[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anti-infective properties of biomedical materials are often achieved by loading or coating them with powerful bactericides. Undesirably, these bioactive molecules can damage the host cells at the biomaterial-tissues interface and, sometimes, even determine systemic toxic effects. The search for biomaterials able to actively resist infection while displaying a safe cytocompatibility profile towards eukaryotic cells is being progressively developed. Poly-(D,L)Lactic acid (PLA) is a broadly used resorbable material with established biocompatibility properties. The dissolving surfaces of a biodegradable material tend to be per se elusive for bacteria. Here, films of pristine PLA, of PLA blended with Vitamin E (VitE) and PLA blended with vitamin E acetate (VitE ac) were challenged in vitro with the biofilm-producers Staphylococcus epidermidis RP62A and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC25923. The bacterial adhesion properties of the different materials were investigated on small film disc specimens by a method based on microtiter plates. Adherent bacteria were quantified by both CFU plating and bioluminescence. Significant decrease of bacterial adhesion and biofilm accumulation was found on the surface of both the enriched polymers. These findings, together with the favorable intrinsic properties of PLA and the desirable bioactivities conferred by VitE, point up the VitE-blended PLA polymers as gentle anti-infective biomaterials.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 07/2014; · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation is an established risk factor for the onset of cancer, and the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 has a role in tumorigenesis by enhancing proliferation and hindering apoptosis. As factors stimulating proliferation also downregulate p53 expression by enhancing ribosome biogenesis, we hypothesized that IL-6 may cause similar changes in inflamed tissues, thus activating a mechanism that favors neoplastic transformation. Here, we showed that IL-6 downregulated the expression and activity of p53 in transformed and untransformed human cell lines. This was the consequence of IL-6-dependent stimulation of c-MYC mRNA translation, which was responsible for the upregulation of rRNA transcription. The enhanced rRNA transcription stimulated the MDM2-mediated proteasomal degradation of p53, by reducing the availability of ribosome proteins for MDM2 binding. The p53 downregulation induced the acquisition of cellular phenotypic changes characteristic of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, such as a reduced level of E-cadherin expression, increased cell invasiveness and a decreased response to cytotoxic stresses. We found that these changes also occurred in colon epithelial cells of patients with ulcerative colitis, a very representative example of chronic inflammation at high risk for tumor development. Histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis of colon biopsy samples showed an upregulation of ribosome biogenesis, a reduced expression of p53, together with a focal reduction or absence of E-cadherin expression in chronic colitis in comparison with normal mucosa samples. These changes disappeared after treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs. Taken together, the present results highlight a new mechanism that may link chronic inflammation to cancer, based on p53 downregulation, which is activated by the enhancement of rRNA transcription upon IL-6 exposure.Oncogene advance online publication, 17 February 2014; doi:10.1038/onc.2014.1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biofilm production is the crucial pathogenic mechanism of the implant-associated infection and a primary target for new anti-infective strategies. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are attracting interest for their multifaceted potential biomedical applications. As endowed with highest surface/mass ratio and potent antibacterial activity, they can profitably be applied as monolayers at biomaterial surfaces. Desirably, in order to minimize the risks of toxic effects from freely circulating detached nanoparticles, AgNPs should firmly be anchored to the modified biomaterial surfaces. Here we focus on a newly designed glass surface modified with AgNPs and on its antibiofilm properties. Link of a self-assembled monolayer of AgNPs to glass was obtained through preliminary amino-silanization of the glass followed by immersion in an AgNPs colloidal suspension. Static contact angle measure, AFM, TEM, UV-Vis spectroscopy, ICP atomic emission spectroscopy were used for characterization. Antibiofilm activity against the biofilm-producer Staphylococcus epidermidis RP62A was assayed by both CFU method and CLSM. Performances of AgNPs-glasses were: i) excellent stability in aqueous medium; ii) prolonged release and high local concentration of Ag(+) without any detaching of AgNPs; iii) strong antibiofilm activity against S. epidermidis RP62A. This AgNPs surface-modification can be applied to a large variety of biomaterials by simply depositing glass-like SiO2 films on their surfaces.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anti-infective biomaterials need to be tailored according to the specific clinical application. All their properties have to be tuned to achieve the best anti-infective performance together with safe biocompatibility and appropriate tissue interactions. Innovative technologies are developing new biomaterials and surfaces endowed with anti-infective properties, relying either on antifouling, or bactericidal, or antibiofilm activities. This review aims at thoroughly surveying the numerous classes of antibacterial biomaterials and the underlying strategies behind them. Bacteria repelling and antiadhesive surfaces, materials with intrinsic antibacterial properties, antibacterial coatings, nanostructured materials, and molecules interfering with bacterial biofilm are considered. Among the new strategies, the use of phages or of antisense peptide nucleic acids are discussed, as well as the possibility to modulate the local immune response by active cytokines. Overall, there is a wealth of technical solutions to contrast the establishment of an implant infection. Many of them exhibit a great potential in preclinical models. The lack of well-structured prospective multicenter clinical trials hinders the achievement of conclusive data on the efficacy and comparative performance of anti-infective biomaterials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection is currently regarded as the most severe and devastating complication associated to the use of biomaterials. The important social, clinical and economic impacts of implant-related infections are promoting the efforts to obviate these severe diseases. In this context, the development of anti-infective biomaterials and of infection-resistant surfaces is being regarded as the main strategy to prevent the establishment of implant colonisation and biofilm formation by bacteria. In this review, the attention is focused on the biomaterial-associated infections, from which the need for anti-infective biomaterials originates. Biomaterial-associated infections differ markedly for epidemiology, aetiology and severity, depending mainly on the anatomic site, on the time of biomaterial application, and on the depth of the tissues harbouring the prosthesis. Here, the diversity and complexity of the different scenarios where medical devices are currently utilised are explored, providing an overview of the emblematic applicative fields and of the requirements for anti-infective biomaterials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Germline mutations in the tumour suppressor gene dyskeratosis congenit 1 (DKC1) cause the cancer prone syndrome called X-linked dyskeratosis congenita. The present study aims to determine whether mutations of the DKC1 gene may also be present in frequent human sporadic cancers (breast, colon and lung cancers), thus potentially contributing to the neoplastic phenotype. Materials and methods: mutation analysis of the DKC1 gene was performed on DNA from 110 primary human lung, 54 breast, and 35 colon cancers, focusing on gene regions where pathogenic germline mutations have been described previously (promoter and exons 1, 3, 9, 10, 11, and 14). Results: Out of a total of 199 primary tumours of different origins, only 5 turned out to have sequence variations in the DKC1 gene. These variations were of two kinds, C8120T and C13554T, which are both classified as synonymous mutations and do not affect DKC1 mRNA splicing. Conclusion: direct DKC1 gene mutations are not a frequent event in tumourigenesis, at least in the tumour types investigated and for the DKC1 gene portions considered in this study.
Histology and histopathology 03/2013; 28(3):365-72. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In spite of great advancements in the field of biomaterials and in surgical techniques, the implant of medical devices is still associated with a high risk of bacterial infection. Implant-associated osteomyelitis is a deep infection of bone around the implant. The continuous inflammatory destruction of bone tissues characterizes this serious bone infectious disease. Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are the most prevalent etiologic agents of implant-associated infections, together with the emerging pathogen Staphylococcus lugdunensis. Various interactions between staphylococci, osteoblasts, and phagocytes occurring in the peri-prosthesis environment play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of implant-associated osteomyelitis. Here we focus on two main events: internalization of staphylococci into osteoblasts, and bacterial interactions with phagocytic cells.
The International journal of artificial organs 10/2012; · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The new emerging coagulase-negative pathogen Staphylococcus lugdunensis is responsible for severe cardiac and joint infections. Since the biochemical phenotypic systems designed for the identification of CoNS do not appear to be species specific and are hardly reliable for the discrimination of S. lugdunensis from other staphylococci, its precise identification requires fine molecular methods. The pathogenic mechanisms by which S. lugdunensis causes severe infections are not yet completely elucidated and in this review its virulence and toxic determinants are surveyed as well as its adhesins and biofilm production.
The International journal of artificial organs 10/2012; · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biomaterial-associated infections have an enormous impact in terms of morbidity of the patients and costs to national health systems. Perioperative antibiotics and aseptic procedures have not proved sufficient to eradicate the occurrence of this type of infections which often lead to devastating effects. Adjunctive strategies for preventing the establishment of infections are increasingly being centered on the development of new biomaterials with anti-infective properties. The creation of new anti-infective biomaterials can be obtained by alternative approaches oriented to achieve either bacteria-repellent surfaces or bioactive surfaces expressing self-sterilizing properties when not even able to treat pre-existing infections in the surrounding tissues. Here, we offer a short overview of the currently available in vitro methods that can be used to investigate and assess the performance of anti-infective biomaterials, with special emphasis on those whose mechanism of action is based on bacteria-repellent surfaces.
The International journal of artificial organs 10/2012; · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Implant infections in orthopaedics, as well as in many other medical fields, are chiefly caused by staphylococci. The ability of growing within a biofilm enhances the chances of staphylococci to protect themselves from host defences, antibiotic therapies, and biocides. Advances in scientific knowledge on structural molecules (exopolysaccharide, proteins, teichoic acids, and the most recently described extracellular DNA), on the synthesis and genetics of staphylococcal biofilms, and on the complex network of signal factors that intervene in their control are here presented, also reporting on the emerging strategies to disrupt or inhibit them. The attitude of polymorphonuclear neutrophils and macrophages to infiltrate and phagocytise biofilms, as well as the ambiguous behaviour exhibited by these innate immune cells in biofilm-related implant infections, are here discussed. Research on anti-biofilm biomaterials is focused, reviewing materials loaded with antibacterial substances, or coated with anti-adhesive/anti-bacterial immobilized agents, or surfaced with nanostructures. Latter approaches appear promising, since they avoid the spread of antibacterial substances in the neighbouring tissues with the consequent risk of inducing bacterial resistance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Implant-related osteomyelitis is a severe and deep infection of bone that arises and develops all around an implant. Staphylococcus aureus is the first cause of osteomyelitis, whether implant-related or not. Bone is an optimal substratum for S. aureus, since this bacterium expresses various adhesins by which can adhere to bone proteins and to the biomaterial surfaces coated with the proteins of the host extracellular matrix. S. aureus is able not only to colonize bone tissues, but also to invade and disrupt them by entering bone cells and inducing cell death and osteolysis. Here we illustrate the pathogenetic mechanisms that can explain how the osteomyelitis sets in and develops around an implant.
The International journal of artificial organs 11/2011; 34(9):781-8. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracellular DNA (eDNA) is an important biofilm component that was recently discovered. Its presence has been initially observed in biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus intermedius, Streptococcus mutans, then Enterococcus faecalis and staphylococci. Autolysis is the common mechanism by which eDNA is released. In P. aeruginosa eDNA is generated by lysis of a bacterial subpopulation, under control of quorum sensing system. In E. faecalis autolysis proceeds in a fratricide mode, resulting from a process similar to necrosis of eukaryotic cells. In Staphylococcus aureus autolysis originates by an altruistic suicide, i.e., a programmed cell death similar to apoptosis of eukaryotic cells. In S. aureus autolysis is mediated by murein hydrolase, while in S. epidermidis by the autolysin protein AtlE. In P. aeruginosa eDNA is located primarily in the stalks of mushroom-shaped multicellular structures. In S. aureus the crucial role of eDNA in stabilizing biofilm is highlighted by the disgregating effect of DNase I. eDNA represents an important mechanism for horizontal gene transfer in bacteria. eDNA and other microbial structural motifs are recognized by the innate immune system via the TLR family of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs).
The International journal of artificial organs 11/2011; 34(9):824-31. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Implant-related infections are difficult to treat because they are very often associated with biofilm-forming micro-organisms capable of resisting host immune defenses and surviving conventional antibiotic treatments. In Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm-forming strains, the polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA), whose expression is encoded by the icaADBC operon, is recognized as a main staphylococcal accumulation mechanism. Nevertheless, various observations have shown that PIA expression is dispensable and a variety of additional/alternative accumulation mechanisms, including extracellular DNA (eDNA) and several other factors of proteic nature, can compensate for icaADBC low expression or even for its absence. A suggestive hypothesis points to the possibility that changes in biofilm extracellular matrix composition can be induced in different environmental niches. In this study we aimed at investigating the relationship between the exopolysaccharide and eDNA biofilm components, screening 55 S. epidermidis clinical isolates by means of a simple fluorescence-based microtiter-plate assay. Our findings indicate the existence of a certain degree of correlation, although not a strict one, between eDNA and the exopolysaccharide component. The presence of exopolysaccharide greatly varied even in strains belonging to the same strain type determined by automated riboprinting.
The International journal of artificial organs 11/2011; 34(9):832-9. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biofilm formation is broadly recognized as an important virulence factor in many bacterial species implicated in implant-related opportunistic infections. In spite of a long history of research and many investigative efforts aimed at elucidating their chemical composition, structure, and function, the nature of bacterial biofilms still remains only partly revealed. Over the years, different extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) have been described that contribute functionally and structurally to the organization of biofilms. Recently extracellular DNA (eDNA) has emerged as a quantitatively conspicuous and potentially relevant structural component of microbial biofilms of many microbial species, Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis among them. The present study aims at comparatively investigating the amount of eDNA present in the biofilm of 55 clinical isolates of S. epidermidis from postsurgical and biomaterial-related orthopedic infections. Quantification of eDNA was performed by a non-destructive method directly on bacterial biofilms formed under static conditions on the plastic surface of 96-well plates.
The International journal of artificial organs 11/2011; 34(9):840-6. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus is the leading cause of infection in orthopedic implants and of osteomyelitis consequent to it. Here we focus on the wide array of virulence factors that endow S. aureus with its abilities to colonize peri-prosthesis tissues and to attack and damage them. Following an infective strategy orchestrated by agr locus, Staphylococcus aureus first deploys virulence factors for adhesion to the prosthesis and peri-prosthesis tissues and then launches its attack by delivering destructive factors.
The International journal of artificial organs 11/2011; 34(9):771-80. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus is the leading etiologic agent of implant orthopedic infections. Until recently S. aureus was considered a mere extracellular pathogen; it then turned out to be able to invade eukaryotic cells. Adhesion of S. aureus to peri-prosthesis tissues represents the starting of the infection pathogenesis and the first step of the subsequent internalization of S. aureus by host cells. In the present work the experimental observations on two epidemic clinical strains differing in their adhesin pattern demonstrate the crucial role of the fibronectin-binding protein A in the internalization process and suggest that CNA and Bbp adhesins can play a synergistic role by acting in the initial adhesion of S. aureus to osteoblasts, thus favoring the subsequent FnBPA-mediated internalization.
The International journal of artificial organs 11/2011; 34(9):789-98. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are the most important class of innate pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) by which host immune and non-immune cells are able to recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Most mammalian species have 10 to 15 types of TLRs. TLRs are believed to function as homo- or hetero-dimers. TLR2, which plays a crucial role in recognizing PAMPs from Staphylococcus aureus, forms heterodimers with TLR1 or TLR6 and each dimer has a different ligand specificity. Staphylococcal lipoproteins, Panton-Valentine toxin and Phenol Soluble Modulins have been identified as potent TLR2 ligands. Conversely, the ligand function attributed to peptidoglycan and LTA remains controversial. TLR2 uses a MyD88-dependent signaling pathway that results in NF-kB translocation into the nucleus and activation of the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes. Recognition rouses both an inflammatory response, culminating in the phagocytosis of bacteria, and an adaptive immune response, with the presentation of resulting bacterial compounds to T cells. Here, recent advances on the recognition of S. aureus by TLRs are presented and discussed, as well as the new therapeutic opportunities deriving from this new knowledge.
The International journal of artificial organs 11/2011; 34(9):799-810. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection is still the major complication of orthopedic implants and projections based on the actual trend indicate that total hip and knee arthroplasties and their consequent infection burden are destined to greatly increase. Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are the leading etiologic agents of orthopedic implant infection. Here we report on epidemiology of implant-related Staphylococcus infections in orthopedics, also referring to our experience, and focus on the crucial role of bacterial adhesins and on their ability to direct the pathogenesis process. Bacteria initiate implant infection by adhering to biomaterials. In the early steps of infection, adhesins mediate the specific interaction between microbial cells and the extracellular matrix proteins filming biomaterial surface. Then adhesin-mediated anchorage allows bacteria to cling to the biomaterial surface and to produce a biofilm that favors their ability to resist antibiotics. With the aim to prevent implant-related infections, anti-infective and infection-resistant biomaterials are being developed. The research for novel therapeutic strategies is incited by the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Vaccines against the adhesins or antisense molecules against virulence genes can open a future in combating implant infections.