) and psoriasis.

Methods and findings

Following a review of published epidemiological evidence of the association between obesity and psoriasis, mendelian randomization (MR) was used to test for a causal relationship with BMI. We used a genetic instrument comprising 97 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with BMI as a proxy for BMI (expected to be much less confounded than measured BMI). One-sample MR was conducted using individual-level data (396,495 individuals) from the UK Biobank and the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT), Norway. Two-sample MR was performed with summary-level data (356,926 individuals) from published BMI and psoriasis genome-wide association studies (GWASs). The one-sample and two-sample MR estimates were meta-analysed using a fixed-effect model. To test for a potential reverse causal effect, MR analysis with genetic instruments comprising variants from recent genome-wide analyses for psoriasis were used to test whether genetic risk for this skin disease has a causal effect on BMI.

Published observational data showed an association of higher BMI with psoriasis. A mean difference in BMI of 1.26 kg/m2 (95% CI 1.02–1.51) between psoriasis cases and controls was observed in adults, while a 1.55 kg/m2 mean difference (95% CI 1.13–1.98) was observed in children. The observational association was confirmed in UK Biobank and HUNT data sets. Overall, a 1 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with 4% higher odds of psoriasis (meta-analysis odds ratio [OR] = 1.04; 95% CI 1.03–1.04; P = 1.73 × 10−60). MR analyses provided evidence that higher BMI causally increases the odds of psoriasis (by 9% per 1 unit increase in BMI; OR = 1.09 (1.06–1.12) per 1 kg/m2; P = 4.67 × 10−9). In contrast, MR estimates gave little support to a possible causal effect of psoriasis genetic risk on BMI (0.004 kg/m2 change in BMI per doubling odds of psoriasis (−0.003 to 0.011). Limitations of our study include possible misreporting of psoriasis by patients, as well as potential misdiagnosis by clinicians. In addition, there is also limited ethnic variation in the cohorts studied.

Conclusions

Our study, using genetic variants as instrumental variables for BMI, provides evidence that higher BMI leads to a higher risk of psoriasis. This supports the prioritization of therapies and lifestyle interventions aimed at controlling weight for the prevention or treatment of this common skin disease. Mechanistic studies are required to improve understanding of this relationship.

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<![CDATA[Skin marks in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) interacting with artisanal fishery in the central Mediterranean Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633968d5eed0c484ae664b

Skin marks occur frequently in many cetacean species across the globe revealing a broad spectrum of causes, including social interactions, infectious diseases and injuries produced by anthropogenic factors. The current study used photo-id data from 2005–2014 to estimate the skin mark pattern on resident bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Aeolian Archipelago (Italy). Thirteen skin mark types were identified and their origin, prevalence and permanence time were examined. The pattern of skin marks was assessed for the abundance, richness, distribution and severity in six body regions and compared among age classes, sex and degree of dolphins’ interaction with trammel nets (DIN). Our results showed higher prevalence, abundance, richness and distribution of skin marks in adults than in the younger age classes, with the exception of black marks and white ring lesions. The prevalence and abundance of skin marks were higher in males than females, with the exception of scratches and white patches. Moreover, gunshot wounds, mutilations and irregular dorsal fin edges were found only on adult males. Since males showed higher DIN than females and, in dolphins with higher DIN, skin marks were more abundant and frequently distributed in different body regions, the skin mark pattern in regard to DIN seems to be sex-related. The more severe marks were observed on adults, males and dolphins with higher DIN, namely skin disorder, tooth rake marks, small shallow indentations, deep indentations and mutilations. On the contrary, the severity of scratches, white patches and dark ring lesions was higher in females than males, but not significantly related to DIN and age of the individuals. Our results showed that photo-id data provide an efficient and cost-effective approach to document the occurrence of skin marks in free-ranging bottlenose dolphin populations, a critical step toward understanding the cause and supporting the conservation strategies.

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<![CDATA[Occurrence of skin manifestations in patients of the Swiss Inflammatory Bowel Disease Cohort Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c64490dd5eed0c484c2f500

Background/Aims

Extraintestinal cutaneous manifestations of IBD represent a severe disease complication and an early and accurate treatment might positively influence the disease course. Using the patient collective of the Swiss IBD Cohort Study (SIBDCS), we analysed epidemiological as well as clinical factors being associated with the onset of pyoderma gangrenosum, erythema nodosum and aphthous ulcers in IBD patients.

Methods

We included 3266 SIBDCs patients, 1840 with Crohn’s disease (CD) and 1426 with ulcerative colitis (UC) or IBD unclassified (IBDU) and analysed the association of cutaneous manifestations with age, age at diagnosis time, type of disease, gender, family history, HLA-allotype, smoking, intestinal disease activity, therapy and other extraintestinal manifestations (EIM).

Results

354 CD patients and 136 UC/IBDU patients presented with skin manifestations at any time during their disease course. In both, CD and UC, female gender and younger age at IBD diagnosis were significantly associated with extraintestinal skin manifestations. For CD, we also detected a positive family history as associated factor. As an indicator of more intensive intestinal disease activity, patients with cutaneous manifestations of IBD needed more frequently therapy with antibiotics, steroids, immunomodulators and anti-TNF. Multivariate analysis revealed female gender, younger age at diagnosis and presence of other extraintestinal manifestations as factors being associated with skin EIM in IBD patients and anti-TNF as well as immunomodulatory treatment in CD patients.

Conclusion

Our results suggest that young females with a positive family history of IBD might be at increased risk for the onset of skin manifestations and require a careful screening for such complications.

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<![CDATA[Scabies and impetigo in Timor-Leste: A school screening study in two districts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b391463d7e126303d2a8

Introduction

Scabies and impetigo are common and important skin conditions which are often neglected in developing countries. Limited data have been published on the prevalence of scabies and impetigo in Timor-Leste. Sequelae including cellulitis, bacteraemia, nephritis, acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease contribute significantly to the burden of disease.

Methods

School students were recruited from schools in Dili (urban) and Ermera (rural) in Timor-Leste for an epidemiological study in October 2016. A standard questionnaire was used to record demographics, anthropometry and skin examination results. Impetigo and scabies were diagnosed based on clinical examination of exposed surfaces, and clinical photographs were reviewed for correlation by an infectious diseases paediatrician. Prevalence of scabies and impetigo were calculated and binary risk factor associations were described using relative risks and 95% confidence intervals. Adjusted odds ratios were calculated using logistic regression multivariate analysis. Continuous variables were analysed for associations using the Mann-Whitney Rank Sum test.

Results

The study enrolled 1396 students; median age 11 years (interquartile range (IQR) 9–15). The prevalence of scabies was 22.4% (95% CI 20.2–24.7%) and active impetigo 9.7% (95% CI 8.3–11.4%); 68.2% of students had evidence of either active or healed impetigo. Students in Ermera were more likely than those in Dili to have scabies (prevalence 32.0% vs 5.2%, aOR 8.1 (95% CI 5.2–12.4), p<0.01). There was no difference in the prevalence of active impetigo between urban and rural sites. More than a third of participants were moderately or severely underweight. Stunting was markedly more common in the rural district of Ermera.

Conclusion

Scabies and impetigo are common in Timor-Leste, with very high prevalence of scabies in the rural district of Ermera. Improvements in prevention and treatment are needed, with prioritised activities in the rural areas where prevalence is highest.

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<![CDATA[Skin disease prevalence study in schoolchildren in rural Côte d'Ivoire: Implications for integration of neglected skin diseases (skin NTDs)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b07d0ea463d7e0d4a37a6ef

Background

Early detection of several skin-related neglected tropical diseases (skin NTDs)–including leprosy, Buruli ulcer, yaws, and scabies- may be achieved through school surveys, but such an approach has seldom been tested systematically on a large scale in endemic countries. Additionally, a better understanding of the spectrum of skin diseases and the at-risk populations to be encountered during such surveys is necessary to facilitate the process.

Methods

We performed a school skin survey for selected NTDs and the spectrum of skin diseases, among primary schoolchildren aged 5 to 15 in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. This 2-phase survey took place in 49 schools from 16 villages in the Adzopé health district from November 2015 to January 2016. The first phase involved a rapid visual examination of the skin by local community healthcare workers (village nurses) to identify any skin abnormality. In a second phase, a specialized medical team including dermatologists performed a total skin examination of all screened students with any skin lesion and provided treatment where necessary.

Results

Of a total of 13,019 children, 3,504 screened positive for skin lesions and were listed for the next stage examination. The medical team examined 1,138 of these children. The overall prevalence of skin diseases was 25.6% (95% CI: 24.3–26.9%). The predominant diagnoses were fungal infections (n = 858, prevalence: 22.3%), followed by inflammatory skin diseases (n = 265, prevalence: 6.9%). Skin diseases were more common in boys and in children living along the main road with heavy traffic. One case of multi-bacillary type leprosy was detected early, along with 36 cases of scabies. Our survey was met with very good community acceptance.

Conclusion

We carried out the first large-scale integrated, two-phase pediatric multi-skin NTD survey in rural Côte d’Ivoire, effectively reaching a large population. We found a high prevalence of skin diseases in children, but only limited number of skin NTDs. With the lessons learned, we plan to expand the project to a wider area to further explore its potential to better integrate skin NTD screening in the public health agenda.

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<![CDATA[A Case and Review of Noma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad9ab0ee8fa60bb9169 ]]> <![CDATA[Treatment of Tungiasis with Dimeticone: A Proof-of-Principle Study in Rural Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da31ab0ee8fa60b8480f

Tungiasis (sand flea disease) is a neglected tropical disease, prevalent in resource-poor communities in South America and sub-Saharan Africa. It is caused by an inflammatory response against penetrated female sand fleas (Tunga penetrans) embedded in the skin of the host. Although associated with debilitating acute and chronic morbidity, there is no proven effective drug treatment. By consequence patients attempt to remove embedded sand fleas with non-sterile sharp instruments, such as safety pins, a procedure that represents a health threat by itself. In this proof-of-principle study we compared the topical application of a mixture of two dimeticones of low viscosity (NYDA) to the topical application of a 0.05% solution of KMnO4 in 47 school children in an endemic area in rural Kenya. The efficacy of the treatment was assessed during a follow up period of seven days using viability signs of the embedded parasites, alterations in the natural development of lesion morphology and the degree of local inflammation as outcome measures. Seven days after treatment, in the dimeticone group 78% (95% CI 67–86%) of the parasites had lost all signs of viability as compared to 39% (95% CI 28–52%) in the KMnO4 group (p<0.001). In the dimeticone group 90% (95% CI 80–95%) of the penetrated sand fleas showed an abnormal development already after 5 days, compared to 53% (95% CI 40–66%; p<0.001) in the KMnO4 group. Seven days after treatment, signs of local skin inflammation had significantly decreased in the dimeticone group (p<0.001). This study identified the topical application of dimeticones of low viscosity (NYDA) as an effective means to kill embedded sand fleas. In view of the efficacy and safety of the topical treatment with dimeticone, the mechanical extraction of embedded sand fleas using hazardous instruments is no longer warranted.

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<![CDATA[Differential Expression of A-Type and B-Type Lamins during Hair Cycling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db01ab0ee8fa60bc6951

Multiple genetic disorders caused by mutations that affect the proteins lamin A and C show strong skin phenotypes. These disorders include the premature aging disorders Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome and mandibuloacral dysplasia, as well as restrictive dermopathy. Prior studies have shown that the lamin A/C and B proteins are expressed in skin, but little is known about their normal expression in the different skin cell-types and during the hair cycle. Our immunohistochemical staining for lamins A/C and B in wild-type mice revealed strong expression in the basal cell layer of the epidermis, the outer root sheath, and the dermal papilla during all stages of the hair cycle. Lower expression of both lamins A/C and B was seen in suprabasal cells of the epidermis, in the hypodermis, and in the bulb of catagen follicles. In addition, we have utilized a previously described mouse model of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome and show here that the expression of progerin does not result in pronounced effects on hair cycling or the expression of lamin B.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Analysis of Fin Development in Zebrafish Identifies Furin and Hemicentin1 as Potential Novel Fraser Syndrome Disease Genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae3ab0ee8fa60bbc560

Using forward genetics, we have identified the genes mutated in two classes of zebrafish fin mutants. The mutants of the first class are characterized by defects in embryonic fin morphogenesis, which are due to mutations in a Laminin subunit or an Integrin alpha receptor, respectively. The mutants of the second class display characteristic blistering underneath the basement membrane of the fin epidermis. Three of them are due to mutations in zebrafish orthologues of FRAS1, FREM1, or FREM2, large basement membrane protein encoding genes that are mutated in mouse bleb mutants and in human patients suffering from Fraser Syndrome, a rare congenital condition characterized by syndactyly and cryptophthalmos. Fin blistering in a fourth group of zebrafish mutants is caused by mutations in Hemicentin1 (Hmcn1), another large extracellular matrix protein the function of which in vertebrates was hitherto unknown. Our mutant and dose-dependent interaction data suggest a potential involvement of Hmcn1 in Fraser complex-dependent basement membrane anchorage. Furthermore, we present biochemical and genetic data suggesting a role for the proprotein convertase FurinA in zebrafish fin development and cell surface shedding of Fras1 and Frem2, thereby allowing proper localization of the proteins within the basement membrane of forming fins. Finally, we identify the extracellular matrix protein Fibrillin2 as an indispensable interaction partner of Hmcn1. Thus we have defined a series of zebrafish mutants modelling Fraser Syndrome and have identified several implicated novel genes that might help to further elucidate the mechanisms of basement membrane anchorage and of the disease's aetiology. In addition, the novel genes might prove helpful to unravel the molecular nature of thus far unresolved cases of the human disease.

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<![CDATA[Increasing incidence of mucormycosis in a large Spanish hospital from 2007 to 2015: Epidemiology and microbiological characterization of the isolates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be0449

We studied 19 cases of proven/probable mucormycosis diagnosed from 2007 to 2015 in our hospital and assessed the microbiological characteristics of the isolates. We recorded the incidence of mucormycosis and clinical and microbiological data of infected patients. Isolates were identified to molecular level and tested for their antifungal susceptibility to azoles, amphotericin B, and liposomal amphotericin B according to the CLSI M-38 A2 procedure. The incidence of mucormycosis in cases/100,000 hospital admissions during 2007–2015 increased significantly with respect to that reported in 1988–2006 (3.3 vs. 1.2; P<0.05). Patients mainly had hematological malignancies (52.6%) and/or trauma/surgical wounds (52.6%) and had received antifungal agents before the diagnosis of mucormycosis in 68% of cases. Diagnosis was by isolation (n = 17/19) and/or direct staining (n = 17/18) of Mucorales fungi in clinical samples. Identification was by panfungal PCR in patients with negative results in culture and in direct staining. The microorganisms identified were Lichtheimia spp. (42%), Rhizopus spp. (21%), Cunninghamella bertholletiae (16%), and others (21%). Liposomal amphotericin B was always more active than the other drugs against all the microorganisms except C. bertholletiae. All patients received antifungal treatment with 1 or more antifungal agents, mainly liposomal amphotericin B (17/19). Mortality was 47.4%, although this was significantly lower in the 11 patients in whom debridement was performed (18% vs. 87.5%) (P = 0.015). The incidence of mucormycosis has risen in recent years. The proportion of cases with soft tissue involvement was high, and Lichtheimia was the most frequently involved species. The highest antifungal activity was observed with liposomal amphotericin B.

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<![CDATA[The 2013 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism Classification Criteria for Systemic Sclerosis Could Classify Systemic Sclerosis Patients at Earlier Stage: Data from a Chinese EUSTAR Center]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db06ab0ee8fa60bc8940

Objectives

To evaluate the performance of the 2013 ACR/EULAR classification criteria for systemic sclerosis (SSc) in clinical practice in a Chinese patient cohort, and to compare outcomes with the 1980 ACR criteria.

Methods

Patients clinically diagnosed with SSc between September 2013 and May 2015 were prospectively recruited from the EUSTAR database of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Diagnosis of SSc was based on the evaluation of three experienced rheumatologists. Patients diagnosed with other connective tissue diseases were recruited as disease controls. The 1980 ACR and 2013 ACR/EULAR criteria were applied to the cohort, and patients who fulfilled the criteria were classified as definite SSc patients. Sensitivity and specificity were analyzed for the 2013 and 1980 criteria.

Results

A total of 143 SSc patients and 87 patients with other connective diseases were recruited. 41 (28.7%) and 102 (71.3%) cases were diffuse cutaneous SSc and limited cutaneous SSc, respectively. Although the sensitivity of the 2013 criteria (94.4%) exceeded the 1980 criteria (72.7%) (P<0.001), the 1980 and 2013 criteria sets showed no significant difference in specificity (97.7% and 93.1%, respectively, P = 0.278). The sensitivity of the 2013 criteria was significantly higher than the 1980 criteria in some SSc subgroups (e.g., lcSSc, abnormal pattern of nailfold videocapillaroscopy [NVC] and presence of Raynaud’s phenomenon [RP]) compared to others.

Conclusions

Relative to the 1980 ACR criteria, in Chinese SSc patients the new 2013 ACR/EULAR criteria had similar specificity and higher sensitivity, especially for patients with mild skin thickening or prominent microvascular diseases.

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<![CDATA[IL-6 Signaling in Myelomonocytic Cells Is Not Crucial for the Development of IMQ-Induced Psoriasis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db21ab0ee8fa60bcf6cf

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that is associated with aberrant activity of immune cells and keratinocytes. In mice, topical application of TLR7/8 agonist IMQ leads to a skin disorder resembling human psoriasis. Recently, it was shown that the IL-23/ IL-17 axis plays a deciding role in the pathogenesis of human psoriasis, as well as in the mouse model of IMQ-induced psoriasis-like skin disease. A consequence of IL-17A production in the skin includes increased expression and production of IL-6, resulting in the recruitment of neutrophils and other myelomonocytic cells to the site of inflammation. To further investigate and characterize the exact role of IL-6 signaling in myelomonocytic cells during experimental psoriasis, we generated mice lacking the IL-6 receptor alpha specifically in myelomonocytic cells (IL-6RαΔmyel). Surprisingly, disease susceptibility of these mice was not affected in this model. Our study shows that classical IL-6 signaling in myelomonocytic cells does not play an essential role for disease development of IMQ-induced psoriasis-like skin disease.

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<![CDATA[Large-Scaled Metabolic Profiling of Human Dermal Fibroblasts Derived from Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum Patients and Healthy Controls]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafbab0ee8fa60bc4b59

Mutations in the ABC transporter ABCC6 were recently identified as cause of Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), a rare genetic disorder characterized by progressive mineralization of elastic fibers. We used an untargeted metabolic approach to identify biochemical differences between human dermal fibroblasts from healthy controls and PXE patients in an attempt to find a link between ABCC6 deficiency, cellular metabolic alterations and disease pathogenesis. 358 compounds were identified by mass spectrometry covering lipids, amino acids, peptides, carbohydrates, nucleotides, vitamins and cofactors, xenobiotics and energy metabolites. We found substantial differences in glycerophospholipid composition, leucine dipeptides, and polypeptides as well as alterations in pantothenate and guanine metabolism to be significantly associated with PXE pathogenesis. These findings can be linked to extracellular matrix remodeling and increased oxidative stress, which reflect characteristic hallmarks of PXE. Our study could facilitate a better understanding of biochemical pathways involved in soft tissue mineralization.

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<![CDATA[Integrated Control and Management of Neglected Tropical Skin Diseases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcf1e ]]> <![CDATA[Assessment of Interleukin 16 Serum Levels and Skin Expression in Psoriasis Patients in Correlation with Clinical Severity of the Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae1ab0ee8fa60bbbd4f

Interleukin 16 (IL-16) has been described as a significant cytokine involved in the recruitment of CD4+ cells during inflammation; however, its potential role in psoriasis has not been defined. Our aim was to investigate the IL-16 serum levels and IL-16 mRNA skin expression in psoriasis patients in correlation with disease severity and mRNA skin expression for CD4. Moreover, the IL-16 skin localization was assessed and the -295 T/C IL-16 polymorphism was analyzed. For this exploratory, observational, and cross-sectional study, 97 unrelated patients with chronic plaque type psoriasis and 104 healthy controls were enrolled. IL-16 serum levels were significantly increased in patients compared with controls (P = 0.000022) and positively correlated with Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (r = 0.34, P = 0.0007), Body Surface Area (r = 0.34, P = 0.01) and were significantly higher in individuals with moderate to severe psoriasis (P = 0.0029). There was no significant correlation between IL-16 serum levels and Dermatology Quality of Life Index and no differences in genotype and allele frequencies for -295 T/C IL-16 polymorphism. The expression of IL-16 (mRNA and protein) was elevated in the margin of psoriatic skin while statistically significant increase in IL-16 immunoreactivity, but not in mRNA level, was observed within plaques. Furthermore, the IL-16 mRNA levels within psoriatic lesions positively correlated with the levels of CD4 mRNA, but not with Psoriasis Area and Severity Index. In conclusion, our data revealed an association between circulating IL-16 and severity of psoriasis which indicates that this cytokine could serve as a potential marker of disease activity. However, further investigations are required.

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<![CDATA[Risk of Flood-Related Diseases of Eyes, Skin and Gastrointestinal Tract in Taiwan: A Retrospective Cohort Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabdab0ee8fa60baf5f9

Floods are known to cause serious environmental damage and health impacts. Studies on flood-related diseases have been primarily on individual events, and limited evidence could be drawn on potential health impacts from floods using large population data. This study used reimbursement records of one million people of the Taiwan National Health Insurance program to compare incident diseases of the eyes, skin and gastrointestinal (GI) tract associated with floods. Incidence rates for the selected diseases were calculated according to outpatient/emergency visit data. The incidence rates were evaluated by flood status: in 10 days before floods, during floods and within 10 days after the floods receded. Outpatient/emergency visit rates for the eye, skin and GI tract diseases were highest after floods and lowest during floods. Results from multivariate Poisson regression analyses showed that, when compared with the incidence in 10 days before floods, the incidence rate ratios (IRR) of diseases within 10 days after floods were 1.15 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.10–1.20) for eyes, 1.08 (95% C.I. = 1.05–1.10) for skin, and 1.11 (95% CI = 1.08–1.14) for GI tract, after controlling for covariates. All risks increased with ambient temperature. V-shaped trends were found between age and eye diseases, and between age and GI tract diseases. In contrast, the risk of skin diseases increased with age. In conclusion, more diseases of eyes, skin and GI tract could be diagnosed after the flood.

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<![CDATA[MMP-12 Deficiency Attenuates Angiotensin II-Induced Vascular Injury, M2 Macrophage Accumulation, and Skin and Heart Fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db42ab0ee8fa60bd73d2

MMP-12, a macrophage-secreted elastase, is elevated in fibrotic diseases, including systemic sclerosis (SSc) and correlates with vasculopathy and fibrosis. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of MMP-12 in cardiac and cutaneous fibrosis induced by angiotensin II infusion. Ang II-induced heart and skin fibrosis was accompanied by a marked increase of vascular injury markers, including vWF, Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) and MMP-12, as well as increased number of PDGFRβ+ cells. Furthermore Ang II infusion led to an accumulation of macrophages (Mac3+) in the skin and in the perivascular and interstitial fibrotic regions of the heart. However, alternatively activated (Arg 1+) macrophages were mainly present in the Ang II infused mice and were localized to the perivascular heart regions and to the skin, but were not detected in the interstitial heart regions. Elevated expression of MMP-12 was primarily found in macrophages and endothelial cells (CD31+) cells, but MMP-12 was not expressed in the collagen producing cells. MMP-12 deficient mice (MMP12KO) showed markedly reduced expression of vWF, TSP1, and PDGFRβ around vessels and attenuation of dermal fibrosis, as well as the perivascular fibrosis in the heart. However, MMP-12 deficiency did not affect interstitial heart fibrosis, suggesting a heterogeneous nature of the fibrotic response in the heart. Furthermore, MMP-12 deficiency almost completely prevented accumulation of Arg 1+ cells, whereas the number of Mac3+ cells was partially reduced. Moreover production of profibrotic mediators such as PDGFBB, TGFβ1 and pSMAD2 in the skin and perivascular regions of the heart was also inhibited. Together, the results of this study show a close correlation between vascular injury markers, Arg 1+ macrophage accumulation and fibrosis and suggest an important role of MMP-12 in regulating these processes.

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<![CDATA[Neuroprotective Effect of Erythropoietin against Pressure Ulcer in a Mouse Model of Small Fiber Neuropathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf8ab0ee8fa60bc39f1

An increased risk of skin pressure ulcers (PUs) is common in patients with sensory neuropathies, including those caused by diabetes mellitus. Recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) has been shown to protect the skin against PUs developed in animal models of long-term diabetes. The aim of this work was to determine whether rhEPO could prevent PU formation in a mouse model of drug-inducedSFN. Functional SFN was induced by systemic injection of resiniferatoxin (RTX, 50 µg/kg, i.p.). RhEPO (3000 UI/kg, i.p.) was given the day before RTX injection and then every other day. Seven days after RTX administration, PUs were induced by applying two magnetic plates on the dorsal skin. RTX-treated mice expressed thermal and mechanical hypoalgesia and showed calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P (SP) depletion without nerve degeneration or vascular dysfunction. RTX mice developed significantly larger stage 2 PUs than Vehicle mice. RhEPO prevented thermal and mechanical hypoalgesia and neuropeptide depletion in small nerve fibers. RhEPO increased hematocrit and altered endothelium-dependent vasodilatation without any effect on PU formation in Vehicle mice. The characteristics of PUs in RTX mice treated with rhEPO and Vehicle mice were found similar. In conclusion, RTX appeared to increased PU development through depletion of CGRP and SP in small nerve fibers, whereas systemic rhEPO treatment had beneficial effect on peptidergic nerve fibers and restored skin protective capacities against ischemic pressure. Our findings support the evaluation of rhEPO and/or its non-hematopoietic analogs in preventing to prevent PUs in patients with SFN.

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