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- Association Between Asthma and Obesity Among Immigrant Asian Americans, California Health Interview Survey, 2001-2011. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prev Chronic Dis 2014.:E209.
Our objective was to study the comorbidity of asthma and obesity among foreign-born Asian Americans, by subgroups. Public data from the California Health Interview Survey, 2001-2011, were analyzed by using independent logistic regressions, yielding the association between asthma and obesity (Asian and standard cutoffs for body mass index [BMIs]) of 19,841 Asian American immigrant respondents. Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, and Japanese immigrants had a positive association between lifetime asthma and obesity, whereas among Korean immigrants, a positive association was found between lifetime asthma and overweight status (standard BMI cutoffs). Routine screening for this comorbidity is warranted among immigrant Asian Americans.
- Prevalence and determinants of smoking initiation among school students in Bosnia and Herzegovina. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Adolesc Med Health 2014 Nov 26.
Abstract Background: Tobacco smoking amongst the young is a matter of public health concern because of the immediate and long-term health consequences associated with tobacco use, such as asthma, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to identify the determinants of smoking initiation among a sample of high school students in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Methods: The study was conducted among 198 high school students in Zvornik, Bosnia and Herzegovina, during April 2013. A self-administered, pre-tested, structured, close-ended questionnaire was used for data collection. Results: Fourth grade students mainly initiated smoking in high school (45%), while the majority of third and second grade students initiated smoking in primary school. Among students who smoke, an average duration of the smoking habit was <2 years. A multivariate analysis showed that males were 5.27 times more likely to have initiated smoking. For every unit increase in pro-smoking attitude towards smoking, students were 5.3 times more likely to have initiated smoking. Those with parents and friends who are smokers were 6.106 and 5.175 times, respectively, more likely to have initiated smoking. Conclusion: This study indicates that a high proportion of 15-18 year olds in the town of Zvornik are current smokers. Gender, age, and parent and peer influence were identified as important associations with smoking. Interventions should not only be confined to the secondary school environment but they should also extend to their places of residence so that influences in the home environment and social surroundings that contribute to tobacco use are also tackled.
- [Prevalence of atopy in 1,199 asthmatic children from southern Santiago, Chile.] [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Rev Med Chil 2014 May; 142(5):567-573.
Background: The prevalence of atopy in asthmatic children is widely variable around the world as demonstrated by large multicentric international studies. Aim: To determine the prevalence of atopy, defined as a positive reaction to one or more allergens in the skin prick test (SPT), in children with persistent asthma. Material and Methods: We studied 1,199 children (54% male), aged between 4 and 16 years with confirmed diagnosis of asthma and followed at a Department of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, between 2006 and 2011. SPT was performed according to international recommendations using standardized aeroallergens, in the forearm. A positive reaction was defined as a wheal ≥ 3 mm to one or more allergens. Results: The overall prevalence of atopy (positive SPT) was 49.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 46.5-52.2) and there was a significant trend towards a higher prevalence with increasing age (p < 0.01). The main allergens with positive reactions were Dermatophagoides with 24.9% (95% CI 26.7-31.9), grass 24.0% (95% CI 21.6-26.5), weeds 19.0% (95% CI 16.9-21.4), cat 17.7% (95% CI 15.4-20.2), and Alternaria with 11.0% (95% CI 9.1-13.1). Sixty five percent of positive children reacted to one or more allergens. There were no adverse reactions. Conclusions: In the southern metropolitan area of Santiago de Chile, half of children with asthma are sensitized to common aeroallergens.
- Correction: Influence of Asian Dust Particles on Immune Adjuvant Effects and Airway Inflammation in Asthma Model Mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(11):e114879.
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111831.].
- Advances in paediatric pulmonary vascular disease associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Expert Rev Respir Med 2014 Nov 26.:1-9.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common finding in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). The aim of this review is to describe recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of PH and discuss whether they will benefit infants and children with BPD related PH. Echocardiography remains the mainstay of diagnosis but has limitations, further developments in diagnostic techniques and identification of biomarkers are required. There are many potential therapies for PH associated with BPD. Inhaled nitric oxide has been shown to improve short term outcomes only. Sidenafil in resource limited settings was shown in three randomized trials to significantly reduce mortality. The efficacy of other therapies including prostacyclin, PDE3 inhibitors and endothelin receptor blockers has only been reported in case reports or case series. Randomized controlled trials with long term follow up are required to appropriately assess the efficacy of therapies aimed at improving the outcome of children with PH.
- Identification of host miRNAs that may limit human rhinovirus replication. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- World J Biol Chem 2014 Nov 26; 5(4):437-456.
To test whether the replication of human rhinovirus (HRV) is regulated by microRNAs in human bronchial epithelial cells.For the present study, the human cell line BEAS-2B (derived from normal human bronchial epithelial cells) was adopted. DICER knock-down, by siRNA transfection in BEAS-2B cells, was performed in order to inhibit microRNA maturation globally. Alternatively, antisense oligonucleotides (anti-miRs) were transfected to inhibit the activity of specific microRNAs. Cells were infected with HRV-1B. Viral replication was assessed by measuring the genomic viral RNA by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Association between microRNA-induced-silencing-complex and viral RNA was detected by Ago2 co-immunoprecipitation followed by RT-qPCR. Targetscan v.6 was used to predict microRNA target sites on several HRV strains.Here, we show that microRNAs affect replication of HRV-1B. DICER knock-down significantly reduced the expression of mature microRNAs in a bronchial epithelial cell line (BEAS-2B) and in turn, increased the synthesis of HRV-1B RNA. Additionally, HRV-1B RNA co-immunoprecipitated with argonaute 2 protein, an important effector for microRNA activity suggesting that microRNAs bind to viral RNA during infection. In order to identify specific microRNAs involved in this interaction, we employed bioinformatics analysis, and selected a group of microRNAs that have been reported to be under-expressed in asthmatic bronchial epithelial cells and were predicted to target different strains of rhinoviruses (HRV-1B, -16, -14, -27). Our results suggest that, out of this group of microRNAs, miR-128 and miR-155 contribute to the innate defense against HRV-1B: transfection of specific anti-miRs increased viral replication, as anticipated in-silico.Taken together, our results suggest that pathological changes in microRNA expression, as already reported for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have the potential to affect Rhinovirus replication and therefore may play a role in virus-induced exacerbations.
- Eosinophil Cytokines, Chemokines, and Growth Factors: Emerging Roles in Immunity. [REVIEW]
- Front Immunol 2014.:570.
Eosinophils derive from the bone marrow and circulate at low levels in the blood in healthy individuals. These granulated cells preferentially leave the circulation and marginate to tissues, where they are implicated in the regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. In diseases such as allergic inflammation, eosinophil numbers escalate markedly in the blood and tissues where inflammatory foci are located. Eosinophils possess a range of immunomodulatory factors that are released upon cell activation, including over 35 cytokines, growth factors, and chemokines. Unlike T and B cells, eosinophils can rapidly release cytokines within minutes in response to stimulation. While some cytokines are stored as pre-formed mediators in crystalloid granules and secretory vesicles, eosinophils are also capable of undergoing de novo synthesis and secretion of these immunological factors. Some of the molecular mechanisms that coordinate the final steps of cytokine secretion are hypothesized to involve binding of membrane fusion complexes comprised of soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs). These intracellular receptors regulate the release of granules and vesicles containing a range of secreted proteins, among which are cytokines and chemokines. Emerging evidence from both human and animal model-based research has suggested an active participation of eosinophils in several physiological/pathological processes such as immunomodulation and tissue remodeling. The observed eosinophil effector functions in health and disease implicate eosinophil cytokine secretion as a fundamental immunoregulatory process. The focus of this review is to describe the cytokines, growth factors, and chemokines that are elaborated by eosinophils, and to illustrate some of the intracellular events leading to the release of eosinophil-derived cytokines.
- Requirements of New Vaccines against Novel Influenza Viruses. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Trop Med Health 2014 Jun; 42(2 Suppl):87-89.
The currently available influenza vaccines were developed in the 1930s through the 1960s using technologies that were state-of-the art for the times. Decades of advancement in virology and immunology have provided the tools for making better vaccines against influenza virus. Among young children, live attenuated vaccine had significantly better efficacy than inactivated vaccine. An evaluation of the risks and benefits indicates that live attenuated vaccine should be a highly effective, safe vaccine for children 12 to 59 months of age who do not have a history of asthma or wheezing. Otherwise, MF59 adjuvanted influenza vaccine, ATIV was well tolerated in healthy young children and elderly after each of 3 doses and induced greater, longer-lasting, and broader immune responses than a nonadjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine, TIV. The enhanced immunogenicity of the adjuvanted vaccine was most evident in very young children and for the B vaccine strain. In case of AS03 ATIV, the safety signal of increased narcolepsy diagnoses following the start of the pandemic vaccination campaign as observed in Sweden and Finland could be observed with this approach. An increase in narcolepsy diagnoses was not observed in other countries, where vaccination coverage was low in the affected age group, or did not follow influenza. A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination. Patient level analyses in these countries are being conducted to verify the signal in more detail. In conclusion, current improved influenza vaccines are; in the problem target groups are children aged 6-24 months and people over 65 years old of age. Only ATIV has shown significantly greater efficacy than TIV, and its safe.
- Bystander immunotherapy as a strategy to control allergen-driven airway inflammation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mucosal Immunol 2014 Nov 26.
Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), lung infiltration of Th2 cells, and high levels of IgE. To date, allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) is the only treatment that effectively alleviates clinical symptoms and has a long-term effect after termination. Unfortunately, SIT is unsuitable for plurisensitized patients, and highly immunogenic allergens cannot be used. To overcome these hurdles, we sought to induce regulatory CD4(+) T cells (Treg) specific to an exogenous antigen that could be later activated as needed in vivo to control allergic responses. We have established an experimental approach in which mice tolerized to ovalbumin (OVA) were sensitized to the Leishmania homolog of receptors for activated c kinase (LACK) antigen, and subsequently challenged with aerosols of LACK alone or LACK and OVA together. Upon OVA administration, AHR and allergic airway responses were strongly reduced. OVA-induced suppression was mediated by CD25(+) Treg, required CTLA-4 and ICOS signaling and resulted in decreased numbers of migrating airway dendritic cells leading to a strong impairment in the proliferation of allergen-specific Th2 cells. Therefore, inducing Treg specific to a therapeutic antigen that could be further activated in vivo may represent a safe and novel curative approach for allergic asthma.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 26 November 2014; doi:10.1038/mi.2014.115.
- Identification and characterisation of eight novel SERPINA1 null mutations. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Orphanet J Rare Dis 2014 Nov 26; 9(1):172.
BackgroundAlpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is the most abundant circulating antiprotease and is a member of the serine protease inhibitor (SERPIN) superfamily. The gene encoding AAT is the highly polymorphic SERPINA1 gene, found at 14q32.1. Mutations in the SERPINA1 gene can lead to AAT deficiency (AATD) which is associated with a substantially increased risk of lung and liver disease. The most common pathogenic AAT variant is Z (Glu342Lys) which causes AAT to misfold and polymerise within hepatocytes and other AAT-producing cells. A group of rare mutations causing AATD, termed Null or Q0, are characterised by a complete absence of AAT in the plasma. While ultra rare, these mutations confer a particularly high risk of emphysema.MethodsWe performed the determination of AAT serum levels by a rate immune nephelometric method or by immune turbidimetry. The phenotype was determined by isoelectric focusing analysis on agarose gel with specific immunological detection. DNA was isolated from whole peripheral blood or dried blood spot (DBS) samples using a commercial extraction kit. The new mutations were identified by sequencing all coding exons (II-V) of the SERPINA1 gene.ResultsWe have found eight previously unidentified SERPINA1 Null mutations, named: Q0cork, Q0perugia, Q0brescia, Q0torino, Q0cosenza, Q0pordenone, Q0lampedusa, and Q0dublin . Analysis of clinical characteristics revealed evidence of the recurrence of lung symptoms (dyspnoea, cough) and lung diseases (emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis) in M/Null subjects, over 45 years-old, irrespective of smoking.ConclusionsWe have added eight more mutations to the list of SERPINA1 Null alleles. This study underlines that the laboratory diagnosis of AATD is not just a matter of degree, because the precise determination of the deficiency and Null alleles carried by an AATD individual may help to evaluate the risk for the lung disease.