2021

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Islam R, Islam MM, Nilsson PH, Mohlin C, Hagen KT, Paschalis EI, Woods RL, Bhowmick SC, Dohlman CH, Espevik T, Chodosh J, Gonzalez-Andrades M, Mollnes TE. Combined blockade of complement C5 and TLR co-receptor CD14 synergistically inhibits pig-to-human corneal xenograft induced innate inflammatory responses. Acta Biomater 2021;127:169-179.Abstract
Inadequate supplies of donor corneas have evoked an escalating interest in corneal xenotransplantation. However, innate immune responses contribute significantly to the mechanism of xenograft rejection. We hypothesized that complement component C5 and TLR co-receptor CD14 inhibition would inhibit porcine cornea induced innate immune responses. Therefore, we measured cytokine release in human blood, induced by three forms of corneal xenografts with or without inhibitors. Native porcine cornea (NPC) induced interleukins (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-1ra), chemokines (MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-1β) and other cytokines (TNF, G-CSF, INF-γ, FGF-basic). Decellularized (DPC) and gamma-irradiated cornea (g-DPC) elevated the release of those cytokines. C5-blockade by eculizumab inhibited all the cytokines except G-CSF when induced by NPC. However, C5-blockade failed to reduce DPC and g-DPC induced cytokines. Blockade of CD14 inhibited DPC-induced cytokines except for IL-8, MCP-1, MIP-1α, and G-CSF, while it inhibited all of them when induced by g-DPC. Combined blockade of C5 and CD14 inhibited the maximum number of cytokines regardless of the xenograft type. Finally, by using the TLR4 specific inhibitor Eritoran, we showed that TLR4 activation was the basis for the CD14 effect. Thus, blockade of C5, when combined with TLR4 inhibition, may have therapeutic potential in pig-to-human corneal xenotransplantation. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Bio-engineered corneal xenografts are on the verge of becoming a viable alternative to allogenic human-donor-cornea, but the host's innate immune response is still a critical barrier for graft acceptance. By overruling this barrier, limited graft availability would no longer be an issue for treating corneal diseases. We showed that the xenograft induced inflammation is initiated by the complement system and toll-like receptor activation. Intriguingly, the inflammatory response was efficiently blocked by simultaneously targeting bottleneck molecules in the complement system (C5) and the TLR co-receptor CD14 with pharmaceutical inhibitors. We postulate that a combination of C5 and CD14 inhibition could have a great therapeutic potential to overcome the immunologic barrier in pig-to-human corneal xenotransplantation.
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Jabroun MN, AlWattar BK, Fulton AB. Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography in Prematurity. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):264-269.Abstract
Purpose: During normal foveal development there is a close interaction between the neurosensory and vascular elements of the fovea making it vulnerable to prematurity and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). We aim to assess this potential effect on foveal development in preterms evaluated simultaneously with both optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA).Method: Unrestricted literature search in the PubMed and Cochrane library databases yielded 20 distinct citations. Fifteen were relevant and reviewed.Results: In preterms, OCTA demonstrated a significant decrease in the foveal avascular zone area and an increase in foveal vessel density. OCT showed a decrease in foveal pit depth and an increase in the thickness of the subfoveal retinal layers. Some studies correlated these changes with reduced vision.Conclusion: Changes in the vascular and neurosensory retina were found in premature children. It remains unclear whether this is related to prematurity alone or ROP and its treatment.
Jacoba CMP, Celi LA, Silva PS. Biomarkers for Progression in Diabetic Retinopathy: Expanding Personalized Medicine through Integration of AI with Electronic Health Records. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):250-257.Abstract
The goal of personalized diabetes eye care is to accurately predict in real-time the risk of diabetic retinopathy (DR) progression and visual loss. The use of electronic health records (EHR) provides a platform for artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that predict DR progression to be incorporated into clinical decision-making. By implementing an algorithm on data points from each patient, their risk for retinopathy progression and visual loss can be modeled, allowing them to receive timely treatment. Data can guide algorithms to create models for disease and treatment that may pave the way for more personalized care. Currently, there exist numerous challenges that need to be addressed before reliably building and deploying AI algorithms, including issues with data quality, privacy, intellectual property, and informed consent.
Jacobs DS, Carrasquillo KG, Cottrell PD, Fernández-Velázquez FJ, Gil-Cazorla R, Jalbert I, Pucker AD, Riccobono K, Robertson DM, Szczotka-Flynn L, Speedwell L, Stapleton F. CLEAR - Medical use of contact lenses. Cont Lens Anterior Eye 2021;44(2):289-329.Abstract
The medical use of contact lenses is a solution for many complex ocular conditions, including high refractive error, irregular astigmatism, primary and secondary corneal ectasia, disfiguring disease, and ocular surface disease. The development of highly oxygen permeable soft and rigid materials has extended the suitability of contact lenses for such applications. There is consistent evidence that bandage soft contact lenses, particularly silicone hydrogel lenses, improve epithelial healing and reduce pain in persistent epithelial defects, after trauma or surgery, and in corneal dystrophies. Drug delivery applications of contact lens hold promise for improving topical therapy. Modern scleral lens practice has achieved great success for both visual rehabilitation and therapeutic applications, including those requiring retention of a tear reservoir or protection from an adverse environment. This report offers a practical and relevant summary of the current evidence for the medical use of contact lenses for all eye care professionals including optometrists, ophthalmologists, opticians, and orthoptists. Topics covered include indications for use in both acute and chronic conditions, lens selection, patient selection, wear and care regimens, and recommended aftercare schedules. Prevention, presentation, and management of complications of medical use are reviewed.
Jacobs HIL, Schoemaker D, Torrico-Teave H, Zuluaga Y, Velilla-Jimenez L, Ospina-Villegas C, Lopera F, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Quiroz YT. Specific Abnormalities in White Matter Pathways as Interface to Small Vessels Disease and Cognition in Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy Individuals. Brain Connect 2021;Abstract
Background: Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is characterized by leukoencephalopathy leading to cognitive impairment. Subtle cognitive deficits can be observed early in the course of the disease, before the occurrence of the first stroke. Therefore, markers that can predict disease progression at this early stage, when interventions are likely to alter disease course, are needed. We aimed to examine the biological cascade of microstructural and macrostructural white matter (WM) abnormalities underlying cognitive deficits in CADASIL. Methods: We examined 20 nondemented CADASIL mutation carriers and 23 noncarriers who underwent neuropsychological evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging. Using probabilistic tractography of key WM tracts, we examined group differences in diffusivity measures and WM hyperintensity volume. Successive mediation models examined whether tract-specific WM abnormalities mediated subtle cognitive differences between CADASIL mutation carriers and noncarriers. Results: The largest effect size differentiating the two groups was observed for left superior longitudinal fasciculus-temporal (SLFt) diffusivity (Cohen's f = 0.49). No group differences were observed with a global diffusion measure. These specific microstructural differences in the SLFt were associated with higher WM hyperintensities burden, and subtle executive deficits in CADASIL mutation carriers. Discussion: Worse diffusivity in the left SLFt is related to greater severity of small vessel disease and worse executive functioning in the asymptomatic stage of the disease. Worse diffusivity of the left SLFt may potentially hold promise as an indicator of disease progression.
Jacobs DS, Jhanji V. Is Overnight Orthokeratology OK for Kids?. Eye Contact Lens 2021;47(2):69-70.
Jafari A, von Sneidern M, Lehmann AE, Shen SA, Shishido S, Freitag SK, Bleier BS. Exclusively endoscopic endonasal resection of benign orbital tumors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 2021;11(5):924-934.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The Cavernous Hemangioma Exclusively Endonasal Resection (CHEER) classification system was developed to standardize prospective outcome analysis following orbital cavernous hemangioma (OCH) resection. The goal of this study was to retroactively apply the CHEER system to all prior existing reports of endoscopic resection of primary benign orbital tumors (BOTs) to: (1) compare patient presentations, perioperative characteristics, and outcomes between OCH and other BOTs; and (2) determine whether the CHEER categorization regime could be expanded to other BOTs. METHODS: A systematic review of studies reporting exclusively endoscopic resections of OCH and other BOTs (eg, solitary fibrous tumor, schwannoma, and meningioma) was performed. Patient, tumor characteristics, and operative outcomes were recorded. All tumors with adequate reporting were retrospectively assigned a CHEER stage. Outcomes were compared using chi-square or Fisher's exact tests. RESULTS: Ninety-three studies met inclusion criteria, and sufficient data were available in 36 studies, comprising 105 tumors (n = 87 OCHs; n = 18 other BOTs). Baseline patient and tumor characteristics, as well as intraoperative and short-term postoperative outcomes were not significantly different between OCHs and other BOTs. Long-term outcomes (eg, visual deficits, diplopia, eye position, and recurrence) also did not differ when controlling for CHEER stage. CONCLUSION: This review represents the largest collection of outcomes data following exclusively endoscopic endonasal resection of BOTs. Short-term and long-term outcomes appear similar between OCHs and other BOTs. These results suggest that exclusively endoscopic resection of orbital tumors may be effective in a range of benign pathologies. Furthermore, these results support a broader application of the CHEER system to other benign primary orbital tumors.
Jakobiec FA, Barrantes PC, Ma L, Mihm M. Epibulbar Proliferative Fasciitis, a Variant of Nodular Fasciitis: A Differential Diagnosis of Conditions With Focal or Diffuse Myxoid Stromas. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe the clinical and pathologic features of a case of epibulbar proliferative fasciitis and to compare it with other focal or diffuse myxoid lesions. METHODS: A clinical, histopathologic, and immunohistochemical analysis was performed. The clinical history, photographic documentation, history, and referred slides were reanalyzed. Additional immunohistochemical stains were performed at our institution. RESULTS: A 68-year-old woman developed over a week a brightly vascularized and focally hemorrhagic placoid lesion on the temporal side of the OS. She had had earlier augmentation breast surgery that had been mistakenly initially reported to us to be for breast carcinoma. Hematoxylin- and eosin-stained reactions revealed microscopically a spindle cell lesion with an intact nonkeratinizing epithelium and a background myxoid stroma with prominent capillaries and a light dispersion of small T-cell lymphocytes. Most striking among the spindle cells were some widely separated large atypical cells. The atypical cells were cytokeratin positive, but an expansive panel of immunohistochemical stains for breast carcinoma was negative. The lesion was diagnosed as proliferative fasciitis and has not recurred after 1-year follow up. CONCLUSION: A rapidly evolving conjunctival lesion is unlikely to be a primary or metastatic carcinoma. In the current case, the large ganglioform or rhabdomyoblast-like cells displayed diffuse cytokeratin positivity, still consistent with a mesenchymal or connective tissue cell lineage. Cytokeratin expression has been a finding previously reported in connective tissue tumors and in lymphoma cells. While the current lesion clinically resembles a conventional nodular fasciitis, the presence of the large atypical cells can lead to the misdiagnosis of a sarcoma, which typically displays a much higher Ki-67 proliferation index in comparison with nodular/proliferative fasciitis.
Jakobiec FA, Hanbazazh M, Barrantes PC, Yoon MK. Conjunctival Implantation Cyst in the Orbicularis Oculi Muscle: Review of a Possible Origin From Displaced Stem Cells With a Differential Diagnosis. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2021;37(1):1-11.Abstract
PURPOSE: To document a unique case of a corneal/conjunctival epithelial inclusion cyst located in the orbicularis oculi muscle with a comprehensive review of variant conjunctival cysts and simulating conditions. METHODS: Clinicopathologic case report with detailed histopathologic and immunohistochemical evaluation for cytokeratins combined with a tabulation of mimicking lesions and relevant literature citations. RESULTS: A 59-year-old man experienced severe blunt left periorbital trauma that resulted in a limbal partial-thickness corneal wound with an associated epithelial abrasion and a full-thickness eyelid laceration extending from the superior fornix to the margin. Several months after surgical repair of the eyelid a cyst appeared in the superior pretarsal skin. Histopathologic and immunohistochemical investigations supplied data suggesting that the cyst had a high probability of a corneoscleral limbal stem cell origin. Distinctive features of the lesion are contrasted with those of allied or simulating cysts. CONCLUSIONS: Stem cells are now believed to be located at the corneoscleral limbus, in the inferior fornix, in the medial canthal region, and at the eyelid margin where transitions from conjunctival epithelium to epidermal epithelium occur. Due to their replicative, hardy and robust nature, stem cells displaced to alien environments are most likely to survive and produce cysts. The cyst's corneal-type cytologic characteristics, the absence of goblet cells, and the expression of a broad spectrum of cytokeratin biomarkers in the current case give support to the proposal that limbal stem cells in the region of the corneal laceration were displaced to the eyelid orbicularis muscle and were responsible for this most extraordinary cyst. Comparison with other epithelial cystic linings lends further evidence for this conclusion.
Jamerson EC, Solyman O, Yacoub MS, Abushanab MMI, Elhusseiny AM. Angle Surgery in Pediatric Glaucoma Following Cataract Surgery. Vision (Basel) 2021;5(1)Abstract
Glaucoma is a common and sight-threatening complication of pediatric cataract surgery Reported incidence varies due to variability in study designs and length of follow-up. Consistent and replicable risk factors for developing glaucoma following cataract surgery (GFCS) are early age at the time of surgery, microcornea, and additional surgical interventions. The exact mechanism for GFCS has yet to be completely elucidated. While medical therapy is the first line for treatment of GFCS, many eyes require surgical intervention, with various surgical modalities each posing a unique host of risks and benefits. Angle surgical techniques include goniotomy and trabeculotomy, with trabeculotomy demonstrating increased success over goniotomy as an initial procedure in pediatric eyes with GFCS given the success demonstrated throughout the literature in reducing IOP and number of IOP-lowering medications required post-operatively. The advent of microcatheter facilitated circumferential trabeculotomies lead to increased success compared to traditional <180° rigid probe trabeculotomy in GFCS. The advent of two-site rigid-probe trabeculotomy indicated that similar results could be attained without the use of the more expensive microcatheter system. Further studies of larger scale, with increased follow-up, and utilizing randomization would be beneficial in determining optimum surgical management of pediatric GFCS.
Jeng-Miller KW, Alkharashi M, Fulton A, Yonekawa Y. Fundus Pigmentary Whorls in a Patient With Mosaicism for Tetrasomy 3q. JAMA Ophthalmol 2021;
Jhanji V, Jacobs DS, Jeng BH. Neurotrophic Keratitis: Do Not Be Insensitive. Eye Contact Lens 2021;47(3):135.
Ji MH, Callaway NF, Ludwig CA, Vail D, Al-Moujahed A, Rosenblatt TR, Leng T, Sanislo SR, Moshfeghi DM. Visual acuity and progression of macular atrophy in patients receiving intravitreal anti-VEGF for age-related macular degeneration. Eur J Ophthalmol 2021;:11206721211001708.Abstract
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.
Jones L, Hui A, Phan C-M, Read ML, Azar D, Buch J, Ciolino JB, Naroo SA, Pall B, Romond K, Sankaridurg P, Schnider CM, Terry L, Willcox M. CLEAR - Contact lens technologies of the future. Cont Lens Anterior Eye 2021;44(2):398-430.Abstract
Contact lenses in the future will likely have functions other than correction of refractive error. Lenses designed to control the development of myopia are already commercially available. Contact lenses as drug delivery devices and powered through advancements in nanotechnology will open up further opportunities for unique uses of contact lenses. This review examines the use, or potential use, of contact lenses aside from their role to correct refractive error. Contact lenses can be used to detect systemic and ocular surface diseases, treat and manage various ocular conditions and as devices that can correct presbyopia, control the development of myopia or be used for augmented vision. There is also discussion of new developments in contact lens packaging and storage cases. The use of contact lenses as devices to detect systemic disease has mostly focussed on detecting changes to glucose levels in tears for monitoring diabetic control. Glucose can be detected using changes in colour, fluorescence or generation of electric signals by embedded sensors such as boronic acid, concanavalin A or glucose oxidase. Contact lenses that have gained regulatory approval can measure changes in intraocular pressure to monitor glaucoma by measuring small changes in corneal shape. Challenges include integrating sensors into contact lenses and detecting the signals generated. Various techniques are used to optimise uptake and release of the drugs to the ocular surface to treat diseases such as dry eye, glaucoma, infection and allergy. Contact lenses that either mechanically or electronically change their shape are being investigated for the management of presbyopia. Contact lenses that slow the development of myopia are based upon incorporating concentric rings of plus power, peripheral optical zone(s) with add power or non-monotonic variations in power. Various forms of these lenses have shown a reduction in myopia in clinical trials and are available in various markets.
Joseph S, Varadaraj V, Dave SR, Lage E, Lim D, Aziz K, Dudgeon S, Ravilla TD, Friedman DS. Investigation of the accuracy of a low-cost, portable, autorefractor to provide well-tolerated eyeglass prescriptions: a randomized crossover trial. Ophthalmology 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare patient preferences for eye glasses prescribed using a low-cost portable wavefront autorefractor versus standard subjective refraction. DESIGN: Randomized, cross-over clinical trial PARTICIPANTS: Patients aged 18-40 years presenting with refractive errors to a tertiary eye hospital in Southern India. METHODS: Participants underwent subjective refraction (SR) followed by autorefraction (AR) using the monocular version of the QuickSee device. An independent optician, masked to the refraction approach, prepared eyeglasses based on each refraction approach. Participants (masked-to-refraction source) were randomly assigned to use either SR- or AR-based eyeglasses first, followed by the other pair, for a week each. At the end of each week, participants had vision checked and were interviewed about their experience with the eyeglasses. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of patients preferring eyeglasses prescribed using AR and SR RESULTS: The 400 participants enrolled between March 26, 2018 and August 02, 2019, had mean (SD) age of 28.4 (6.6) years and 68.8% were women. There was strong correlation between spherical equivalents using SR and AR (r=0.97, p<0.001) with a mean difference of -0.07 diopters (95% limits of agreement: -0.68 to 0.83). Of the 301 (75.2%) patients who completed both follow-up visits, 50.5% (n=152) and 49.5% (n=149) preferred glasses prescribed using SR and AR, respectively (95% CI: 45.7% - 56.3%; p=0.86). There were no differences in demographic or vision characteristics between participants with different preferences (p>0.05 for all). CONCLUSIONS: We observed strong agreement between the prescriptions from SR and QR, and eyeglasses prescribed using SR and AR were equally preferred by patients. Wider use of prescribing based on AR alone in resource-limited settings is supported by these findings.
Jurgens JA, Barry BJ, Lemire G, Chan W-M, Whitman MC, Shaaban S, Robson CD, MacKinnon S, England EM, McMillan HJ, Kelly C, Pratt BM, Pratt BM, O'Donnell-Luria A, MacArthur DG, Boycott KM, Hunter DG, Engle EC. Novel variants in TUBA1A cause congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles with or without malformations of cortical brain development. Eur J Hum Genet 2021;29(5):816-826.Abstract
Variants in multiple tubulin genes have been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, including malformations of cortical development (MCD) and congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles (CFEOM). Distinct missense variants in the beta-tubulin encoding genes TUBB3 and TUBB2B cause MCD, CFEOM, or both, suggesting substitution-specific mechanisms. Variants in the alpha tubulin-encoding gene TUBA1A have been associated with MCD, but not with CFEOM. Using exome sequencing (ES) and genome sequencing (GS), we identified 3 unrelated probands with CFEOM who harbored novel heterozygous TUBA1A missense variants c.1216C>G, p.(His406Asp); c.467G>A, p.(Arg156His); and c.1193T>G, p.(Met398Arg). MRI revealed small oculomotor-innervated muscles and asymmetrical caudate heads and lateral ventricles with or without corpus callosal thinning. Two of the three probands had MCD. Mutated amino acid residues localize either to the longitudinal interface at which α and β tubulins heterodimerize (Met398, His406) or to the lateral interface at which tubulin protofilaments interact (Arg156), and His406 interacts with the motor domain of kinesin-1. This series of individuals supports TUBA1A variants as a cause of CFEOM and expands our knowledge of tubulinopathies.
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Kalra G, Ichhpujani P, Thakur S, Singh RB, Sharma U, Kumar S. A pilot study for smartphone photography to assess bleb morphology and vasculature post-trabeculectomy. Int Ophthalmol 2021;41(2):483-490.Abstract
PURPOSE: The current grading systems used for bleb morphology assessment in patients post-trabeculectomy are based on standardized slit-lamp photographs and anterior segment imaging devices. The lack of availability of these expensive and non-portable devices in resource-deficient settings is a significant deterrent in their widespread utilization for proper post-operative management. The rapidly evolving utilization of smartphone photography has significantly benefited diagnostics of posterior segment disorders and is now being increasingly utilized for monitoring anterior segment pathologies as well as post-surgical course. In this study, we study a novel use of smartphones for bleb photography for assessing the morphological characteristics as vascularity and microcysts. METHODS: In this pilot, observational study, we compared the trabeculectomy bleb images of five subjects, obtained by iPhone X (dual lens) and iPhone 6S (single lens). We captured two image sets with both smartphones first with a focussed torchlight and then with a built-in flash video light. RESULTS: The images resulting from the newer iPhone X were substantially superior than those from iPhone 6S. For the 12-megapixel dual-camera set-up on the iPhone X, the 1 × lens resulted in better images than the 2 × lens with contrast and overall clarity of the area of interest. While the macro-lens attachment had promising results at 1 × zoom, there is no added advantage of the macro-lens attachment as it resulted in considerable loss of image quality at twice the zoom. Using a 20 D lens helped attain higher magnification and better framing as it reduced the focussing distance needed to get sharp images. The images obtained from both smartphones were of higher quality when illuminated from an external source when compared to the native iPhone flash due to even exposure and fewer autofocus artefacts. CONCLUSION: Analyses of all image sets showed that the current generation in-built camera app on IOS and newer iPhone camera optics resulted in high-quality images of the ocular surface with high magnification without any loss in clarity.
Kanu LN, Ciolino JB. Nerve Growth Factor as an Ocular Therapy: Applications, Challenges, and Future Directions. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):224-231.Abstract
Nerve growth factor (NGF), the prototypical neurotrophin first discovered in the 1950s, has recently garnered increased interest as a therapeutic agent promoting neuronal health and regeneration. After gaining orphan drug status within the last decade, NGF-related research and drug development has accelerated. The purpose of this article is to review the preclinical and clinical evidence of NGF in various applications, including central and peripheral nervous system, skin, and ophthalmic disorders. We focus on the ophthalmic applications including not only the FDA-approved indication of neurotrophic keratitis but also retinal disease and glaucoma. NGF represents a promising therapy whose therapeutic profile is evolving. The challenges related to this therapy are reviewed, along with possible solutions and future directions.
Keffeler EC, Iyer VS, Parthasarathy S, Ramsey MM, Gorman MJ, Barke TL, Varahan S, Olson S, Gilmore MS, Abdullahi ZH, Hancock EN, Hancock LE. Influence of the Alternative Sigma Factor RpoN on Global Gene Expression and Carbon Catabolism in Enterococcus faecalis V583. mBio 2021;12(3)Abstract
The alternative sigma factor σ54 has been shown to regulate the expression of a wide array of virulence-associated genes, as well as central metabolism, in bacterial pathogens. In Gram-positive organisms, the σ54 is commonly associated with carbon metabolism. In this study, we show that the Enterococcus faecalis alternative sigma factor σ54 (RpoN) and its cognate enhancer binding protein MptR are essential for mannose utilization and are primary contributors to glucose uptake through the Mpt phosphotransferase system. To gain further insight into how RpoN contributes to global transcriptional changes, we performed microarray transcriptional analysis of strain V583 and an isogenic rpoN mutant grown in a chemically defined medium with glucose as the sole carbon source. Transcripts of 340 genes were differentially affected in the rpoN mutant; the predicted functions of these genes mainly related to nutrient acquisition. These differentially expressed genes included those with predicted catabolite-responsive element (cre) sites, consistent with loss of repression by the major carbon catabolite repressor CcpA. To determine if the inability to efficiently metabolize glucose/mannose affected infection outcome, we utilized two distinct infection models. We found that the rpoN mutant is significantly attenuated in both rabbit endocarditis and murine catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). Here, we examined a ccpA mutant in the CAUTI model and showed that the absence of carbon catabolite control also significantly attenuates bacterial tissue burden in this model. Our data highlight the contribution of central carbon metabolism to growth of E. faecalis at various sites of infection.IMPORTANCE Hospital-acquired infections account for 2 billion dollars annually in increased health care expenses and cause more than 100,000 deaths in the United States alone. Enterococci are the second leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. They form biofilms at surgical sites and are often associated with infections of the urinary tract following catheterization. Nutrient uptake and growth are key factors that influence their ability to cause disease. Our research identified a large set of genes that illuminate nutrient uptake pathways in enterococci. Perturbation of the metabolic circuit reduces virulence in a rabbit endocarditis model, as well as in catheter-associated urinary tract infection in mice. Targeting metabolic pathways that are important in infection may lead to new treatments against multidrug-resistant enterococcal infections.
Keilty M, Houston KE, Collins C, Trehan R, Chen Y-T, Merabet L, Watts A, Pundlik S, Luo G. Inpatient Virtual Vision Clinic Improves Access to Vision Rehabilitation Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl 2021;3(1):100100.Abstract
Objective: To describe and evaluate a secure video call system combined with a suite of iPad vision testing apps to improve access to vision rehabilitation assessment for inpatients. Design: Retrospective. Setting: Two acute care inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and 1 long-term acute care (LTAC) hospital. Participants: Records of inpatients seen by the vision service. Interventions: Records from a 1-year telemedicine pilot performed at acute rehabilitation (AR) hospital 1 and then expanded to AR hospital 2 and LTAC hospital during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reviewed. In the virtual visits, an occupational therapist measured the patients' vision with the iPad applications and forwarded results to the off-site Doctor of Optometry (OD) for review prior to a video visit. The OD provided diagnosis and education, press-on prism application supervision, strategies and modifications, and follow-up recommendations. Providers completed the telehealth usability questionnaire (10-point scale). Main Outcome Measures: Vision examinations per month at AR hospital 1 before and with telemedicine. Results: With telemedicine at AR hospital 1, mean visits per month significantly increased from 10.7±5 to 14.9±5 (=.002). Prism was trialed in 40% of cases of which 83% were successful, similar to previously reported in-person success rates. COVID-19 caused only a marginal decrease in visits per month (=.08) at AR1, whereas the site without an established program (AR hospital 2) had a 3-4 week gap in care while the program was initiated. Cases at the LTAC hospital tended to be more complex and difficult to manage virtually. The telehealth usability questionnaire median category scores were 7 for , 8 for , 6 for , and 9 for . Conclusions: The virtual vision clinic process improved inpatient access to eye and visual neurorehabilitation assessment before and during the COVID-19 quarantine and was well accepted by providers and patients.

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