Fundus fluorescent angiography is a standard examination in Japan that can directly visualize the circulatory failure in diabetic retinopathy but is not used in Western countries. In this study, we examine the relationship between the non-perfusion area in fundus fluorescent angiography and the progression of diabetic retinopathy. We evaluated 22 eyes between 22 patients who had their first fundus fluorescent angiography during a clinical episode at Keio University Hospital from January 2012 to May 2015, were diagnosed as having preproliferative diabetic retinopathy, and could be followed for at least three years. The non-perfusion area index (%) in nine segmented fundi in the initial fundus fluorescent angiography was calculated, and the progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy over three years was evaluated. Three out of the 22 eyes (13.6%) developed proliferative diabetic retinopathy over three years. The non-perfusion area index for the initial fundus fluorescent angiography was significantly associated with progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The non-perfusion area index in the posterior pole was most strongly correlated with the progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Thus, the non-perfusion area index in the posterior pole among those with preproliferative diabetic retinopathy may predict the progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy in the subsequent three years.
PURPOSE: Undiagnosed or inadequately treated dry eye disease (DED) decreases the quality of life. We aimed to investigate the reliability, validity, and feasibility of the DryEyeRhythm smartphone application (app) for the diagnosis assistance of DED. METHODS: This prospective, cross-sectional, observational, single-center study recruited 82 participants (42 with DED) aged ≥20 years (July 2020-May 2021). Patients with a history of eyelid disorder, ptosis, mental disease, Parkinson's disease, or any other disease affecting blinking were excluded. Participants underwent DED examinations, including the Japanese version of the Ocular Surface Disease Index (J-OSDI) and maximum blink interval (MBI). We analyzed their app-based J-OSDI and MBI results. Internal consistency reliability and concurrent validity were evaluated using Cronbach's alpha coefficients and Pearson's test, respectively. The discriminant validity of the app-based DED diagnosis was assessed by comparing the results of the clinical-based J-OSDI and MBI. The app feasibility and screening performance were evaluated using the precision rate and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. RESULTS: The app-based J-OSDI showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.874). The app-based J-OSDI and MBI were positively correlated with their clinical-based counterparts (r = 0.891 and r = 0.329, respectively). Discriminant validity of the app-based J-OSDI and MBI yielded significantly higher total scores for the DED cohort (8.6 ± 9.3 vs. 28.4 ± 14.9, P < 0.001; 19.0 ± 11.1 vs. 13.2 ± 9.3, P < 0.001). The app's positive and negative predictive values were 91.3% and 69.1%, respectively. The area under the curve (95% confidence interval) was 0.910 (0.846-0.973) with concurrent use of the app-based J-OSDI and MBI. CONCLUSIONS: DryEyeRhythm app is a novel, non-invasive, reliable, and valid instrument for assessing DED.
The current pandemic of COVID-19 is fueled by more infectious emergent Omicron variants. Ongoing concerns of emergent variants include possible recombinants, as genome recombination is an important evolutionary mechanism for the emergence and re-emergence of human viral pathogens. In this study, we identified diverse recombination events between two Omicron major subvariants (BA.1 and BA.2) and other variants of concern (VOCs) and variants of interest (VOIs), suggesting that co-infection and subsequent genome recombination play important roles in the ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2. Through scanning high-quality completed Omicron spike gene sequences, 18 core mutations of BA.1 (frequency >99%) and 27 core mutations of BA.2 (nine more than BA.1) were identified, of which 15 are specific to Omicron. BA.1 subvariants share nine common amino acid mutations (three more than BA.2) in the spike protein with most VOCs, suggesting a possible recombination origin of Omicron from these VOCs. There are three more Alpha-related mutations in BA.1 than BA.2, and BA.1 is phylogenetically closer to Alpha than other variants. Revertant mutations are found in some dominant mutations (frequency >95%) in the BA.1. Most notably, multiple characteristic amino acid mutations in the Delta spike protein have been also identified in the "Deltacron"-like Omicron Variants isolated since November 11, 2021 in South Africa, which implies the recombination events occurring between the Omicron and Delta variants. Monitoring the evolving SARS-CoV-2 genomes especially for recombination is critically important for recognition of abrupt changes to viral attributes including its epitopes which may call for vaccine modifications.
BACKGROUND: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) are an urgent global health threat. Inferring the dynamics of local CRE dissemination is currently limited by our inability to confidently trace the spread of resistance determinants to unrelated bacterial hosts. Whole-genome sequence comparison is useful for identifying CRE clonal transmission and outbreaks, but high-frequency horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of carbapenem resistance genes and subsequent genome rearrangement complicate tracing the local persistence and mobilization of these genes across organisms. METHODS: To overcome this limitation, we developed a new approach to identify recent HGT of large, near-identical plasmid segments across species boundaries, which also allowed us to overcome technical challenges with genome assembly. We applied this to complete and near-complete genome assemblies to examine the local spread of CRE in a systematic, prospective collection of all CRE, as well as time- and species-matched carbapenem-susceptible Enterobacterales, isolated from patients from four US hospitals over nearly 5 years. RESULTS: Our CRE collection comprised a diverse range of species, lineages, and carbapenem resistance mechanisms, many of which were encoded on a variety of promiscuous plasmid types. We found and quantified rearrangement, persistence, and repeated transfer of plasmid segments, including those harboring carbapenemases, between organisms over multiple years. Some plasmid segments were found to be strongly associated with specific locales, thus representing geographic signatures that make it possible to trace recent and localized HGT events. Functional analysis of these signatures revealed genes commonly found in plasmids of nosocomial pathogens, such as functions required for plasmid retention and spread, as well survival against a variety of antibiotic and antiseptics common to the hospital environment. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, the framework we developed provides a clearer, high-resolution picture of the epidemiology of antibiotic resistance importation, spread, and persistence in patients and healthcare networks.
PURPOSE: To describe the etiology, clinical features, and outcomes for a large contemporary cohort of children presenting with glaucoma at a tertiary referral center. METHODS: The medical records of patients presenting to Boston Children's Hospital from January 2014 to July 2019 with a diagnosis of childhood glaucoma were retrospectively reviewed. Data regarding etiology, treatment, and visual and anatomic outcomes were collected; visual acuity outcomes were analyzed by laterality and diagnosis categories, using the Childhood Glaucoma Research Network (CGRN) classifications. RESULTS: A total of 373 eyes of 246 patients (51% males) diagnosed with glaucoma before 18 years of age were identified. Mean follow-up was 7.04 ± 5.61 years; 137 cases were bilateral. The mean age at diagnosis was 4.55 ± 5.20 years. The most common diagnoses were glaucoma following cataract surgery (GFCS, 36.5%) and primary congenital glaucoma (PCG, 29.0%). Overall, 164 eyes (44.0%) underwent at least one glaucoma surgery. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was ≤21 mm Hg with or without glaucoma medications in 300 eyes (80.4%) at the last follow-up visit. Poor final best-corrected visual acuity (≤20/200) was found in 110 eyes; patients with poor final visual acuity tended to have poor visual acuity at presentation. The most common reason for poor vision was amblyopia. Uncontrolled IOP was an uncommon cause for vision loss. CONCLUSIONS: Childhood glaucoma can be challenging to manage, but poor vision usually results from amblyopia or presence of other ocular abnormalities or syndromes rather than glaucomatous optic neuropathy.
SignificanceThe optic nerve conveys information from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to visual processing areas of the brain. Although this pathway normally cannot regenerate when injured nor in degenerative diseases such as glaucoma, this failure can be partially reversed by eliciting a controlled immune reaction in the eye. We show here that the chemokine SDF1 (stromal cell-derived factor 1) is an important contributor to this phenomenon. SDF1 is produced by infiltrative monocytes and acts through its cognate receptor to enhance RGC survival, promote optic nerve regeneration, and sensitize subtypes of RGCs that normally fail to respond to a complementary treatment to exhibit robust, long-distance regeneration. These findings establish SDF1 as an important therapeutic candidate for repairing the injured optic nerve.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: REALITY is an international observational retrospective registry of LHON patients evaluating the visual course and outcome in Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). SUBJECTS/METHODS: Demographics and visual function data were collected from medical charts of LHON patients with visual loss. The study was conducted in 11 study centres in the United States of America and Europe. The collection period extended from the presymptomatic stage to at least more than one year after onset of vision loss (chronic stage). A Locally Weighted Scatterplot Smoothing (LOWESS) local regression model was used to analyse the evolution of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) over time. RESULTS: 44 LHON patients were included; 27 (61%) carried the m.11778G>A ND4 mutation, 8 (18%) carried the m.3460G>A ND1 mutation, and 9 (20%) carried the m.14484T>C ND6 mutation. Fourteen (32%) patients were under 18 years old at onset of vision loss and 5 (11%) were below the age of 12. The average duration of follow-up was 32.5 months after onset of symptoms. At the last observed measure, mean BCVA was 1.46 LogMAR in ND4 patients, 1.52 LogMAR in ND1 patients, and 0.97 LogMAR in ND6 patients. The worst visual outcomes were reported in ND4 patients aged at least 15 years old at onset, with a mean BCVA of 1.55 LogMAR and no tendency for spontaneous recovery. The LOESS modelling curve depicted a severe and permanent deterioration of BCVA. CONCLUSIONS: Amongst LHON patients with the three primary mtDNA mutations, adult patients with the m.11778G>A ND4 mutation had the worst visual outcomes, consistent with prior reports.