University of Ioannina
  • Ioánnina, Greece
Recent publications
In this study, Okun’s law is empirically assessed for the 257 NUTS2 (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) European regions over the period 2010–2020, which is characterised by intense economic, societal and political changes as a consequence of the 2009 economic crisis, the austerity measures followed and the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Okun’s law equation is estimated using instrumental variables regression, employing a two-step methodology: (1) a panel regression estimator to obtain predicted variables of the endogenous variable (Gross Domestic Product (GDP) % change) by including the appropriate instruments in the model, (2) a linear-mixed fixed, random coefficient model and empirical Bayes predictions for the random intercepts and random slopes to obtain Okun’s coefficients. Study results confirm the Okun’s law for all regions under consideration and suggest that unemployment responses to economic growth differ among regions; either due to business cycle effects or structural labour-market factors. For regions depicting the strongest inverse impact of GDP on unemployment, a cyclical recovery is expected to be accompanied by a reduction in unemployment; while the weakest inverse relationship observed is associated with structural factors (i.e. industry composition, labour-force skills, long-term unemployment). At policymaking level, considering regional labour-market idiosyncrasies is of utmost importance to differentiate labour policies.
Based on the strong binding and high selectivity properties of 2,6-bis[hydroxy(methyl)amino]-4-morpholino-1,3,5-tria-zine (H 2 bihyat) for [U VI O 2 ] 2+ , novel binucleating ligands (BLs) N,N′,N″,N‴-((1,4-phenylenebis(oxy))bis(1,3,5-triazine-6,2,4-triyl))-tetrakis(N-methylhydroxylamine) (H 4 qtn), N 1 ,N 4-bis(4,6-bis(hydroxy-(methyl)amino)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)benzene-1,4-diamine (H 4 pdl), and N 1 ,N 2-bis(4,6-bis(hydroxy(methyl)amino)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)ethane-1,2-diamine (H 4 enl) were synthesized. Binuclear complexes formed by coordination of hard metal ions with H 4 qtn are thermodynamically more stable than their mononuclear analogues with H 2 bihyat due to the increase in entropy accompanying the formation of more chelate rings. Reaction of either H 4 qtn or H 4 pdl or H 4 enl with [U VI O 2 ] 2+ and [V V O 2 ] + resulted in the isolation of the binuclear complexes [(U VI O 2) 2 (μ-qtn)(H 2 O) 4 ] (1), [(V V O 2) 2 (μ-qtn)][PPh 4 ] 2 [PPh4] (2), [(U VI O 2) 2 (μ-pdl)(H 2 O) 2 (MeOH) 2 ] (3), [(V V O 2) 2 (μ-pdl)][PPh 4 ] 2 (4), [(U VI O 2) 2 (μ-enl)(H 2 O) 4 ] (5), and [(V V O 2) 2 (μ-enl)]-[PPh 4 ] 2 (6). The binuclear complexes 1−6 were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis in solid state and by NMR and ESI-MS in solution. The comparison of the coordination ability of the BLs with either pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid (H 2 dipic) or H 2 bihyat or CO 3 2− toward [U VI O 2 ] 2+ and [V V O 2 ] + was investigated by NMR and UV−vis spectroscopies and DFT theoretical calculations, revealing a superior performance of BLs. The selectivity of the BLs for [U VI O 2 ] 2+ over [V V O 2 ] + is decreased compared to that of H 2 bihyat but increases considerably at pH > 9 values. Formation of the mixed-metal binuclear species [U VI O 2 (μ-O)V V O 2 ] influences the selectivity and dynamics of the reaction of H 4 qtn for [U VI O 2 ] 2+ and [V V O 2 ] + in aqueous solution. The results of this study provide crucial information for the ligand design and the development of stronger and more selective systems. ■ INTRODUCTION In recent years, the synthesis of new siderophores has become the focus of intense scientific research for the development of strong and selective chelators for hard metal ions and their application in removal of toxic metals from the environment and humans and from the radioactive wastes produced by nuclear industries and metal mining from seawater. 1−26 Amidoxime-containing polymers are considered the most promising candidates for the extraction of uranium from the sea. 27−31 However, amidoximes lack desirable selectivity for binding uranium in the presence of other hard metal ions, in particular, vanadium(V) and iron(III). 32−39 In order to improve the ligands' selectivity for binding [U VI O 2 ] 2+ , the chelating group has to satisfy the soft−hard acid−base properties and the geometric preferences of the metal ion. The equatorial plane of [U VI O 2 ] 2+ is the only one available for coordination, meaning that planar, penta-, or hexadentate hard-donor ligands fulfill the ligation requirements for selective binding of [U VI O 2 ] 2+ (Schemes 1 and 2). 26
Background Extra Virgin Olive oil (EVOO), a natural product with a multidiscipline role has been and is continuing to be studied from several points of view. Among them, its chemical analysis is of major importance and several methods have been used. NMR spectroscopy bears its inherent advantages, among them monitoring the chemical constituents without the need of a separation technique and without for instance possible carry over effects. Additionally, several magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques can provide a novel powered insight in the nature and the properties of a sample under study. Moreover, ‐omics procedure can reveal new information and can lead to the classification of populations under study. The main objective of the present work was the possible classification of the EVOO samples based on their aldehyde content using a proposed unreferenced ¹ H NMR spectroscopic quantification method combined with a metabolomic approach. Moreover, the study of the impact of such elevated aldehyde content to several spectra regions of importance in the proton NMR spectra, along with the proposal of a new isomer ‐ possible indicator. Results Univariate analysis of twelve EVOO samples showed that oleacein, oleocanthal, elenolic acid, the hydroxytyrosol / hydroxytyrosol derivatives and tyrosol / tyrosol derivatives, strongly differentiate the two classes of EVOO: the OEH (for high aldehyde EVOO content) and the OE (for non‐high aldehyde content). Moreover, we pointed out the “impact” of such elevated secoiridoid and derivatives’ content, through their moieties’ units, on a range of several resonances of the ¹ H NMR spectrum. The metabolomic approach, showed the classification of EVOO samples based on their secoiridoid and their derivatives’ content. Multivariate analysis showed a strong influence on the discrimination of the EVOO classes based on the protons resonating at the aldehyde region of the ¹ H NMR spectrum; the aldehyde protons that correspond to 5 S ,4 R ‐ligstrodial and 5 S ,4 R ‐oleuropeindial, oleacein, oleocanthal, elenolic acid, p‐HPEA‐EA, 3,4‐DHPEA‐EA, 5 S ,4 R ‐ and 5 S ,4 S ‐ ligstrodial and the proton that correspond to a new compound that is reported for the first time. This isomer compound, reported for the first time, could serve as a possible indicator for the EVOO classification. Conclusions An unreferenced quantification method was proposed and EVOO samples were classified into two classes: OEH and OE according to their aldehyde content gaining thus probably higher nutrient and possible pharmacological value. Moreover, we point out the “impact” of such elevated aldehyde content on several spectral regions of the ¹ H spectrum. Finally, a new compound was detected in the OEH samples and is reported for the first time. This compound could possibly be an indicator. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Managing daily nutrition is a prominent concern among individuals in contemporary society. The advancement of dietary assessment systems and applications utilizing images has facilitated the effective management of individuals' nutritional information and dietary habits over time. The determination of food weight or volume is a vital part in these systems for assessing food quantities and nutritional information. This study presents a novel methodology for evaluating the weight of food by utilizing extracted features from images and training them through advanced boosting regression algorithms. Α unique dataset of 23,052 annotated food images of Mediterranean cuisine, including 226 different dishes with a reference object placed next to the dish, was used to train the proposed pipeline. Then, using extracted features from the annotated images, such as food area, reference object area, food id, food category, and food weight, we built a dataframe with 24,996 records. Finally, we trained the weight estimation model by applying cross validation, hyperparameter tuning, and boosting regression algorithms such as XGBoost, CatBoost, and LightGBM. Between the predicted and actual weight values for each food in the proposed dataset, the proposed model achieves a mean weight absolute error 3.93 g, a mean absolute percentage error 3.73% and a root mean square error 6.05 g for the 226 food items of the Mediterranean Greek Food database (MedGRFood), setting new perspectives in food image-based weight and nutrition estimate models and systems.
Aim To explore the experiences of older adults (65+) living with acquired brain injury regarding their sense of well‐being during physical rehabilitation within the Greek Healthcare System. Background With the increasing ageing population and the life‐changing effects of acquired brain injury, there is a need to focus on care for older people and their potential to live well. Rehabilitation systems deserve greater attention, especially in improving the well‐being of those who are using them. Design A qualitative study design with a hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used. Methods Fourteen older adults living with acquired brain injury and undergoing physical rehabilitation in Greece were purposively sampled. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted to collect data and were thematically analysed using van Manen's and Clarke and Braun's methods. The COREQ checklist was followed. Results Four themes emerged from the analysis: (1) Challenges of new life situation, (2) Seeking emotional and practical support through social interaction, (3) Identifying contextual processes of rehabilitation, (4) Realising the new self. Conclusions The subjective experiences, intersubjective relations and contextual conditions influence the sense of well‐being among older adults living with acquired brain injury, thus impacting the realisation of their new self. The study makes the notion of well‐being a more tangible concept by relating it to the degree of adaptation to the new situation and the potential for older adults to create a future whilst living with acquired brain injury. Relevance for Clinical Practice Identifying the factors that impact older adults' sense of well‐being during rehabilitation can guide healthcare professionals in enhancing the quality of care offered and providing more dignified and humanising care. Patient or Public Contribution Older adults living with acquired brain injury were involved in the study as participants providing the research data.
This study presents a design for green synthesis of silver nanoparticles and nanobioconjugates to enhance enzymatic activity and biosynthesis of biodiesel using free and immobilized enzymes. Enzymes were immobilized by covalent attachment with Ag-PDA complex, PDA bound MSN complex, PDA coated MSN functionalized aluminum nanoparticles, and PDA coated MSN functionalized Fe nanoparticles. 2.47 U/mL increase in the activity of Ag-PDA bound trypsin was observed. Conjugated trypsin retained 80–95% of its activity after 5 days of storage at 4 °C while unconjugated enzyme retained 45% activity. Trypsin immobilized on Ag-PDA complex, PDA coated MSN-Al nanoparticles, PDA bound MSN complex, and PDA coated MSN functionalized Fe nanoparticles retained a residual activity of 80.3%, 78.5%, 68.6% and 66.4% correspondingly after 5, 4, 4, and 3 consecutive operations, respectively. Excellent coupling of biocompatible silver nanoparticles with remarkable adhesive attributes of PDA deposition on silver nanoparticles made Ag-PDA complex very efcient for the immobilization of trypsin by providing a large surface area for the active binding to the trypsin molecules. Biodiesel was synthesized by using lipase immobilized cerium oxide, MSN supported iron, and silica nanosystems. Maximum of 80% biodiesel yield was produced by lipase immobilized cerium oxide nanoparticles. Immobilized nanoparticles were recovered and reused for biodiesel production with a low percentage biodiesel yield.
Background Candida auris is an emerging pathogen, which can spread efficiently and cause outbreaks in healthcare settings.The purpose of this study is to highlight the importance of strict infection control measures to prevent in-hospital C. auris transmission. Methods Single-center retrospective observational study in hospitalized patients at the 2nd Department of Intensive Care Medicine (ICU) of G. Papanikolaou General Hospital from 02-11-2022 until 28-02-2023. Patient outcomes and epidemiologic indices were recorded. In total 79 surveillance cultures in 18 patients (male: 75%, median age: 51 years) were performed, while 187 surface samples were collected. Results After C. auris isolation from the index patient, colonization screening was performed in all ICU patients. C. auris was detected in a neighboring patient, 24 hours later, and in another patient from a central venous catheter tip culture 2 months later. An environmental culture from a pulse oximeter, was also positive. Immediately, an epidemiologic investigation was conducted, and an intensive infection control program was implemented in the ICU. Measures included strict adherence to standard and contact precautions and hand hygiene, isolation of positive cases, dedicated staff to care for patients with C. auris, disposable or specialized equipment for patient care, and cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and equipment. In addition, surveillance cultures were performed twice weekly for each patient and once weekly for the environment. Also, to control the transmission to other departments, patient transfer was limited. At the same time, ICU personnel was educated on the significance and implementation of infection control bundles. The above measures resulted in the control of transmission of Candida auris in our hospital. Conclusion Strengthening appropriate infection control interventions and increasing compliance to their implementation, combined with continued surveillance and healthcare worker engagement by education, can prevent the transmission of pathogens such as Candida auris in healthcare settings. Disclosures All Authors: No reported disclosures
One of the most exceptional, loud paradigm of shape polymorphisms constitutes the “rostral loss” condition in hippolytid shrimps. The intertidal shrimp Hippolyte sapphica includes two conspecific morphotypes, one of which demonstrates a neotenic rostrum (morph-B). Morphs’ rostral elongation is controlled by a single genetic locus, with long rostra (morph-A) representing the recessive state and short, larval-like ones the completely dominant state. Geometrics morphometry on the species morphotypes revealed also the homozygous/heterozygous state of the gene site along with some induced body’ adaptations, which compete the micro-evolutionary disadvantage of the “rostral loss”. We found recently that females’ viability and maternal energy investment selectively favors morph-A. The present contribution detects and discuss comparatively demographic and reproductive traits in species mixed (both morphs) and unmixed populations. Our results show that this sharp dimorphic rostral condition is a sex-related marker and that the species is gonochoric. Presence of morph-B results to (a) lower egg production (b) higher seasonally males’ percentage (c) morph-A females’ earlier maturation and (d) higher fecundity in morph-A mixed populations. It seems that the “rostral loss” state induces complex adaptations between the two morphotypes through sex ratios equilibria, morphotypes’ growth rates, and morphs’ fecundity differentiate inputs throughout the seasons.
Alpha-synuclein (SNCA) accumulation plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Determining and interfering with the mechanisms that control SNCA expression is one approach to limiting disease progression. Currently, most of our understanding of SNCA regulation is protein-based. Post-transcriptional mechanisms directly regulating SNCA mRNA expression via its 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) were investigated here. Mass spectrometry of proteins pulled down from murine brain lysates using a biotinylated SNCA 3′UTR revealed multiple RNA-binding proteins, of which HNRNPD/AUF1 was chosen for further analysis. AUF1 bound both proximal and distal regions of the SNCA 3′UTR, but not the 5′UTR or CDS. In the nucleus, AUF1 attenuated SNCA pre-mRNA maturation and was indispensable for the export of SNCA transcripts. AUF1 destabilized SNCA transcripts in the cytosol, primarily those with shorter 3′UTRs, independently of microRNAs by recruiting the CNOT1-CNOT7 deadenylase complex to trim the polyA tail. Furthermore, AUF1 inhibited SNCA mRNA binding to ribosomes. These data identify AUF1 as a multi-tasking protein regulating maturation, nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, stability and translation of SNCA transcripts.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized by demyelination and axonal loss. It is induced by attack of autoreactive lymphocytes on the myelin sheath and endogenous remyelination failure, eventually leading to accumulation of neurological disability. Disease-modifying agents can successfully address inflammatory relapses, but have low efficacy in progressive forms of MS, and cannot stop the progressive neurodegenerative process. Thus, the stem cell replacement therapy approach, which aims to overcome CNS cell loss and remyelination failure, is considered a promising alternative treatment. Although the mechanisms behind the beneficial effects of stem cell transplantation are not yet fully understood, neurotrophic support, immunomodulation, and cell replacement appear to play an important role, leading to a multifaceted fight against the pathology of the disease. The present systematic review is focusing on the efficacy of stem cells to migrate at the lesion sites of the CNS and develop functional oligodendrocytes remyelinating axons. While most studies confirm the improvement of neurological deficits after the administration of different stem cell types, many critical issues need to be clarified before they can be efficiently introduced into clinical practice.
Objective Despite the significant advances in healthcare, people living with HIV still face challenges that affect their quality of life (QoL), both in terms of their physical state as represented by frailty and of their illness perceptions (IP). The aim of this study was to unravel the associations between these constructs (QoL, frailty, IP). Methods This multicenter, cross-sectional study included 477 people living with HIV (93% male; median age = 43 years, IQR = 51.7) from six HIV clinics in Greece. Frailty phenotype, QoL and IP were assessed using Fried’s criteria, EuroQoL (EQ-5D-5L) and Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ), respectively. Network analysis model was utilized. Results Among frailty criteria, exhaustion had the highest expected influence, while the strongest correlation concerns exhaustion and weak grip strength (pr = 0.14). Regarding the QoL items, usual activities displayed the highest expected influence. The correlations of pain/discomfort with mobility (pr = 0.31), and usual activities with self-care (pr = 0.34) were the strongest. For the BIPQ items, the strongest correlation was found between illness concern and emotional response (pr = 0.45), whereas the latter item was the one that displayed the highest expected influence. Three communities were formed: 1) personal control, treatment control and coherence, 2) the frailty items with mobility, self-care, usual activities, and pain/discomfort, and 3) the rest BIPQ items with anxiety/depression. Identity displayed the highest bridge strength, followed by pain/discomfort, usual activities and consequences. Conclusions The interplay between QoL, frailty, and IP in people living with HIV requires clinical attention. Self-reported exhaustion, slow walking speed, and low physical activity affect the physical QoL dimensions, while anxiety/depression is strongly associated with illness-related concern and perceived emotional effects, leading to psychological distress. Symptom management can improve QoL, and information on the disease and treatment can enhance control over the disease. Developing interventions to address QoL, frailty, and IP is crucial.
The PR domain-containing 9 or PRDM9 is a gene recognized for its fundamental role in meiosis, a process essential for forming reproductive cells. Recent findings have implicated alterations in the PRDM9, particularly its zinc finger motifs, in the onset and progression of cancer. This association is manifested through genomic instability and the misregulation of genes critical to cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. In our comprehensive study, we harnessed advanced bioinformatic mining tools to delve deep into the intricate relationship between PRDM9F and cancer. We analyzed 136,752 breakpoints and found an undeniable association between specific PRDM9 motifs and the occurrence of double-strand breaks, a phenomenon evidenced in every cancer profile examined. Utilizing R statistical querying and the Regioner package, 55 unique sequence variations of PRDM9 were statistically correlated with cancer, from a pool of 1024 variations. A robust analysis using the Enrichr tool revealed prominent associations with various cancer types. Moreover, connections were noted with specific phenotypic conditions and molecular functions, underlining the pervasive influence of PRDM9 variations in the biological spectrum. The Reactome tool identified 25 significant pathways associated with cancer, offering insights into the mechanistic underpinnings linking PRDM9 to cancer progression. This detailed analysis not only confirms the pivotal role of PRDM9 in cancer development, but also unveils a complex network of biological processes influenced by its variations. The insights gained lay a solid foundation for future research aimed at deciphering the mechanistic pathways of PRDM9, offering prospects for targeted interventions and innovative therapeutic approaches in cancer management.
Background: A link between inflammation and venous thromboembolism (VTE) in COVID-19 disease has been suggested pathophysiologically and clinically. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between inflammation and disease outcomes in adult hospitalized COVID-19 patients with VTE. Methods: This was a retrospective observational study, including quantitative and qualitative data collected from COVID-19 patients hospitalized at the Infectious Diseases Unit (IDU) of the University Hospital of Ioannina, from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2022. Venous thromboembolism was defined as a diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE) and/or vascular tree-in-bud in the lungs. The burden of disease, assessed by computed tomography of the lungs (CTBoD), was quantified as the percentage (%) of the affected lung parenchyma. The study outcomes were defined as death, intubation, and length of hospital stay (LoS). A chi-squared test and univariate logistic regression analyses were performed in IBM SPSS 28.0. Results: After propensity score matching, the final study cohort included 532 patients. VTE was found in 11.2% of the total population. In patients with VTE, we found that lymphocytopenia and a high neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio were associated with an increased risk of intubation and death, respectively. Similarly, CTBoD > 50% was associated with a higher risk of intubation and death in this group of patients. The triglyceride-glucose (TyG) index was also linked to worse outcomes. Conclusions: Inflammatory indices were associated with VTE. Lymphocytopenia and an increased neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio negatively impacted the disease's prognosis and outcomes. Whether these indices unfavorably affect outcomes in COVID-19-associated VTE must be further evaluated.
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