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Influenza is a yearly threat to global public health. Rapid changes in influenza surface proteins resulting from antigenic drift and shift events make it difficult to readily identify antibodies with broadly neutralizing activity against different influenza subtypes with high frequency, specifically antibodies targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) on influenza HA protein. We developed an optimized computational design method that is able to optimize an antibody for recognition of large panels of antigens. To demonstrate the utility of this multistate design method, we used it to redesign an antiinfluenza antibody against a large panel of more than 500 seasonal HA antigens of the H1 subtype. As a proof of concept, we tested this method on a variety of known antiinfluenza antibodies and identified those that could be improved computationally. We generated redesigned variants of antibody C05 to the HA RBD and experimentally characterized variants that exhibited improved breadth and affinity against our panel. C05 mutants exhibited improved affinity for three of the subtypes used in design by stabilizing the CDRH3 loop and creating favorable electrostatic interactions with the antigen. These mutants possess increased breadth and affinity of binding while maintaining high-affinity binding to existing targets, surpassing a major limitation up to this point.
Copyright © 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.
Though the seasonal response of organisms to changing day lengths is a phenomenon that has been scientifically reported for nearly a century, significant questions remain about how photoperiod is encoded and effected neurobiologically. In mammals, early work identified the master circadian clock, the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), as a tentative encoder of photoperiodic information. Here, we provide an overview of research on the SCN as a coordinator of photoperiodic responses, the intercellular coupling changes that accompany that coordination, as well as the SCN's role in a putative brain network controlling photoperiodic input and output. Lastly, we discuss the importance of photoperiodic research in the context of tangible benefits to human health that have been realized through this research as well as challenges that remain.
OBJECTIVE - Nonadherence to controller and overuse of reliever asthma medications are associated with exacerbations. We aimed to determine patterns of seasonal asthma medication use and to identify time period(s) during which interventions to improve medication adherence could reduce asthma morbidity.
METHODS - We conducted a retrospective cohort study of asthmatics 4-50 years of age and enrolled in three diverse health insurance plans. Seasonal patterns of medications were reported by monthly prescription fill rates per 1000 individuals with asthma from 1998 to 2013, and stratified by healthcare plan, sex, and age.
RESULTS - There was a distinct and consistent seasonal fill pattern for all asthma medications. The lowest fill rate was observed in the month of July. Fills increased in the autumn and remained high throughout the winter and spring. Compared with the month of May with high medication fills, July represented a relative decrease of fills ranging from 13% (rate ratio, RR: 0.87, 95% confidence interval, 95%CI: 0.72-1.04) for the combination of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) + long acting beta agonists (LABA) to 45% (RR: 0.55, 95%CI: 0.49-0.61) for oral corticosteroids. Such a seasonal pattern was observed each year across the 16-year study period, among healthcare plans, sexes, and ages. LABA containing control medication (ICS+LABA and LABA) fill rates were more prevalent in older asthmatics, while leukotriene receptor antagonists were more prevalent in the younger population.
CONCLUSIONS - A seasonal pattern of asthma medication fill rates likely represents a reactive response to a loss of disease control and increased symptoms. Adherence to and consistent use of asthma medications among individuals who use medications in reaction to seasonal exacerbations might be a key component in reducing the risk of asthma exacerbations.
Hibernating mammals, like the arctic ground squirrel (AGS), exhibit robust resistance to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury. Regulated preference for lipid over glucose to fuel metabolism may play an important role. We tested whether providing lipid in an emulsion protects hearts from summer-active AGS better than hearts from Brown Norway (BN) rats against normothermic IR injury. Langendorff-prepared AGS and BN rat hearts were perfused with Krebs solution containing 7.5 mM glucose with or without 1% Intralipid™. After stabilization and cardioplegia, hearts underwent 45-min global ischemia and 60-min reperfusion. Coronary flow, isovolumetric left ventricular pressure, and mitochondrial redox state were measured continuously; infarct size was measured at the end of the experiment. Glucose-only AGS hearts functioned significantly better on reperfusion than BN rat hearts. Intralipid™ administration resulted in additional functional improvement in AGS compared to glucose-only and BN rat hearts. Infarct size was not different among groups. Even under non-hibernating conditions, AGS hearts performed better after IR than the best-protected rat strain. This, however, appears to strongly depend on metabolic fuel: Intralipid™ led to a significant improvement in return of function in AGS, but not in BN rat hearts, suggesting that year-round endogenous mechanisms are involved in myocardial lipid utilization that contributes to improved cardiac performance, independent of the metabolic rate decrease during hibernation. Comparative lipid analysis revealed four candidates as possible cardioprotective lipid groups. The improved function in Intralipid™-perfused AGS hearts also challenges the current paradigm that increased glucose and decreased lipid metabolism are favorable during myocardial IR.
Infant bronchiolitis is primarily due to infection by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is highly seasonal. The goal of the study is to understand how circulation of RSV is impacted by fluctuations in temperature and humidity in order to inform prevention efforts. Using data from the Military Health System (MHS) Data Repository (MDR), we calculated rates of infant bronchiolitis for the contiguous US from July 2004 to June 2013. Monthly temperature and relative humidity were extracted from the National Climate Data Center. Using a spatiotemporal generalized linear model for binomial data, we estimated bronchiolitis rates and the effects of temperature and relative humidity while allowing them to vary over location and time. Our results indicate a seasonal pattern that begins in the Southeast during November or December, then spreading in a Northwest direction. The relationships of temperature and humidity were spatially heterogeneous, and we find that climate can partially account for early onset or longer epidemic duration. Small changes in climate may be associated with larger fluctuations in epidemic duration.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Community-acquired pneumonia is a leading infectious cause of hospitalization and death among U.S. adults. Incidence estimates of pneumonia confirmed radiographically and with the use of current laboratory diagnostic tests are needed.
METHODS - We conducted active population-based surveillance for community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization among adults 18 years of age or older in five hospitals in Chicago and Nashville. Patients with recent hospitalization or severe immunosuppression were excluded. Blood, urine, and respiratory specimens were systematically collected for culture, serologic testing, antigen detection, and molecular diagnostic testing. Study radiologists independently reviewed chest radiographs. We calculated population-based incidence rates of community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization according to age and pathogen.
RESULTS - From January 2010 through June 2012, we enrolled 2488 of 3634 eligible adults (68%). Among 2320 adults with radiographic evidence of pneumonia (93%), the median age of the patients was 57 years (interquartile range, 46 to 71); 498 patients (21%) required intensive care, and 52 (2%) died. Among 2259 patients who had radiographic evidence of pneumonia and specimens available for both bacterial and viral testing, a pathogen was detected in 853 (38%): one or more viruses in 530 (23%), bacteria in 247 (11%), bacterial and viral pathogens in 59 (3%), and a fungal or mycobacterial pathogen in 17 (1%). The most common pathogens were human rhinovirus (in 9% of patients), influenza virus (in 6%), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (in 5%). The annual incidence of pneumonia was 24.8 cases (95% confidence interval, 23.5 to 26.1) per 10,000 adults, with the highest rates among adults 65 to 79 years of age (63.0 cases per 10,000 adults) and those 80 years of age or older (164.3 cases per 10,000 adults). For each pathogen, the incidence increased with age.
CONCLUSIONS - The incidence of community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization was highest among the oldest adults. Despite current diagnostic tests, no pathogen was detected in the majority of patients. Respiratory viruses were detected more frequently than bacteria. (Funded by the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases.).
BACKGROUND - Low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is prevalent in African Americans, but predictors of vitamin D status are understudied compared to Caucasian populations.
OBJECTIVE - We investigated whether certain environmental and genetic factors are predictors of circulating 25(OH)D in 989 elderly African Americans participating in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study.
METHODS - Regression analysis estimated the cross-sectional association of nongenetic (environmental) factors with 25(OH)D. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with 25(OH)D in Caucasian genome-wide association studies (GWASs) were analyzed for association with serum 25(OH)D, including analyses of all imputed SNPs in identified genomic regions. Genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA) evaluated the association of all (genome-wide) genotyped SNPs with serum 25(OH)D in the Health ABC Study with replication in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort.
RESULTS - Gender, study site, season of blood draw, body mass index, dietary supplement use, dairy and cereal consumption, Healthy Eating Index score, and walking >180 min/wk were associated with 25(OH)D (P < 0.05), jointly explaining 25% of the variation in circulating 25(OH)D. Multivitamin supplement use was the strongest predictor of circulating 25(OH)D, and supplement users had a 6.3-μg/L higher serum 25(OH)D concentration compared with nonusers. Previous GWAS-identified gene regions were not replicated in African Americans, but the nonsynonymous rs7041 SNP in group-specific component (vitamin D binding protein) was close to significance thresholds (P = 0.08), and there was evidence for an interaction between this SNP and use of multivitamin supplements in relation to serum 25(OH)D concentration (P = 0.04). Twenty-three percent (95% CI: 0%, 52%) of the variation in serum 25(OH)D was explained by total genetic variation in a pooled GCTA of 2087 Health ABC Study and MESA African-American participants, but population substructure effects could not be separated from other genetic influences.
CONCLUSIONS - Modifiable dietary and lifestyle predictors of serum 25(OH)D were identified in African Americans. GCTA confirms that a proportion of 25(OH)D variability is attributable to genetic variation, but genomic regions associated with the 25(OH)D phenotype identified in prior GWASs of European Americans were not replicated in the Health ABC Study in African Americans.
© 2015 American Society for Nutrition.
Systems biology is an approach to comprehensively study complex interactions within a biological system. Most published systems vaccinology studies have utilized whole blood or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to monitor the immune response after vaccination. Because human blood is comprised of multiple hematopoietic cell types, the potential for masking responses of under-represented cell populations is increased when analyzing whole blood or PBMC. To investigate the contribution of individual cell types to the immune response after vaccination, we established a rapid and efficient method to purify human T and B cells, natural killer (NK) cells, myeloid dendritic cells (mDC), monocytes, and neutrophils from fresh venous blood. Purified cells were fractionated and processed in a single day. RNA-Seq and quantitative shotgun proteomics were performed to determine expression profiles for each cell type prior to and after inactivated seasonal influenza vaccination. Our results show that transcriptomic and proteomic profiles generated from purified immune cells differ significantly from PBMC. Differential expression analysis for each immune cell type also shows unique transcriptomic and proteomic expression profiles as well as changing biological networks at early time points after vaccination. This cell type-specific information provides a more comprehensive approach to monitor vaccine responses.