Cristina Bergnach

University of Udine, Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

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Publications (5)18.35 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: An experimental study was designed to investigate the efficacy of BMAP-27, a compound of the cathelicidin family, in neutralizing Escherichia coli 0111:B4 lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in bile duct-ligated mice. Main outcome measures were: endotoxin and TNF-alpha concentrations in plasma, evidence of bacterial translocation in blood and peritoneum, and lethality. Adult male BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with 2 mg/kg E. coli 0111:B4 LPS 1 week after sham operation or bile duct ligation (BDL). Six groups were studied: sham with placebo, sham with 120 mg/kg tazobactam-piperacillin (TZP), sham with 1 mg/kg BMAP-27, BDL with placebo, BDL with 120 mg/kg TZP, and BDL with 1mg/kg BMAP-27. After LPS, TNF-alpha plasma levels were significantly higher in BDL mice compared to sham-operated animals. BMAP-27 achieved a significant reduction of plasma endotoxin and TNF-alpha concentration when compared with placebo- and TZP-treated groups. On the other hand, both TZP and BMAP-27 significantly reduced the bacterial growth compared with saline treatment. Finally, LPS induced 60% and 55% lethality in BDL placebo- and TZP-treated treated mice and no lethality in sham-operated mice, while only BMAP-27 significantly reduced the lethality to 10%. In light of its dual antimicrobial and anti-endotoxin properties, BMAP-27 could be an interesting compound to inhibit bacterial translocation and endotoxin release in obstructive jaundice.
    Peptides 12/2006; 27(11):2592-9. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A mouse model of staphylococcal sepsis was used to evaluate the efficacy of RNAIII-inhibiting peptide (RIP) combined with the cathelicidin BMAP-28. Preliminary in vitro studies showed that both peptides, alone or combined, were able to inhibit the lipoteichoic acid-induced production of tumor necrosis factor alpha and nitric oxide by RAW 264.7 cells. For in vivo experiments, the main outcome measures were lethality, quantitative blood cultures, and detection of tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 6 plasma levels. BALB/c mice were injected i.v. with 2.0 x 10(6) colony-forming units of live Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 or with 5.0 x 10(8) heat-killed cells of the same strain. All animals were randomized to receive i.v. isotonic sodium chloride solution, 10-mg/kg RIP, alone or in combination with 2-mg/kg BMAP-28, 7-mg/kg imipenem, or 7-mg/kg vancomycin, immediately and at 6 hours after bacterial challenge. In in vivo experiments performed with live bacteria, all compounds reduced lethality rates and bacteremia when compared with controls. In general, combined-treated groups had significantly lower bacteremia when compared with single-treated groups. Lowest lethality rates and bacteremia were obtained when RIP was administered in combination with BMAP-28 or vancomycin. In the experiments performed using heat-killed organisms, only BMAP-28 demonstrated significant efficacy on lethality rates and cytokines plasma levels when compared with controls. RIP combined with BMAP-28 exhibited the highest efficacy on all main outcome measurements. These data were observed on both immediate and delayed treatments. These results highlight the capacity of RIP and BMAP-28 to reduce the septic effects of bacterial cell components and exotoxins, and suggest their potential use in the treatment of severe staphylococcus-associated sepsis.
    Shock 10/2006; 26(3):296-301. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An in vitro antibiotic susceptibility assay for Staphylococcus aureus biofilms developed on 96-well polystyrene tissue culture plates was performed to elucidate the activity of the 27 residues cathelicidin peptide BMAP-28, quinupristin/dalfopristin (Q/D), linezolid, and vancomycin. Efficacy studies were performed in a rat model of staphylococcal CVC infection. Silastic catheters were implanted into the superior cava. Twenty-four hours after implantation the catheters were filled with BMAP-28. Thirty minutes later rats were challenged via the CVC with 1.0x10(6) CFU of S. aureus strain Smith diffuse. Administration of antibiotics into the CVC at a concentration equal to the MBC observed using adherent cells, or at a much higher concentration (1024 microg/mL) began 24 h later. The inhibition activities of all antibiotics against adherent bacteria were at least two-four-fold lower that against freely growing cells. When antibiotics were used in BMAP-28 pre-treated wells, they showed higher activities. The in vivo studies showed that when CVCs were pre-treated with BMAP-28 or with a high dose of antibiotics, biofilm bacterial load was reduced from 10(7) to 10(3) CFU/mL and bacteremia reduced from 10(3) to 10(1) CFU/mL. When CVCs were treated with both BMAP-28 and antibiotics, biofilm bacterial load was further decreased to 10(1) CFU/mL and bacteremia was not detected. These results suggest that CVC pre-treated with BMAP-28 represents an attractive choice for the treatment of device-related infections caused by staphylococci.
    Peptides 10/2006; 27(9):2104-10. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the efficacy of LL-37, the C-terminal part of the only cathelicidin in humans identified to date (termed human cationic antimicrobial protein), in three experimental rat models of gram-negative sepsis. Adult male Wistar rats (i) were given an intraperitoneal injection of 1 mg Escherichia coli 0111:B4 LPS, (ii) were given 2 x 10(10) CFU of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, or (iii) had intra-abdominal sepsis induced via cecal ligation and puncture. For each model, all animals were randomized to receive intravenously isotonic sodium chloride solution, 1-mg/kg LL-37, 1-mg/kg polymyxin B, 20-mg/kg imipenem, or 60-mg/kg piperacillin. Lethality; growth of bacteria in blood, peritoneum, spleen, liver, and mesenteric lymph nodes; and endotoxin and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) concentrations in plasma were evaluated. All compounds reduced lethality compared to levels in controls. Endotoxin and TNF-alpha plasma levels were significantly higher in conventional antibiotic-treated rats than in LL-37- and polymyxin B-treated animals. All drugs tested significantly reduced bacterial growth compared to saline treatment. No statistically significant differences between LL-37 and polymyxin B were noted for antimicrobial and antiendotoxin activities. LL-37 and imipenem proved to be the most effective treatments in reducing all variables measured. Due to its multifunctional properties, LL-37 may become an important future consideration for the treatment of sepsis.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 06/2006; 50(5):1672-9. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A mouse model of staphylococcal sepsis was used to compare the efficacy of the bovine antimicrobial peptide BMAP-28, a compound of the cathelicidin family, with that of conventional antibiotics. Prospective, randomized, controlled animal study. Research laboratory in a university hospital. BALB/c male mice. BALB/c mice were injected intravenously with 2.0 x 10(6) colony-forming units of live Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 or with 5.0 x 10(8) heat-killed cells of the same strain. All animals were randomized to receive intravenously isotonic sodium chloride solution, 2 mg/kg BMAP-28, 7 mg/kg imipenem, 7 mg/kg vancomycin, 7 mg/kg clindamycin, and 7 mg/kg clarithromycin immediately and at 6 hrs after bacterial challenge. Lethality, quantitative blood cultures, and detection of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 plasma levels. In the experiments performed with live bacteria, all compounds reduced lethality rates and bacterial growth compared with controls. Imipenem and vancomycin exhibited the highest efficacy on these main outcome measures. In the experiments performed using heat-killed organisms, only BMAP-28 demonstrated significant efficacy on lethality rates, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6 plasma levels compared with controls. These results highlight the capacity of BMAP-28 to reduce the effects of components of the bacterial cells and suggest that it may be beneficial in the treatment of severe staphylococcal infections in concert with other antimicrobial agents.
    Critical Care Medicine 01/2005; 32(12):2485-90. · 6.12 Impact Factor