Publications by authors named "M Mora"

1,059 Publications

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The clinical-epidemiological profile of malaria patients from Southern Venezuela, a critical hotspot in Latin America.

Malar J 2021 Sep 20;20(1):375. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Biology Department/Institute of Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine (iGEM), Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 19122-1801, USA.

Background: Venezuela accounted for 55% of the cases and 73% of the malaria deaths in the Americas in 2019. Bolivar state, in the southeast, contributes > 60% of the country's Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum cases every year. This study describes the clinical-epidemiological characteristics of clinical malaria patients in this high-transmission area.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted on patients seeking medical attention in three medical centres in the state capital, Ciudad Bolivar, between June and October 2018. Malaria diagnosis was carried out using microscopy following national standards. Malaria-positive patients were examined for clinical symptoms, and haematological tests were performed at the time of diagnosis. Patients were followed up by telephone to evaluate malaria recurrences.

Results: Out of 287 patients, 200 (69.7%) were positive for P. vivax, 69 (24%) for P. falciparum, and 18 (6.3%) had mixed (P. vivax/P. falciparum) infections. Patients' median age was 33 years (IQR 20), 168 (69%) were men, and 40% practiced gold mining as the main occupation. Fever (96.5%), chills (91.3%), and headaches (90.6%) were the most frequent symptoms. At least one symptom associated with severe malaria was observed in 69 out of 161 patients with complete clinical evaluation (42.9%). Plasmodium vivax infections were found in 42 out of 69 (60.9%) severe cases; by contrast, P. falciparum and mixed malaria caused 34.8% (24/69) and 4.4% (3/69) of infections, respectively. Two patients died of cerebral malaria. Mean hemoglobin was lower in the patients infected with P. falciparum than those infected with P. vivax. Regardless of the parasite causing the infection, patients presented high levels of total bilirubin, aminotransferases (AST, ALT), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Out of the 142 patients followed up by phone for three months (49.5% of the 287 patients), 35 (24.7%) reported recurrences.

Conclusions: The high malaria prevalence among young male adults practicing gold mining suggests that this occupation is a significant risk factor. The unexpected high prevalence of P. vivax patients with at least one criteria of severe clinical disease is a matter of concern. Whether it is the result of a lack of timely diagnosis and effective treatment should be explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-021-03913-wDOI Listing
September 2021

SMA-miRs: miR-181a-5p, -324-5p, -451a are overexpressed in spinal muscular atrophy skeletal muscle and serum samples.

Elife 2021 Sep 20;10. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Department of Life Sciences and Public Health, Section of Genomic Medicine, Università cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italy.

Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by the degeneration of the second motor-neuron. The phenotype ranges from very severe to very mild forms. All patients have the homozygous loss of the gene and a variable number of (generally two-to-four copies), inversely related with the severity. The amazing results of the available treatments have made compelling the need of prognostic biomarkers to predict the progression trajectories of patients. Beside the products, few other biomarkers have been evaluated so far, including some miRs.

Methods: We performed whole miRNome analysis of muscle samples of patients and controls (14 biopsies and 9 cultures). The levels of miRs differentially expressed in muscle were evaluated in serum samples (51 patients and 37 controls) and integrated with copies, -full length transcript levels in blood and age (SMA-score).

Results: Over 100 miRs were differentially expressed in SMA muscle; three of them (HSA-miR-181a-5p, -324-5p, -451a; SMA-miRs) were significantly up-regulated in serum of patients. The severity predicted by the SMA-score was related with that of the clinical classification at a correlation coefficient of 0.87 (p10).

Conclusions: miRNome analyses suggest the primary involvement of skeletal muscle in SMA pathogenesis. The SMA-miRs are likely actively released in the blood flow; their function and target cells require to be elucidated. The accuracy of the SMA-score needs to be verified in replicative studies: if confirmed, it could be crucial for the routine prognostic assessment, also in pre-symptomatic patients.

Funding: Telethon Italia (grant # GGP12116).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.68054DOI Listing
September 2021

Effects and experience with the Mézières method in people with low back pain: A mixed methods study.

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil 2021 Sep 10. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

Trauma and Clinical Rehabilitation, Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, Chia, Colombia.

Background: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common reasons for visiting the doctor. The Mézières method (MM) emphasises body awareness and uses a global postural rehabilitation approach. It is used in the management of LBP, but its effectiveness has received limited formal evaluation.

Objective: To determine the effects of MM on quality of life, pain and functional disability in people with LBP and understand the patient's bodily experience during the MM intervention.

Methods: This single-blind randomised controlled trial with a mixed methods design will include 54 people with LBP aged 18 to 65 years. Participants will be randomised into two groups, one will receive MM and the other will receive a control intervention, administered through 10 treatment sessions. Participants will also construct a narrative to provide an understanding of their bodily experience.

Results: The assessed outcomes will include pain, back pain-related disability assessed using the Roland Morris Questionnaire, and quality of life related to health assessed using the SF12. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, after the intervention and at a 6 weeks follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/BMR-200344DOI Listing
September 2021

Glucocorticoid-induced fingerprints on visceral adipose tissue transcriptome and epigenome.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Sep 6. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Group of Endocrine Disorders, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain.

Context & Objective: Chronic glucocorticoid (GC) overexposure, resulting from endogenous Cushing's syndrome (CS) or exogenous GC therapy, causes several adverse outcomes, including persistent central fat accumulation associated with a low-grade inflammation. However, no previous multi-omics studies in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) from patients exposed to high levels of unsuppressed GC during active CS or after remission are available yet.

Methods: We employed a translational approach combining high-throughput data on endogenous CS patients and a reversible CS mouse model. We performed RNA-seq and ChIP-seq on histone modifications (H3K4me3, H3K27ac and H3K27me3) to identify persistent transcriptional and epigenetic signatures in VAT produced during active CS and maintained after remission.

Results: VAT dysfunction was associated with low-grade pro-inflammatory status, macrophage infiltration and extracellular matrix remodeling. Most notably, chronic hypercortisolism caused a persistent circadian rhythm disruption in VAT through core clock genes modulation. Importantly, changes in the levels of two histone modifications associated to gene transcriptional activation (H3K4me3 and H3K27ac) correlated with the observed differences in gene expression during active CS and after CS remission.

Conclusion: We identified for the first time, the persistent transcriptional and epigenetic signatures induced by hypercortisolism in VAT, providing a novel integrated view of molecular components driving the long-term VAT impairment associated with CS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab662DOI Listing
September 2021

Redefining the Distributional Boundaries and Phylogenetic Relationships for Ctenomids From Central Argentina.

Front Genet 2021 4;12:698134. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Grupo de Investigación: Ecología y Genética de Poblaciones de Mamíferos, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC, CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMdP), Mar del Plata, Argentina.

With about 68 recognized living species, subterranean rodents of the genus are found in a multiplicity of habitats, from the dunes of the Atlantic coast to the Andes Mountains, including environments ranging from humid steppes of Pampas to the dry deserts of Chaco region. However, this genus needs an exhaustive reevaluation of its systematic and phylogenetic relationships regarding the different groups that compose it. This knowledge is essential to propose biodiversity conservation strategies both at species level and at higher hierarchical levels. In order to clarify the taxonomy and the recent evolutionary history from populations of in the Pampas region, Argentina, phylogenetic relationships among them were evaluated using mitochondrial DNA sequences: gene encoding cytochrome protein (1,140 bp) and the non-coding D-loop region (434 bp). To infer the divergence times inside the clade, a Bayesian calibrate tree using fossil remains data from different families within Caviomorpha was performed at first. Secondly, that calibration data was used as priors in a new Bayesian phylogenetic inference within the genus . This phylogenetic tree emphasized on species currently distributed on the Pampas region, more precisely considering both the and groups. Bayesian inferences (BI) were integrated with the results of a Maximum Likelihood approach (ML). Based on these results, the distributional limits of the and groups appear to be related to the physiognomy of the Pampas region soils. On the other hand, the validity of complex as a differentiated species of is debated. According to previous evidence from morphological and chromosomal studies, these results show a very low divergence between those species that originally were classified within the group. Mitochondrial DNA sequences from populations associated with these putative species have not recovered as reciprocal monophyletic groups in the phylogenetic analyses. In conclusion, and complex might be considered as the same biological species, or lineages going through a recent or incipient differentiation process. The results obtained in this study have important implications for conservation policies and practices, since both species are currently categorized as Vulnerable and Endangered, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2021.698134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8372524PMC
August 2021
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