Francisco Rodriguez-Frias

Francisco Rodriguez-Frias
University Hospital Vall d'Hebron · Bichemistry and Microbiology (Virology Unit)

PhD

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347
Publications
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Publications

Publications (347)
Preprint
The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant emerged showing higher transmissibility and possibly higher resistance to current COVID-19 vaccines than other variants dominating the global pandemic. In a March 2020 study performed in clinical samples, we found that a portion of genomes in the SARS-CoV-2 viral population accumulated deletions at the S1/S2 cleavage...
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Objectives Administration of busulfan is extending rapidly as a part of a conditioning regimen in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Monitoring blood plasma levels of busulfan is recommended for identifying the optimal dose in patients and for minimizing toxicity. The aim of this research was to validate a simple, r...
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Background Two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic no predictive algorithm has been generally adopted for clinical management and in most algorithms the contribution of laboratory variables is limited. Objectives To measure the predictive performance of currently used clinical laboratory tests alone or combined with clinical variables a...
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Deletions in the 3′ end region of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) X open reading frame (HBX) may affect the core promoter (Cp) and have been frequently associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of variants with deletions and/or insertions (Indels) in this region in the quasispecies of 50 chron...
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The aim of this study was to determine reference intervals in an outpatient population from Vall d'Hebron laboratory using an indirect approach previously described in a Dutch population (NUMBER project). We used anonymized test results from individuals visiting general practitioners and analysed during 2018. Analytical quality was assured by EQA p...
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In order to achieve hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination, strategies are needed to identify HCV patients and link them to care. This study aimed to evaluate the value of retrieval of HCV‐RNA positive lost to follow‐up (LTFU) individuals for treatment (ReLink‐C strategy) and the impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic. ReLink‐C involved a retrospective searc...
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Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a leading cause of cirrhosis in western countries. Insulin resistance (IR), type 2 diabetes (T2D), and the polymorphisms patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3) rs738409 and transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2) rs58542926 are independent risk factors of NASH. Nevertheless, little is kn...
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The measurement and interpretation of HBV DNA and RNA levels in HBV infected patients treated with antiviral therapy supports the objective of HBV disease management. Here, we quantified circulating HBV RNA through a standardized and sensitive assay in follow-up samples from both naive and treated patients as a marker of infection evolution. HBV DN...
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Predicting disease severity in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 is difficult. Soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (sACE2) arises from the shedding of membrane ACE2 (mACE2), which is a receptor for SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. We evaluated the predictive value of sACE2 compared with known biomarkers of inflammation and tissue damage (CRP, GDF-15,...
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Background SARS-CoV-2 infection portends a broad range of outcomes, from a majority of asymptomatic cases to a lethal disease. Robust correlates of severe COVID-19 include old age, male sex, poverty, and co-morbidities such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. A precise knowledge of the molecular and biological mechanisms that may expl...
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Virus pandemics have happened, are happening and will happen again. In recent decades, the rate of zoonotic viral spillover into humans has accelerated, mirroring the expansion of our global footprint and travel network, including the expansion of viral vectors and the destruction of natural spaces, bringing humans closer to wild animals. Once vira...
Preprint
Background Almost two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic no predictive algorithm has been generally adopted, nor new tests identified to improve the prediction and management of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods Retrospective observational analysis of the predictive performance of clinical parameters and laboratory tests in hospitalised pa...
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Background & Aims Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimens provide a cure in >95% of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Patients who fail therapy may select viruses with drug resistance-associated substitutions (RAS), limiting retreatment options and risking onward resistant virus transmission. SHARED is an international consortium of clinicians...
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The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) genome has an autocatalytic region called the ribozyme, which is essential for viral replication. The aim of this study was to use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to analyze the ribozyme quasispecies (QS) in order to study its evolution and identify highly conserved regions potentially suitable for a gene-silencing...
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Universal history is characterized by continuous evolution, in which civilizations are born and die. This evolution is associated with multiple factors, among which the role of microorganisms is often overlooked. Viruses and bacteria have written or decisively contributed to terrible episodes of history, such as the Black Death in 14th century Euro...
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Liver disease is frequently asymptomatic, challenging early identification in the primary care setting. The fibrosis 4 (FIB4) index is a liver fibrosis biomarker that is a potential alternative to liver biopsy for diagnosing and managing liver disease. This study aimed to calculate the FIB4 index for screening individuals at high risk of liver dise...
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Background: Different forms of pregenomic and other hepatitis B virus (HBV) RNA have been detected in patients' sera. These circulating HBV-RNAs may be useful for monitoring covalently closed circular DNA activity, and predicting hepatitis B e-antigen seroconversion or viral rebound after nucleos(t)ide analog cessation. Data on serum HBV-RNA quasi...
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The original version of this article [1] unfortunately contained a mistake. The department details for second affiliation were missing in the original publication of the article. It has been added in this correction. The correct affiliation details should read as Department of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barceona, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona,...
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We read with interest the article by Mak et al. (1) that assessed HBV‐RNA profiles using real‐time PCR (m2000 system, Abbott Diagnostics, Abbott Park, USA), and their correlation with other viral biomarkers, in a large cohort of chronic hepatitis‐B (CHB) patients, either treatment‐naïve or receiving nucleos(t)ide analogues. The authors reported med...
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Background Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is considered one of the most common genetic diseases and is characterised by the misfolding and polymerisation of the alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) protein within hepatocytes. The relevance of circulating polymers (CP) of AAT in the pathogenesis of lung and liver disease is not completely understood. Th...
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Background Hepatitis C virus (HCV) management is a challenge in patients with substance use disorder (SUD). This study aimed to describe an HCV screening and linkage to care program in SUD patients, and analyze the characteristics of this population in relation to HCV infection, particularly the impact of psychiatric comorbidities (dual diagnosis)....
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Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major public health threat for migrant populations in Spain and efforts to scale up testing are needed to reach the WHO elimination targets. The Hepatitis B Virus Community Screening and Vaccination in Africans (HBV-COMSAVA) study aims to use point-of-care testing and simplified diagnostic tools to ide...
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Introduction: A common trait among RNA viruses is their high capability to acquire genetic variability due to viral and host mechanisms. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis enables deep study of the viral quasispecies in samples from infected individuals. Methods: In this study, the viral quasispecies complexity and single nucleotide polymorp...
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Background Spontaneous HDV-RNA fluctuations, assessed by nonstandardised in-house assays, have been reported during the course of chronic hepatitis delta (CHD). Aims To evaluate changes in serum HDV-RNA concentrations in untreated CHD patients and correlate these changes with other HBV markers. Methods A total of 323 consecutive serum samples fro...
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Background & aims: HCV CD4+ and CD8+ specific T cells responses are functionally impaired during chronic hepatitis C infection. DAAs therapies eradicate HCV infection in more than 95% of treated patients. However, the impact of HCV elimination on immune responses remain controversial. Here, we aimed to investigate whether HCV cure by DAAs could re...
Preprint
Full-text available
Infection with SARS-CoV-2 portends a broad range of outcomes, from a majority of asymptomatic cases or mild clinical courses to a lethal disease. Robust correlates of severe COVID-19 include old age, male sex, poverty and co-morbidities such as obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. A precise knowledge is still lacking of the molecular and bi...
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Full-text available
Objectives The strain the SARS-COV-2 pandemic is putting on hospitals requires that predictive values are identified for a rapid triage and management of patients at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19. We developed and validated a prognostic model of COVID-19 severity. Methods A descriptive, comparative study of patients with positive vs....
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Resumen Objetivos Durante la pandemia causada por el virus SARS-CoV-2 ha surgido la necesidad de identificar variables predictivas que permitan una rápida identificación de aquellos pacientes que desarrollarán la COVID-19 severa para una rápida intervención. Este estudio ha desarrollado y validado un modelo capaz de realizar un pronóstico de sever...
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Introduction Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes a complex and persistent infection with a major impact on patients health. Viral-genome sequencing can provide valuable information for characterizing virus genotype, infection dynamics and drug and vaccine resistance. Areas covered This article reviews the current literature to describe the next-generat...
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Screening of liver disease in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is usually carried out with liver enzymes, with low sensitivity. We conducted a multicenter cross-sectional study aiming to describe the utility of transient elastography for the identification of liver disease in patients with AATD. A total of 148 AATD patients were included. Amon...
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Diagnosis and clinical management of people infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) relies on results from a combination of serological and virological tests. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of dried plasma spots (DPS), prepared using the cobas® Plasma Separation Card (PSC), to plasma and serum from venipuncture, for HCV diagnosi...
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Direct acting‐antivirals (DAAs) resolve chronic HCV infection in >95% of patients, but a small percentage do not respond to DAA‐based therapy. These may be difficult to treat because of resistance‐associated substitutions (RAS) emerging after treatment failure. Triple therapy with sofosbuvir(SOF)/velpatasvir(VEL)/voxilaprevir(VOX) is the recommende...
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Patients with HBeAg-negative chronic infection (CI) have not been extensively studied because of low viremia. The HBx protein, encoded by HBX, has a key role in viral replication. Here, we analyzed the viral quasispecies at the 5′ end of HBX in CI patients and compared it with that of patients in other clinical stages. Fifty-eight HBeAg-negative pa...
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Background Aims Factors associated with a successful outcome upon nucleos(t)ide analog (NA) treatment withdrawal in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) HBeAg-negative patients have yet to be clarified. The objective of this study was to analyze the HBV-specific T cell response, in parallel with peripheral and intrahepatic viral parameters, in patients underg...
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Dried blood spots (DBS) have been proposed as an alternative diagnostic technique for chronic viral hepatitis. The aim of this observational study was to correlate serologic HBV, HCV, and HDV status and reflex the respective viral load testing by PSC-DBS samples from capillary blood vs conventional plasma samples in patients with chronic viral hepa...
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Background: Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) remains largely underdiagnosed despite recommendations of healthcare institutions and programmes designed to increase awareness. The objective was to analyse the trends in AATD diagnosis during the last 5 years in a Spanish AATD reference laboratory. Methods: This was a retrospective revision of...
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Despite the high virological response rates achieved with current directly-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) against hepatitis C virus (HCV), around 2% to 5% of treated patients do not achieve a sustained viral response. Identification of amino acid substitutions associated with treatment failure requires analytical designs, such as subtype-specific u...
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The SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, the viral mediator for binding and entry into the host cell, has sparked great interest as a target for vaccine development and treatments with neutralizing antibodies. Initial data suggest that the virus has low mutation rates, but its large genome could facilitate recombination, insertions, and deletions, as has...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite the high sustained virological response rates achieved with current directly-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) against hepatitis C virus (HCV), around 2% to 5% of treated patients do not achieve a sustained viral response. Identification of amino acid substitutions associated with treatment failure requires analytical designs, such as subtype-...
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Background and Aim Etiologies of acute viral hepatitis in high-income countries change with migration of populations, lifestyle changes, and emergence of new pathogens. We analyzed etiologies, characteristics, and outcomes of patients with acute viral hepatitis at a tertiary hospital in Spain. Methods We analyzed data from all patients with acute...
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Objective To study the prevalence and distribution of HBV genotypes in Spain for the period 2000-2016. Methods Retrospective study recruiting 2559 patients from 17 hospitals. Distribution of HBV genotypes, as well as sex, age, geographical origin, mode of transmission, HDV-, HIV- and/or HCV-coinfection, and treatment were recorded. Results 1924 c...
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Background There is considerable variation in disease behavior among patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Genomewide association analysis may allow for the identification of potential genetic factors involved in the development of Covid-19. M...
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Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is an inherited condition characterized by reduced levels of serum Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) due to mutations in the SERPINA1 gene. The Pi*S (Glu264Val) is one of the most frequent deficient alleles of AATD, showing high incidence in the Iberian Peninsula. Herein, we describe two new alleles carrying S mutation...