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    ABSTRACT: Microbial contamination of used, unprocessed internal components of dental handpieces (HPs) was assessed. HPs were dismantled aseptically, immersed in phosphate-buffered saline, ultrasonicated, and cultured. A median of 200 CFU per turbine (n = 40), 400 CFU per spray channel (n = 40), and 1000 CFU per item of surgical gear (n = 20) was detected. Isolates included oral streptococci, Pseudomonas spp, and Staphylococcus aureus. Recovery of S aureus confirms the need for appropriate HP cleaning and sterilization after each patient to prevent cross-infection.
    American journal of infection control. 09/2014; 42(9):1019-21.
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    ABSTRACT: Mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) in the murine intestine, comprising dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages (Mϕs), perform disparate yet complementary immunological functions. Functional analyses of these distinct MP subsets have been complicated by the substantial overlap in their surface phenotypes. Here, we review recent findings that have enabled more accurate definition of these MP subsets. We discuss these recent advances in the context of the current understanding of the functions of DCs and Mϕs in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis, and how their functions may alter when homeostasis is disrupted.
    Trends in Immunology 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Humans with autoimmune peripheral neuropathies frequently harbour serum antibodies to single glycosphingolipids, especially gangliosides. Recently it has been appreciated that glycolipid and lipid complexes, formed from two or more individual species, can interact to create molecular shapes capable of being recognised by these autoantibodies whilst not binding to the single individuals. As a result of this, novel autoantibody targets have been identified. This newly termed 'combinatorial glycomic' approach has provided the impetus to redesigning the assay methodologies traditionally used in the neuropathy-associated autoantibody field. Combinatorial glycoarrays can be readily constructed in house using lipids of interest. Herein we especially highlight the role of the neutral lipids cholesterol and galactocerebroside in modifying glycosphingolipid orientation that subsequently favours or inhibits autoantibody binding.
    Current opinion in chemical biology 02/2014; 18C:78-86.
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages are one of the most abundant leucocytes in the intestinal mucosa where they are essential for maintaining homeostasis. However, they are also implicated in the pathogenesis of disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), offering potential targets for novel therapies. Here we discuss the function of intestinal monocytes and macrophages during homeostasis and describe how these populations and their functions change during infection and inflammation. Furthermore, we review the current evidence that the intestinal macrophage pool requires continual renewal from circulating blood monocytes, unlike most other tissue macrophages which appear to derive from primitive precursors that subsequently self-renew.
    Cellular Immunology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinases mediate protein phosphorylation which is a fundamental component of cell signalling, with crucial roles in most signal transduction cascades; from controlling cell growth and proliferation, to the initiation and regulation of immunologic responses. Aberrant kinase activity is implicated in an increasing number of diseases, with over 400 human diseases now linked either directly or indirectly to protein kinases. Protein kinases are therefore regarded as highly important drug targets, and are the subject of intensive research activity. The success of small molecule kinase inhibitors in the treatment of cancer, coupled with a greater understanding of inflammatory signalling cascades has led to kinase inhibitors taking centre stage in the pursuit for new anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases. Herein we discuss the main classes of kinase inhibitors; namely janus kinase (JAK), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) inhibitors. We provide a mechanistic insight into how these inhibitors interfere with kinase signalling pathways and discuss the clinical successes and failures in the implementation of kinase-directed therapeutics in the context of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Cell transplantation is a promising strategy to promote CNS repair and has been studied for several decades with a focus on glial cells. Promising candidates include Schwann cells (SCs) and olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). Both cell types are thought to be neural crest derived and share many properties in common, although OECs appear to be a better candidate for transplantation by evoking less astrogliosis. Using CNS mixed myelinating rat cultures plated on to a monolayer of astrocytes, we demonstrated that SCs, but not OECs, secrete a heat labile factor(s) that inhibits oligodendrocyte myelination. Comparative qRT-PCR and ELISA showed that SCs expressed higher levels of mRNA and protein for connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) than OECs. Anti-CTGF reversed the SCM-mediated effects on myelination. Both SCM and CTGF inhibited the differentiation of purified rat oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs). Furthermore, pretreatment of astrocyte monolayers with SCM inhibited CNS myelination and led to transcriptional changes in the astrocyte, corresponding to upregulation of bone morphogenic protein 4 mRNA and CTGF mRNA (inhibitors of OPC differentiation) and the downregulation of insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA (promoter of OPC differentiation). CTGF pretreatment of astrocytes increased their expression of CTGF, suggesting that this inhibitory factor can be positively regulated in astrocytes. These data provide evidence for the advantages of using OECs, and not mature SCs, for transplant-mediated repair and provide more evidence that they are a distinct and unique glial cell type.
    Journal of Neuroscience 11/2013; 33(47):18686-18697.
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    ABSTRACT: Treat-to-target strategies have been widely adopted as the standard of care for the management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The concept of 'tight control' is prevalent in other disciplines, particularly in diabetes and cardiovascular risk management. In these disciplines, evidence has accumulated that the utility of tight control strategies must be carefully weighed against the disutility that may arise from multiple interventions, particularly in patients at low risk. There is a lively debate in rheumatology circles about whether treatment should be targeted at achieving low disease activity, clinical remission or imaging remission. As rheumatologists we should learn the lessons from other disciplines, and ensure that we expand the evidence base to ensure our recommendations are securely underpinned by robust evidence.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma brucei drug transporters include the TbAT1/P2 aminopurine transporter and the high-affinity pentamidine transporter (HAPT1), but the genetic identity of HAPT1 is unknown. We recently reported that loss of T. brucei aquaglyceroporin 2 (TbAQP2) caused melarsoprol/pentamidine cross-resistance (MPXR) in these parasites and the current study aims to delineate the mechanism by which this occurs. The TbAQP2 loci of isogenic pairs of drug-susceptible and MPXR strains of T. brucei subspecies were sequenced. Drug susceptibility profiles of trypanosome strains were correlated with expression of mutated TbAQP2 alleles. Pentamidine transport was studied in T. brucei subspecies expressing TbAQP2 variants. All MPXR strains examined contained TbAQP2 deletions or rearrangements, regardless of whether the strains were originally adapted in vitro or in vivo to arsenicals or to pentamidine. The MPXR strains and AQP2 knockout strains had lost HAPT1 activity. Reintroduction of TbAQP2 in MPXR trypanosomes restored susceptibility to the drugs and reinstated HAPT1 activity, but did not change the activity of TbAT1/P2. Expression of TbAQP2 sensitized Leishmania mexicana promastigotes 40-fold to pentamidine and >1000-fold to melaminophenyl arsenicals and induced a high-affinity pentamidine transport activity indistinguishable from HAPT1 by Km and inhibitor profile. Grafting the TbAQP2 selectivity filter amino acid residues onto a chimeric allele of AQP2 and AQP3 partly restored susceptibility to pentamidine and an arsenical. TbAQP2 mediates high-affinity uptake of pentamidine and melaminophenyl arsenicals in trypanosomes and TbAQP2 encodes the previously reported HAPT1 activity. This finding establishes TbAQP2 as an important drug transporter.
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: ErbB-2 is associated with several solid tumours of which breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women worldwide. Though anti-ErbB-2 antibody appears to play a significant role in prevention and therapy, naturally occurring anti-ErbB-2 antibody associated with the cleaved ectodomain of overexpressed ErbB-2 self antigen is detectable in patients. It is therefore essential to understand the course of antibody mediated protection during disease progression. 100% of FVB/N(neu) mice expressing mutated, constitutively active ErbB-2 develop mammary carcinoma. It has been shown that vaccination with ErbB-2 associated with a T helper cell epitope P30 can offer protection against transplantable tumour but it is unclear whether the same vaccine protects against naturally developing tumour. We have analysed the course of the disease following prophylactic, and therapeutic vaccination in this spontaneous, eutopic mammary carcinoma model that more closely resembles the human disease. 100% protection against tumour development was observed subsequent to prophylactic immunisation but disease progression was unaffected by therapeutic vaccination. The antibody response exhibited restricted expansion of the Immunoglobulin (Ig) variable (V)-gene repertoire by ErbB-2 specific B cells compared with the non-antigen specific B cell pool and control mice. The serum antibody profile was similar in therapeutically injected mice without any effect on tumour burden.
    Vaccine 11/2013;
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    The Veterinary record. 11/2013;
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