ACTA Microbiologica Hellenica (Volume 64, Issue 2)

The major role of cytokines in the immune response –Modern immunotherapies in clinical practice

Evangelia Papadopoulou, Maria Anna Kyriazidi, Asimoula Kavvada, Stella Mitka, Maria Chatzidimitriou, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, Greece Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Cytokines are defined as low molecular weight protein molecules that play a significant role in

the immune response. They are divided into six groups: interleukines, interferons, tumor necrosis

factors, growth factors, colony stimulating factors, chemokines. Cytokines are produced by numerous

cell types, such as mononuclear-macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer cells (NKs),

mast cells and endothelial cells as well as fibroblasts. Their action aims at various cell populations,

since cytokines are regulatory mediators of both natural and acquired immunity as well as of

inflammation. Cytokines’ impact on target cells requires their connection with specific membrane

receptors on the cells. The signal eventually reaches the cells’ nucleus after complicated chemical

reactions with the participation of tyrosine kinases and transcription factors. The differentiation,

proliferation and generally the functional alterations that target cells undergo after the influence

of cytokines, make the immune response to adjust to organism’s needs in order to eradicate

the pathogenic factor. Thus, cytokines play a significant role in both the progress and the

outcome of the immune response. On the basis of this, cytokines find excellent application into

immunotherapies for many diseases over the last few years. Although many trials require further

research, cytokines are proven to be valuable molecules in the manipulation of the immune response.

Taking this into consideration, cytokines are used as biological markers for the prognosis

and diagnosis of diseases as well as for therapeutic purposes. The US Food and Drug Administration

has already approved of many immunotherapies such as those for AIDS, multiple sclerosis,

rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis B-C, T cell leukemia, septic shock, Kaposi’s sarcoma, melanoma.

Their application broadens at the extension of transplant life expectancy on experimental

models. Despite the encouraging results of cytokines in clinical practice, challenges still exist

concerning the side effects and the administrated doses of medication for each patient. Modern

trials demand additional research aiming at the invention of safer and more efficient cytokine

immunotherapy methods in the future.

Key words: cytokines, immunotherapy, biological markers

The Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Nasal Carriage at a Saudi University Hospital

Raied A. Badierah1, Zuhair S. Natto2, Majed S. Nassar3, Ahmed A. Al-Ghamdi1,4, Asif A. Jiman-Fatani5,6,

Muhammed A. Bakhrebah3 1Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia;

2Department of Dental Public Health, School of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 

3Life Science and Environment Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

4Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia;

 5Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 6Clinical and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The objective of our study was to identify the nasal carriage of common and novel nosocomial

pathogens that may occur in the patients of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a Saudi university

hospital.Nasal swabs taken from 95 randomly selected patients were used as clinical specimens, which

were plated onto blood, MacConkey, and chocolate agars. Thereafter, these pathogens were

grown, they were identified using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight

mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and tested for antimicrobial-susceptibility using an automated

VITEK2 system (bioMerieux).

Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the most prevalent species, accounting for 16 (16.84%) isolates.

Gentamicin was the most effective antibiotic against Multidrug-Resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas

aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Klebsiella pneumonia. Trimethroprim-sulfamethoxazole

A was the least effective antibiotic against K. pneumonia.

In conclusion, the AMR bacteria isolated from the nasal swabs showed different resistance patterns

compared to those in other studies in Saudi Arabia. This data could assist healthcare practitioners

to prescribe the most effective and appropriate antibiotics, and it also provides

information upon which infection control plans, which are critical for outbreak prevention, can

be based.

Key words: Bacterial nasal carriage; hospital-acquired bacteria; antibiotic resistance

Comparison of Antibacterial Activities of Walnut (Juglans regia L.) and Pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) Leaves Alcoholic Extracts against Bacteria Isolated from Burn Wound Infections

Yaser Nozohour1, Reza Golmohammadi1, Reza Mirnejad1, Mehrdad Moosazadeh Moghaddam2,

Majid Fartashvand3

1Molecular Biology Research Center, Systems Biology and Poisonings Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical

Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University,

Tabriz, Iran.

The threat of infections caused by drug resistant microorganisms is a global problem, so it is

essential to carry out research on alternative antimicrobial drugs. Burn wound is an ideal environment

for the development of drug resistant microorganisms. Walnut (Juglans regia L.) and

pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) leaves are ancient plants with phytochemical biological compounds.

The aims of this study were to evaluate the antibacterial effects of walnut and pine leaves al-

coholic extracts against bacteria isolated from burn wounds infections, and compare them

with selected antibiotics. Accordingly, the ethanolic extracts of walnut and pine leaves were

prepared, analyzed using Agilent 7890B gas chromatography, and main phytochemicals compounds

of them were identified. The antibacterial activities of alcoholic extracts against clinical

isolates (n=6 isolates for each bacteria) and standard strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa,

Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris, Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus

epidermidis and Staphylococcus saprophyticuswere determined by agar diffusion, minimum inhibitory

concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) methods. The result

of this study showed that the walnut and pine leaves extract had antimicrobial activity

against all above clinical isolates. In conclusion, the findings of this study showed that the walnut

leaves extract had more antibacterial activities than pine leaves extract, but generally, both

extracts were able to compete with the selected antibiotics of this study.

Key words: Antibacterial, Alcoholic extracts, Juglans regia L, Pinus halepensis Mill, Burn wound infection

In vitro antimicrobial activity of Cinnamomum verum, Allium sativum, and Zingiber officinale extracts on metallo-β-lactamase-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa: A potential therapeutic approach

Neda Yousefi Nojookambari1, Gita Eslami1, Ali Hashemi1, Mehrzad Sadredinamin1, Samira Tarashi2,3,

Mahdane Roshani4, Sajjad Yazdansetad5,6

1Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2Department of Mycobacteriology and Pulmonary Research, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

3Microbiology Research Center (MRC), Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

4Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, Iran.

5Laboratory Sciences Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.

6Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.

Metallo-β-lactamase (MBL)-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a leading cause of nosocomial

infections, especially in burn patients worldwide. The antimicrobial properties of Cinnamomum

verum, Allium sativum, and Zingiber officinale known as cinnamon, garlic, and ginger,

respectively have not yet been reported on P. aeruginosa producing metallo-β-lactamase. The

present study aimed to detect MBL genes and evaluate the inhibitory effect of cinnamon, garlic

and ginger extracts on MBL-producing P. aeruginosa.Antibiotic resistance pattern of MBL-producing 

  1. aeruginosa isolates was evaluated by Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method. MBL-producing isolates 

were phenotypically tested by combineddisk test (CDT). The prevalence of blaVIM and blaIMP genes 

encoding metallo-β-lactamase wasdetected by PCR. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the 

acetonic, methanolic, and chloroformic extracts of cinnamon, garlic, and ginger on MBL-producing 

isolates was evaluated by the broth microdilution method.

Eighty-one out of 95 (85.2%) imipenem-resistant P. aeruginosa isolates were MBL-producing.

Thirteen out of 81 (16.0%) and 18 out of 81 (22.2%) MBL-producing P. aeruginosa were positive

for blaIMP and blaVIM genes, respectively. The inhibitory concentrations of the acetonic, methanolic,

and chloroformic extracts of cinnamon, garlic, and ginger ranged from ?1.50 mg/ml to

?12.50 mg/ml.

We find that the methanolic extract of cinnamon and garlic as well as the acetonic extract of

ginger has significant antibacterial activity against the MBL-producing P. aeruginosa. These medicinal

plants can be considered as a source of forgotten antimicrobial agents to avoid treatment

failure and mortality.

Key words: Burns, Cinnamon, Garlic, Ginger,Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Human bocavirus single infections and co-infections with Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Rotavirus in children with acute respiratory or gastrointestinal infections

Mehrdad Mohammadi1, Shahnaz Armin2

1MSc, Department of Microbiology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

2Pediatric Infections Research Center, Mofid Children’s Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences,

Tehran, IR Iran.

Human bocavirus (HBoV) has been reported in the respiratory and stool samples in pediatric

infections. The aims of study were to find the correlation between of HBoV single and co-infections

in respiratory and gastrointestinal cases. This report was in the period 2017–2018 that

involved children less than 3 years old, who admitted to Mofid Children’s Hospital in the center

of Iran in Tehran. At first, the respiratory and stool samples tested for the RSV and Rotavirus by

RT-PCR respectively and then all samples tested for the NP-1 gene of HBoV by PCR. The 67 out

of 500 respiratory samples (13.4%) and 72 out of 500 stool samples (14.4%) were positive of

HBoV. The 44 (65.6%) of respiratory samples have co-infection with RSV and 45 (62.5%) of stool

samples have co-infection with Rotavirus. The HBoV infections emerged often as co-infections

with other viral agents.

Key words: human bocavirus; viral infections; co-infections