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The human genome contains approximately 20 thousand protein-coding genes, but the size of the collection of antigen receptors of the adaptive immune system that is generated by the recombination of gene segments with non-templated junctional additions (on B cells) is unknown-although it is certainly orders of magnitude larger. It has not been established whether individuals possess unique (or private) repertoires or substantial components of shared (or public) repertoires. Here we sequence recombined and expressed B cell receptor genes in several individuals to determine the size of their B cell receptor repertoires, and the extent to which these are shared between individuals. Our experiments revealed that the circulating repertoire of each individual contained between 9 and 17 million B cell clonotypes. The three individuals that we studied shared many clonotypes, including between 1 and 6% of B cell heavy-chain clonotypes shared between two subjects (0.3% of clonotypes shared by all three) and 20 to 34% of λ or κ light chains shared between two subjects (16 or 22% of λ or κ light chains, respectively, were shared by all three). Some of the B cell clonotypes had thousands of clones, or somatic variants, within the clonotype lineage. Although some of these shared lineages might be driven by exposure to common antigens, previous exposure to foreign antigens was not the only force that shaped the shared repertoires, as we also identified shared clonotypes in umbilical cord blood samples and all adult repertoires. The unexpectedly high prevalence of shared clonotypes in B cell repertoires, and identification of the sequences of these shared clonotypes, should enable better understanding of the role of B cell immune repertoires in health and disease.
Regulation of the ductus arteriosus, an essential fetal vessel connecting the pulmonary artery and aorta, is complex. Failure of this vessel to close after birth may result in a persistent left-to-right shunt through the patent ductus arteriosus, a condition associated with significant morbidities. Numerous factors contribute to the shift from fetal ductus patency to postnatal closure, requiring precise coordination of molecular cues with biomechanical forces and underlying genetic influences. Despite significant advances, questions remain regarding signaling dynamics and the natural time course of ductus closure, particularly in preterm neonates. This review highlights the contributions of early investigators and more recent clinician scientists to our understanding of the molecular and mechanical factors that mediate ductus patency and closure.
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
OBJECTIVE - Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common surgical emergency in preterm infants, and pathogenesis associates with changes in the fecal microbiome. As fecal samples incompletely represent microbial communities in intestinal mucosa, we sought to determine the NEC tissue-specific microbiome and assess its contribution to pathogenesis.
DESIGN - We amplified and sequenced the V1-V3 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene extracted from intestinal tissue and corresponding fecal samples from 12 surgical patients with NEC and 14 surgical patients without NEC. Low quality and non-bacterial sequences were removed, and taxonomic assignment was made with the Ribosomal Database Project. Operational taxonomic units were clustered at 97%. We tested for differences between NEC and non-NEC samples in microbiome alpha- and beta-diversity and differential abundance of specific taxa between NEC and non-NEC samples. Additional analyses were performed to assess the contribution of other demographic and environmental confounding factors on the infant tissue and fecal microbiome.
RESULTS - The fecal and tissue microbial communities were different. NEC was associated with a distinct microbiome, which was characterized by low diversity, higher abundances of Staphylococcus and Clostridium_sensu_stricto, and lower abundances of Actinomyces and Corynebacterium. Infant age and vancomycin exposure correlated with shifts in the tissue microbiome.
CONCLUSION - The observed low diversity in NEC tissues suggests that NEC is associated with a bacterial bloom and a distinct mucosal bacterial community. The exact bacterial species that constitute the bloom varied by infant and were strongly influenced by age and exposure to vancomycin.
Sepsis disproportionately affects the very old and the very young. IL-1 signaling is important in innate host defense but may also play a deleterious role in acute inflammatory conditions (including sepsis) by promulgating life-threatening inflammation. IL-1 signaling is mediated by two distinct ligands: IL-1α and IL-1β, both acting on a common receptor (IL-1R1). IL-1R1 targeting has not reduced adult human sepsis mortality despite biologic plausibility. Because the specific role of IL-1α or IL-1β in sepsis survival is unknown in any age group and the role of IL-1 signaling remains unknown in neonates, we studied the role of IL-1 signaling, including the impact of IL-1α and IL-1β, on neonatal murine sepsis survival. IL-1 signaling augments the late plasma inflammatory response to sepsis. IL-1α and not IL-1β is the critical mediator of sepsis mortality, likely because of paracrine actions within the tissue. These data do not support targeting IL-1 signaling in neonates.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Optimal management of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is unclear. One treatment, surgical ligation, is associated with adverse outcomes. We reviewed data from the Kids' Inpatient Database (2000-2012) to determine if PDA ligation rates: (1) changed over time, (2) varied geographically, or (3) influenced surgical complication rates. In 2012, 47,900 infants <1500g birth weight were born in the United States, including 2,800 undergoing PDA ligation (5.9%). Ligation was more likely in infants <1000g (85.9% vs. 46.2%), and associated with necrotizing enterocolitis (59.2% vs. 37.5%), BPD (54.6% vs. 15.2%), severe intraventricular hemorrhage (16.4% vs. 5.3%), and hospital transfer (37.6% vs. 16.4%). Ligation rates peaked in 2006 at 87.4 per 1000 hospital births, dropping to 58.8 in 2012, and were consistently higher in Western states. Infants undergoing ligation were more likely to experience comorbidities. Rates of ligation-associated vocal cord paralysis increased over time (1.2-3.9%); however, mortality decreased (12.4-6.5%). Thus, PDA ligation has become less frequent, although infants being ligated are smaller and more medically complex. Despite increase in some complications, mortality rates improved perhaps reflecting advances in care.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - Standardized care via a unified surgeon preference card for pediatric appendectomy can result in significant cost reduction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of cost and outcome feedback to surgeons on value of care in an environment reluctant to adopt a standardized surgeon preference card.
METHODS - Prospective observational study comparing operating room (OR) supply costs and patient outcomes for appendectomy in children with 6-month observation periods both before and after intervention. The intervention was real-time feedback of OR supply cost data to individual surgeons via automated dashboards and monthly reports.
RESULTS - Two hundred sixteen children underwent laparoscopic appendectomy for non-perforated appendicitis (110 pre-intervention and 106 post-intervention). Median supply cost significantly decreased after intervention: $884 (IQR $705-$1025) to $388 (IQR $182-$776), p<0.001. No significant change was detected in median OR duration (47min [IQR 36-63] to 50min [IQR 38-64], p=0.520) or adverse events (1 [0.9%] to 6 [4.7%], p=0.062). OR supply costs for individual surgeons significantly decreased during the intervention period for 6 of 8 surgeons (87.5%).
CONCLUSION - Approaching value measurement with a surgeon-specific (rather than group-wide) approach can reduce OR supply costs while maintaining excellent clinical outcomes.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - Level II.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a frequent, complex, and difficult to treat clinical syndrome among preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. In addition to known clinical risk factors, there are emerging data about genetic predisposition to PDA in both animal and human models. Clinical response and toxicity from drugs used to treat PDA are highly variable. Developmental and genetic aspects of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics influence exposure and response to pharmacologic therapies. Given the variable efficacy and toxicity of known drug therapies, novel therapeutic targets for PDA treatment offer the promise of precision medicine. This review addresses the known genetic contributions to prolonged ductal patency, variability in response to drug therapy for PDA, and potential novel drug targets for future PDA treatment discovery.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The majority of surviving infants with surgical necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) will have some degree of neurodevelopmental impairment. The impact of specific medial and surgical treatments for infants with severe NEC remains largely unknown but is being actively investigated. It is incumbent upon all providers caring for these infants to continue to focus on long term neurodevelopmental outcomes and to develop more widespread methods of neurodevelopmental assessment.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Background - Recognition that coinfections are common in children with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is increasing, but gaps remain in our understanding of their frequency and importance.
Methods - We analyzed data from 2219 children hospitalized with CAP and compared demographic and clinical characteristics and outcomes between groups with viruses alone, bacteria alone, or coinfections. We also assessed the frequency of selected pairings of codetected pathogens and their clinical characteristics.
Results - A total of 576 children (26%) had a coinfection. Children with only virus detected were younger, more likely to be black, and more likely to have comorbidities such as asthma, compared with children infected with typical bacteria alone. Children with virus-bacterium coinfections had a higher frequency of leukocytosis, consolidation on chest radiography, parapneumonic effusions, intensive care unit admission, and need for mechanical ventilation and an increased length of stay, compared with children infected with viruses alone. Virus-virus coinfections were generally comparable to single-virus infections, with the exception of the need for oxygen supplementation, which was higher during the first 24 hours of hospitalization in some virus-virus pairings.
Conclusions - Coinfections occurred in 26% of children hospitalized for CAP. Children with typical bacterial infections, alone or complicated by a viral infection, have worse outcomes than children infected with a virus alone.