2011 Vol. 25, No. 1
Apicomplexan protozoan parasites of the genus Cryptosporidium infect the gastrointestinal tract and lungs of a wide variety of animals, including humans. The majority of human infections are due to either Cryptosporid-ium hominis (C. hominis) and/or Cryptosporidium parvum (C. parvum). The parasite has a complex life cycle that includes both asexual and sexual stages. While there are invasive free living stages, proliferation and differentia-tion take place within a unique parasitrophorous vacuole under the host cell brush border but outside the host cell cytoplasm. Infection is spread by environmentally resistant spores that primarily contaminate drinking water and occasionally food sources, which may cause significant outbreaks of diarrhea that generally lasts less than 2 w in immunocompetent individuals. In immunodeficient or immunosuppressed individuals, diarrhea may be copi-ous and can result in significant morbidity and mortality, particularly in AIDS patients. Although diagnosis is relatively simple, effective drug treatment, particulary for infections in immunodeficient patients, has not been uniformly successful. This overview summarizes the species known to infect humans, aspects of the parasite life cycle, sources of infection, the pathophysiology of cryptosporidiosis, the immune response to infection, diagnosis, treatment and some aspects of cryptosporidiosis in China.
A cross-sectional study using the snowball sampling method was conducted in May 2008 to investigate hu-man immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection status and related high risk factors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Suzhou city of Jiangsu province. The researchers carried out a face-to-face questionnaire interview among MSM, and collected their blood samples to test for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Among the 280 respondents, 91.1% had homosexual acts in the past 6 months and 87.5% had multiple homosex-ual partners; 46.4% had heterosexual sex in the past 6 months and 33.1% had multiple heterosexual partners. The rate of continued condom use was 44.3% in homosexual sex in the past 6 months, while the rate in heterosexual sex was 33.9%. Laboratory test results showed that the prevalences of HIV and syphilis were 7.1% (20/280) and 15.0% (42/280), respectively, but no HCV-positive person was found. In the multivariate logistic regression mod-el, subjects with a monthly income of more than RMB ￥ 1,000 (OR=4.83,95% CI=1.44-16.22), subjects who often went to bars for sexual partners (OR=2.25, 95%CI=1.21-4.20), and subjects who had more than one sexual partner in the past 6 months (OR=0.49, 95%CI=0.25-0.97) and had sex with fixed sexual partners in the past 6 months (OR=0.42, 95%CI=0.25-0.75) were significantly associated with the rate of continued condom use in homosexual sex in the past 6 months. Unprotected sex and multiple sexual partners were more common among MSM in Su-zhou city; furthermore, the prevalences of HIV infection and syphilis were relatively high. HIV preventive meas-ures should be designed to address these risk factors and control the spread of HIV among MSM.
The tumor suppressor gene p53 appears to be important in the development of many human cancers, such as prostate cancer. The association of p53 codon72 polymorphism with prostate cancer has been widely reported; however, the results are inconsistent. To derive a more precise estimation of this relationship, we performed an updated meta-analysis from 10 case-control studies. We conducted a search in the PubMed database without a language limitation, covering all papers published until July 2010. Risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence inter-vals (CIs) were used to assess the strength of the association. Ten studies including 1,196 cases and 1,704 controls were selected. Overall, no significant differences of total prostate cancer risk and p53 codon polymorphism was found (Pro/Pro vs Arg/Arg, RR = 1.12, 95%CI=0.74-1.70, Pheterogeneity = 0.016, I2 = 55.8%; Pro/Pro+Pro/Arg vs Arg/Arg, RR = 1.05, 95%CI=1.00-1.11, Pheterogeneity = 0.077, I2 = 51.1%). In the stratified analysis by ethnicity, the same results were found. However, in the control subgroup, there was a modest decreased association between prostate cancer risk and population-based control subjects under the recessive genetic model (RR = 0.31, 95%CI=0.10-0.91, Pheterogeneity = 0.110, I2 =60.8%). This meta-analysis suggested that p53 codon Pro72Arg polymorphism could be weakly associated with prostate cancer risk.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR-γ),which is mainly involved in adipocyte differentiation, has been suggested to play an important role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. We investi-gated the frequencies of two common tagging polymorphisms of the PPAR-γ gene and two of PPAR-α with minor allele frequency (MAF) ≥0.05 in the Chinese Han population and analyzed the correlation between the different genotypes and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). TaqMan? assay was performed to test the genotypes in T2DM patients (n = 1,105) and normal controls (n = 1,107). Serum adiponectin concentration was measured by ELISA kit. The variant genotypes rs17817276GG, rs3856806CT and rs3856806CT/TT of PPAR-γ were associat-ed with T2DM, P = 0.023,0.037 and 0.018, respectively. Furthermore, the prevalence of haplotype GT in PPAR-γ was less frequent in the case subjects (0.3%) than in the controls (1.9%) [P < 0.001,OR(95%CI)=0.13 (0.06-0.31)]. Patients with genotype TT of rs3856806 had a higher serum level of adiponectin than those with the genotype CC and CT (P = 0.031 and 0.038, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference between patients and controls in genotype distribution of rs6537944 and rs1045570 of the RXR-α gene. The present study suggests that the variant genotypes in the PPAR-γ gene could decrease the risk for the development of T2DM in the Chinese Han population.
Constitutive hedgehog (Hh) signaling is associated with the genesis of medulloblastomas (MB). The objective of this study is to identify special microRNAs (miRNAs) regulated by the Hh pathway, and to clarify the role of miRNAs during the genesis of MB induced by sustained Hh activation. In the primary screening, we used stem-loop RT-PCR to test the expression of 90 different miRNAs in the wildtype (WT) and Ptc-/- MEF cell lines. In the secondary screening, the miRNAs screened from the first screening were validated in the Sufu-/- MEF cell lines. We then verified the expression of miRNAs both in the normal cerebellar tissues and the MB induced by activated Hh pathway, and examined the expression of the other 21 miRNA members of the miR-154 cluster in the MB and normal cerebellum. In the first screening, 13 miRNAs showed significant differential expression in WT and Ptc-/- MEF cell lines, while 10 of them had significant difference in the Sufu-/- MEF cell line. Compared to the normal mouse cerebellum, only 2 miRNAs in 15 miRNAs were differentially expressed between the MB and normal cer-ebellar tissues. Among 21 members of the miR-154 cluster, 6 miRNAs were downregulated in the MB. Our study demonstrated that miR-154 may be regulated by the Hh pathway, and the activation of the Hh pathway led to the downregulation of the miR-154 cluster, resulting in the genesis of MB.
Monilethrix, a congenital disease of hair, is usually associated with mutations in keratin genes, like KRT81, KRT83 and KRT86. We conducted this study to investigate the mutation of typeⅡ human basic hair keratin hHb/KRT gene in a Han family with monilethrix and obtain information for potential pathogenic mechanism study of monilethrix. Peripheral blood samples were drawn for genomic DNA detection. Exon 1 and exon 7 of the KRT81, KRT83 and KRT86 genes were amplified by PCR. All PCR products were sequenced directly using an ABI 310 DNA sequencer. These sequences were aligned with the standard sequences in GenBank using the BLAST soft-ware. PCR products were digested with restriction endonuclease and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis was performed. In this study, we identified one novel mutation, which is a heterozygous tran-sitional mutation of G→A at position 1,289 in exon 7 of the KRT86 gene [R430Q (KRT86)]. RFLP assays for the novel mutation excluded the possibility of polymorphism. The R430Q mutation of the KRT86 gene may be pathogenic for monilethrix. Meanwhile, we did not find any novel mutation or recurrent mutation in exons 1 and 7 of KRT81 and KRT83 and exon 1 of KRT86. There is a potential pathogenic gene in the subjects and our results expand the spectrum of mutations in the hHb6 gene.
Zaltoprofen, a propionic acid derivative of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, has strong inhibitory effects on actue and chronic inflammation. A randomized, dose-escalating study was conducted to evaluate the pharma-cokinetics of single and multiple oral doses of zaltoprofen in 12 healthy Chinese volunteers. Pharmacokinetics was determined from serial blood samples obtained up to 24 h after administration of a single dose of zaltoprofen at 80, 160 or 240 mg and after multiple doses of zaltqorofen at 80 mg 3 times daily. The Cmax and AUC0-24 of zal-toprofen were found to be proportional to drug dose. Zaltoprofen was rapidly absorbed (tmax =1.46±0.83 h) and cleared (t1/2 =4.96±2.97 h). Pharmacokinetic parameters after multiple doses were similar to those after single doses. Zaltoprofen was well tolerated. These results support a tid regimen of zaltoprofen for the management of acute and chronic inflammation.
Biomarkers play an important role in the detection at an early stage of pancreatic cancer. The aim of the present study was to optimize the conditions of antibody arrays for detecting Hippocalcin-like 1 (HPCAL1), phosphati-dylethanolamine binding protein 1 (PEBP1), lectin galactoside-binding soluble 7 (LGALS7), and serpin peptidase inhibitor clade E member 2 (SERPINE2) as biomarkers for pancreatic cancer detection in a single assay and to investigate antibodies’ specificity and cross-reactivity. Capture antibodies against HPCAL1, PEBP1, LGALS7 and SERPINE2 were printed on nitrocellulose coated glass slides. HPCAL1, PEBP1, LGALS7 and SERPINE2 proteins with different concentrations were incubated with the capture antibodies at different temperatures for different time periods. Biotinylated detection antibodies recognizing a different epitope on the captured proteins and a secondary detection molecule (Streptavidin-PE) were used to detect fluorescent signals. The arrays showed the strongest signals when the concentration of the capture antibodies was at 500 μg/mL in PBST0.05 (PBS with 0.05% Tween-20), and the slides were incubated overnight at 4°C. The lowest protein concentration for detection was 2 ng/mL. Each antibody demonstrated high specificity to the corresponding antigen in detecting a mixture of 4 proteins without significant cross-reactivity. The fluorescence and biomarker concentration displayed a linear correlation. The antibody microarray system could be a useful tool for potential biomarker detection for pancreatic cancer.
This study investigated possible effective treatments for cervical pregnancy, a rare form of ectopic pregnancy. The clinical records of 11 cases of ectopic pregnancy admitted to the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University from 1998 to 2010 were analyzed. All patients were treated with intermuscular injection of meth-otrexate (MTX, 50 mg), and oral mifepristone (25 mg, bid). All cases were successfully cured by conservative treatments using methotrexate plus mifepristone. Cervical pregnancy is a contributive factor to mutiple abortions and curettages. Methotrexate plus mifepristone, curettage through hysteroscopy and intracervical obturation with gauze are effective treatments of cervical pregnancy without the need for surgical intervention.