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Diseases, Volume 9, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 23 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The factors for caregivers that were found in our study to have a positive influence on health promotion behavior were educational level, social support, self-perception regarding health, income, male sex, as well as stroke survivors’ greater functional capacity and their older age. Promoting the health of the family caregivers of stroke survivors is crucial for both the caregivers and the stroke survivors they care for. The implementation of training, information, and support programs for caregivers at the primary health care level could play a key role in this direction, helping caregivers to improve their health status and better perform their role. View this paper.
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Article
Strength and Performance Tests for Screening Reduced Muscle Mass in Elderly Lebanese Males with Obesity in Community Dwellings
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 23; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010023 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 785
Abstract
The reduction in skeletal muscle mass (SMM) is a common phenomenon in older adults. It is associated with several diseases, a reduction in physical fitness, longer periods of hospitalization and high rates of mortality. We aimed to identify the reliability of simple tools [...] Read more.
The reduction in skeletal muscle mass (SMM) is a common phenomenon in older adults. It is associated with several diseases, a reduction in physical fitness, longer periods of hospitalization and high rates of mortality. We aimed to identify the reliability of simple tools for screening for reduced SMM among older adult males in Lebanon. The Tanita MC-780MA bioimpedance analyzer (BIA) was used to assess body composition in a population of 102 community-dwelling elderly males with overweight or obesity, in order to be then categorized as with or without reduced SMM. Participants also performed the handgrip strength test and the 4 m gait speed test. Of the total sample of 102 participants (mean age 67.4 ± 6.96 years; BMI 30.8 6 ± 4.04 kg/m2), 32 (31.4%) met the criteria for reduced SMM. Partial correlation analysis showed that handgrip strength (ρ = 0.308, p = 0.002) and 4 m gait speed (ρ = 0.284, p = 0.004) were both associated with low SMM. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis identified discriminating cut-off points of 1.1 m/s for the 4 m gait speed test and 32.0 kg for the handgrip strength test. Our study showed that participants displayed a substantial prevalence of reduced SMM. Reduced 4 m gait speed and handgrip strength were associated with low SMM. Clear cut-off points for strength and functional tests for screening for this condition in Lebanese older men were identified. Full article
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Article
Lipid Rafts Interaction of the ARID3A Transcription Factor with EZRIN and G-Actin Regulates B-Cell Receptor Signaling
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 22; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010022 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Several diseases originate via dysregulation of the actin cytoskeleton. The ARID3A/Bright transcription factor has also been implicated in malignancies, primarily those derived from hematopoietic lineages. Previously, we demonstrated that ARID3A shuttles between the nucleus and the plasma membrane, where it localizes within lipid [...] Read more.
Several diseases originate via dysregulation of the actin cytoskeleton. The ARID3A/Bright transcription factor has also been implicated in malignancies, primarily those derived from hematopoietic lineages. Previously, we demonstrated that ARID3A shuttles between the nucleus and the plasma membrane, where it localizes within lipid rafts. There it interacts with components of the B-cell receptor (BCR) to reduce its ability to transmit downstream signaling. We demonstrate here that a direct component of ARID3A-regulated BCR signal strength is cortical actin. ARID3A interacts with actin exclusively within lipid rafts via the actin-binding protein EZRIN, which confines unstimulated BCRs within lipid rafts. BCR ligation discharges the ARID3A–EZRIN complex from lipid rafts, allowing the BCR to initiate downstream signaling events. The ARID3A–EZRIN interaction occurs almost exclusively within unpolymerized G-actin, where EZRIN interacts with the multifunctional ARID3A REKLES domain. These observations provide a mechanism by which a transcription factor directly regulates BCR signaling via linkage to the actin cytoskeleton with consequences for B-cell-related neoplasia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Immunology)
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Article
Diagnostic and Prognostic Value of CEA and CA19-9 in Colorectal Cancer
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010021 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 839
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide. A diagnosis at early stages with enhanced screening methods is vital as metastases and recurrences increase mortality. The aim of this study was to analyze the tumor markers CEA and CA19-9 combined in [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide. A diagnosis at early stages with enhanced screening methods is vital as metastases and recurrences increase mortality. The aim of this study was to analyze the tumor markers CEA and CA19-9 combined in correlation with diagnostics and prognosis. Therefore, 1487 patients with CRC who were diagnosed and treated between 2000 and 2015 at the University Hospital Ulm, Germany, were retrospectively evaluated. Overall and recurrence-free survival was analyzed in association with preoperative CEA and CA19-9 separately and combined and a multivariate analysis was performed. The 5-year overall survival was significantly shorter in patients with a CEA or CA19-9 level ≥200 compared to patients with an increased, but <200, or normal level (CEA: 69%/44%/7%; CA19-9: 66%/38%/8%). Patients with both tumor markers increased also showed a remarkably shorter 5-year survival rate (CEA+/CA19-9+: 23%). The multivariate analysis emphasizes these results (p-value < 0.0001). Patients with both tumor markers elevated had the shortest 5-year recurrence-free survival rate, followed by patients with either CEA or CA19-9 elevated (CEA-/CA19-9-: 79%; CEA+/CA19-9; CEA-/CA19-9+: 65%; CEA+/CA19-9+: 44%). In conclusion, measuring CEA and CA19-9 preoperatively in CRC patients is reasonable and could be useful as a prognostic factor. Full article
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Review
Cardiotoxicity Associated with Anti-CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell (CAR-T) Therapy: Recognition, Risk Factors, and Management
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010020 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) are improving outcomes in pediatric and adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias and subtypes of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. As this treatment is being increasingly utilized, a better understanding of the unique toxicities associated with this [...] Read more.
Chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) are improving outcomes in pediatric and adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias and subtypes of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. As this treatment is being increasingly utilized, a better understanding of the unique toxicities associated with this therapy is warranted. While there is growing knowledge on the diagnosis and treatment of cytokine release syndrome (CRS), relatively little is known about the associated cardiac events that occur with CRS that may result in prolonged length of hospital stay, admission to the intensive care unit for pressor support, or cardiac death. This review focuses on the various manifestations of cardiotoxicity, potential risk factors, real world and clinical trial data on prevalence of reported cardiotoxicity events, and treatment recommendations. Full article
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Article
Osteocalcin, Osteopontin and RUNX2 Expression in Patients’ Leucocytes with Arteriosclerosis
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010019 - 12 Mar 2021
Viewed by 639
Abstract
Introduction: Calcification is a highly relevant process in terms of development of cardiovascular diseases, and its prevention may be the key to prevent disease progression in patients. In this study we investigated the expression of osteocalcin (OC), osteopontin (OPN) and RUNX2 in patients’ [...] Read more.
Introduction: Calcification is a highly relevant process in terms of development of cardiovascular diseases, and its prevention may be the key to prevent disease progression in patients. In this study we investigated the expression of osteocalcin (OC), osteopontin (OPN) and RUNX2 in patients’ leukocytes and their possible role as diagnostic markers for cardiovascular diseases. Materials and Methods: Leucocytes from 38 patients were collected in the Department of Surgery of Martin-Luther-University Halle, including 8 patients without arteriosclerotic disease (PAD−) and 30 patients with symptomatic arteriosclerotic disease (PAD+). Patients’ leucocytes, in vitro calcified human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) were subjected to qPCR analyses with TaqMan probes, which are specific for OC, OPN and RUNX2. Additionally, the interaction between monocytes and calcified HUVEC and VSMC was investigated in adhesion assays. Results: The leucocytes obtained from patients with symptomatic arteriosclerotic disease (PAD+) demonstrated decreased mRNA level expression of Osteocalcin, while OPN and RUNX2 were significantly upregulated in comparison to asymptomatic patients. The induction of calcification in HUVEC and VSMC cells led to an increased expression of OC, OPN and RUNX2. Immunocytochemistry of calcified HUVEC and VSMC revealed stronger expression of OC, OPN and RUNX2 in calcified cells. Conclusion: To conclude, these data demonstrate that symptomatic arteriosclerotic disease has a correlation with OC, OPN and RUNX2. The biological rationale of OC, OPN and RUNX-2 remains not yet entirely understood for atherosclerotic disease, which means it needs further investigation. Full article
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Review
Divergent Importance of Chronobiological Considerations in High- and Low-dose Melatonin Therapies
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010018 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 873
Abstract
Melatonin has been used preclinically and clinically for different purposes. Some applications are related to readjustment of circadian oscillators, others use doses that exceed the saturation of melatonin receptors MT1 and MT2 and are unsuitable for chronobiological purposes. Conditions are outlined [...] Read more.
Melatonin has been used preclinically and clinically for different purposes. Some applications are related to readjustment of circadian oscillators, others use doses that exceed the saturation of melatonin receptors MT1 and MT2 and are unsuitable for chronobiological purposes. Conditions are outlined for appropriately applying melatonin as a chronobiotic or for protective actions at elevated levels. Circadian readjustments require doses in the lower mg range, according to receptor affinities. However, this needs consideration of the phase response curve, which contains a silent zone, a delay part, a transition point and an advance part. Notably, the dim light melatonin onset (DLMO) is found in the silent zone. In this specific phase, melatonin can induce sleep onset, but does not shift the circadian master clock. Although sleep onset is also under circadian control, sleep and circadian susceptibility are dissociated at this point. Other limits of soporific effects concern dose, duration of action and poor individual responses. The use of high melatonin doses, up to several hundred mg, for purposes of antioxidative and anti-inflammatory protection, especially in sepsis and viral diseases, have to be seen in the context of melatonin’s tissue levels, its formation in mitochondria, and detoxification of free radicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Melatonin Based Therapies)
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Review
Involvement of Oxidative Stress and the Innate Immune System in SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010017 - 24 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1165
Abstract
The emergence of the novel coronavirus in December 2019 in China marked the beginning of a pandemic that impacted healthcare systems and economic life all over the world. The virus primarily targets the respiratory system causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in some [...] Read more.
The emergence of the novel coronavirus in December 2019 in China marked the beginning of a pandemic that impacted healthcare systems and economic life all over the world. The virus primarily targets the respiratory system causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in some patients, and therefore received the name of SARS-CoV-2. The pathogen stands out among other coronaviruses by its rapid transmission from human to human, with the majority of infected individuals being asymptomatic or presenting with only minor illness, therefore facilitating the pathogen spread. At the same time, people from the risk groups, such as the elderly, patients suffering from chronic diseases, or obese individuals, have increased chances of developing a severe or even fatal disease. The search for risk factors explaining this phenomenon continues. In this review, we focus on the known mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection affecting the functioning of the immune system and discuss potential risk factors responsible for the severe disease course. Oxidative stress is one of such factors, which plays a prominent role in innate immunity activity, and recent research has revealed its tight involvement in SARS-CoV-2 infection. We discuss these recent findings and the development of excessive inflammation and cytokine storm observed during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Finally, we consider potential use of antioxidant drugs for alleviating the severe symptoms in affected patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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Review
Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) as a Biomarker for Diabetic Foot Peripheral Neuropathy
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 16; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010016 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1077
Abstract
Background: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is known to predict foot ulceration, lower-extremity amputation and mortality. Patients with diabetes mellitus have a predisposition toward developing chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, and this may also facilitate the formation of diabetic foot and cutaneous impairment, which are [...] Read more.
Background: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is known to predict foot ulceration, lower-extremity amputation and mortality. Patients with diabetes mellitus have a predisposition toward developing chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, and this may also facilitate the formation of diabetic foot and cutaneous impairment, which are considered one of the most serious impairments of diabetes mellitus, with a prevalence of 4–10% in this population. Biomarkers research provides opportunities for the early diagnosis of these complications for specific treatments useful to prevent amputation and, therefore, physical inability and mental disturbance. The recent literature has suggested that glycemic levels may be a novel factor in the pathogenesis of diabetic foot complications and is an important mediator of axonal dysfunction. The aim of this systematic literary review is to determine whether hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a positive predictor for diabetic foot peripheral neuropathy and its complications, such as foot cutaneous impairments. There is a lack of consensus regarding the effect of glycemic variability on diabetic foot peripheral neuropathy, unlike other complications such as retinopathy, nephropathy or micro/macrovascular pathology. Methods: Relevant articles were searched in the Medline database using PubMed and Scopus and relevant keywords. The primary search terms used were “glycated hemoglobin” OR “HbA1c” AND “diabetic neuropathies” AND “Foot”. Results: A number of articles (336) were initially identified while searching the scientific literature regarding this topic, and 32 articles were selected and included in this review. Conclusions: This review highlights the role of HbA1c in diabetic foot peripheral neuropathy. Biomarkers play an important role in the decision-making process, and HbA1c levels are extensively used for diabetic foot clinical outcomes and settings, but biomarker research in diabetic foot peripheral neuropathy is in its infancy and will require careful attention to a number of factors and associations, since the consequences of DPN also include neurological alterations. HbA1c is an accurate and easy-to-administer test and can be an effective biomarker in establishing the diagnosis of diabetes, but future research should focus on standardizing the HbA1c level and selecting which DPN value and its correlated complications, such as foot cutaneous impairments, are the most informative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders)
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Article
Detection of TEM and CTX-M Genes in Escherichia coli Isolated from Clinical Specimens at Tertiary Care Heart Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010015 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1504
Abstract
Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among Gram-negative pathogens, predominantly ESBL-producing clinical isolates, are increasing worldwide. The main aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of ESBL-producing clinical isolates, their antibiogram, and the frequency of ESBL genes (blaTEM and blaCTX-M [...] Read more.
Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among Gram-negative pathogens, predominantly ESBL-producing clinical isolates, are increasing worldwide. The main aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of ESBL-producing clinical isolates, their antibiogram, and the frequency of ESBL genes (blaTEM and blaCTX-M) in the clinical samples from patients. Methods: A total of 1065 clinical specimens from patients suspected of heart infections were collected between February and August 2019. Bacterial isolates were identified on colony morphology and biochemical properties. Thus, obtained clinical isolates were screened for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) using modified Kirby–Bauer disk diffusion method, while ESBL producers were identified by using a combination disk diffusion method. ESBL positive isolates were further assessed using conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect the ESBL genes blaTEM and blaCTX-M. Results: Out of 1065 clinical specimens, 17.8% (190/1065) showed bacterial growth. Among 190 bacterial isolates, 57.4% (109/190) were Gram-negative bacteria. Among 109 Gram-negative bacteria, 40.3% (44/109) were E. coli, and 30.2% (33/109) were K. pneumoniae. In AST, 57.7% (n = 63) Gram-negative bacterial isolates were resistant to ampicillin and 47.7% (n = 52) were resistant to nalidixic acid. Over half of the isolates (51.3%; 56/109) were multidrug resistant (MDR). Of 44 E. coli, 27.3% (12/44) were ESBL producers. Among ESBL producer E. coli isolates, 58.4% (7/12) tested positive for the blaCTX-M gene and 41.6% (5/12) tested positive for the blaTEM gene. Conclusion: Half of the Gram-negative bacteria in our study were MDR. Routine identification of an infectious agent followed by AST is critical to optimize the treatment and prevent antimicrobial resistance. Full article
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Article
Whole-Exome Sequencing of Rare Site Endometriosis-Associated Cancer
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010014 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1191
Abstract
Malignant transformation of extraovarian endometriosis is rare, with the carcinogenesis mechanism unclear. To clarify the actionable variants of rare-site endometriosis-associated cancer (RSEAC), we performed whole-exome sequencing for the tumor, in two patients. The intestine was affected in both cases, although the histology was [...] Read more.
Malignant transformation of extraovarian endometriosis is rare, with the carcinogenesis mechanism unclear. To clarify the actionable variants of rare-site endometriosis-associated cancer (RSEAC), we performed whole-exome sequencing for the tumor, in two patients. The intestine was affected in both cases, although the histology was that of clear cell carcinoma and undifferentiated carcinoma, respectively. Therefore, the cases were referred to as endometriosis-associated intestinal tumors (EIATs). Actionable variants (all frameshift mutations) were identified in tumor suppressor genes ARID1A, PTEN, and p53; however, no oncogenic variants were identified. Both cases were microsatellite stable. The patient with undifferentiated carcinoma exhibited hypermutator and homologous recombination deficiency phenotypes. The dominant mutation signatures were signature 30 (small subset of breast cancers) and 19 (pilocytic astrocytoma) in patient 1, and signature 5 (small subset of breast cancers) and 3 (breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers) in patient 2. Immunohistochemistry revealed positive CD8 and PD-1 expression in both patients; patient 1 also showed positive PDL-1 expression. Our results suggest that RSEAC is associated with variants of tumor suppressor genes as epigenetic alterations. Mutation signature-based whole-exome sequencing could be useful to select an adjuvant chemotherapy regimen. High CD8 and PD-1 expression in RSEAC suggests that immune checkpoint inhibitors are useful for treatment. Full article
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Article
Testosterone/Epitestosterone Ratios—Further Hints to Explain Hyperandrogenemia in Children with Autism
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010013 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Background: Epitestosterone [E] has for a long time been considered as a biologically inactive androgen. However, recently a distinct antiandrogenic activity of this naturally occurring endogenous epimer of Testosterone has been demonstrated. Especially the ratios of testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) seem to be key as [...] Read more.
Background: Epitestosterone [E] has for a long time been considered as a biologically inactive androgen. However, recently a distinct antiandrogenic activity of this naturally occurring endogenous epimer of Testosterone has been demonstrated. Especially the ratios of testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) seem to be key as inhibition of epitestosterone on androgen activity was postulated. As in autism, a higher androgen activity was implied. We, therefore, suggested higher levels of T/E ratios of children with autism versus children with typical development. Methods: Urine probes of 22 girls with autism (BMI 18.7 ± 4.3; average age 12.3 ± 3.8 years) and a sample of 51 controls (BMI 17.0 ± 2.6; average age 11.9 ± 4 years), as well as 61 boys with autism (BMI 17.04 ± 2. average age 11.9 ± 2.5 years) and 61 control boys (BMI 17.0 ± 2.6; average age 11.1 ± 3.0 years), were analyzed with gas chromatography mass spectrometry. RESULTS: The average T/E ratio of all boys with autism was 2.5 ± 1.8 versus 2.4 ± 1.3 in boys with typical development, respectively. No significant difference between boys with autism versus boys with typical development could be detected (p = 0.977). In girls with autism, the average T/E ratio was 1.4 ± 0.9 versus 2.0 ± 1.4 in girls with typical development, whereby a significant difference could be detected (p = 0.0285). Further, polynomial analysis of the third degree were conducted, showing a dependence from age with reasonable coefficients of determination (0.075 < R2 < 0.22, all samples). Discussion: As encompassing steroid hormone analysis are expensive and work-intensive, we hoped to find an easily applicable biomarker to support diagnostics in autism. However, as a relatively small sample of only 22 girls with autism were analyzed and menstrual cycle and pubertal status were only partly controllable through the matching of BMI and age, the question arises if it was an incidental finding. Nevertheless, one suggestion might be that epitestosterone has the effect of a competitive inhibition on the androgen receptor, which would probably help to explain the higher prevalence of autism in boys as compared to girls. Presumably, as no significant difference was detected in boys, this effect might not be as relevant from a steroid hormone perspective, and other effects such as altered 17/20-hydroxylase activity as previously shown in boys and girls with autism seem to have more relevance. Analysis of larger samples, including plenty of metabolites and enzymatic cascades, as well as the role of backdoor pathway activity of androgen synthesis of girls with autism, are demanded in order to validate current findings of altered steroid hormones in autism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders)
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Editorial
Targeting NSP16 Methyltransferase for the Broad-Spectrum Clinical Management of Coronaviruses: Managing the Next Pandemic
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010012 - 01 Feb 2021
Viewed by 685
Abstract
With the approval and distribution of demonstrably safe COVID-19 vaccines bearing exceptionally high efficacy profiles, it may be tempting to envision a return to “normal” in the coming months. However, if there is one lesson to be learned from the ongoing pandemic, it [...] Read more.
With the approval and distribution of demonstrably safe COVID-19 vaccines bearing exceptionally high efficacy profiles, it may be tempting to envision a return to “normal” in the coming months. However, if there is one lesson to be learned from the ongoing pandemic, it is that, in a world of evolving zoonotic viruses, we must be better prepared for the next deadly outbreak. While the acute nature of the COVID-19 pandemic demanded a highly specific approach, it is advisable to consider the breadth of seemingly endless possibilities in our approach to managing the next inevitable occurrence of an outbreak. Though there is little chance of discovering a “magic pill” to combat all future pathogens, the highly conserved nature of non-surface viral proteins exposes an “Achilles’ heel” in the structural genome of viral pathogens. Herein, we consider the potential of targeting such proteins to develop broad-spectrum therapeutics for the future. To illustrate this point, we outline the therapeutic potential of targeting the nonstructural protein 16 methyltransferase, which is conserved across most coronaviruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Disease - 2021)
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Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Diseases in 2020
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010011 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 772
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Diseases maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Article
Determinants of Health Promotion Behaviors among Family Caregivers of Stroke Survivors
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010010 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1039
Abstract
Purpose:To record the health promotion behaviors of family caregivers of stroke survivors, as well as potential determinants that could affect these behaviors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out through home visits in the Attica region using the convenience sampling method. The studied [...] Read more.
Purpose:To record the health promotion behaviors of family caregivers of stroke survivors, as well as potential determinants that could affect these behaviors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out through home visits in the Attica region using the convenience sampling method. The studied population included 109 survivors who had suffered a stroke and experienced functional problems, and their 109 primary caregivers, who were family members, lived in the same house and were fully responsible for their care. The dependent variables were the caregivers’ health promotion behaviors, while the independent variables were the survivors and caregivers’ demographic characteristics, survivors’ functional capacity, depression, social support and changes in caregivers’ lives from caring. Results: Better health promotional behaviors were associated with the following: patient having advanced age and a high level of functionality, caregivers assessing their own state of health as “good”, greater social support, a higher educational level and a higher income level. In addition, more hours of patient care were associated with a less healthy lifestyle for caregivers. Conclusions: Promoting the health of family caregivers of stroke survivors is crucial for both survivors and caregivers. For this reason, it is of great importance to detect factors that affect the health promotion behaviors of caregivers in order to carry out appropriate interventions and improve their quality of life. Full article
Review
Observations on the Occurrence, Transmission and Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic Derived from Physics
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010009 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Three important observations derived from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could result in the development of novel approaches to deal with it and avoid or at least minimize the occurrence and impact of future outbreaks. First, the dramatic increase in pandemics in the past [...] Read more.
Three important observations derived from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could result in the development of novel approaches to deal with it and avoid or at least minimize the occurrence and impact of future outbreaks. First, the dramatic increase in pandemics in the past decade alone suggests that the current relationship of humans with the environment is quickly becoming unstable, with potentially catastrophic consequences. In order to reduce the toll in life and property, we would need to shift our emphasis from control of nature to a symbiosis with nature. This, then, can become the new framework for dealing effectively with environmental issues such as climate change, whereby properly applied medical science would provide the necessary impetus for action. Second, the existence of superspreaders of infection among populations in this pandemic requires that we develop objective tests, most likely of a genetic nature, to identify them rather than apply indiscriminate and draconian controls across the board. Not identifying superspreaders in a timely fashion could allow this pandemic to turn into a black swan event, with a catastrophic impact on society. Third, we need to refocus our efforts in dealing with this pandemic from the virus itself to the human hosts. An objective morbidity risk index can be developed such that most of us can go about our daily business without the fear of becoming seriously ill, while measures can be implemented to protect those who are most vulnerable to this virus. These observations point clearly to a need for a paradigm shift. Full article
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Review
The Biological Roles of lncRNAs and Future Prospects in Clinical Application
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010008 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1658
Abstract
Chemo and radiation therapies are the most commonly used therapies for cancer, but they can induce DNA damage, resulting in the apoptosis of host cells. DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) are the most lethal form of DNA damage in cells, which are constantly caused [...] Read more.
Chemo and radiation therapies are the most commonly used therapies for cancer, but they can induce DNA damage, resulting in the apoptosis of host cells. DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) are the most lethal form of DNA damage in cells, which are constantly caused by a wide variety of genotoxic agents, both environmentally and endogenously. To maintain genomic integrity, eukaryotic organisms have developed a complex mechanism for the repair of DNA damage. Researches reported that many cellular long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were involved in the response of DNA damage. The roles of lncRNAs in DNA damage response can be regulated by the dynamic modification of N6-adenosine methylation (m6A). The cellular accumulation of DNA damage can result in various diseases, including cancers. Additionally, lncRNAs also play roles in controlling the gene expression and regulation of autophagy, which are indirectly involved with individual development. The dysregulation of these functions can facilitate human tumorigenesis. In this review, we summarized the origin and overview function of lncRNAs and highlighted the roles of lncRNAs involved in the repair of DNA damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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Article
Circulatory Shock among Hospitalized Patients for Salicylate Intoxication
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010007 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 991
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors for circulatory shock and its impact on outcomes in patients hospitalized for salicylate intoxication. Methods: We used the National Inpatient Sample to identify patients hospitalized primarily for salicylate intoxication from 2003–2014. Circulatory shock was [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors for circulatory shock and its impact on outcomes in patients hospitalized for salicylate intoxication. Methods: We used the National Inpatient Sample to identify patients hospitalized primarily for salicylate intoxication from 2003–2014. Circulatory shock was identified based on hospital diagnosis code for any type of shock or hypotension. We compared clinical characteristics, in-hospital treatments, outcomes, and resource use between patients with and without circulatory shock associated with salicylate intoxication. Results: Of 13,805 hospital admissions for salicylate intoxication, circulatory shock developed in 484 (4%) admissions. Risk factors for development of circulatory shock included older age, female sex, concurrent psychotropic medication overdose, anemia, congestive heart failure, volume depletion, rhabdomyolysis, seizure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and sepsis. Circulatory shock was significantly associated with increased odds of any organ failure and in-hospital mortality. Length of hospital stay and hospitalization cost was significantly higher in patients with circulatory shock. Conclusion: Approximately 4% of patients admitted for salicylate intoxication developed circulatory shock. Circulatory shock was associated with worse clinical outcomes and increased resource use. Full article
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Article
Polymorphism Analysis of pfmdr1 and pfcrt from Plasmodium falciparum Isolates in Northwestern Nigeria Revealed the Major Markers Associated with Antimalarial Resistance
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010006 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Suspicion of failure in the effectiveness of artemisinin-based combination therapies (currently the first-line treatment of malaria, worldwide) is leading to the unofficial use of alternative antimalarials, including chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, across northern Nigeria. To facilitate evidence-based resistance management, antimalarial resistance mutations were investigated [...] Read more.
Suspicion of failure in the effectiveness of artemisinin-based combination therapies (currently the first-line treatment of malaria, worldwide) is leading to the unofficial use of alternative antimalarials, including chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, across northern Nigeria. To facilitate evidence-based resistance management, antimalarial resistance mutations were investigated in Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance-1 (pfmdr1) and chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt), in isolates from Kano, northwestern Nigeria. Out of the 88 samples genotyped for pfmdr1 N86Y mutation using PCR/restriction fragment length polymorphism, one sample contained the 86Y mutation (86Yfrequency = 1.14%). The analysis of 610 bp fragments of pfmdr1 from 16 isolates revealed two polymorphic sites and low haplotype diversity (Hd = 0.492), with only 86 Y mutations in one isolate, and 184 F replacements in five isolates (184Ffrequency = 31.25%). The analysis of 267 bp fragments of pfcrt isolates revealed high polymorphism (Hd = 0.719), with six haplotypes and seven non-synonymous polymorphic sites. Eleven isolates (61.11%) were chloroquine-resistant, CQR (C72V73I74E75T76 haplotype), two of which had an additional mutation, D57E. An additional sequence was CQR, but of the C72V73M74E75T76 haplotype, while the rest of the sequences (33.33%) were chloroquine susceptible (C72V73M74N75K76 haplotype). The findings of these well characterized resistance markers should be considered when designing resistance management strategies in the northwestern Nigeria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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Article
Cystatin C, Vitamin D and Thyroid Function Test Profile in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010005 - 03 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
Background: The progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is concomitant with complications, including thyroid dysfunction, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study is to determine serum cystatin C levels, and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and thyroid dysfunction in CKD [...] Read more.
Background: The progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is concomitant with complications, including thyroid dysfunction, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study is to determine serum cystatin C levels, and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and thyroid dysfunction in CKD patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 140 CKD patients (stages 1–5) that were referred to a renal clinic. Demographic data was collected and thyroid function tests, serum 25-OH-vitamin D, cystatin C levels, and routine biochemistry tests were determined using cobas 6000 analyzer. Results: 129 (92.1%) of CKD patients had elevated serum cystatin C levels and there was a stepwise increase from stage 1–5. Overt hypothyroidism was present in one patient and nine had subclinical hypothyroidism. There was a stepwise reduction in serum 25-OH-vitamin D levels from stage 2–5, 31 (22.1%) had vitamin D insufficiency and 31 (22.1%) presented with deficiency. Conclusions: 25-OH-vitamin D deficiency and thyroid disorders are exhibited in chronic kidney disease patients and the severity of the former rises with disease progression, as indicated by elevated cystatin C levels. Routine screening and timely intervention is recommended so as to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic and Infectious Diseases)
Article
Cutaneous Carotenoid Level Measured by Multiple Spatially Resolved Reflection Spectroscopy Sensors Correlates with Vegetable Intake and Is Increased by Continual Intake of Vegetable Juice
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010004 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1066
Abstract
Although vegetables are beneficial for human health, in many countries, the recommended vegetable intake is not reached. To assess vegetable intake, it is important to understand vegetable consumption. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional and intervention study of 26 healthy individuals (50% women; 37.0 [...] Read more.
Although vegetables are beneficial for human health, in many countries, the recommended vegetable intake is not reached. To assess vegetable intake, it is important to understand vegetable consumption. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional and intervention study of 26 healthy individuals (50% women; 37.0 ± 8.9 years) and estimated vegetable intake on the basis of the cutaneous carotenoid level (CCL) with a noninvasive skin carotenoid sensor, considering that vegetable juice intake can increase CCL. Participants consumed vegetable juice containing 350 g of vegetables daily for 4 weeks. Blood carotenoid levels and CCL were measured for 12 weeks. Cross-sectional analysis showed a significant positive correlation between CCL and vegetable intake (r = 0.489). Vegetable juice consumption significantly increased CCL and the blood levels of α-carotene, β-carotene, and lycopene (p < 0.05). The correlation coefficient between the blood level and CCL for lycopene was smaller (r = 0.001) compared to that between the blood level and CCL for α-carotene (r = 0.523) and β-carotene (r = 0.460), likely because of bioavailability differences. In conclusion, noninvasive skin carotenoid measurements are effective for determining vegetable intake, and vegetable juice significantly increases CCL. Full article
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Article
Thrombotic Microangiopathy among Hospitalized Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in the United States
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010003 - 24 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to evaluate thrombotic microangiopathy’s (TMA) incidence, risk factors, and impact on outcomes and resource use in hospitalized patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: We used the National Inpatient Sample to construct a cohort of hospitalized patients with SLE [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to evaluate thrombotic microangiopathy’s (TMA) incidence, risk factors, and impact on outcomes and resource use in hospitalized patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: We used the National Inpatient Sample to construct a cohort of hospitalized patients with SLE from 2003–2014. We compared clinical characteristics, in-hospital treatments, outcomes, and resource use between SLE patients with and without TMA. Results: Of 35,745 hospital admissions for SLE, TMA concurrently presented or developed in 188 (0.5%) admissions. Multivariable analysis showed that age ≥ 40 years and Hispanics were significantly associated with decreased risk of TMA, whereas Asian/Pacific Islanders and history of chronic kidney disease were significantly associated with increased risk of TMA. TMA patients required more kidney biopsy, plasmapheresis, mechanical ventilation, and renal replacement therapy. TMA was significantly associated with increased risk of in-hospital mortality and acute conditions including hemoptysis, glomerulonephritis, encephalitis/myelitis/encephalopathy, hemolytic anemia, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, sepsis, ischemic stroke, seizure, and acute kidney injury. The length of hospital stays and hospitalization cost was also significantly higher in SLE with TMA patients. Conclusion: TMA infrequently occurred in less than 1% of patients admitted for SLE, but it was significantly associated with higher morbidity, mortality, and resource use. Full article
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Outcomes of Kidney Transplantation in Fabry Disease: A Meta-Analysis
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9010002 - 23 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1298
Abstract
Background: Fabry disease (FD) is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disorder with progressive systemic deposition of globotriaosylceramide, leading to life-threatening cardiac, central nervous system, and kidney disease. Current therapy involves symptomatic medical management, enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), dialysis, kidney transplantation, and, more recently, [...] Read more.
Background: Fabry disease (FD) is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disorder with progressive systemic deposition of globotriaosylceramide, leading to life-threatening cardiac, central nervous system, and kidney disease. Current therapy involves symptomatic medical management, enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), dialysis, kidney transplantation, and, more recently, gene therapy. The aim of this systematic review was to assess outcomes of kidney transplantation among patients with FD. Methods: A comprehensive literature review was conducted utilizing MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Database, from inception through to 28 February 2020, to identify studies that evaluate outcomes of kidney transplantation including patient and allograft survival among kidney transplant patients with FD. Effect estimates from each study were extracted and combined using the random-effects generic inverse variance method of DerSimonian and Laird. Results: In total, 11 studies, including 424 kidney transplant recipients with FD, were enrolled. The post-transplant median follow-up time ranged from 3 to 11.5 years. Overall, the pooled estimated rates of all-cause graft failure, graft failure before death, and allograft rejection were 32.5% (95%CI: 23.9%–42.5%), 14.5% (95%CI: 8.4%–23.7%), and 20.2% (95%CI: 15.4%–25.9%), respectively. In the sensitivity analysis, limited only to the recent studies (year 2001 or newer when ERT became available), the pooled estimated rates of all-cause graft failure, graft failure before death, and allograft rejection were 28.1% (95%CI: 20.5%–37.3%), 11.7% (95%CI: 8.4%–16.0%), and 20.2% (95%CI: 15.5%–26.0%), respectively. The pooled estimated rate of biopsy proven FD recurrence was 11.1% (95%CI: 3.6%–29.4%), respectively. There are no significant differences in the risks of all-cause graft failure (p = 0.10) or mortality (0.48) among recipients with vs. without FD. Conclusions: Despite possible FD recurrence after transplantation of 11.1%, allograft and patient survival are comparable among kidney transplant recipients with vs. without FD. Full article
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Article
Dipylidium caninum Infection in Dogs and Humans in Bishoftu Town, Ethiopia
Diseases 2021, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases9010001 - 22 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1212
Abstract
Dogs are reservoirs of many zoonotic diseases. In Ethiopia, the majority of owned dogs are semi-stray, freely roaming in the community. Studies reporting dog borne zoonotic diseases are scarce in Ethiopia. This study was conducted to assess Dipylidium caninum infection in dogs and [...] Read more.
Dogs are reservoirs of many zoonotic diseases. In Ethiopia, the majority of owned dogs are semi-stray, freely roaming in the community. Studies reporting dog borne zoonotic diseases are scarce in Ethiopia. This study was conducted to assess Dipylidium caninum infection in dogs and in children with gastrointestinal complaints in Bishoftu Town, Oromia. We collected 384 fecal samples from dogs presented to veterinary teaching hospital and 259 stool samples from children presented to Bishoftu Hospital for clinical examination. Samples were first macroscopically examined for the presence of proglotids, followed by microscopic examination for the presence of eggs with the direct smear following flotation technique. The prevalence of D. caninum was 21% (95% CI: 16.6–24.9) in dogs. Although not statistically significant (p > 0.05), higher prevalence was detected in adult (11.9%), local breed (17.7%), and male (12.6%) dogs compared to young (8.59%), exotic breed (2.86%), and females (7.81%), respectively. Dipylidium caninum was detected in a stool sample obtained from a three year-old child (0.4%, 1/259). This study showed that the prevalence of D. caninum in the dogs is high while it is rare in children. Although the prevalence in children is negligible in this study, the high proportion of infected dogs can pose a significant risk of infection in the general human population. Public health risk can be reduced by eliminating the semi-roaming of owned dogs and proper management of dogs with regular deworming and prevention of environmental contamination with dog feces. Similarly, raising public awareness about dog borne zoonoses and avoiding contact with dog feces are important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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