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Topic review
Updated time: 23 Jun 2021
Submitted by: Franziska Hornung
Definition: The alterations of adipocyte-derived signal mediators strongly influence the regulation of inflammation, resulting in chronic low-grade inflammation.
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Topic review
Updated time: 13 Sep 2021
Definition: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), is a successful intracellular pathogen that is responsible for the highest mortality rate among diseases caused by bacterial infections. During early interaction with the host innate cells, M. tuberculosis cell surface antigens interact with Toll like receptor 4 (TLR4) to activate the nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich-repeat containing family, pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) canonical, and non-canonical inflammasome pathways. NLRP3 inflammasome activation in the alveoli has been reported to contribute to the early inflammatory response that is needed for an effective anti-TB response through production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including those of the Interleukin 1 (IL1) family. However, overstimulation of the alveolar NLRP3 inflammasomes can induce excessive inflammation that is pathological to the host. Several studies have explored the use of medicinal plants and/or their active derivatives to inhibit excessive stimulation of the inflammasomes and its associated factors, thus reducing immunopathological response in the host. This review describes the molecular mechanism of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation in the alveoli during M. tuberculosis infection. Furthermore, the mechanisms of inflammasome inhibition using medicinal plant and their derivatives will also be explored, thus offering a novel perspective on the alternative control strategies of M. tuberculosis-induced immunopathology.
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Topic review
Updated time: 15 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Andrea Marino
Definition: Enterococcus faecalis infective endocarditis (EFIE) continues to represent a potentially fatal infectious disease characterized by elevated morbidity and mortality. Despite advances in antimicrobial therapy, changing demographics and the reduced availability of useful antibiotics combined with the dissemination of multi-drug resistant strains, the mortality rate remained unchanged in the last decades. Nowadays, optimizing the antibiotic regimen is still of paramount importance.
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Topic review
Updated time: 04 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Lisa F.P. Ng
Definition: Alphaviruses are mosquito-borne pathogens distributed worldwide in tropical and temperate areas causing a wide range of symptoms ranging from inflammatory arthritis-like manifestations to the induction of encephalitis in humans. Historically, large outbreaks in susceptible populations have been recorded followed by the development of protective long-lasting antibody responses suggesting a potential advantageous role for a vaccine.
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Topic review
Updated time: 03 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Francesca Mariani
Definition: Mediterranean wild edible plants (MWEPs) and their antimicrobial properties have been known from ancient times, and nowadays, a growing number of people have rediscovered them as natural remedies for common infections. One of the problems concerning their use is the heterogeneity of the protocols used to extract and analyze the properties of their active principles; such heterogeneity still marks the overall set of scientific studies on MWEPs, not to mention the enormous heterogeneity that characterizes the properties of plants at the outset. We reviewed the current literature on medicinal value of Mediterranean native edible plants trying to emphasize both the weaknesses and the opportunities of these plants. The majority of the reviewed MWEPs can inhibit both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, and fungi.
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Topic review
Updated time: 23 Jun 2021
Submitted by: Cátia Teixeira
Definition: Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) are small cationic and amphipathic molecules that play a vital role in the host immune system by acting as a first barrier against invading pathogens. The broad spectrum of properties that peptides possess make them one of the best possible alternatives for a new “post-antibiotic” era.
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Topic review
Updated time: 08 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Amirah Mohd Gazzali
Definition: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the microorganism that causes tuberculosis. The discovery of the antituberculosis agents in the 20th century has managed to improve the recovery rate and reduce the death rate tremendously. However, the conventional antituberculosis therapy is complicated by the development of resistant strains and adverse drug reactions experienced by the patients. Targeted drug delivery may be a potentially useful approach to be developed into clinically accepted treatment modalities. Active targeting utilizes a specifically designed targeting agent to deliver a chemically conjugated drug(s) towards Mtb. Passive targeting is very widely explored, with the development of multiple types of nanoparticles from organic and inorganic materials. The nanoparticles will be engulfed by macrophages and this will eliminate the Mtb that is present in the macrophages, or the encapsulated drug may be released at the sites of infections that may be in the form of intra- and extrapulmonary tuberculosis.
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Topic review
Updated time: 24 May 2021
Submitted by: Soraya Smaili
Definition: The family of coronaviruses (CoVs) uses the autophagy machinery of host cells to promote their growth and replication. Pharmacological or pharmacogenomics tools might be used to modulate autofaphy, and these processes stand out potential targets to combat COVID-19.
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Topic review
Updated time: 04 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Manuel Varela
Definition: Bacterial pathogens as causative agents of infection constitute an alarming concern in the public health sector. In particular, bacteria with resistance to multiple antimicrobial agents can confound chemotherapeutic efficacy towards infectious diseases. Multidrug-resistant bacteria harbor various molecular and cellular mechanisms for antimicrobial resistance. These antimicrobial resistance mechanisms include active antimicrobial efflux, reduced drug entry into cells of pathogens, enzymatic metabolism of antimicrobial agents to inactive products, biofilm formation, altered drug targets, and protection of antimicrobial targets. These microbial systems represent suitable focuses for investigation to establish the means for their circumvention and to reestablish therapeutic effectiveness.
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Topic review
Updated time: 24 May 2021
Submitted by: Jorge David
Definition: Betulinic acid (BA, 3β-hydroxy-lup-20(29)-en-28-oic acid) is a pentacyclic triterpene acid present predominantly in Betula ssp. (Betulaceae) and is also widely spread in many species belonging to different plant families. BA presents a wide spectrum of remarkable pharmacological properties, such as cytotoxic, anti-HIV, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and antimicrobial activities, including antiprotozoal effects.
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