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    ABSTRACT: Using genetically engineered lactobacilli, producing high avidity llama VHH domains (referred to as anti-rotavirus proteins; ARPs), to test the effect of multimeric antibody fragments as prophylaxis and therapy against rotavirus infection. Two ARPs, ARP1 and ARP3, shown to bind to different epitopes and act synergistically against rotavirus, were displayed on the surface of Lactobacillus paracasei as monovalent or bivalent proteins (mono- or bi-specific). Although a nonsignificant difference was observed between lactobacilli producing bispecific ARP3-ARP1 and monomeric ARPs, lactobacilli producing bispecific ARP3-ARP1 were superior at reducing the rate of diarrhea when used for prophylactic and therapeutic intervention in a mouse model of rotavirus infection in comparison to nontreated animals. Expression of bispecific antibodies in lactobacilli resulted in slight improvement of their efficacy. Furthermore, increasing the specificity would theoretically reduce the rate of appearance of viral escape mutants and would have a broader capacity to be effective against a range of viral serotypes.
    Future Microbiology 05/2011; 6(5):583-93. DOI:10.2217/fmb.11.32 · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Waterborne disease outbreaks associated with groundwater consumption have been reported in different countries. Noroviruses are considered emerging pathogens, which cause gastroenteritis in all age groups worldwide and numerous outbreaks of noroviral gastroenteritis have been ascribed to contaminated drinking water. In Italy, few data on viral contamination of water environment and groundwater in particular are available. In this study, the presence of Norovirus GG I and GG II was investigated, using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, applied to groundwater samples collected in the Latium region in central Italy. Four out of 26 samples were positive (15.38%). Our results show both the presence of Norovirus in groundwater and the possibility to apply the RT-PCR tests for virus analysis.
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    ABSTRACT: Determine the epidemiological profile of outbreaks of acute diarrheal disease caused by rotavirus (RV) occurring in pediatric patients, based on a critical review of the literature published between 2000 and 2010. A search was carried out for articles published from January 2000 to April 2010, collected by the Artemisa, EBSCO, Embase, Imbiomed, Lilacs, Ovid, PubMed, and Science Direct databases. In the studies that met the inclusion criteria, possible confounding factors were identified and risks of bias were attributed based on the number of items considered inadequate in each case. The epidemiological and microbiological characteristics of the outbreaks were described. The sample was comprised of only 14 (10.8%) of the 129 titles identified, which accounted for 91 092 reported cases of acute diarrhea. In 5 250 of these cases, a search for rotavirus was conducted, yielding 1 711 (32.5%) positive isolations. It was observed that the RV from Group A was the causative agent in 100% of the outbreaks, while genotype G9 was documented in 50% of the articles. Rotavirus, mainly serotype G9, was one of the principal agents responsible for outbreaks of acute diarrheal disease over the past decade. A careful outbreak study can contribute valuable information for RV disease control and prevention.
    Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública 02/2012; 31(2):142-7. DOI:10.1590/S1020-49892012000200008 · 0.85 Impact Factor

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