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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-01-26
    Description: Resistance to antimicrobials is a growing problem in both developed and developing countries. In nations where AIDS is most prevalent, the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans is a significant contributor to mortality, and its growing resistance to current antifungals is an ever-expanding threat. We investigated octapeptin C4, from the cationic cyclic lipopeptide class of antimicrobials, as a potential new antifungal. Octapeptin C4 was a potent, selective inhibitor of this fungal pathogen with an MIC of 1.56 μg/ml. Further testing of octapeptin C4 against 40 clinical isolates of C. neoformans var. grubii or neoformans showed an MIC of 1.56 to 3.13 μg/ml, while 20 clinical isolates of C. neoformans var. gattii had an MIC of 0.78 to 12.5 μg/ml. In each case, the MIC values for octapeptin C4 were equivalent to, or better than, current antifungal drugs fluconazole and amphotericin B. The negatively charged polysaccharide capsule of C. neoformans influences the pathogen's sensitivity to octapeptin C4, whereas the degree of melanization had little effect. Testing synthetic octapeptin C4 derivatives provided insight into the structure activity relationships, revealing that the lipophilic amino acid moieties are more important to the activity than the cationic diaminobutyric acid groups. Octapeptins have promising potential for development as anticryptococcal therapeutic agents.
    Print ISSN: 0066-4804
    Electronic ISSN: 1098-6596
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-05-26
    Description: To date, there is no information on the intravenous (i.v.) posaconazole pharmacokinetics for intensive care unit (ICU) patients. This prospective observational study aimed to describe the pharmacokinetics of a single dose of i.v. posaconazole in critically ill patients. Patients with no history of allergy to triazole antifungals and requiring systemic antifungal therapy were enrolled if they were aged ≥18 years, central venous access was available, they were not pregnant, and they had not received prior posaconazole or drugs interacting with posaconazole. A single dose of 300 mg posaconazole was administered over 90 min. Total plasma concentrations were measured from serial plasma samples collected over 48 h, using a validated chromatographic method. The pharmacokinetic data set was analyzed by noncompartmental methods. Eight patients (7 male) were enrolled with the following characteristics: median age, 46 years (interquartile range [IQR], 40 to 51 years); median weight, 68 kg (IQR, 65 to 82 kg); and median albumin concentration, 20 g/liter (IQR, 18 to 24 g/liter). Median (IQR) pharmacokinetic parameter estimates were as follows: observed maximum concentration during sampling period ( C max ), 1,702 ng/ml (1,352 to 2,141 ng/ml); area under the concentration-time curve from zero to infinity (AUC 0– ), 17,932 ng · h/ml (13,823 to 27,905 ng · h/ml); clearance (CL), 16.8 liters/h (11.1 to 21.7 liters/h); and volume of distribution ( V ), 529.1 liters (352.2 to 720.6 liters). The V and CL were greater than 2-fold and the AUC 0– was 39% of the values reported for heathy volunteers. The AUC 0– was only 52% of the steady-state AUC 0–24 reported for hematology patients. The median of estimated average steady-state concentrations was 747 ng/ml (IQR, 576 to 1,163 ng/ml), which is within but close to the lower end of the previously recommended therapeutic range of 500 to 2,500 ng/ml. In conclusion, we observed different pharmacokinetics of i.v. posaconazole in this cohort of critically ill patients compared to those in healthy volunteers and hematology patients.
    Print ISSN: 0066-4804
    Electronic ISSN: 1098-6596
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-08-16
    Description: P-bodies are liquid droplet-like compartments that lack a limiting membrane and are present in many eukaryotic cells. These structures contain specific sets of proteins and mRNAs at concentrations higher than that in the surrounding environment. Although highly conserved, the normal physiological roles of these ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules remain poorly defined. Here, we report that P-bodies are required for the efficient completion of meiosis in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae . P-bodies were found to be present during all phases of the meiotic program and to provide protection for the Hrr25/CK1 protein kinase, a key regulator of this developmental process. A failure to associate with these RNP granules resulted in diminished levels of Hrr25 and an ensuing inability to complete meiosis. This work therefore identifies a novel function for these RNP granules and indicates how protein recruitment to these structures can have a significant impact on eukaryotic cell biology.
    Print ISSN: 0270-7306
    Electronic ISSN: 1098-5549
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-04-27
    Description: Bacterial sexually transmitted infections are widespread and common, with Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea) and Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) being the two most frequent causes. If left untreated, both infections can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and other sequelae. The recommended treatment for gonorrhea is ceftriaxone plus azithromycin (to empirically treat chlamydial coinfections). Antibiotic resistance to all existing therapies has developed in gonorrheal infections. The need for new antibiotics is great, but the pipeline for new drugs is alarmingly small. The aminomethyl spectinomycins, a new class of semisynthetic analogs of the antibiotic spectinomycin, were developed on the basis of a computational analysis of the spectinomycin binding site of the bacterial 30S ribosome and structure-guided synthesis. The compounds display particular potency against common respiratory tract pathogens as well as the sexually transmitted pathogens that cause gonorrhea and chlamydia. Here, we demonstrate the in vitro potencies of several compounds of this class against both bacterial species; the compounds displayed increased potencies against N. gonorrhoeae compared to that of spectinomycin and, significantly, demonstrated activity against C. trachomatis that is not observed with spectinomycin. Efficacies of the compounds were compared to those of spectinomycin and gentamicin in a murine model of infection caused by ceftriaxone/azithromycin-resistant N. gonorrhoeae ; the aminomethyl spectinomycins significantly reduced the colonization load and were as potent as the comparator compounds. In summary, data produced by this study support aminomethyl spectinomycins as a promising replacement for spectinomycin and antibiotics such as ceftriaxone for treating drug-resistant gonorrhea, with the added benefit of treating chlamydial coinfections.
    Print ISSN: 0066-4804
    Electronic ISSN: 1098-6596
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-02-14
    Description: Recently discovered broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against HIV-1 demonstrate extensive breadth and potency against diverse HIV-1 strains and represent a promising approach for the treatment and prevention of HIV-1 infection. The breadth and potency of these antibodies have primarily been evaluated by using panels of HIV-1 Env-pseudotyped viruses produced in 293T cells expressing molecularly cloned Env proteins. Here we report on the ability of five bNAbs currently in clinical development to neutralize circulating primary HIV-1 isolates derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and compare the results to those obtained with the pseudovirus panels used to characterize the bNAbs. The five bNAbs demonstrated significantly less breadth and potency against clinical isolates produced in PBMCs than against Env-pseudotyped viruses. The magnitude of this difference in neutralizing activity varied, depending on the antibody epitope. Glycan-targeting antibodies showed differences of only 3- to 4-fold, while antibody 10E8, which targets the membrane-proximal external region, showed a nearly 100-fold decrease in activity between published Env-pseudotyped virus panels and PBMC-derived primary isolates. Utilizing clonal PBMC-derived primary isolates and molecular clones, we determined that the observed discrepancy in bNAb performance is due to the increased sensitivity to neutralization exhibited by 293T-produced Env-pseudotyped viruses. We also found that while full-length molecularly cloned viruses produced in 293T cells exhibit greater sensitivity to neutralization than PBMC-derived viruses do, Env-pseudotyped viruses produced in 293T cells generally exhibit even greater sensitivity to neutralization. As the clinical development of bNAbs progresses, it will be critical to determine the relevance of each of these in vitro neutralization assays to in vivo antibody performance. IMPORTANCE Novel therapeutic and preventive strategies are needed to contain the HIV-1 epidemic. Antibodies with exceptional neutralizing activity against HIV-1 may provide several advantages to traditional HIV drugs, including an improved side-effect profile, a reduced dosing frequency, and immune enhancement. The activity of these antibodies has been established in vitro by utilizing HIV-1 Env-pseudotyped viruses derived from circulating viruses but produced in 293T cells by pairing Env proteins with a backbone vector. We tested PBMC-produced circulating viruses against five anti-HIV-1 antibodies currently in clinical development. We found that the activity of these antibodies against PBMC isolates is significantly less than that against 293T Env-pseudotyped viruses. This decline varied among the antibodies tested, with some demonstrating moderate reductions in activity and others showing an almost 100-fold reduction. As the development of these antibodies progresses, it will be critical to determine how the results of different in vitro tests correspond to performance in the clinic.
    Print ISSN: 0022-538X
    Electronic ISSN: 1098-5514
    Topics: Medicine
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