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Lieberman MT, Van Tyne D, Dzink-Fox JA, Ma EJ, Gilmore MS, Fox JG. Long-Term Colonization Dynamics of Enterococcus faecalis in Implanted Devices in Research Macaques. Appl Environ Microbiol 2018;84(18)Abstract
is a common opportunistic pathogen that colonizes cephalic recording chambers (CRCs) of macaques used in cognitive neuroscience research. We previously characterized 15 strains isolated from macaques at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2011. The goal of this study was to examine how a 2014 protocol change prohibiting the use of antimicrobials within CRCs affected colonizing strains. We collected 20 isolates from 10 macaques between 2013 and 2017 for comparison to 4 isolates previously characterized in 2011 with respect to the sequence type (ST) distribution, antimicrobial resistance, biofilm formation, and changes in genes that might confer a survival advantage. ST4 and ST55 were predominant among the isolates characterized in 2011, whereas the less antimicrobial-resistant lineage ST48 emerged to dominance after 2013. Two macaques remained colonized by ST4 and ST55 strains for 5 and 4 years, respectively. While the antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors identified in these ST4 and ST55 strains remained relatively stable, we detected an increase in biofilm formation ability over time in both isolates. We also found that ST48 strains were typically robust biofilm formers, which could explain why this ST increased in prevalence. Finally, we identified mutations in the DNA mismatch repair genes and in separate ST55 and ST4 strains and confirmed that strains bearing these mutations displayed a hypermutator phenotype. The presence of a hypermutator phenotype may complicate future antimicrobial treatment for clinically relevant infections in macaques. is a common cause of health care-associated infections in humans, largely due to its ability to persist in the hospital environment, colonize patients, acquire antimicrobial resistance, and form biofilms. Understanding how enterococci evolve in health care settings provides insight into factors affecting enterococcal survival and persistence. Macaques used in neuroscience research have long-term cranial implants that, despite best practices, often become colonized by This provides a unique opportunity to noninvasively examine the evolution of enterococci on a long-term indwelling device. We collected strains from cephalic implants over a 7-year period and characterized the sequence type, antimicrobial resistance, virulence factors, biofilm production, and hypermutator phenotypes. Improved antimicrobial stewardship allowed a less-antimicrobial-resistant strain to predominate at the implant interface, potentially improving antimicrobial treatment outcomes if future clinical infections occur. Biofilm formation appears to play an important role in the persistence of the strains associated with these implants.
Gross JG, Glassman AR, Liu D, Sun JK, Antoszyk AN, Baker CW, Bressler NM, Elman MJ, Ferris FL, Gardner TW, Jampol LM, Martin DF, Melia M, Stockdale CR, Beck RW, Beck RW. Five-Year Outcomes of Panretinal Photocoagulation vs Intravitreous Ranibizumab for Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol 2018;136(10):1138-1148.Abstract
Importance: Ranibizumab is a viable treatment option for eyes with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) through 2 years. However, longer-term results are needed. Objective: To evaluate efficacy and safety of 0.5-mg intravitreous ranibizumab vs panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) over 5 years for PDR. Design, Setting, and Participants: Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network multicenter randomized clinical trial evaluated 394 study eyes with PDR enrolled February through December 2012. Analysis began in January 2018. Interventions: Eyes were randomly assigned to receive intravitreous ranibizumab (n = 191) or PRP (n = 203). Frequency of ranibizumab was based on a protocol-specified retreatment algorithm. Diabetic macular edema could be managed with ranibizumab in either group. Main Outcomes and Measures: Mean change in visual acuity (intention-to-treat analysis) was the main outcome. Secondary outcomes included peripheral visual field loss, development of vision-impairing diabetic macular edema, and ocular and systemic safety. Results: The 5-year visit was completed by 184 of 277 participants (66% excluding deaths). Of 305 enrolled participants, the mean (SD) age was 52 (12) years, 135 (44%) were women, and 160 (52%) were white. For the ranibizumab and PRP groups, the mean (SD) number of injections over 5 years was 19.2 (10.9) and 5.4 (7.9), respectively; the mean (SD) change in visual acuity letter score was 3.1 (14.3) and 3.0 (10.5) letters, respectively (adjusted difference, 0.6; 95% CI, -2.3 to 3.5; P = .68); the mean visual acuity was 20/25 (approximate Snellen equivalent) in both groups at 5 years. The mean (SD) change in cumulative visual field total point score was -330 (645) vs -527 (635) dB in the ranibizumab (n = 41) and PRP (n = 38) groups, respectively (adjusted difference, 208 dB; 95% CI, 9-408). Vision-impairing diabetic macular edema developed in 27 and 53 eyes in the ranibizumab and PRP groups, respectively (cumulative probabilities: 22% vs 38%; hazard ratio, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.3-0.7). No statistically significant differences between groups in major systemic adverse event rates were identified. Conclusions and Relevance: Although loss to follow-up was relatively high, visual acuity in most study eyes that completed follow-up was very good at 5 years and was similar in both groups. Severe vision loss or serious PDR complications were uncommon with PRP or ranibizumab; however, the ranibizumab group had lower rates of developing vision-impairing diabetic macular edema and less visual field loss. Patient-specific factors, including anticipated visit compliance, cost, and frequency of visits, should be considered when choosing treatment for patients with PDR. These findings support either anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy or PRP as viable treatments for patients with PDR. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01489189.
Utheim OA, Lyberg T, Eidet JR, Raeder S, Sehic A, Roald B, Messelt E, de la Paz MF, Dartt DA, Utheim TP. Effect of Transportation on Cultured Limbal Epithelial Sheets for Worldwide Treatment of Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):10502.Abstract
Limbal stem cell deficiency can be treated with transplantation of cultured human limbal epithelial cells (LEC). It can be advantageous to produce LEC in centralized labs and thereafter ship them to eye clinics. The present study used transport simulations of LEC to determine if vigorous shaking during transport altered the viability, morphology and phenotype during a 4 day-long storage of LEC with a previously described serum-free storage method. Inserts with LEC cultured on amniotic membranes were sutured to caps inside air-tight containers with generous amounts of 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES)-buffered minimal essential medium (MEM). The containers were distributed among the following testing conditions: 6 hours with full containers, 36 hours with full containers, 36 hours with container three quarters full of medium, and 36 hours with container full of medium containing a shear-protecting agent (Pluronic-F68). Compared to stored, but non-transported controls, no statistically significant changes in viability and immunohistochemical staining were observed. The epithelial sheets remained intact. However, an air-liquid interface in the containers reduced the number of desmosomes and hemi-desmosomes compared to the controls. In conclusion, cultured LEC sheets appear to endure vigorous shaking for at least 36 hours if the container is full.
Okunuki Y, Mukai R, Pearsall EA, Klokman G, Husain D, Park D-H, Korobkina E, Weiner HL, Butovsky O, Ksander BR, Miller JW, Connor KM. Microglia inhibit photoreceptor cell death and regulate immune cell infiltration in response to retinal detachment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018;115(27):E6264-E6273.Abstract
Retinal detachment (RD) is a sight-threatening complication common in many highly prevalent retinal disorders. RD rapidly leads to photoreceptor cell death beginning within 12 h following detachment. In patients with sustained RD, progressive visual decline due to photoreceptor cell death is common, leading to significant and permanent loss of vision. Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system, including the retina, and function in the homeostatic maintenance of the neuro-retinal microenvironment. It is known that microglia become activated and change their morphology in retinal diseases. However, the function of activated microglia in RD is incompletely understood, in part because of the lack of microglia-specific markers. Here, using the newly identified microglia marker P2ry12 and microglial depletion strategies, we demonstrate that retinal microglia are rapidly activated in response to RD and migrate into the injured area within 24 h post-RD, where they closely associate with infiltrating macrophages, a population distinct from microglia. Once in the injured photoreceptor layer, activated microglia can be observed to contain autofluorescence within their cell bodies, suggesting they function to phagocytose injured or dying photoreceptors. Depletion of retinal microglia results in increased disease severity and inhibition of macrophage infiltration, suggesting that microglia are involved in regulating neuroinflammation in the retina. Our work identifies that microglia mediate photoreceptor survival in RD and suggests that this effect may be due to microglial regulation of immune cells and photoreceptor phagocytosis.
Gamazon ER, Segrè AV, van de Bunt M, Wen X, Xi HS, Hormozdiari F, Ongen H, Konkashbaev A, Derks EM, Aguet F, Quan J, Quan J, Nicolae DL, Eskin E, Kellis M, Getz G, McCarthy MI, Dermitzakis ET, Cox NJ, Ardlie KG. Using an atlas of gene regulation across 44 human tissues to inform complex disease- and trait-associated variation. Nat Genet 2018;50(7):956-967.Abstract
We apply integrative approaches to expression quantitative loci (eQTLs) from 44 tissues from the Genotype-Tissue Expression project and genome-wide association study data. About 60% of known trait-associated loci are in linkage disequilibrium with a cis-eQTL, over half of which were not found in previous large-scale whole blood studies. Applying polygenic analyses to metabolic, cardiovascular, anthropometric, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative traits, we find that eQTLs are significantly enriched for trait associations in relevant pathogenic tissues and explain a substantial proportion of the heritability (40-80%). For most traits, tissue-shared eQTLs underlie a greater proportion of trait associations, although tissue-specific eQTLs have a greater contribution to some traits, such as blood pressure. By integrating information from biological pathways with eQTL target genes and applying a gene-based approach, we validate previously implicated causal genes and pathways, and propose new variant and gene associations for several complex traits, which we replicate in the UK BioBank and BioVU.
Chen L, Fu T, Gu H, Jie Y, Sun Z, Jiang D, Yu J, Zhu X, Xu J, Hong J. Trends in dacryocystitis in China: A STROBE-compliant article. Medicine (Baltimore) 2018;97(26):e11318.Abstract
The aim of the study was to review the distribution, current trends, and microbiological characteristics of bacterial pathogens isolated from dacryocystitis patients in China during the last 15 years.This is a retrospective multiple-center noncomparative case series. The medical records of 15,452 consecutive patients from 7 cities diagnosed as having dacryocystitis between 2002 and 2016 were reviewed. The patients' demographics, microbiological data, and antibiotic sensitivity were reviewed and analyzed.A total of 3344 lacrimal sac content cultures were taken (21.6%) during the study period. A pathogen was identified in 1996 samples (59.7%), with bacterial isolates accounting for 1902 of the positive cultures (95.3%). Gram-positive isolates, gram-negative isolates, and anaerobic bacteria were found in 1218 (61.0%), 607 (30.4%), and 285 (14.3%) samples, respectively. An increase in gram-positive isolates over the study duration was found (P = .003). The predominant isolates were coagulase negative Staphylococci (485, 25.5%), Staphylococcus aureus (186, 9.8%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (184, 9.7%), and Haemophilus influenzae (152, 9.0%). There was a trend toward increasing resistance to erythromycin from 10.5% during the first 5 years of the study to 20.7% during the last 5 years (P < .001). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that gatifloxacin was the most effective drug against most of gram-positive, gram-negative, and anaerobic bacteria.The microbial culture rate of dacryocystitis in China is low. There was an increase in the percentage of gram-positive bacteria over time. The sensitivity of gram-positive isolates to tested antibiotics is relatively low compared with that of gram-negative isolates. Our data show that the empiric use of fourth-generation fluoroquinolones in refractory dacryocystitis may be justified.
Shi C, Yuan X, Chang K, Cho K-S, Xie XS, Chen DF, Luo G. Optimization of Optomotor Response-based Visual Function Assessment in Mice. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):9708.Abstract
Optomotor response/reflex (OMR) assays are emerging as a powerful and versatile tool for phenotypic study and new drug discovery for eye and brain disorders. Yet efficient OMR assessment for visual performance in mice remains a challenge. Existing OMR testing devices for mice require a lengthy procedure and may be subject to bias due to use of artificial criteria. We developed an optimized staircase protocol that utilizes mouse head pausing behavior as a novel indicator for the absence of OMR, to allow rapid and unambiguous vision assessment. It provided a highly sensitive and reliable method that can be easily implemented into automated or manual OMR systems to allow quick and unbiased assessment for visual acuity and contrast sensitivity in mice. The sensitivity and quantitative capacity of the protocol were validated using wild type mice and an inherited mouse model of retinal degeneration - mice carrying rhodopsin deficiency and exhibiting progressive loss of photoreceptors. Our OMR system with this protocol was capable of detecting progressive visual function decline that was closely correlated with the loss of photoreceptors in rhodopsin deficient mice. It provides significant advances over the existing methods in the currently available OMR devices in terms of sensitivity, accuracy and efficiency.
Nir R-R, Lee AJ, Huntington S, Noseda R, Bernstein CA, Fulton AB, Bertisch SM, Hovaguimian A, Buettner C, Borsook D, Burstein R. Color-selective photophobia in ictal vs interictal migraineurs and in healthy controls. Pain 2018;159(10):2030-2034.Abstract
Aversion to light is common among migraineurs undergoing acute attacks. Using psychophysical assessments in patients with episodic migraine, we reported that white, blue, amber, and red lights exacerbate migraine headache in a significantly larger percentage of patients and to a greater extent compared with green light. This study aimed at determining whether these findings are phase-dependent-namely, manifested exclusively during migraine (ictally) but not in its absence (interictally), or condition-dependent-ie, expressed uniquely in migraineurs but not in healthy controls. To determine whether the color preference of migraine-type photophobia is phase- or condition-dependent, we compared the effects of each color of light in each intensity between migraineurs during and in-between attacks and healthy controls. During the ictal and interictal phases, the proportion of migraineurs reporting changes in headache severity when exposed to the different colors of light increased in accordance with elevated light intensities. During the ictal phase, white, blue, amber, and red lights exacerbated headaches in ∼80% of the patients; however, during the interictal phase, light initiated headache in only 16% to 19%. Notably, green light exacerbated headaches in 40% and triggered headaches in 3% of the patients studied during the ictal and interictal phases, respectively. With one exception (highest red light intensity), no control subject reported headache in response to the light stimuli. These findings suggest that color preference is unique to migraineurs-as it was not found in control subjects-and that it is independent of whether or not the patients are in their ictal or interictal phase.
Ing E, Pagnoux C, Tyndel F, Sundaram A, Hershenfeld S, Ranalli P, Chow S, Le T, Lutchman C, Rutherford S, Lam K, Bedi H, Torun N. Lower ocular pulse amplitude with dynamic contour tonometry is associated with biopsy-proven giant cell arteritis. Can J Ophthalmol 2018;53(3):215-221.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: To determine the role of the ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) from Pascal dynamic contour tonometry in predicting the temporal artery biopsy (TABx) result in patients with suspected giant cell arteritis (GCA). DESIGN: Prospective validation study. PARTICIPANTS: Adults aged 50 years or older who underwent TABx from March 2015 to April 2017. METHODS: Subjects on high-dose glucocorticoids more than 14 days or without serology before glucocorticoid initiation were excluded. The OPA from both eyes was obtained and averaged just before TABx of the predominantly symptomatic side. The variables chosen for the a priori prediction model were age, average OPA, and C-reactive protein (CRP). Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), platelets, jaw claudication, and eye findings were also recorded. In this study, subjects with a negative biopsy were considered not to have GCA, and contralateral biopsy was performed if the clinical suspicion for GCA remained high. An external validation set (XVAL) was obtained. RESULTS: Of 109 TABx, 19 were positive and 90 were negative. On univariate logistic regression, the average OPA had 0.60 odds for positive TABx (p = 0.03), with no statistically significant difference in age, sex, CRP, ESR, or jaw claudication. In suspected GCA, an OPA of 1 mm Hg had positive likelihood ratio 4.74 and negative likelihood ratio 0.87 for positive TABx. Multivariate regression of the prediction model using optimal mathematical transforms (inverse OPA, log CRP, age >65 years) had area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) = 0.85 and AUROC = 0.81. CONCLUSIONS: OPA is lower in subjects with biopsy-proven GCA and is a statistically significant predictor of GCA.
Fernandez-Godino R, Pierce EA. C3a triggers formation of sub-retinal pigment epithelium deposits via the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):9679.Abstract
The mechanisms that connect complement system activation and basal deposit formation in early stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are insufficiently understood, which complicates the design of efficient therapies to prevent disease progression. Using human fetal (hf) retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, we have established an in vitro model to investigate the effect of complement C3a on RPE cells and its role in the formation of sub-RPE deposits. The results of these studies revealed that C3a produced after C3 activation is sufficient to induce the formation of sub-RPE deposits via complement-driven proteasome inhibition. C3a binds the C3a receptor (C3aR), stimulates deposition of collagens IV and VI underneath the RPE, and impairs the extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover by increased MMP-2 activity, all mediated by downregulation of the ubiquitin proteasome pathway (UPP). The formation of basal deposits can be prevented by the addition of a C3aR antagonist, which restores the UPP activity and ECM turnover. These findings indicate that the cell-based model can be used to test potential therapeutic agents in vitro. The data suggest that modulation of C3aR-mediated events could be a therapeutic approach for treatment of early AMD.
Singh AK, Phillips F, Merabet LB, Sinha P. Why Does the Cortex Reorganize after Sensory Loss?. Trends Cogn Sci 2018;22(7):569-582.Abstract
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that the brain can reorganize dramatically following sensory loss. Although the existence of such neuroplastic crossmodal changes is not in doubt, the functional significance of these changes remains unclear. The dominant belief is that reorganization is compensatory. However, results thus far do not unequivocally indicate that sensory deprivation results in markedly enhanced abilities in other senses. Here, we consider alternative reasons besides sensory compensation that might drive the brain to reorganize after sensory loss. One such possibility is that the cortex reorganizes not to confer functional benefits, but to avoid undesirable physiological consequences of sensory deafferentation. Empirical assessment of the validity of this and other possibilities defines a rich program for future research.
Oellers P, Wolkow N, Jakobiec FA, Kim IK. Hemorrhagic choroidal melanoma. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2018;10:105-107.Abstract
Purpose: To demonstrate the clinical pathologic correlation in a hemorrhagic choroidal melanoma. Observations: A 52 year old patient presented with a large choroidal mass associated with vitreous and retinal hemorrhage. The eye was enucleated and histopathology demonstrated epithelioid-type MART1 positive tumor cells consistent with choroidal melanoma. The tumor had broken through Bruch's membrane, which led to localized vascular compression with bleeding into the subretinal space, retina and vitreous. Conclusions and importance: Choroidal melanoma rarely presents with hemorrhage. Tumor rupture through Bruch's membrane may result in a tourniquet effect on the tumor vasculature leading to massive hemorrhage, as in this case. A high level of clinical suspicion is required to make the diagnosis.
Lee JY, Lee JS, Materne EC, Rajala R, Ismail AM, Seto D, Dyer DW, Rajaiya J, Chodosh J. Bacterial RecA Protein Promotes Adenoviral Recombination during Infection. mSphere 2018;3(3)Abstract
Adenovirus infections in humans are common and sometimes lethal. Adenovirus-derived vectors are also commonly chosen for gene therapy in human clinical trials. We have shown in previous work that homologous recombination between adenoviral genomes of human adenovirus species D (HAdV-D), the largest and fastest growing HAdV species, is responsible for the rapid evolution of this species. Because adenovirus infection initiates in mucosal epithelia, particularly at the gastrointestinal, respiratory, genitourinary, and ocular surfaces, we sought to determine a possible role for mucosal microbiota in adenovirus genome diversity. By analysis of known recombination hot spots across 38 human adenovirus genomes in species D (HAdV-D), we identified nucleotide sequence motifs similar to bacterial Chi sequences, which facilitate homologous recombination in the presence of bacterial Rec enzymes. These motifs, referred to here as Chi, were identified immediately 5' to the sequence encoding penton base hypervariable loop 2, which expresses the arginine-glycine-aspartate moiety critical to adenoviral cellular entry. Coinfection with two HAdV-Ds in the presence of an lysate increased recombination; this was blocked in a RecA mutant strain, DH5α, or upon RecA depletion. Recombination increased in the presence of lysate despite a general reduction in viral replication. RecA colocalized with viral DNA in HAdV-D-infected cell nuclei and was shown to bind specifically to Chi sequences. These results indicate that adenoviruses may repurpose bacterial recombination machinery, a sharing of evolutionary mechanisms across a diverse microbiota, and unique example of viral commensalism. Adenoviruses are common human mucosal pathogens of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and genitourinary tracts and ocular surface. Here, we report finding Chi-like sequences in adenovirus recombination hot spots. Adenovirus coinfection in the presence of bacterial RecA protein facilitated homologous recombination between viruses. Genetic recombination led to evolution of an important external feature on the adenoviral capsid, namely, the penton base protein hypervariable loop 2, which contains the arginine-glycine-aspartic acid motif critical to viral internalization. We speculate that free Rec proteins present in gastrointestinal secretions upon bacterial cell death facilitate the evolution of human adenoviruses through homologous recombination, an example of viral commensalism and the complexity of virus-host interactions, including regional microbiota.

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