Publications by authors named "Domagoj Kifer"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Fungi and their metabolites in grain from individual households in Croatia.

Food Addit Contam Part B Surveill 2021 Feb 15:1-12. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb , Zagreb, Croatia.

A total of 117 fungal metabolites were detected in grains collected in Gunja-G (flooded village) and Gornji Stupnik-GS (control village), located in the Zagreb County, Croatia. Major mycotoxins and derivatives (17), ergot alkaloids (14), (23), (18), (18), (7) and other fungal and unspecific metabolites (20) were found. A higher number of metabolites co-occurred per sample in grains from G (115) than in GS (91). Regulated mycotoxins were below maximum limits except fumonisins B in 15-20% of grains and aflatoxin B metabolites contaminated more than 50% of grains at both locations. Besides FB bikaverin, aurofusarin, culmorin and 15-hidroxyculmorin were detected at relatively high concentrations. Ergot alkaloids were detected at 2-18 times higher concentrations in grains from G as compared to GS. Majority of mycotoxins were present at a low frequency (5-15%). metabolites recovered with higher frequency in GS (55-70%) than in G (20-55%). metabolites prevailed in grains from G (60-80%).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19393210.2021.1883746DOI Listing
February 2021

Effects of Environmental Factors on Severity and Mortality of COVID-19.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2020 20;7:607786. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

Most respiratory viruses show pronounced seasonality, but for SARS-CoV-2, this still needs to be documented. We examined the disease progression of COVID-19 in 6,914 patients admitted to hospitals in Europe and China. In addition, we evaluated progress of disease symptoms in 37,187 individuals reporting symptoms into the COVID Symptom Study application. Meta-analysis of the mortality risk in seven European hospitals estimated odds ratios per 1-day increase in the admission date to be 0.981 (0.973-0.988, < 0.001) and per increase in ambient temperature of 1°C to be 0.854 (0.773-0.944, = 0.007). Statistically significant decreases of comparable magnitude in median hospital stay, probability of transfer to the intensive care unit, and need for mechanical ventilation were also observed in most, but not all hospitals. The analysis of individually reported symptoms of 37,187 individuals in the UK also showed the decrease in symptom duration and disease severity with time. Severity of COVID-19 in Europe decreased significantly between March and May and the seasonality of COVID-19 is the most likely explanation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.607786DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7855590PMC
January 2021

Fungi and their secondary metabolites in water-damaged indoors after a major flood event in eastern Croatia.

Indoor Air 2020 Dec 12. Epub 2020 Dec 12.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

In winter and summer of 2016 and 2017, airborne fungi and house dust were collected in indoors of the village Gunja, which had been flooded, and the control village Gornji Stupnik (Croatia) in order to explore variations of fungal indoor levels, particularly Aspergilli section Nidulantes series Versicolores, as well as fungal metabolites in dust. Levels of airborne Aspergilli (Versicolores) were three times as high in winter and summer in Gunja than in the control village, while dustborne isolates were equally present in both locations. Sequencing of the calmodulin gene region revealed that among Aspergilli (Versicolores), A. jensenii and A. creber were dominant and together with A. puulaauensis, A. tennesseensis and A. venenatus produced sterigmatocystin and 5-methoxysterigmatocystin (HPLC coupled with mass spectrometry); A. amoenus, A. fructus, A. griseoaurantiacus, A. pepii, and A. protuberus produced sterigmatocystin but not 5-methoxysterigmatocystin; A. sydowii did not produce any of these toxins. A total of 75 metabolites related to Penicillium (29), Aspergillus (22), Fusarium (10), Alternaria (5), Stachybotrys (2), and other fungi (7) were detected in dust by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The majority of metabolites including sterigmatocystin and 5-methoxysterigmatocystin exhibited a higher prevalence in winter in Gunja.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ina.12777DOI Listing
December 2020

Combination of Systemic Inflammatory Biomarkers in Assessment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Diagnostic Performance and Identification of Networks and Clusters.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2020 Nov 30;10(12). Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Haematology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α contribute to inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We wanted to investigate their interrelations and association with disease severity, as well as to combine them with other inflammation-associated biomarkers and evaluate their predictive value and potential in identifying various patterns of systemic inflammation. One hundred and nine patients with stable COPD and 95 age- and sex-matched controls were enrolled in the study. Cytokines' concentrations were determined in plasma samples by antibody-based multiplex immunosorbent assay kits. Investigated cytokines were increased in COPD patients but were not associated with disease or symptoms severity. IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα showed the best discriminative values regarding ongoing inflammation in COPD. Inflammatory patterns were observed in COPD patients when cytokines, C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen (Fbg), extracellular adenosine triphosphate (eATP), extracellular heat shock protein 70 (eHsp70) and clinical data were included in cluster analysis. IL-1β, eATP and eHsp70 combined correctly classified 91% of cases. Therefore, due to the heterogeneity of COPD, its assessment could be improved by combination of biomarkers. Models including IL-1β, eATP and eHsp70 might identify COPD patients, while IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα combined with CRP, Fbg, eATP and eHsp70 might be informative regarding various COPD clinical subgroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10121029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7760570PMC
November 2020

Single-Dose Toxicity of Individual and Combined Sterigmatocystin and 5-Methoxysterigmatocistin in Rat Lungs.

Toxins (Basel) 2020 11 23;12(11). Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Sterigmatocystin (STC) and 5-methoxysterigmatocystin (5-M-STC) are mycotoxins produced by common damp indoor Aspergilli series . Since both STC and 5-M-STC were found in the dust of indoor occupational and living areas, their occupants may be exposed to these mycotoxins, primarily by inhalation. Thus, STC and 5-M-STC were intratracheally instilled in male Wistar rats using doses (0.3 mg STC/kg of lung weight (l.w.); 3.6 mg 5-M-STC/kg l.w.; toxin combination 0.3 + 3.6 mg/kg l.w.) that corresponded to concentrations detected in the dust of damp indoor areas in order to explore cytotoxicity, vascular permeability, immunomodulation and genotoxicity. Single mycotoxins and their combinations insignificantly altered lactate-dehydrogenase activity, albumin, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α and chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-1α concentrations, as measured by ELISA in bronchioalveolar lavage fluid upon 24 h of treatment. In an alkaline comet assay, both mycotoxins provoked a similar intensity of DNA damage in rat lungs, while in a neutral comet assay, only 5-M-STC evoked significant DNA damage. Hence, naturally occurring concentrations of individual STC may induce DNA damage in rat lungs, in which single DNA strand breaks prevail, while 5-M-STC was more responsible for double-strand breaks. In both versions of the comet assay treatment with STC + 5-M-STC, less DNA damage intensity occurred compared to single mycotoxin treatment, suggesting an antagonistic genotoxic action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins12110734DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7700161PMC
November 2020

Post-Flood Impacts on Occurrence and Distribution of Mycotoxin-Producing Aspergilli from the Sections , and in Indoor Environment.

J Fungi (Basel) 2020 Nov 12;6(4). Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Mycotoxin-producing Aspergilli (, and ), usually associated with contaminated food, may also cause respiratory disorders and are insufficiently studied in water-damaged indoor environments. Airborne ( = 71) and dust borne ( = 76) Aspergilli collected at post-flood and control locations in Croatia resulted in eleven different species based on their calmodulin marker: , , and (); (); and , , , and (). Most of the airborne (73%) and dust borne (54%) isolates were found at post-flood locations, and the highest concentrations measured in indoor air (5720 colony-forming units (CFU)/m) and dust (2.5 × 10 CFU/g) were up to twenty times higher than in the control locations. dominated among airborne isolates (25%) at the unrepaired locations, while 56% of the dust borne Aspergilli were identified as and . The ability of identified isolates to produce mycotoxins aflatoxin B (AFB), fumonisin B (FB), and ochratoxin A were assessed by LC-MS analysis. All ochratoxin A (OTA)-producing belonged to (13.7 ± 15.81 µg/mL); in the section, produced AFB (2.51 ± 5.31 µg/mL), while and (section ) produced FB (6.76 ± 13.51 µg/mL and 11.24 ± 18.30 µg/mL, respectively). Water damage dominantly supported the occurrence of aflatoxigenic in indoor environments. Yet unresolved, the causal relationship of exposure to indoor Aspergilli and adverse health effects may support the significance of this research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jof6040282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7711759PMC
November 2020

Glycosylation Alterations in Multiple Sclerosis Show Increased Proinflammatory Potential.

Biomedicines 2020 Oct 13;8(10). Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system (CNS), with unresolved aetiology. Previous studies have implicated N-glycosylation, a highly regulated enzymatic attachment of complex sugars to targeted proteins, in MS pathogenesis. We investigated individual variation in N-glycosylation of the total plasma proteome and of IgG in MS. Both plasma protein and IgG N-glycans were chromatographically profiled and quantified in 83 MS cases and 88 age- and sex-matched controls. Comparing levels of glycosylation features between MS cases and controls revealed that core fucosylation ( = 6.96 × 10) and abundance of high-mannose structures ( = 1.48 × 10) were the most prominently altered IgG glycosylation traits. Significant changes in plasma protein N-glycome composition were observed for antennary fucosylated, tri- and tetrasialylated, tri- and tetragalactosylated, high-branched N-glycans (-value range 1.66 × 10-4.28 × 10). Classification performance of N-glycans was examined by ROC curve analysis, resulting in an AUC of 0.852 for the total plasma N-glycome and 0.798 for IgG N-glycome prediction models. Our results indicate that multiple aspects of protein glycosylation are altered in MS, showing increased proinflammatory potential. N-glycan alterations showed substantial value in classification of the disease status, nonetheless, additional studies are warranted to explore their exact role in MS development and utility as biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100410DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7599553PMC
October 2020

Effects of estradiol on biological age measured using the glycan age index.

Aging (Albany NY) 2020 Oct 13;12(19):19756-19765. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Genos Glycoscience Research Laboratory, Zagreb, Croatia.

Glycan age is a recently developed biomarker based on glycans attached to immunoglobulin G (IgG). In large population cohorts, glycan age associates well with lifestyle and disease-risk biomarkers, while some studies suggested that glycan changes precede development of several age-associated diseases. In this study we evaluated effects of estrogen on the glycan age. Gonadal hormones were suppressed in 36 healthy young women by gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist therapy for 6 months. In 15 of them estradiol was supplemented, while 21 received placebo resulting in very low estrogen levels during intervention. IgG was isolated from plasma samples before intervention, after 6 months of intervention and after subsequent 4-month recovery. Deprivation of gonadal hormones resulted in median increase of glycan age for 9.1 years (IQR 6.8 - 11.5 years, p = 3.73×10), which was completely prevented by transdermal estradiol therapy (change in glycan age = -0.23 years, IQR (-2.20 - 2.98). After the recovery period glycan age returned to baseline values in both groups. These results suggest that IgG glycans and consequently also the glycan age are under strong influence of gonadal hormones and that estradiol therapy can prevent the increase of glycan age that occurs in the perimenopausal period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.104060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732334PMC
October 2020

Embryo-Like Features in Developing Bacillus subtilis Biofilms.

Mol Biol Evol 2021 01;38(1):31-47

Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, Division of Molecular Biology, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia.

Correspondence between evolution and development has been discussed for more than two centuries. Recent work reveals that phylogeny-ontogeny correlations are indeed present in developmental transcriptomes of eukaryotic clades with complex multicellularity. Nevertheless, it has been largely ignored that the pervasive presence of phylogeny-ontogeny correlations is a hallmark of development in eukaryotes. This perspective opens a possibility to look for similar parallelisms in biological settings where developmental logic and multicellular complexity are more obscure. For instance, it has been increasingly recognized that multicellular behavior underlies biofilm formation in bacteria. However, it remains unclear whether bacterial biofilm growth shares some basic principles with development in complex eukaryotes. Here we show that the ontogeny of growing Bacillus subtilis biofilms recapitulates phylogeny at the expression level. Using time-resolved transcriptome and proteome profiles, we found that biofilm ontogeny correlates with the evolutionary measures, in a way that evolutionary younger and more diverged genes were increasingly expressed toward later timepoints of biofilm growth. Molecular and morphological signatures also revealed that biofilm growth is highly regulated and organized into discrete ontogenetic stages, analogous to those of eukaryotic embryos. Together, this suggests that biofilm formation in Bacillus is a bona fide developmental process comparable to organismal development in animals, plants, and fungi. Given that most cells on Earth reside in the form of biofilms and that biofilms represent the oldest known fossils, we anticipate that the widely adopted vision of the first life as a single-cell and free-living organism needs rethinking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msaa217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7783165PMC
January 2021

Assessing the Effect of Mycotoxin Combinations: Which Mathematical Model Is (the Most) Appropriate?

Toxins (Basel) 2020 02 29;12(3). Epub 2020 Feb 29.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Schrottova 39, Zagreb 10000, Croatia.

In the past decades, many studies have examined the nature of the interaction between mycotoxins in biological models classifying interaction effects as antagonisms, additive effects, or synergisms based on a comparison of the observed effect with the expected effect of combination. Among several described mathematical models, the arithmetic definition of additivity and factorial analysis of variance were the most commonly used in mycotoxicology. These models are incorrectly based on the assumption that mycotoxin dose-effect curves are linear. More appropriate mathematical models for assessing mycotoxin interactions include Bliss independence, Loewe's additivity law, combination index, and isobologram analysis, Chou-Talalays median-effect approach, response surface, code for the identification of synergism numerically efficient (CISNE) and MixLow method. However, it seems that neither model is ideal. This review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of these mathematical models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins12030153DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7150917PMC
February 2020

Intense Physical Exercise Induces an Anti-inflammatory Change in IgG N-Glycosylation Profile.

Front Physiol 2019 20;10:1522. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

Exercise is known to improve many aspects of human health, including modulation of the immune system and inflammatory status. It is generally understood that exercise reduces inflammation, but there are missing links in terms of understanding the mechanisms as well as the differences between exercise modalities. N-glycosylation of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and total plasma proteins was previously shown to reflect changes in inflammatory pathways, which could provide valuable information to further clarify exercise effects. In order to further expand the understanding of the relationship between physical activity and inflammation, we examined the effect of intense exercise, in the form of repeated sprint training (RST), on IgG and total plasma proteins N-glycosylation in combination with traditionally used inflammation markers: C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and leukocyte count. Twenty-nine male physical education students were separated into treatment (RST, = 15) and control ( = 14) groups. The RST group completed a 6-week exercise protocol while the control group was instructed to refrain from organized physical activity for the duration of the study. Three blood samples were taken at different time points: prior to start of the training program, the final week of the exercise intervention (EXC), and at the end of the 4-week recovery period (REC). Following the end of the recovery period IgG N-glycosylation profiles showed anti-inflammatory changes in RST group compared to the control group, which manifested as a decrease in agalactosylated ( = 0.0473) and an increase in digalactosylated ( = 0.0473), and monosialylated ( = 0.0339) N-glycans. Plasma protein N-glycans didn't change significantly, while traditional inflammatory markers also didn't show significant change in inflammatory status. Observed results demonstrate the potential of intense physical exercise to reduce levels of systemic basal inflammation as well as the potential for IgG N-glycosylation to serve as a sensitive longitudinal systemic inflammation marker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.01522DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6933519PMC
December 2019

Sterigmatocystin moderately induces oxidative stress in male Wistar rats after short-term oral treatment.

Mycotoxin Res 2020 May 13;36(2):181-191. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

This study aimed to explore involvement of oxidative stress in sterigmatocystin (STC) toxicity in male Wistar rats. Animals were orally treated with a single STC dose (10, 20 and 40 mg/kg b.w.). Short-term treatment resulted in moderate oxidative stress determined by a significant increase of malondialdehyde (MDA; all STC doses) and catalase (CAT; 10 mg/kg b.w.) in plasma, a decrease of glutathione peroxidase (GPx; 20 and 40 mg/kg b.w.) in the liver, and increase of MDA and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in kidneys (all STC doses). Heat shock protein (Hsp27 and Hsp70) expression was determined by Western blotting in rat liver and kidneys. Hsp27 expression was downregulated by STC, particularly in the liver (40 mg/kg b.w.). The lowest STC dose elevated the expression of Hsp70 in both liver and kidneys, while an increase in STC doses restored Hsp70 expression to control. Alterations in expressions of Hsp27 and Hsp70 could be only partially associated with oxidative stress. STC provoked a significant DNA damage in both liver and kidneys (alkaline comet assay), but the liver was more affected by a broader spectrum of DNA lesions. Oxidative DNA damage (hOGG1-modified comet assay) contribute to the overall mechanism of STC-induced DNA damage in both organs, but kidneys in general seem to be more susceptible to oxidative stress upon short-term exposure to sublethal doses of STC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12550-019-00382-8DOI Listing
May 2020

Supplementation With the Sialic Acid Precursor N-Acetyl-D-Mannosamine Breaks the Link Between Obesity and Hypertension.

Circulation 2019 12 10;140(24):2005-2018. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (J.P., W.V., S.B., I.S.Y., K.T., A.S., H.C., N.C.S., A.R., K.L.C., C.M., P.W.S.).

Background: Obesity-related hypertension is a common disorder, and attempts to combat the underlying obesity are often unsuccessful. We previously revealed that mice globally deficient in the inhibitory immunoglobulin G (IgG) receptor FcγRIIB are protected from obesity-induced hypertension. However, how FcγRIIB participates is unknown. Studies were designed to determine if alterations in IgG contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity-induced hypertension.

Methods: Involvement of IgG was studied using IgG μ heavy chain-null mice deficient in mature B cells and by IgG transfer. Participation of FcγRIIB was interrogated in mice with global or endothelial cell-specific deletion of the receptor. Obesity was induced by high-fat diet (HFD), and blood pressure (BP) was measured by radiotelemetry or tail cuff. The relative sialylation of the Fc glycan on mouse IgG, which influences IgG activation of Fc receptors, was evaluated by lectin blotting. Effects of IgG on endothelial NO synthase were assessed in human aortic endothelial cells. IgG Fc glycan sialylation was interrogated in 3442 human participants by mass spectrometry, and the relationship between sialylation and BP was evaluated. Effects of normalizing IgG sialylation were determined in HFD-fed mice administered the sialic acid precursor N-acetyl-D-mannosamine (ManNAc).

Results: Mice deficient in B cells were protected from obesity-induced hypertension. Compared with IgG from control chow-fed mice, IgG from HFD-fed mice was hyposialylated, and it raised BP when transferred to recipients lacking IgG; the hypertensive response was absent if recipients were FcγRIIB-deficient. Neuraminidase-treated IgG lacking the Fc glycan terminal sialic acid also raised BP. In cultured endothelial cells, via FcγRIIB, IgG from HFD-fed mice and neuraminidase-treated IgG inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor activation of endothelial NO synthase by altering endothelial NO synthase phosphorylation. In humans, obesity was associated with lower IgG sialylation, and systolic BP was inversely related to IgG sialylation. Mice deficient in FcγRIIB in endothelium were protected from obesity-induced hypertension. Furthermore, in HFD-fed mice, ManNAc normalized IgG sialylation and prevented obesity-induced hypertension.

Conclusions: Hyposialylated IgG and FcγRIIB in endothelium are critically involved in obesity-induced hypertension in mice, and supportive evidence was obtained in humans. Interventions targeting these mechanisms, such as ManNAc supplementation, may provide novel means to break the link between obesity and hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.043490DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7027951PMC
December 2019

Antimicrobial stewardship effectiveness on rationalizing the use of last line of antibiotics in a short period with limited human resources: a single centre cohort study.

BMC Res Notes 2019 Aug 20;12(1):531. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Clinical Hospital Dubrava, Avenija Gojka Šuška 6, 10 000, Zagreb, Croatia.

Objective: Antibiotics reserve (ARs) are given as a last line of treatment when other antibiotics are no longer effective. Rising threat of antimicrobial resistance makes growing use of ARs a real problem to patient safety. A single centre interventional cohort study was conducted in order to measure impact on clinical outcomes of A-team programme with limited human resources in a short period. A-team programme started on 01. September 2017.

Results: In 3 months preintervention and 3 months intervention period, from 3038 and 3156 hospitalized adult patients, 249 (59% of them were male, median age = 69 years) and 96 (51% of them were male, median age = 70 years) received parenteral ARs. Total duration of hospitalization of patients on AR was reduced from 28 to 17 days of hospitalization on 100 patient-days (OR = 1.92; 95% CI 1.83-2.01; p < 0.001) with no statistical significant difference in rehospitalisation due to infection of patients that were treated with ARs within 2 months after discharge. Despite short period of time and limited human resources, A-team restrictive interventions rationalised parenteral AR use and led to positive impact on clinical outcomes. These results could help our and other A-teams in similar situation in continuing with the programme to bring more evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13104-019-4572-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6702748PMC
August 2019

N-glycosylation patterns of plasma proteins and immunoglobulin G in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

J Transl Med 2018 11 21;16(1):323. Epub 2018 Nov 21.

Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, A. Kovačića 1, 10 000, Zagreb, Croatia.

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex condition, whose diagnosis requires spirometric assessment. However, considering its heterogeneity, subjects with similar spirometric parameters do not necessarily have the same functional status. To overcome this limitation novel biomarkers for COPD have been investigated. Therefore, we aimed to explore the potential value of N-glycans as COPD biomarkers and to examine the individual variation of plasma protein and immunoglobulin G (IgG) glycosylation profiles in subjects with COPD and healthy controls.

Methods: Both the total plasma protein and IgG N-glycome have been profiled in the total of 137 patients with COPD and 95 matching controls from Croatia. Replication cohort consisted of 61 subjects with COPD and 148 controls recruited at another Croatian medical centre.

Results: Plasma protein N-glycome in COPD subjects exhibited significant decrease in low branched and conversely, an increase in more complex glycan structures (tetragalactosylated, trisialylated, tetrasialylated and antennary fucosylated glycoforms). We also observed a significant decline in plasma monogalactosylated species, and the same change replicated in IgG glycome. N-glycans also showed value in distinguishing subjects in different COPD GOLD stages, where the relative abundance of more complex glycan structures increased as the disease progressed. Glycans also showed statistically significant associations with the frequency of exacerbations and demonstrated to be affected by smoking, which is the major risk factor for COPD development.

Conclusions: This study showed that complexity of glycans associates with COPD, mirroring also the disease severity. Moreover, changes in N-glycome associate with exacerbation frequency and are affected by smoking. In general, this study provided new insights into plasma protein and IgG N-glycome changes occurring in COPD and pointed out potential novel markers of the disease progression and severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-018-1695-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6249776PMC
November 2018

Antimicrobial potency of single and combined mupirocin and monoterpenes, thymol, menthol and 1,8-cineole against Staphylococcus aureus planktonic and biofilm growth.

J Antibiot (Tokyo) 2016 Sep 17;69(9):689-96. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most commonly isolated microbes in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) that can be complicated due to the formation of a staphylococcal biofilm. In this study, we investigated antimicrobial efficacy of single mupirocin and three types of monoterpenes (thymol, menthol and 1,8-cineole) as well as mupirocin-monoterpene combinations against S. aureus ATCC 29213 and 5 methicilin-resistant S. aureus strains (MRSA) grown in planktonic and biofilm form. MIC against planktonic bacteria as well as minimum biofilm-eliminating concentrations (MBECs) and minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MBICs) were determined by TTC and MTT reduction assay, respectively. The MICs of mupirocin (0.125-0.156 μg ml(-1)) were three orders of magnitude lower than the MICs of monoterpenes, which were as follows: thymol (0.250-0.375 mg ml(-1)) > menthol (1 mg ml(-1)) > 1,8-cineole (4-8 mg ml(-1)). Mupirocin-monoterpene combinations showed indifferent effect as compared with MICs of single substances. Mupirocin (0.016-2 mg ml(-1)) failed to destroy the biofilm. The MBECs of thymol and menthol were two- to sixfold higher than their MICs, while 1,8-cineole exerted a weak antibiofilm effect with MBECs 16- to 64-fold higher than MICs. Mixture of mupirocin and 1,8 cineole exerted a potentiated biofilm-eliminating effect, mupirocin-menthol showed antagonism, while effect of thymol-mupirocin mixture was inconclusive. MBICs of antimicrobials were close to their MICs, except 1,8-cineole, MBIC was about three- to fivefold higher. Dominant synergy was observed for mixtures of mupirocin and menthol or thymol, whereas mupirocin-1,8-cineol exerted an indifferent or additive biofilm inhibitory effect. Particular combinations of mupirocin and the monoterpenes could be applied in CRS therapy in order to eliminate or prevent bacterial biofilm growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ja.2016.10DOI Listing
September 2016