The CRISPR-Antibiotic Resistance Connection. CRISPR J 2019;2:199-200..
Surgical management of acquired implantation iris cysts: indications, surgical challenges and outcomes. Br J Ophthalmol 2019;103(8):1179-1183.Abstract.
PURPOSE: To describe the clinical spectrum, clinicopathological correlation and outcomes of different surgical strategies in the management of acquired implantation iris cysts. METHODS: From 1 January 1989 to 31 December 2015, 27 patients (27 eyes) with acquired implantation iris cysts underwent surgery. The charts were reviewed for demographics, preoperative characteristics, surgical approach, histopathological records of excised cyst and postoperative outcomes. RESULTS: The median age at presentation was 5 years (IQR: 1.3-14 years). Out of 27 patients, 21 (78%) were aged≤18 years. Almost two-third (17/27, 63%) patients had history of penetrating ocular trauma prior to surgery. All patients underwent cyst aspiration combined with complete cyst excision with additional surgical procedures when necessary. Along with complete cyst excision, sector iridectomy was performed in 20/27 (74%) eyes. At a median postoperative follow-up period of 8 months (range: 1-72 months), recurrence was noted in 3/27 (11%) cases at a mean follow-up period of 2.3±1.5 months postsurgery. Eyes in which sector iridectomy was performed had lower incidence of recurrence, and this was statistically significant (p=0.03). However, the improvement in best-corrected visual acuity postoperatively was not statistically significant (p=0.15). CONCLUSION: Acquired implantation iris cysts are associated with significant ocular morbidity. Complete excision of the cyst with sector iridectomy is an effective treatment option if other less invasive surgical approaches fail. Visual acuity can be significantly improved but is typically limited due to associated comorbidities.
Characterization of Epiretinal Proliferation in Full-Thickness Macular Holes and Effects on Surgical Outcomes. Ophthalmol Retina 2019;3(8):694-702.Abstract.
PURPOSE: Epiretinal proliferation is a distinct clinical entity from epiretinal membrane that classically is associated with lamellar macular holes, but its prevalence and association with full-thickness macular holes (FTMH) have not been well described. We characterized macular hole-associated epiretinal proliferation (MHEP) and its effects on long-term surgical outcomes. DESIGN: Multicenter, interventional, retrospective case-control study. PARTICIPANTS: Consecutive eyes that underwent surgery for FTMH with a minimum of 12 months follow-up. METHODS: All eyes underwent pars plana vitrectomy, removal of any epiretinal membranes, and gas tamponade, with or without internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling. Spectral-domain OCT imaging was obtained before and after surgery. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Improvement in visual acuity and single-surgery hole closure rates in eyes with, versus without, MHEP at 12 months. RESULTS: Seven hundred twenty-five charts were analyzed, and 113 patients met inclusion criteria. Of 113 eyes with FTMH, 30 (26.5%) showed MHEP. Patients with FTMH and MHEP were older (P < 0.002) and more often men (P = 0.001), and showed more advanced macular hole stages than those without MHEP (P = 0.010). A full posterior vitreous detachment was more common in eyes with MHEP (P < 0.004). Twelve months after surgery, FTMH with MHEP patients showed significantly less improvement in visual acuity (P = 0.019) with higher rates of ellipsoid and external limiting membrane defects (P < 0.05) and with a higher rate of failure to close with 1 surgery compared to FTMH without MHEP (26.7% vs. 4.8%; P = 0.002]). Peeling the ILM was associated with improved rates of hole closure in FTMH with MHEP (P < 0.001). Multivariate testing confirmed that the presence of MHEP was an independent risk factor for less visual improvement (P = 0.031) and for single-surgery nonclosure (P = 0.009) and that ILM peeling improved single-surgery closure rates (P = 0.026). CONCLUSIONS: We found that FTMH with MHEP showed poorer anatomic and visual outcomes after vitrectomy compared with FTMH without MHEP. Internal limiting membrane peeling was associated with improved closure rates and should be considered when MHEP is detected before surgery.
Comparison of Pedestrian Detection With and Without Yellow-Lens Glasses During Simulated Night Driving With and Without Headlight Glare. JAMA Ophthalmol 2019;Abstract.
Importance: Some marketing materials for yellow-lens night-driving glasses claim that they increase nighttime road visibility and reduce oncoming headlight glare (HLG). However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Objective: To measure the association between yellow-lens glasses and the detection of pedestrians with and without an oncoming HLG, using a driving simulator equipped with a custom HLG simulator. Design, Setting, and Participants: A single-center cohort study was conducted between September 8, 2016, and October 25, 2017, at the Schepens Eye Research Institute. A total of 22 individuals participated in the study, divided into groups to determine response to a pedestrian wearing a navy blue shirt by younger individuals and, to control for participant's age and the interaction of the shirt color with the filter, response to a pedestrian wearing an orange shirt by a group of younger and older participants. Exposures: Participants drove scripted night-driving scenarios, 3 times with 3 commercially available yellow-lens glasses and once with clear-lens glasses, with the HLG simulator turned on and off. A total of 8 conditions were used for each participant. Main Outcomes and Measures: Pedestrian detection response time. Results: The 22 participants who completed the study included 12 younger (mean [SD] age, 28  years; 6 men) individuals who responded to a pedestrian wearing a dark navy blue shirt, as well as 6 younger (mean [SD] age, 27  years; 4 men) and 4 older (mean [SD], 70  years; all men) participants who responded to a pedestrian in an orange shirt. All participants had normal visual acuity (mean [SD], -0.05 [0.06] logMAR). No significant difference in response time with yellow lens was found in all experiment conditions; younger participants for dark navy blue shirt pedestrians (F1,33 = 0.59; P = .45), orange shirt pedestrians (F1,15 = 0.13; P = .72), and older participants for orange shirt pedestrians (F1,9 = 0.84; P = .38). Among all participants (n = 22), no significant main effect of yellow lenses was found (F1,63 = 0.64; P = .42). In all measuring conditions, the response times with the yellow lenses were not better than with the clear lenses. Significant main effects of HLG were found with dark navy blue shirt pedestrian condition for young participants (F1,33 = 7.34; P < .001) and with orange shirt pedestrian condition for older individuals (F1,9 = 75.32; P < .001), where the difference in response time between with and without HLG was larger for older (1.5 seconds) than younger (0.3 seconds) participants. Conclusions and Relevance: Using a driver simulator equipped with an HLG simulator, yellow-lens night-driving glasses did not appear to improve pedestrian detection at night or reduce the negative effects of HLG on pedestrian detection performance. These findings do not appear to support having eye care professionals advise patients to use yellow-lens night-driving glasses.
MAGEL2-related disorders: A study and case series. Clin Genet 2019;96(6):493-505.Abstract.
Pathogenic MAGEL2 variants result in the phenotypes of Chitayat-Hall syndrome (CHS), Schaaf-Yang syndrome (SYS) and Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). We present five patients with mutations in MAGEL2, including the first patient reported with a missense variant, adding to the limited literature. Further, we performed a systematic review of the CHS and SYS literature, assess the overlap between CHS, SYS and PWS, and analyze genotype-phenotype correlations among them. We conclude that there is neither a clinical nor etiological difference between CHS and SYS, and propose that the two syndromes simply be referred to as MAGEL2-related disorders.
Blockade of MDM2 with inactive Cas9 prevents epithelial to mesenchymal transition in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Lab Invest 2019;99(12):1874-1886.Abstract.
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). We aimed to demonstrate the role of mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) in transforming growth factor-beta 2 (TGF-β2)-induced EMT in human retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPEs). Immunofluorescence was used to assess MDM2 expression in epiretinal membranes (ERMs) from patients with PVR. A single guide (sg)RNA targeting the second promoter of MDM2 was cloned into a mutant lentiviral Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (lentiCRISPR) v2 (D10A and H840A) vector for expressing nuclease dead Cas9 (dCas9)/MDM2-sgRNA in RPEs. In addition, MDM2-sgRNA was also cloned into a pLV-sgRNA-dCas9-Kruppel associated box (KRAB) vector for expressing dCas9 fused with a transcriptional repressor KRAB/MDM2-sgRNA. TGF-β2-induced expression of MDM2 and EMT biomarkers were assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR), western blot, or immunofluorescence. Wound-healing and proliferation assays were used to evaluate the role of MDM2 in TGF-β2-induced responses in RPEs. As a result, we found that MDM2 was expressed obviously in ERMs, and that TGF-β2-induced expression of MDM2 and EMT biomarkers Fibronectin, N-cadherin and Vimentin in RPEs. Importantly, we discovered that the dCas9/MDM2-sgRNA blocked TGF-β2-induced expression of MDM2 and the EMT biomarkers without affecting their basal expression, whereas the dCas9-KRAB/MDM2-sgRNA suppressed basal MDM2 expression in RPEs. These cells could not be maintained continuously because their viability was greatly reduced. Next, we found that Nutlin-3, a small molecule blocking the interaction of MDM2 with p53, inhibited TGF-β2-induced expression of Fibronectin and N-cadherin but not Vimentin in RPEs, indicating that MDM2 functions in both p53-dependent and -independent pathways. Finally, our experimental data demonstrated that dCas9/MDM2-sgRNA suppressed TGF-β2-dependent cell proliferation and migration without disturbing the unstimulated basal activity. In conclusion, the CRISPR/dCas9 capability for blocking TGF-β2-induced expression of MDM2 and EMT biomarkers can be exploited for a therapeutic approach to PVR.
Axis of rotation as a basic feature in visual search. Atten Percept Psychophys 2019;Abstract.
Searching for a "Q" among "O"s is easier than the opposite search (Treisman & Gormican in Psychological Review, 95, 15-48, 1988). In many cases, such "search asymmetries" occur because it is easier to search when a target is defined by the presence of a feature (i.e., the line terminator defining the tail of the "Q"), rather than by its absence. Treisman proposed that features that produce a search asymmetry are "basic" features in visual search (Treisman & Gormican in Psychological Review, 95, 15-48, 1988; Treisman & Souther in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 114, 285-310, 1985). Other stimulus attributes, such as color, orientation, and motion, have been found to produce search asymmetries (Dick, Ullman, & Sagi in Science, 237, 400-402, 1987; Treisman & Gormican in Psychological Review, 95, 15-48, 1988; Treisman & Souther in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 114, 285-310, 1985). Other stimulus properties, such as facial expression, produce asymmetries because one type of item (e.g., neutral faces) demands less attention in search than another (e.g., angry faces). In the present series of experiments, search for a rolling target among spinning distractors proved to be more efficient than searching for a spinning target among rolling distractors. The effect does not appear to be due to differences in physical plausibility, direction of motion, or texture movement. Our results suggest that the spinning stimuli demand less attention, making search through spinning distractors for a rolling target easier than the opposite search.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors: what neuro-ophthalmologists need to know. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2019;30(6):426-433.Abstract.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Immune checkpoint inhibitors are currently an exceedingly powerful tool in the management of hitherto incurable malignancies and their use in clinical practice is expected to increase in the near future. The purpose of this review is to discuss the current medical uses of checkpoint inhibitors with a focus on their neuro-ophthalmic side-effects. RECENT FINDINGS: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have emerged as a promising breakthrough in the treatment of several tumor types. However, these targeted therapies can induce a wide range of immune-related ophthalmic and neuro-ophthalmic toxicities. It is important for neuro-ophthamologists to promptly recognize and manage these adverse events that can potentially threaten vision. SUMMARY: There are currently seven FDA-approved immune checkpoint inhibitors and several ones are under investigation. In general, immunotherapy is considered a well tolerated, safe and efficacious treatment option for many cancer patients. Nevertheless, because of their unique mechanism of action, these molecules can alter the immune response and result in immune-related adverse effects in almost every organ with an estimated incidence of ophthalmic side effects in this patient population of less than 1%.
Chicken Meat-Associated Enterococci: Influence of Agricultural Antibiotic Use and Connection to the Clinic. Appl Environ Microbiol 2019;85(22)Abstract.
Industrial farms are unique, human-created ecosystems that provide the perfect setting for the development and dissemination of antibiotic resistance. Agricultural antibiotic use amplifies naturally occurring resistance mechanisms from soil ecologies, promoting their spread and sharing with other bacteria, including those poised to become endemic within hospital environments. To better understand the role of enterococci in the movement of antibiotic resistance from farm to table to clinic, we characterized over 300 isolates of cultured from raw chicken meat purchased at U.S. supermarkets by the Consumers Union in 2013. and were the predominant species found, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing uncovered striking levels of resistance to medically important antibiotic classes, particularly from classes approved by the FDA for use in animal production. While nearly all isolates were resistant to at least one drug, bacteria from meat labeled as raised without antibiotics had fewer resistances, particularly for Whole-genome sequencing of 92 isolates revealed that both commensal- and clinical-isolate-like enterococcal strains were associated with chicken meat, including isolates bearing important resistance-conferring elements and virulence factors. The ability of enterococci to persist in the food system positions them as vehicles to move resistance genes from the industrial farm ecosystem into more human-proximal ecologies. Bacteria that contaminate food can serve as a conduit for moving drug resistance genes from farm to table to clinic. Our results show that chicken meat-associated isolates of are often multidrug resistant, closely related to pathogenic lineages, and harbor worrisome virulence factors. These drug-resistant agricultural isolates could thus represent important stepping stones in the evolution of enterococci into drug-resistant human pathogens. Although significant efforts have been made over the past few years to reduce the agricultural use of antibiotics, continued assessment of agricultural practices, including the roles of processing plants, shared breeding flocks, and probiotics as sources for resistance spread, is needed in order to slow the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Because antibiotic resistance is a global problem, global policies are needed to address this threat. Additional measures must be taken to mitigate the development and spread of antibiotic resistance elements from farms to clinics throughout the world.
Noninvasive imaging of the tree shrew eye: Wavefront analysis and retinal imaging with correlative histology. Exp Eye Res 2019;185:107683.Abstract.
Tree shrews are small mammals with excellent vision and are closely related to primates. They have been used extensively as a model for studying refractive development, myopia, and central visual processing and are becoming an important model for vision research. Their cone dominant retina (∼95% cones) provides a potential avenue to create new damage/disease models of human macular pathology and to monitor progression or treatment response. To continue the development of the tree shrew as an animal model, we provide here the first measurements of higher order aberrations along with adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) images of the photoreceptor mosaic in the tree shrew retina. To compare intra-animal in vivo and ex vivo cone density measurements, the AOSLO images were matched to whole-mount immunofluorescence microscopy. Analysis of the tree shrew wavefront indicated that the optics are well-matched to the sampling of the cone mosaic and is consistent with the suggestion that juvenile tree shrews are nearly emmetropic (slightly hyperopic). Compared with in vivo measurements, consistently higher cone density was measured ex vivo, likely due to tissue shrinkage during histological processing. Tree shrews also possess massive mitochondria ("megamitochondria") in their cone inner segments, providing a natural model to assess how mitochondrial size affects in vivo retinal imagery. Intra-animal in vivo and ex vivo axial distance measurements were made in the outer retina with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), respectively, to determine the origin of sub-cellular cone reflectivity seen on OCT. These results demonstrate that these megamitochondria create an additional hyper-reflective outer retinal reflective band in OCT images. The ability to use noninvasive retinal imaging in tree shrews supports development of this species as a model of cone disorders.
Effect of Scleral Lenses on Corneal Topography in Keratoconus: A Case Series of Cross-Linked Versus Non-Cross-Linked Eyes. Cornea 2019;38(8):986-991.Abstract.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the changes in anterior corneal topography induced by short-time wear of scleral contact lenses (SLs) in keratoconic subjects with and without a history of corneal cross-linking (CXL). METHODS: Nine keratoconic patients (14 eyes) were fitted with 18.5 mm SLs for optical rehabilitation. Subjects were divided into 2 groups: 7 eyes without a history of CXL (Non-CXL group) and 7 with a history of CXL (CXL group). Corneal topography was performed at baseline and after 2 and 5 hours of lens wear. The differences for simulated flat (Kflat), steep (Ksteep) and maximal (Kmax) corneal curvatures, central corneal astigmatism (CCA), and central cornea thickness were evaluated. RESULTS: No statistically significant difference was detected between Non-CXL and CXL groups in any of these measures. Statistically significant flattening was detected in Ksteep Repeated measures analysis of variance ([RM-ANOVA), F (2,24) = 11.32, P < 0.0001], CCA [RM-ANOVA, F (2,24) = 15.34, P < 0.0001], and Kmax [RM-ANOVA, F (2,24) = 19.10, P < 0.0001). From baseline to 5 hours of SL wear, Ksteep decreased on average from 53.1 to 52.4 D, Kmax decreased from 56.7 to 55.8 D, and CCA decreased from 7.2 to 6.3 D. Kmax showed a trend toward more flattening in the Non-CXL group. Central cornea thickness showed significant thickening over time from baseline (451 μm) to 5 hours (458 μm) of SL wear [RM-ANOVA, F (1,12) = 319.3, P < 0.0001]. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term scleral lens wear in keratoconic patients may cause flattening of the anterior cornea. A history of CXL treatment does not guarantee corneal shape stability after scleral lens wear. Practitioners should be aware of these changes because scleral lens wear may mask the signs of keratoconus progression.
Retinol binding protein 3 is increased in the retina of patients with diabetes resistant to diabetic retinopathy. Sci Transl Med 2019;11(499)Abstract.
The Joslin Medalist Study characterized people affected with type 1 diabetes for 50 years or longer. More than 35% of these individuals exhibit no to mild diabetic retinopathy (DR), independent of glycemic control, suggesting the presence of endogenous protective factors against DR in a subpopulation of patients. Proteomic analysis of retina and vitreous identified retinol binding protein 3 (RBP3), a retinol transport protein secreted mainly by the photoreceptors, as elevated in Medalist patients protected from advanced DR. Mass spectrometry and protein expression analysis identified an inverse association between vitreous RBP3 concentration and DR severity. Intravitreal injection and photoreceptor-specific overexpression of RBP3 in rodents inhibited the detrimental effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Mechanistically, our results showed that recombinant RBP3 exerted the therapeutic effects by binding and inhibiting VEGF receptor tyrosine phosphorylation. In addition, by binding to glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) and decreasing glucose uptake, RBP3 blocked the detrimental effects of hyperglycemia in inducing inflammatory cytokines in retinal endothelial and Müller cells. Elevated expression of photoreceptor-secreted RBP3 may have a role in protection against the progression of DR due to hyperglycemia by inhibiting glucose uptake via GLUT1 and decreasing the expression of inflammatory cytokines and VEGF.
Pathogenicity of Enterococci. Microbiol Spectr 2019;7(4)Abstract.
Enterococci are unusually well adapted for survival and persistence in a variety of adverse environments, including on inanimate surfaces in the hospital environment and at sites of infection. This intrinsic ruggedness undoubtedly played a role in providing opportunities for enterococci to interact with other overtly drug-resistant microbes and acquire additional resistances on mobile elements. The rapid rise of antimicrobial resistance among hospital-adapted enterococci has rendered hospital-acquired infections a leading therapeutic challenge. With about a quarter of a genome of additional DNA conveyed by mobile elements, there are undoubtedly many more properties that have been acquired that help enterococci persist and spread in the hospital setting and cause diseases that have yet to be defined. Much remains to be learned about these ancient and rugged microbes, particularly in the area of pathogenic mechanisms involved with human diseases.
Mechanisms and consequences of gut commensal translocation in chronic diseases. Gut Microbes 2019;:1-14.Abstract.
Humans and other mammalian hosts have evolved mechanisms to control the bacteria colonizing their mucosal barriers to prevent invasion. While the breach of barriers by bacteria typically leads to overt infection, increasing evidence supports a role for translocation of commensal bacteria across an impaired gut barrier to extraintestinal sites in the pathogenesis of autoimmune and other chronic, non-infectious diseases. Whether gut commensal translocation is a cause or consequence of the disease is incompletely defined. Here we discuss factors that lead to translocation of live bacteria across the gut barrier. We expand upon our recently published demonstration that translocation of the gut pathobiont can induce autoimmunity in susceptible hosts and postulate on the role of species as instigators of chronic, non-infectious diseases.