The surface protein SasX, has a key role in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization and pathogenesis, and has been associated with the epidemic success of some MRSA clones. To date, only one SasX homologous protein, named SesI, has been described in Staphylococcus epidermidis. In this work, we analyze the occurrence of the sasX gene and its genetic environment in Staphylococcus haemolyticus S. haemolyticus clinical strains (n = 62) were screened for the presence of the sasX gene and its carrier, the prophage Φ SPβ-like. A deep characterization was done in one strain (MD43), through which we determined the complete nucleotide sequence for the S. haemolitycus sasX-like gene. Whole genome sequencing of strain MD43 was performed, and the gene, termed here because of its unique attributes, shsA, was mapped to the Φ SPβ-like prophage sequence. The shsA gene was detected in 33 out of 62 strains showing an average identity of 92 and 96% with the sasX and sesI genes and at the amino acid level, 88% identity with SasX and 92% identity with SesI. The ~124Kb Φ SPβ-like prophage sequence showed a largely intact prophage compared to its counterpart in S. epidermidis strain RP62A, including the sesI insertion site. In conclusion, we identified a new sasX ortholog in S. haemolyticus (shsA). Its horizontal spread from this reservoir could represent an emergent threat in healthcare facilities since so far, no S. aureus sasX+ strains have been reported in Brazil.
Mucins are an ancient group of glycoproteins that provide viscoelastic, lubricating and hydration properties to fluids bathing wet surfaced epithelia. They are involved in the protection of underlying tissues by forming a barrier with selective permeability properties. The expression, processing and spatial distribution of mucins are often determined by organ-specific requirements that in the eye involve protecting against environmental insult while allowing the passage of light. The human ocular surface epithelia have evolved to produce an extremely thin and watery tear film containing a distinct soluble mucin product secreted by goblet cells outside the visual axis. The adaptation to the ocular environment is notably evidenced by the significant contribution of transmembrane mucins to the tear film, where they can occupy up to one-quarter of its total thickness. This article reviews the tissue-specific properties of human ocular mucins, methods of isolation and detection, and current approaches to model mucin systems recapitulating the human ocular surface mucosa. This knowledge forms the fundamental basis to develop applications with a promising biological and clinical impact.
BACKGROUND: Retinovascular changes are reported on fundus imaging in schizophrenia (SZ). This is the first study to use swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) to comprehensively examine retinal microvascular changes in SZ. METHODS: This study included 30 patients with SZ/schizoaffective disorder (8 early and 15 chronic) and 22 healthy controls (HCs). All assessments were performed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. All participants underwent swept-source OCT-A of right (oculus dextrus [OD]) and left (oculus sinister [OS]) eye, clinical, and cognitive assessments. Macular OCT-A images (6 × 6 mm) were collected with the DRI Topcon Triton for superficial, deep, and choriocapillaris vascular regions. Microvasculature was quantified using vessel density (VD), skeletonized vessel density (SVD), fractal dimension (FD), and vessel diameter index (VDI). RESULTS: Twenty-one HCs and 26 SZ subjects were included. Compared to HCs, SZ patients demonstrated higher overall OD superficial SVD, OD choriocapillaris VD, and OD choriocapillaris SVD, which were primarily observed in the central, central and outer superior, and central and outer inferior/superior, respectively. Early-course SZ subjects had significantly higher OD superficial VD, OD choriocapillaris SVD, and OD choriocapillaris FD compared to matched HCs. Higher bilateral (OU) superficial VD correlated with lower Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) positive scores, and higher OU deep VDI was associated with higher PANSS negative scores. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These results suggest the presence of microvascular dysfunction associated with early-stage SZ. Clinical associations with microvascular alterations further implicate this hypothesis, with higher measures being associated with worse symptom severity and functioning in early stages and with lower symptom severity and better functioning in later stages.
Methods to deliver gene editing agents in vivo as ribonucleoproteins could offer safety advantages over nucleic acid delivery approaches. We report the development and application of engineered DNA-free virus-like particles (eVLPs) that efficiently package and deliver base editor or Cas9 ribonucleoproteins. By engineering VLPs to overcome cargo packaging, release, and localization bottlenecks, we developed fourth-generation eVLPs that mediate efficient base editing in several primary mouse and human cell types. Using different glycoproteins in eVLPs alters their cellular tropism. Single injections of eVLPs into mice support therapeutic levels of base editing in multiple tissues, reducing serum Pcsk9 levels 78% following 63% liver editing, and partially restoring visual function in a mouse model of genetic blindness. In vitro and in vivo off-target editing from eVLPs was virtually undetected, an improvement over AAV or plasmid delivery. These results establish eVLPs as promising vehicles for therapeutic macromolecule delivery that combine key advantages of both viral and nonviral delivery.
PURPOSE: To present a protocol for audiologic monitoring in the setting of teprotumumab treatment of thyroid eye disease, motivated by 4 cases of significant hearing loss, and review the relevant literature. METHODS: Cases of hearing loss in the setting of teprotumumab were retrospectively elicited as part of a multi-institutional focus group, including oculoplastic surgeons, a neurotologist and an endocrinologist. A literature review was performed. RESULTS: An aggregate of 4 cases of teprotumumab-associated hearing loss documented by formal audiologic testing were identified among 3 clinicians who had treated 28 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Teprotumumab may cause a spectrum of potentially irreversible hearing loss ranging from mild to severe, likely resulting from the inhibition of the insulin-like growth factor-1 and the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor pathway. Due to the novelty of teprotumumab and the lack of a comprehensive understanding of its effect on hearing, the authors endorse prospective investigations of hearing loss in the setting of teprotumumab treatment. Until the results of such studies are available, the authors think it prudent to adopt a surveillance protocol to include an audiogram and tympanometry before, during and after infusion, and when prompted by new symptoms of hearing dysfunction.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the timing of ocular hypertension (OHT) after pediatric closed-globe injury (CGI) and traumatic hyphema. We hypothesize that OHT will occur at different times based on injury characteristics. DESIGN: Retrospective, cohort study. METHODS: Setting: Single-center, tertiary-care, pediatric hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Subjects included patients ≤18 years of age at the time of injury who suffered CGI and traumatic hyphema between 2002 and 2019. Observation Procedure(s): Intraocular pressure and injury demographics were abstracted for every visit after injury. OHT was defined as >21 mm Hg at presentation or after a reading of ≤21 mm Hg at a prior visit. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was the timing of OHT categorized into 4 periods: presentation, acute (days 1-7), subacute (days 8-28), or late (day >28). Secondary outcome measures were identification of risks factors for OHT by multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: OHT occurred in 119 of the 305 (39%) subject eyes. OHT occurred in 35 patients at presentation, 69 times acutely, 35 times subacutely, and 36 times late. Pupil damage predicted acute-period OHT (P = .004). OHT at presentation predicted subacute period OHT (P = .004). Iridodialysis and cataract predicted late-period OHT (P = .007 and P < .001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: OHT after CGI and traumatic hyphema in pediatric patients is common. Injury demographics predict this complication. Integration of these risk factors with current literature allows proposal of a risk-stratification tool to guide efficient surveillance for OHT.
PURPOSE: Many clinicians treat unilateral amblyopia with glasses alone and initiate patching when needed; others start glasses and patching simultaneously. In this study, we reviewed the outcomes of the two approaches at our institution. DESIGN: Retrospective nonrandomized clinical trial. METHODS: Setting: Institutional practice. PATIENT POPULATION: All patients diagnosed with amblyopia at Boston Children's Hospital between 2010 and 2014. INCLUSION CRITERIA: Unilateral amblyopia (visual acuity (VA) 20/40 to 20/200 with interocular difference ≥3 lines,) age 3 to 12 years, with a 6-month follow-up visit. EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Deprivation amblyopia, prior amblyopia treatment, treatment other than patching, surgery. Patients were categorized as "simultaneous treatment" (concurrent glasses and patching therapy at their first visit) or "sequential treatment" (glasses alone at first visit, followed by patching therapy at second visit.) Observation procedures: Patient demographics, VA, and stereopsis were compared. OUTCOME MEASURES: VA and stereopsis at the last visit on treatment. RESULTS: We identified 98 patients who met inclusion criteria: 36 received simultaneous treatment and 62 sequential treatment. Median amblyopic eye VA improved similarly between the simultaneous (∆0.40; interquartile range [IQR], 0.56-0.30 logMAR) and sequential (∆0.40; IQR, 0.52-0.27 logMAR) groups. Patients without stereopsis at first visit had better stereopsis outcomes with sequential treatment (5.12 [IQR, 4.00-7.51] log stereopsis) compared with simultaneous treatment (8.01 [IQR, 5.65-9.21]) log stereopsis, P = 0.046). CONCLUSIONS: VA improved approximately 4 lines regardless of treatment type. For children without stereopsis at first presentation, sequential patching yielded better stereopsis outcomes. These findings require further validation and highlight the importance of evaluating stereopsis in future studies.
PURPOSE: Macular diseases often lead to metamorphopsia, which is traditionally tested using the Amsler grid. This study evaluates a novel method for assessing metamorphopsia, based on the software AMD-A Metamorphopsia Detector, application MacuFix®. METHODS: In this observational study, the usability of a new smartphone-based testing method to assess metamorphopsia was evaluated in 45 patients experiencing metamorphopsia in at least one eye using the questionnaire "System Usability Score (SUS)." Additionally, the diagnostic adherence of self-monitoring with the Amsler grid was compared to self-monitoring with the novel software MacuFix®. RESULTS: The average score of the SUS questionnaire in this study was 76.7 ± 15.5, corresponding to the "good" score on the grading scale. The average interval between two home administered tests was significantly shorter (6 days) when the application was used as compared to using the Amsler grid (19 days). The odds ratio of the frequency of patients using the application to the patients using the home test was 4. CONCLUSION: MacuFix® application can help in effective home monitoring of macular function as high user satisfaction and increased testing frequency was observed in its use in patients with macular diseases.
BACKGROUND: Patients presenting to emergency departments for ophthalmic emergencies benefit from prompt evaluation. However, Few emergency departments (EDs) have ophthalmologists on call, and eye care provided in EDs without ophthalmic services can be inaccurate. METHODS: We review the current state of ophthalmic telemedical care in EDs and highlight important considerations when implementing telemedicine in this setting. RESULTS: Telemedicine allows ophthalmologists to work with on-site emergency care providers to interview and examine patients remotely in EDs, enabling proper assessment of patient history, visual acuity, pupils, intraocular pressure, as well as the anterior and posterior segment. To date, patients' perceptions of this new model of care have been largely positive. DISCUSSION: The use of telemedical consultations for remote evaluation of patients with ophthalmic complaints stands to improve the quality of care provided to patients and extend the reach of remote ophthalmologists. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of in-person care further highlights the potential for telemedicine to augment existing models of emergency care.
PURPOSE: To review the evidence on the safety and efficacy of current anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and intravitreal corticosteroid pharmacotherapies for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). METHODS: Literature searches were last conducted on May 13, 2020, in the PubMed database with no date restrictions and limited to articles published in English. The combined searches yielded 230 citations, of which 108 were reviewed in full text. Of these, 31 were deemed appropriate for inclusion in this assessment and were assigned a level of evidence rating by the panel methodologist. RESULTS: Only the 21 articles with level I evidence were included in this assessment. Seventeen articles provided level I evidence for 1 or more anti-VEGF pharmacotherapies, including ranibizumab (14), aflibercept (5), and bevacizumab (2) alone or in combination with other treatments for DME. Level I evidence was identified in 7 articles on intravitreal corticosteroid therapy for treatment of DME: triamcinolone (1), dexamethasone (4), and fluocinolone acetonide (2). CONCLUSIONS: Review of the available literature indicates that intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF agents and corticosteroids are efficacious treatments for DME. Elevated intraocular pressure and cataract progression are important potential complications of corticosteroid therapy. Further evidence is required to assess the comparative efficacy of these therapies. Given the limited high-quality comparative efficacy data, choice of therapy must be individualized for each patient and broad therapeutic access for patients is critical to maximize outcomes.
Keratitis induced by bacterial toxins, including lipopolysaccharide (LPS), is a major cause of corneal opacity and vision loss. Our previous study demonstrates hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) promotes epithelial wound healing following mechanical corneal injury. Here, we investigated whether HGF has the capacity to suppress infectious inflammatory corneal opacity using a new model of LPS-induced keratitis. Keratitis, induced by two intrastromal injections of LPS on day 1 and 4 in C57BL/6 mice, resulted in significant corneal opacity for up to day 10. Following keratitis induction, corneas were topically treated with 0.1% HGF or PBS thrice daily for 5 days. HGF-treated mice showed a significantly smaller area of corneal opacity compared to PBS-treated mice, thus improving corneal transparency. Moreover, HGF treatment resulted in suppression of α-SMA expression, compared to PBS treatment. HGF-treated corneas showed normalized corneal structure and reduced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine, demonstrating that HGF restores corneal architecture and immune quiescence in corneas with LPS-induced keratitis. These findings offer novel insight into the potential application of HGF-based therapies for the prevention and treatment of infection-induced corneal opacity.
The human apolipoprotein E4 isoform (APOE4) is the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD), and lysosomal dysfunction has been implicated in AD pathogenesis. We found, by examining cells stably expressing each APOE isoform, that APOE4 increases lysosomal trafficking, accumulates in enlarged lysosomes and late endosomes, alters autophagic flux and the abundance of autophagy proteins and lipid droplets, and alters the proteomic contents of lysosomes following internalization. We investigated APOE-related lysosomal trafficking further in cell culture, and found that APOE from the post-Golgi compartment is degraded through autophagy. We found that this autophagic process requires the lysosomal membrane protein LAMP2 in immortalized neuron-like and hepatic cells, and in mouse brain tissue. Several macroautophagy-associated proteins were also required for autophagic degradation and internalization of APOE in hepatic cells. The dysregulated autophagic flux and lysosomal trafficking of APOE4 that we observed suggest a possible novel mechanism that might contribute to AD pathogenesis. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Late-stage dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or geographic atrophy (GA) is an irreversible blinding condition characterized by degeneration of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the associated photoreceptors. Clinical and genetic evidence supports a role for dysfunctional lipid processing and accumulation of harmful oxidized lipids in the pathogenesis of GA. Using an oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL)-induced RPE death assay, we screened and identified sterically-hindered phenol compounds with potent protective activities for RPE. The phenol-containing PPARγ agonist, troglitazone, protected against ox-LDL-induced RPE cell death, whereas other more potent PPARγ agonists did not protect RPE cells. Knockdown of PPARγ did not affect the protective activity of troglitazone in RPE, confirming the protective function is not due to the thiazolidine (TZD) group of troglitazone. Prototypical hindered phenol trolox and its analogs potently protected against ox-LDL-induced RPE cell death whereas potent antioxidants without the phenol group failed to protect RPE. Hindered phenols preserved lysosomal integrity against ox-LDL-induced damage and FITC-labeled trolox was localized to the lysosomes in RPE cells. Analogs of trolox inhibited reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation induced by ox-LDL uptake in a dose-dependent fashion and were effective at sub-micromolar concentrations. Treatment with trolox analog 2,2,5,7,8-pentamethyl-6-chromanol (PMC) significantly induced the expression of the lysosomal protein NPC-1 and reduced intracellular cholesterol level upon ox-LDL uptake. Our data indicate that the lysosomal-localized hindered phenols are uniquely potent in protecting the RPE against the toxic effects of ox-LDL, and may represent a novel pharmacotherapy to preserve the vision in patients with GA.
PURPOSE: To review the scientific literature that evaluates the effectiveness of adjustable sutures in the management of strabismus for adult and pediatric patients. METHODS: Literature searches were performed in the PubMed database through April 2021 with no date limitations and were restricted to publications in English. The searches identified 551 relevant citations, of which 55 were reviewed in full text. Of these, 17 articles met the inclusion criteria and were assigned a level of evidence rating by the panel methodologist. The search included all randomized controlled studies regardless of study size and cohort studies of 100 or more patients comparing the adjustable versus nonadjustable suture technique, with a focus on motor alignment outcomes or reoperation rates. RESULTS: The literature search yielded no level I studies. Of the 17 articles that met the inclusion criteria, 11 were rated level II and 6 were rated level III. Among the 12 studies that focused on motor alignment outcomes, 4 small randomized clinical trials (RCTs) did not find a statistically significant difference between groups, although they were powered to detect only very large differences. Seven of 8 nonrandomized studies found a statistically significant difference in motor alignment success in favor of the adjustable suture technique, both overall and in certain subgroups of patients. Successful motor alignment was seen in both exotropia (in 3 studies that were not limited to children) and esotropia (in 1 study of adults and 2 of children). The majority of included studies that reported on reoperation rates found the rates to be lower in patients who underwent strabismus surgery with adjustable sutures, but this finding was not uniformly demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: Although there are no level I studies evaluating the effectiveness of adjustable sutures for strabismus surgery, the majority of nonrandomized studies that met the inclusion criteria for this assessment reported an advantage of the adjustable suture technique over the nonadjustable technique with respect to motor alignment outcomes. This finding was not uniformly demonstrated among all studies reviewed and warrants further investigation in the development and analysis of adjustable suture techniques.
PURPOSE: Whether intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) cause retinal atrophy is still a subject of debate. We reported 13 eyes that received several injections of anti-VEGF for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with good visual acuity despite geographic atrophy on imaging. METHODS: This is a case series study conducted at Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University. Patients of three retina specialists with wet AMD who received six or more intravitreal injection of anti-VEGFs with visual acuity of 20/60 or better and incomplete RPE and outer retina atrophy (iRORA) or complete RPE and outer retinal atrophy (cRORA) were enrolled in this case series. Different imaging modalities were reviewed by three retina specialists comparing the baseline with the most recent exam. RESULTS: About 13 eyes of 10 patients met the selection criteria. Eleven eyes were classified as iRORA and 2 as cRORA. Despite the development of macular atrophy on imaging after an average of 38.1 injections, eyes maintained stable visual acuity. CONCLUSION: The discrepancy between structural and functional findings in this cohort suggests that patients treated by anti-VEGF drugs exhibit divergent clinical outcomes for currently unknown reasons. The authors propose anti-VEGF may affect melanosomes within RPE without disrupting RPE and photoreceptors function completely. This requires further investigation.
Full-thickness wounds to the eye can lead to serious vision impairment. Current standards of care (from suturing to tissue transplantation) usually require highly skilled surgeons and use of an operating theater. In this study, we report the synthesis, optimization, and in vitro and ex vivo testing of photocrosslinkable hydrogel-based adhesive patches that can easily be applied to globe injuries or corneal incisions. According to the type and concentration of polymers used in the adhesive formulations, we were able to finely tune the physical properties of the bioadhesive including viscosity, elastic modulus, extensibility, ultimate tensile strength, adhesion, transparency, water content, degradation time, and swellability. Our in vitro studies showed no sign of cytotoxicity of the hydrogels. Moreover, the hydrogel patches showed higher adhesion on freshly explanted pig eyeballs compared to a marketed ocular sealant. Finally, ex vivo feasibility studies showed that the hydrogel patches could seal complex open-globe injuries such as large incision, cruciform injury, and injury associated with tissue loss. These results suggest that our photocrosslinkable hydrogel patch could represent a promising solution for the sealing of open-globe injuries or surgical incisions. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Current management of severe ocular injuries require advanced surgical skills and access to an operating theater. To address the need for emergent management of wounds that cannot be handled in the operating room, surgical adhesives have gained popularity, but none of the currently available adhesives have optimal bioavailability, adhesive or mechanical properties. This study describes the development, optimization and testing of a light-sensitive adhesive patch that can easily be applied to the eye. After solidification using visible light, the patch shows no toxicity and is more adherent to the tissue than a marketed sealant. Thus this technology could represent a promising solution to stabilize ocular injuries in emergency settings before definitive surgical repair.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to further expand the mutational spectrum of the Foveal Hypoplasia, Optic Nerve Decussation defect, and Anterior segment abnormalities (FHONDA syndrome), to describe the phenotypic spectrum, and to compare it to albinism. Subjects and Methods: We retrospectively collected molecular, ophthalmic, and electrophysiological data of 28 patients molecularly confirmed with FHONDA from the Netherlands (9), Israel (13), France (2), and the United States of America (4). We compared the data to that of 133 Dutch patients with the 3 most common types of albinism in the Netherlands: oculocutaneous albinism type 1 (49), type 2 (41), and ocular albinism (43). Results: Patients with FHONDA had a total of 15 different mutations in SLC38A8, of which 6 were novel. Excluding missing data, all patients had moderate to severe visual impairment (median visual acuity [VA] = 0.7 logMAR, interquartile range [IQR] = 0.6-0.8), nystagmus (28/28), and grade 4 foveal hypoplasia (17/17). Misrouting was present in all nine tested patients. None of the patients had any signs of hypopigmentation of skin and hair. VA in albinism was better (median = 0.5 logMAR, IQR = 0.3-0.7, P 0.006) and the phenotypes were more variable: 14 of 132 without nystagmus, foveal hypoplasia grades 1 to 4, and misrouting absent in 16 of 74. Conclusions: Compared to albinism, the FHONDA syndrome appears to have a more narrow phenotypic spectrum, consisting of nonprogressive moderately to severely reduced VA, nystagmus, severe foveal hypoplasia, and misrouting. The co-occurrence of nystagmus, foveal hypoplasia, and misrouting in the absence of hypopigmentation implies that these abnormalities are not caused by lack of melanin, which has important implications for understanding the pathogenesis of these features.