In most regions of the world, antimicrobial resistance has increased to the point where empirical standard triple therapy for Helicobacter pylorieradication is no longer recommended. The treatment outcome in a population is calculated as the sum of the treatment success in the subpopulation with susceptible infections plus treatment success in the subpopulation with resistant infections. The addition of bismuth (i.e., 14-day triple therapy plus bismuth) can improve cure rates despite a high prevalence of antimicrobial resistance. The major bismuth effect is to add an additional 30%-40% to the success with resistant infections. The overall result is therefore dependent on the prevalence of resistance and the treatment success in the subpopulation with resistant infections (eg, with proton-pump inhibitor-amoxicillin dual therapy). Here, we explore the contribution of each component and the mechanisms of how bismuth might enhance the effectiveness of triple therapy. We also discuss the limitations of this approach and provide suggestions how triple therapy plus bismuth might be further improved.
Fifty-four of 59 (91.5%) clarithromycin-resistant isolates of Helicobacter pylori from different patients possessed either the A2143G (formerly A2058G) or the A2144G (formerly A2059G) mutation in the gene encoding 23S rRNA. The A2143G mutation was significantly more likely to occur in isolates with MICs exceeding 64 mg/L (65% versus 30% with the A2144G mutation; P = 0.01). The majority (26 of 31; 83.9%) of isolates with the A2143G mutation had MICs exceeding 64 mg/L. Peptic ulcer disease recurred in a substantial proportion of patients infected with H. pylori strains containing either the A2143G or the A2144G mutation.
High prevalence and low female/male ratio for validated centenarians are observed in Sardinia and these findings appear to be thus far unique to this island. Moreover a specific region on the island is characterized by exceptional male longevity. We calculated the extreme longevity index (ELI), defined as the percentage of persons born in Sardinia between 1880 and 1900, who became centenarians. A gaussian smoothing method was used in order to identify the so-called 'Blue Zone', where longevity is concentrated in the central-eastern part of the island and covers all the mountainous areas of central Sardinia. The estimated life expectancy in the 'Blue Zone' is longer than in the remaining territory of the island especially for men and the male to female ratio among centenarians born in this area is 1.35 compared to 2.43 in the rest of Sardinia. The specific mechanism by which persons living in this territory were more likely to reach extreme longevity remains unknown but it is interesting to note that most of the 'longevity hot spots' identified in various regions of the world over the years have been located in mountainous geographical areas even if none of these longevity regions have been fully validated. An alternative and interesting hypothesis is that the high rate of inbreeding determined by frequent marriages between consanguineous individuals and low immigration rates have progressively decreased the variability of the genetic pool and facilitated the emergence of genetic characteristics that protect individuals from diseases that are major causes of mortality particularly in older individuals. Given the exceptionally high prevalence of male centenarians in the 'Blue Zone', it is reasonable to assume that either the environmental characteristics or the genetic factors, or both, exert their favorable effect more strongly in men than in women. Thus, the mechanism involved may be modulated by the hormonal milieu, or may be associated with genes located in the sex chromosomes.
Amplification and/or activation of the c-Myc protooncogene is one of the leading genetic events along hepatocarcinogenesis. The oncogenic potential of c-Myc has been proven experimentally by the finding that its overexpression in the mouse liver triggers tumor formation. However, the molecular mechanism whereby c-Myc exerts its oncogenic activity in the liver remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) cascade is activated and necessary for c-Myc dependent hepatocarcinogenesis. Specifically, we found that ablation of Raptor, the unique member of the mTORC1 complex, strongly inhibits c-Myc liver tumor formation. Also, p70S6K/ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6) and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1/eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (4EBP1/eIF4E) signaling cascades downstream of mTORC1 are required for c-Myc-driven tumorigenesis. Intriguingly, microarray expression analysis revealed the upregulation of multiple amino acid transporters, including SLC1A5 and SLC7A6, leading to robust uptake of amino acids, including glutamine, into c-Myc tumor cells. Subsequent functional studies showed that amino acids are critical for activation of mTORC1, as their inhibition suppressed mTORC1 in c-Myc tumor cells. In human HCC specimens, levels of c-Myc directly correlate with those of mTORC1 activation as well as of SLC1A5 and SLC7A6. Conclusion Our current study indicates that an intact mTORC1 axis is required for c-Myc-driven hepatocarcinogenesis. Thus, targeting mTOR pathway or amino acid transporters may be an effective and novel therapeutic option for the treatment of HCC with activated c-Myc signaling.
Although many failed surrogate markers are provided in the literature, inflammation may contribute to the outcome of ischemic stroke. In 50 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke, in the absence of symptoms and signs of concomitant infection, we evaluated a panel of biomarkers reported to be variably associated with brain ischemia, and correlate their serum level with the brain lesion volume and clinical outcome. Infarct size was calculated on computed tomography (CT) scans by means of the Cavalieri's method. Neurological impairment was scored by using the Glasgow Coma Scale, Glasgow Outcome Scale and National Institutes of Health (NIH) scales at stroke onset and 3-month follow-up. Some markers showed a direct significant correlation with both initial and final NIH scale and with infarct size, particularly tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) (P=0.002), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (P<0.01) and matrix metalloproteinase-2/9 (P=0.001). In contrast to previous reports, interleukin-6 (IL-6) serum level showed a significant inverse correlation with both final neurological impairment and infarct size (P<0.001). This novel finding allows us suggesting that IL-6, in the context of a complex pro-inflammatory network occurring during stroke, is associated with neuroprotection rather than neurotoxicity in patients with ischemic brain injury.
SUMMARY Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) is a leading cause of gastroduodenal disease, including gastric cancer. H. pylori eradication therapies and their efficacy are summarized. A number of current treatment regimens will reliably yield >90% or 95% cure rates with susceptible strains. None has proven to be superior. We show how to predict the efficacy of a regimen in any population provided one knows the prevalence of antibiotic resistance. As with other infectious diseases, therapy should always be susceptibility-based. Susceptibility testing should be demanded. We provide recommendations for empiric therapies when the only option and describe how to distinguish studies providing misinformation from those providing reliable and interpretable data. When treated as an infectious disease, high H. pylori cure rates are relatively simple to reliably achieve.
Four clinical Helicobacter pylori isolates with high-level resistance to ␤-lactams exhibited low-to moderatelevel resistance to the structurally and functionally unrelated antibiotics ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, metronidazole, rifampin, and tetracycline. This pattern of multidrug resistance was transferable to susceptible H. pylori by natural transformation using naked genomic DNA from a clinical multidrug-resistant isolate. Acquisition of the multidrug resistance was also associated with a change in the genotype of the transformed multidrug-resistant H. pylori. DNA sequence analyses of the gene encoding penicillin binding protein 1A (PBP 1A) showed 36 nucleotide substitutions resulting in 10 amino acid changes in the C-terminal portion (the putative penicillin binding domain). Acquisition of ␤-lactam resistance was consistently associated with transfer of a mosaic block containing the C-terminal portion of PBP 1A. No changes of genes gyrA, rpoB, rrn16S, rdxA, and frxA, and nine other genes (ftsI, hcpA, llm, lytB, mreB, mreC, pbp2, pbp4, and rodA1) encoding putative PBPs or involved in cell wall synthesis were found among the transformed resistant H. pylori. Antibiotic accumulations of chloramphenicol, penicillin, and tetracycline were all significantly decreased in the natural and transformed resistant H. pylori compared to what was seen with susceptible H. pylori. Natural transformation also resulted in the outer membrane protein profiles of the transformed resistant H. pylori becoming similar to that of the clinical resistant H. pylori isolates. Overall, these results demonstrate that high-level ␤-lactam resistance associated with acquired multidrug resistance in clinical H. pylori is mediated by combination strategies including alterations of PBP 1A and decreased membrane permeability.
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