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Topic review
Updated time: 04 Feb 2021
Submitted by: Allison B Reiss
Definition: COVID-19 is an RNA virus that has caused a pandemic leading to death and disability on a global scale. The virus gains entry into the cell using host protein angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptor. The viral envelope fuses with the cell membrane through the endosomal pathway, allowing the viral particle to enter the host cell, where it can release its RNA and replicate. After an initial asymptomatic period, common presenting signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection are non-specific and may include those of a common cold or influenza such as fever, dry cough, myalgia, headache and fatigue. Sore throat and nasal congestion may also be noted. Gastrointestinal and other symptoms may occur and loss of sense of taste and smell is a frequent early symptom that may distinguish COVID-19 from other respiratory infections. The virus is highly contagious and there is no cure. In order to avoid transmission, social distancing, mask wearing and reduced person-to-person interaction are key. Definitive diagnosis is based on reverse-transcription PCR of nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab samples. The clinical spectrum of the disease ranges from mild to moderate or severe. In order to minimize spread of COVID-19 to both patients and healthcare workers, virtual evaluation of suspected cases is being widely implemented and has necessitated an adjustment to the new medium by all participants. The use of virtual technology for real-time telemedicine assessment for COVID-19 provisional diagnosis and categorization of severity allows patients to receive an appropriate level of care without endangering others. We created a protocol for implementing a remote visit using a computer or mobile device. This enables patient assessement without direct contact to determine the need to visit a healthcare facility or alternatively, to be managed at home. If stable, the patient can isolate and be monitored so that should their condition worsen, they can be directed to in-person care at a hospital. Vigilance in checking on the patient's condition is crucial because those who develop severe COVID-19 may not experience dyspnea and other signs of rapid deterioration until about 5-8 days after symptom onset.
Entry Collection : COVID-19
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Topic review
Updated time: 28 Dec 2020
Definition: Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection induces a clinical syndrome usually associated with hearing loss. However, the effect of acquired CVM infection in adults and children has not been clearly defined.
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Topic review
Updated time: 24 Dec 2020
Definition: Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a complex syndrome that develops in patients with cirrhosis and is characterized by acute decompensation, organ failure(s) and high short-term mortality. ACLF frequently occurs in close temporal relationship to a precipitating event, such as acute alcoholic, drug-induced or viral hepatitis or bacterial infection and, in cases without precipitating events, probably related to intestinal translocation of bacterial products. Dysbalanced immune function is central to its pathogenesis and outcome with an initial excessive systemic inflammatory response that drives organ failure and mortality. This hyperinflammatory state ultimately impairs the host defensive mechanisms of immune cells, rendering ACLF patients immunocompromised and more vulnerable to secondary infections, and therefore to higher organ dysfunction and mortality. (Draft for you)
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Topic review
Updated time: 02 Dec 2020
Submitted by: Valeria Blanda
Definition: Interactions between tick-borne pathogenic hemoparasites and different host effector mechanisms of T- and/or B cell-mediated adaptive immunity, involved in the late and long-lasting protective immune response.
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Topic review
Updated time: 23 Jan 2021
Submitted by: Samantha Barnes
Definition: Natural killer (NK) cells play a significant and vital role in the first line of defense against infection through their ability to target cells without prior sensitization. They also contribute significantly to the activation and recruitment of both innate and adaptive immune cells through the production of a range of cytokines and chemokines. In the context of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, NK cells and CMV have co-evolved side by side to employ several mechanisms to evade one another. However, during this co-evolution the discovery of a subset of long-lived NK cells with enhanced effector potential, increased antibody-dependent responses and the potential to mediate immune memory has revolutionized the field of NK cell biology. The ability of a virus to imprint on the NK cell receptor repertoire resulting in the expansion of diverse, highly functional NK cells to this day remains a significant immunological phenomenon that only occurs in the context of CMV.
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Topic review
Updated time: 03 Mar 2021
Submitted by: Frommer Klaus
Definition: Adipokines are adipose tissue-derived factors not only playing an important role in metabolism but also influencing other central processes of the body, such as inflammation.
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Topic review
Updated time: 16 Jun 2021
Submitted by: Emil Bulatov
Definition: The aging of the world population leads to a constant increase of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Treatment of late-stage tumors has become a significant burden on the healthcare system globally. Adoptive cell immunotherapy is supposed to prolong life with cancer and ideally cure cancer after a single infusion of the cell product. Arguably, the most impressive clinical therapy in this field is based on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells capable of curing up to 25–50% of previously incurable patients with B-cell malignancies. Diverse cell therapies are already efficiently used in clinics for cancer treatment (such as tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, transgenic αβ T-cells) and several novel promising cell therapies are in development (such as CAR M-cells, transgenic γδ T-cells, CAR NK-cells). Here, we summarize the recent literature data with the focus on T-cell receptor-based therapies and overview the most advanced systems for manufacturing of clinical grade cell products.
Entry Collection : Biopharmaceuticals
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Topic review
Updated time: 27 Oct 2020
Submitted by: Lina Knudsen
Definition: In the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the gut microbiota has been established as a key factor. Recently, metabolomics has become important for understanding the functional relevance of gut microbial changes in disease. Animal models for IBD enable the study of factors involved in disease development. However, results from animal studies may not represent the human situation. The aim of this study was to investigate whether results from metabolomics studies on animal models for IBD were similar to those from studies on IBD patients. Medline and Embase were searched for relevant studies up to May 2017. The Covidence systematic review software was used for study screening, and quality assessment was conducted for all included studies. Data showed a convergence of ~17% for metabolites differentiated between IBD and controls in human and animal studies with amino acids being the most differentiated metabolite subclass. The acute dextran sodium sulfate model appeared as a good model for analysis of systemic metabolites in IBD, but analytical platform, age, and biological sample type did not show clear correlations with any significant metabolites. In conclusion, this systematic review highlights the variation in metabolomics results, and emphasizes the importance of expanding the applied detection methods to ensure greater coverage and convergence between the various different patient phenotypes and animal models of inflammatory bowel disease.
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Topic review
Updated time: 07 Dec 2020
Submitted by: Nicolò Baranzini
Definition: Earthworms and leeches are sentinel animals that represent the annelid phylum within terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, respectively. One early stress signal in these organisms is related to innate immunity, but how nanomaterials affect it is poorly characterized. In this survey, we compare the latest literature on earthworm and leeches with examples of their molecular/cellular responses to inorganic (silver nanoparticles) and organic (carbon nanotubes) nanomaterials. A special focus is placed on the role of annelid immunocytes in the evolutionarily conserved antioxidant and immune mechanisms and protein corona formation and probable endocytosis pathways involved in nanomaterial uptake. Our summary helps to realize why these environmental sentinels are beneficial to study the potential detrimental effects of nanomaterials.
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Topic review
Updated time: 08 Nov 2020
Submitted by: Mihaela Popescu
Definition: Maternal anti-Ro antibodies present during the fetal period can cause complications ranging from congenital heart block, fetal demise or long-term consequences. The anti-Ro induced autoimmune reaction causes long-term fibrosis and calcification of the conductive tissue. In addition, the CHB injury mechanisms were shown to involve other factors, like fetal susceptibility that increases for every subsequent pregnancy, from a 2% incidence in the case of nulliparous mothers. The predictive value of maternal anti-Ro antibodies for CHB high-risk pregnancy is low, and other markers are lacking, making this condition difficult to efficiently monitor. Moreover, the positive anti-Ro pregnancies do not benefit from a prophylactic treatment or from an efficient therapy once CHB was diagnosed. Thus, new data from ongoing trials are highly expected, to provide both potential biomarkers and therapeutic solutions. This entry illustrates the current understanding of the anti-Ro antibodies associated pathologies, from the perspective of specialists involved in its management, emphasizing key issues, missing links, and possible future directions for an effective interdisciplinary approach.
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