Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases

A special issue of Biomedicines (ISSN 2227-9059). This special issue belongs to the section "Immunology and Immunotherapy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 23556

Special Issue Editors

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy
Interests: microbiota-immunity axis; autoimmunity; cancers; inflammation; T cells; micro and nanoplastic effects on human
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Faculty of Medicine, Trakia University, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Interests: epidemiology of infectious and noninfectious diseases; helicobacter pylori; molecular epidemiology; infectious agents and oncologic diseases; vaccines; probiotics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The basic molecular research in infectious diseases is the root for revealing the general features of occurrence and spread of the diseases in human society: causes, conditions, mechanisms of development. In addition, the molecular epidemiology is a promising field in the development of medical science, especially in revealing the transmission mechanisms of infectious agents in outbreaks and epidemics of infectious diseases. The molecular epidemiological methods are essential for general medical science, for the study of risk factors determining infectious human pathology, especially infectious agents with oncogenic potential.

We are happy to announce this Special Issue of Biomedicines entitled “Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases” and look forward to receiving your reviews or original research articles.

Dr. Amedeo Amedei
Dr. Irena Mladenova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • molecular research
  • infectious diseases
  • molecular epidemiology
  • immunology
  • immune response
  • microbiota
  • infectious agents with oncogenic potential
  • laboratory medicine

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 2924 KiB  
Article
First Report of Rubber Collection Bowls & Plastic and Bamboo Water Containers as the Major Breeding Source of Ae. albopictus with the Indigenous Transmission of Dengue and Chikungunya in Rural Forested Malaria-Endemic Villages of Dhalai District, Tripura, India: The Importance of Molecular Identification
Biomedicines 2023, 11(8), 2186; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11082186 - 03 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1469
Abstract
Background: With the reports of indigenous cases of dengue and chikungunya in the forest-covered rural tribal malaria-endemic villages of Dhalai District, Tripura, India, an exploratory study was undertaken to identify the vector breeding sites. Methods: From June 2021 to August 2022, mosquito larvae [...] Read more.
Background: With the reports of indigenous cases of dengue and chikungunya in the forest-covered rural tribal malaria-endemic villages of Dhalai District, Tripura, India, an exploratory study was undertaken to identify the vector breeding sites. Methods: From June 2021 to August 2022, mosquito larvae were collected from both natural and artificial sources in the villages, house premises, and their nearby forested areas outside of the houses. Other than morphological characterisation, Aedes species were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction targeting both nuclear (ITS2) and mitochondrial genes (COI) followed by bidirectional Sanger sequencing. Results: Aedes albopictus was abundantly found in this area in both natural and artificial containers, whereas Ae. aegypti was absent. Among the breeding sources of molecularly confirmed Ae. albopictus species, rubber collection bowls were found to be a breeding source reported for the first time. Plastic and indigenously made bamboo–polythene containers for storing supply water and harvesting rainwater in the villages with a shortage of water were found to be other major breeding sources, which calls for specific vector control strategies. Natural sources like ponds and rainwater collected on Tectona grandis leaves and Colocasia axil were also found to harbour the breeding, along with other commonly found sources like bamboo stumps and tree holes. No artificial containers as a breeding source were found inside the houses. Mixed breeding was observed in many containers with other Aedes and other mosquito species, necessitating molecular identification. We report six haplotypes in this study, among which two are reported for the first time. However, Aedes aegypti was not found in the area. Additionally, rubber collection bowls, ponds, and water containers also showed the presence of Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex vishnui, known JE vectors from this area, and reported JE cases as well. Different Anopheles vector spp. from this known malaria-endemic area were also found, corroborating this area as a hotbed of several vectors and vector-borne diseases. Conclusions: This study, for the first time, reports the breeding sources of Aedes albopictus in the forested areas of Tripura, with rubber collection bowls and large water storage containers as major sources. Also, for the first time, this study reports the molecular characterisation of the Ae. albopictus species of Tripura, elucidating the limitations of morphological identification and highlighting the importance of molecular studies for designing appropriate vector control strategies. The study also reports the co-breeding of JE and malaria vectors for the first time in the area reporting these vector-borne diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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20 pages, 3538 KiB  
Article
Immunoinformatics for Novel Multi-Epitope Vaccine Development in Canine Parvovirus Infections
Biomedicines 2023, 11(8), 2180; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11082180 - 02 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1740
Abstract
Canine parvovirus (CPV-2) is one of the most important pathogens of dogs of all ages, causing pandemic infections that are characterized by fatal hemorrhagic enteritis. The CPV-2 vaccine is recommended as a core vaccine for pet animals. Despite the intensive practice of active [...] Read more.
Canine parvovirus (CPV-2) is one of the most important pathogens of dogs of all ages, causing pandemic infections that are characterized by fatal hemorrhagic enteritis. The CPV-2 vaccine is recommended as a core vaccine for pet animals. Despite the intensive practice of active immunization, CPV-2 remains a global threat. In this study, a multi-epitope vaccine against CPV-2 was designed, targeting the highly conserved capsid protein (VP2) via in silico approaches. Several immunoinformatics methods, such as epitope screening, molecular docking, and simulation were used to design a potential vaccine construct. The partial protein sequences of the VP2 gene of CPV-2 and protein sequences retrieved from the NCBI were screened to predict highly antigenic proteins through antigenicity, trans-membrane-topology screening, an allergenicity assessment, and a toxicity analysis. Homologous VP2 protein sequences typically linked to the disease were identified using NCBI BLAST, in which four conserved regions were preferred. Overall, 10 epitopes, DPIGGKTGI, KEFDTDLKP, GTDPDDVQ, GGTNFGYIG, GTFYFDCKP, NRALGLPP, SGTPTN, LGLPPFLNSL, IGGKTG, and VPPVYPN, were selected from the conserved regions to design the vaccine construct. The molecular docking demonstrated the higher binding affinity of these epitopes with dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) molecules. The selected epitopes were linked with Salmonella enterica flagellin FliC adjuvants, along with the PADRE sequence, by GGS linkers to construct a vaccine candidate with 272 nucleotides. The codon adaptation and in silico cloning showed that the generated vaccine can be expressed by the E. coli strain, K12, and the sequence of the vaccine construct showed no similarities with dog protein. Our results suggest that the vaccine construct might be useful in preventing canine parvoviral enteritis (CPE) in dogs. Further in vitro and in vivo experiments are needed for the validation of the vaccine candidate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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14 pages, 898 KiB  
Article
Myxovirus resistance (Mx) Gene Diversity in Avian Influenza Virus Infections
Biomedicines 2022, 10(11), 2717; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10112717 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2224
Abstract
Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) pose threats to animal and human health. Outbreaks from the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) in indigenous chickens in Bangladesh are infrequent. This could be attributed to the Myxovirus resistance (Mx) gene. To determine the impact [...] Read more.
Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) pose threats to animal and human health. Outbreaks from the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) in indigenous chickens in Bangladesh are infrequent. This could be attributed to the Myxovirus resistance (Mx) gene. To determine the impact of Mx gene diversity on AIV infections in chicken, we assessed the Mx genes, AIVs, and anti-AIV antibodies. DNA from blood cells, serum, and cloacal swab samples was isolated from non-vaccinated indigenous chickens and vaccinated commercial chickens. Possible relationships were assessed using the general linear model (GLM) procedure. Three genotypes of the Mx gene were detected (the resistant AA type, the sensitive GG type, and the heterozygous AG type). The AA genotype (0.48) was more prevalent than the GG (0.19) and the AG (0.33) genotypes. The AA genotype was more prevalent in indigenous than in commercial chickens. A total of 17 hemagglutinating viruses were isolated from the 512 swab samples. AIVs were detected in two samples (2/512; 0.39%) and subtyped as H1N1, whereas Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was detected in the remaining samples. The viral infections did not lead to apparent symptoms. Anti-AIV antibodies were detected in 44.92% of the samples with levels ranging from 27.37% to 67.65% in indigenous chickens and from 26% to 87.5% in commercial chickens. The anti-AIV antibody was detected in 40.16%, 65.98%, and 39.77% of chickens with resistant, sensitive, and heterozygous genotypes, respectively. The genotypes showed significant association (p < 0.001) with the anti-AIV antibodies. The low AIV isolation rates and high antibody prevalence rates could indicate seroconversion resulting from exposure to the virus as it circulates. Results indicate that the resistant genotype of the Mx gene might not offer anti-AIV protection for chickens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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18 pages, 1106 KiB  
Article
Combined Immune Defect in B-Cell Lymphoproliferative Disorders Is Associated with Severe Infection and Cancer Progression
Biomedicines 2022, 10(8), 2020; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10082020 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
B cell chronic lymphoproliferative diseases (B-CLPD) are associated with secondary antibody deficiency and other innate and adaptive immune defects, whose impact on infectious risk has not been systematically addressed. We performed an immunological analysis of a cohort of 83 B-CLPD patients with recurrent [...] Read more.
B cell chronic lymphoproliferative diseases (B-CLPD) are associated with secondary antibody deficiency and other innate and adaptive immune defects, whose impact on infectious risk has not been systematically addressed. We performed an immunological analysis of a cohort of 83 B-CLPD patients with recurrent and/or severe infections to ascertain the clinical relevance of the immune deficiency expression. B-cell defects were present in all patients. Patients with combined immune defect had a 3.69-fold higher risk for severe infection (p = 0.001) than those with predominantly antibody defect. Interestingly, by Kaplan–Meier analysis, combined immune defect showed an earlier progression of cancer with a hazard ratio of 3.21, than predominantly antibody defect (p = 0.005). When B-CLPD were classified in low-degree, high-degree, and plasma cell dyscrasias, risk of severe disease and cancer progression significantly diverged in combined immune defect, compared with predominantly antibody defect (p = 0.001). Remarkably, an underlying primary immunodeficiency (PID) was suspected in 12 patients (14%), due to prior history of infections, autoimmune and granulomatous conditions, atypical or variegated course and compatible biological data. This first proposed SID classification might have relevant clinical implications, in terms of predicting severe infections and cancer progression, and might be applied to different B-CLPD entities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 1128 KiB  
Article
Exploiting Bacteria for Improving Hypoxemia of COVID-19 Patients
Biomedicines 2022, 10(8), 1851; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10081851 - 01 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1792
Abstract
Background: Although useful in the time-race against COVID-19, CPAP cannot provide oxygen over the physiological limits imposed by severe pulmonary impairments. In previous studies, we reported that the administration of the SLAB51 probiotics reduced risk of developing respiratory failure in severe COVID-19 patients [...] Read more.
Background: Although useful in the time-race against COVID-19, CPAP cannot provide oxygen over the physiological limits imposed by severe pulmonary impairments. In previous studies, we reported that the administration of the SLAB51 probiotics reduced risk of developing respiratory failure in severe COVID-19 patients through the activation of oxygen sparing mechanisms providing additional oxygen to organs critical for survival. Methods: This “real life” study is a retrospective analysis of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients with hypoxaemic acute respiratory failure secondary to COVID-19 pneumonia undergoing CPAP treatment. A group of patients managed with ad interim routinely used therapy (RUT) were compared to a second group treated with RUT associated with SLAB51 oral bacteriotherapy (OB). Results: At baseline, patients receiving SLAB51 showed significantly lower blood oxygenation than controls. An opposite condition was observed after 3 days of treatment, despite the significantly reduced amount of oxygen received by patients taking SLAB51. At 7 days, a lower prevalence of COVID-19 patients needing CPAP in the group taking probiotics was observed. The administration of SLAB51 is a complementary approach for ameliorating oxygenation conditions at the systemic level. Conclusion: This study proves that probiotic administration results in an additional boost in alleviating hypoxic conditions, permitting to limit on the use of CPAP and its contraindications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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Review

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11 pages, 615 KiB  
Review
Neuroimmunoendocrinology of SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Biomedicines 2022, 10(11), 2855; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10112855 - 08 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
This review is aimed at illustrating and discussing the neuroimmune endocrinological aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in light of the studies on this topic that have so far appeared in the literature. The most characteristic findings and pending controversies were derived by PubMed [...] Read more.
This review is aimed at illustrating and discussing the neuroimmune endocrinological aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in light of the studies on this topic that have so far appeared in the literature. The most characteristic findings and pending controversies were derived by PubMed and Scopus databases. We included original and observational studies, reviews, meta-analysis, and case reports. The entry of the coronavirus into susceptible cells is allowed by the interaction with an ecto-enzyme located on human cells, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). SARS-CoV-2 also targets the central nervous system (CNS), including hypothalamic-pituitary structures, as their tissues express ACE2, and ACE2 mRNA expression in hypothalamus and pituitary gland cells has been confirmed in an autoptic study on patients who died of COVID 19. SARS-CoV-2 infection may cause central endocrine disorders in acute phase and in post-COVID period, particularly due to the effects of this virus at CNS level involving the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. The aggression to the hypothalamus-pituitary region may also elicit an autoimmune process involving this axis, responsible consequently for functional disorders of the satellite glands. Adrenal, thyroid and gonadal dysfunctions, as well as pituitary alterations involving GH and prolactin secretions, have so far been reported. However, the extent to which COVID-19 contributes to short- and long-term effects of infection to the endocrine system is currently being discussed and deserves further detailed research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 284 KiB  
Review
Dysbiosis and Gastrointestinal Surgery: Current Insights and Future Research
Biomedicines 2022, 10(10), 2532; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10102532 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
Surgery of the gastrointestinal tract can result in deep changes among the gut commensals in terms of abundance, function and health consequences. Elective colorectal surgery can occur for neoplastic or inflammatory bowel disease; in these settings, microbiota imbalance is described as a preoperative [...] Read more.
Surgery of the gastrointestinal tract can result in deep changes among the gut commensals in terms of abundance, function and health consequences. Elective colorectal surgery can occur for neoplastic or inflammatory bowel disease; in these settings, microbiota imbalance is described as a preoperative condition, and it is linked to post-operative complications, as well. The study of bariatric patients led to several insights into the role of gut microbiota in obesity and after major surgical injuries. Preoperative dysbiosis and post-surgical microbiota reassessment are still poorly understood, and they could become a key part of preventing post-surgical complications. In the current review, we outline the most recent literature regarding agents and molecular pathways involved in pre- and post-operative dysbiosis in patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery. Defining the standard method for microbiota assessment in these patients could set up the future approach and clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
20 pages, 1308 KiB  
Review
3D Human Organoids: The Next “Viral” Model for the Molecular Basis of Infectious Diseases
Biomedicines 2022, 10(7), 1541; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10071541 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3441
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven the scientific community to adopt an efficient and reliable model that could keep up with the infectious disease arms race. Coinciding with the pandemic, three dimensional (3D) human organoids technology has also gained traction in the field of [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven the scientific community to adopt an efficient and reliable model that could keep up with the infectious disease arms race. Coinciding with the pandemic, three dimensional (3D) human organoids technology has also gained traction in the field of infectious disease. An in vitro construct that can closely resemble the in vivo organ, organoid technology could bridge the gap between the traditional two-dimensional (2D) cell culture and animal models. By harnessing the multi-lineage characteristic of the organoid that allows for the recapitulation of the organotypic structure and functions, 3D human organoids have emerged as an essential tool in the field of infectious disease research. In this review, we will be providing a comparison between conventional systems and organoid models. We will also be highlighting how organoids played a role in modelling common infectious diseases and molecular mechanisms behind the pathogenesis of causative agents. Additionally, we present the limitations associated with the current organoid models and innovative strategies that could resolve these shortcomings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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Other

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16 pages, 910 KiB  
Systematic Review
Tuberculosis and COVID-19 Dually Affect Human Th17 Cell Immune Response
Biomedicines 2023, 11(8), 2123; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11082123 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 993
Abstract
COVID-19 infection not only profoundly impacts the detection of tuberculosis infection (Tbc) but also affects modality in tuberculosis patient immune response. It is important to determine immune response alterations in latent tuberculosis infection as well as in SARS-CoV-2-infected tuberculosis patients. Such changes may [...] Read more.
COVID-19 infection not only profoundly impacts the detection of tuberculosis infection (Tbc) but also affects modality in tuberculosis patient immune response. It is important to determine immune response alterations in latent tuberculosis infection as well as in SARS-CoV-2-infected tuberculosis patients. Such changes may have underlying effects on the development and course of further tuberculosis. Here, we aimed to review the characteristics of immune response in TB patients or convalescent COVID-19 patients with latent TB infection (LTBI). Materials and Methods. We analyzed the features of immune response in tuberculosis and COVID-19 patients. For this, we analyzed publications released from December 2019 to March 2023; those which were published in accessible international databases (“Medline”, “PubMed”, “Scopus”) and with keywords such as “COVID-19”, “SARS-CoV-2”, “tuberculosis”, “pulmonary tuberculosis”, “latent tuberculosis infection”, “Treg”, “follicular Treg”, and “Treg subsets”, we considered. Results. Through our analysis, we found that tuberculosis patients who had been infected with COVID-19 previously and elevated Th1 and Th2 cell levels. High levels of Th1 and Th2 cells may serve as a positive marker, characterizing activated immune response during TB infection. COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 subjects showed decreased Th17 levels, indicating a lack of tuberculosis development. Moreover, the typical course of tuberculosis is associated with an increase in Treg level, but COVID-19 contributes to a hyperinflammatory response. Conclusion. According to the data obtained, the course of tuberculosis proceeds in a dissimilar way due to the distinct immune response, elicited by SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, the development of active tuberculosis with a severe course is associated with a decline in Treg levels. Both pathogens lead to disturbed immune responses, increasing the risk of developing severe TB. The insights and findings of this paper may be used to improve the future management of individuals with latent and active tuberculosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 927 KiB  
Opinion
Oral Candidiasis in Adult and Pediatric Patients with COVID-19
Biomedicines 2023, 11(3), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11030846 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1892
Abstract
Oral Candidiasis (OC) is an opportunistic fungal infection of the oral cavity, frequently reported under local and systemic predisposing circumstances. While the recurrence of OC HIV-infected subjects has been well described and reported, the association between oral candidiasis and the SARS-CoV-2 infection is [...] Read more.
Oral Candidiasis (OC) is an opportunistic fungal infection of the oral cavity, frequently reported under local and systemic predisposing circumstances. While the recurrence of OC HIV-infected subjects has been well described and reported, the association between oral candidiasis and the SARS-CoV-2 infection is a recent finding that still is worthy of further study. The present paper focuses on this novel association, reporting the incidence and prevalence of OC occurring during and after COVID-19 and the possible etiopathogenic mechanisms underlying the onset of OC in COVID-19 subjects. The work found that the immune inflammatory hypo reactions and immunosuppression found in children and adults with COVID-19 could favor the proliferation colonization of Candida species and the following infection. At the same time, poor oral hygiene and iatrogenic causes seem to be the main risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 1331 KiB  
Brief Report
Microbiome Shapes the T Cell Receptor Repertoire among CD4+CD8+ Thymocytes
Biomedicines 2022, 10(12), 3015; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10123015 - 23 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1282
Abstract
The microbiome shapes the mature T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire and thereby influences pathogen control. To investigate microbiome influences on T cells at an earlier, immature stage, we compared single-cell TCR transcript sequences between CD4+CD8+ (double-positive) thymocytes from gnotobiotic [E. coli mono-associated [...] Read more.
The microbiome shapes the mature T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire and thereby influences pathogen control. To investigate microbiome influences on T cells at an earlier, immature stage, we compared single-cell TCR transcript sequences between CD4+CD8+ (double-positive) thymocytes from gnotobiotic [E. coli mono-associated (Ec)] and germ-free (GF) mice. Identical TCRβ transcripts (termed repeat, REP) were more often shared between cells of individual Ec mice compared to GF mice (Fishers Exact test, p < 0.0001). Among Ec REPs, a cluster of Vβ genes (Vβ12-1, 12-2, 13-1, and 13-2, termed 12-13) was well represented, whereas 12-13 sequences were not detected among GF REPs (Fishers Exact test, p = 0.046). Vα genes located in the distal region of the TCRα locus were more frequently expressed in Ec mice compared to GF mice, both among REPs and total sequences (Fishers Exact test, p = 0.009). Results illustrate how gut bacteria shape the TCR repertoire, not simply among mature T cells, but among immature CD4+CD8+ thymocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 1755 KiB  
Brief Report
Retinol Binding Protein, Sunlight Hours, and the Influenza Virus-Specific Immune Response
Biomedicines 2022, 10(9), 2322; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10092322 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
Healthy pediatric immune responses depend on adequate vitamin A and D levels. Relationships between solar ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation and vitamin D are well understood, while relationships between sunlight, vitamin A, and its serum escort, retinol binding protein (RBP), are not. A pediatric [...] Read more.
Healthy pediatric immune responses depend on adequate vitamin A and D levels. Relationships between solar ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation and vitamin D are well understood, while relationships between sunlight, vitamin A, and its serum escort, retinol binding protein (RBP), are not. A pediatric clinical study enrolled 2–8-year-old children at various times between September 2016 and March 2017, inclusive, in Memphis, Tennessee. A serum sample from each child was then assayed to examine the influence of season on vitamin levels. We found that RBP and RBP/retinol molar ratios decreased in winter months and RBP/retinol ratios correlated positively with the average daily sunlight hours per month. A food frequency questionnaire given to parents/guardians indicated a shift in dietary intake from plant-based foods to animal-based foods by children between winter and spring months. This translated to higher retinol and zinc (integral to RBP–transthyretin–retinol complexes) in the spring, perhaps explaining the seasonal influence on RBP/retinol. RBP and retinol were associated positively with IgG/IgM and IgA/IgM ratios. RBP and retinol, but not 25(OH)D, also correlated positively with influenza virus-specific antibodies. Retinol correlated negatively, while 25(OH)D correlated positively, with certain serum cytokine/chemokine levels. Significant differences in 25(OH)D, immunoglobulin ratios, and cytokines/chemokines were observed between black and white children. In sum, seasonal changes in dietary foods rich in retinol and zinc may have influenced RBP levels, which in turn influenced innate and adaptive immune responses. Results encourage routine monitoring and reporting of season, RBP, and vitamin levels in future clinical studies, as seasons may affect sunlight exposures, diet, vitamin levels, and immune protection against infectious disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases)
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