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  • Author: Adrian Florea x
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Abstract

This article aims at identification of the main trends in scientific literature characterising urban smart mobility, on the basis of bibliometric analysis of articles published in the ISI Web of Science and Scopus databases. The study period was set from 2000 to 2017. Authors used a basic technique of the bibliometric analysis of the scientific literature characterising urban smart mobility with the support of the VOSviewer software. The analysis included the number of publications, citation analysis, research area analysis and the most frequent keywords. The analysis led to taking notice of current research trends dealing with the urban smart mobility. The core of the paper is a theoretical framework of research trends, which was developed through a review of scientific literature. The result of this paper is a map showing the existing relationships between key terms, research areas characterising publications dealing with the urban smart mobility and intelligent transport system (ITS). “Smart city” is probably the most “in vogue”, debated and analysed concept among researchers and administrative/ governmental representatives from all over the world. This multidimensional concept is mainly based on smart technology structured around few major components: smart mobility, smart environment, smart governance, smart living, and everything that targets the people’s wellbeing. This work focuses on a hot topic – mobility because of its significant impact on the environment by pollution as well as living by requiring intelligent transport systems.

Abstract

In recent years Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has represented a serious public health issue, mainly due to the global spread of the hypervirulent strain NAP1/027/BI. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the utility of a PCR coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) commercial assay for the detection of C. difficile virulence markers. Non-duplicative C. difficile isolates from patients with CDI diagnosed in a tertiary level hospital from Bucharest were tested for toxin A, toxin B, binary toxin genes and deletion in tcdC gene using PCR/capillary gel electrophoresis and PCR/ESI-MS. The study analysed 45 non-duplicative isolates, 33 strains (73.3%) belonging to ribotype 027. The concordance between PCR/capillary gel electrophoresis and PCR/ESI-MS was 100% for toxin A gene, 97.8% for toxin B gene, 91.1% for binary toxin subunit A gene and 95.6% for binary toxin subunit B gene. The general concordance for the complete panel of markers was 88.9% but was 100% for ribotype 027 isolates. PCR/ESI-MS might be a valid method for the detection of C. difficile virulence markers, including binary toxin.

Abstract

Introduction: Autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis is a non-syndromic ichthyosis, with a genetic background of mutations in 9 genes. This case series presents clinical and paraclinical particularities of 3 Romanian ARCI patients with NIPAL4 mutation c.527C>A.

Material and methods: Three Caucasian patients were investigated, two sisters and an unrelated female patient, aged 47, 49, and 42 respectively. Skin anomalies were recorded and documented photographically; peripheral blood samples were harvested for DNA extraction and gene analysis. Skin biopsies were used for histological assessment, electron microscopy, and evaluation of in situ transglutaminase 1 activity.

Results: All patients presented with generalized ichthyosis, palmoplantar keratoderma, normal hair shafts, and significant oral manifestations. Natural evolution was relatively stable in all cases, without phenotype changing. Medical treatment with retinoids in patients 1 and 2 resulted in normalisation of the skin condition.

Histological samples showed hyperkeratosis, acanthosisand perivascular inflammatory infiltrates in the dermis. Positive findings of transglutaminase 1 in situ activity excluded TGM1 deficiency. Direct sequencing of amplicons revealed one homozygous mutation in exon 4, a c.527C>A missense mutation.

Conclusions: This is the first report of the hotspot mutation NIPAL4 c.527C>A in Romanian autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis patients. The phenotype was similar to that reported in the literature, while transglutaminase 1 activity in situ assay detected differences in enzyme distribution between patients bearing the same mutation but different phenotypes. Based on the current data, NIPAL4 mutations are more frequent than TGM1 mutations in Romanian patients with autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis.

Abstract

Polyoxometalates are important inorganic compounds with a broad range of pharmacological properties, including antiviral, antibacterial, antiprotozoal or antitumoral activities, even that their molecular mechanism of action is poorly understood. Purpose: In this paper we evaluated the antibacterial activity of some saturated polyoxotungstates (POW) compounds, since nowadays, the increasing resistance of bacteria to drugs represents a major health problem. Materials and methods: The antibacterial activity was studied by disk diffusion method as a possible screening method and by successive micro-dilutions method. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) have been calculated for each compound by successive dilutions. We also compared the reliability of each testing method for this particular POW evaluation. Results: The best antibacterial activity was expressed by H4[SiW12O40]*nH2O and the lowest by Na3[PW12O40]*nH2O, but with very good activity on Staphylococcus spp., especially on MRSA. The POW activity occurs only at relatively high concentrations, and it is dependent on bacterial strain, with very good activity on Staphylococcus spp. The most reliable method for assessing the antibacterial effects of POW is micro-dilutions. POWs could be practically applied in hospital decontamination and could have a possible in vivo antibacterial application.

Abstract

Introduction: Hospital-acquired infections caused by Enterobacteriaceae producing different types of carbapenem- hydrolizing enzymes are now commonly observed and represent a great limitation for antimicrobial therapy. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the emergence of carbapenem-resistant Enterobaceriaceae among the strains isolated from hospitalized patients to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Bucharest (NIID) and the identification of different types of carbapenemases, using phenotypic methods.

Materials and methods: Between January - June 2014, 587 strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter species and E.coli were isolated from various clinical specimens. We were included all non-susceptible strains to carbapenems, according to EUCAST 2014 clinical breakpoints, as determined by using microdilution MicroScan Panels (Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics). The modified Hodge test (MHT) was performed as phenotypic confirmatory test for carbapenemase production according to CLSI guidelines and the combination disk test (KPC, MBL , OXA-48 Confirm kit, Rosco Diagnostica) according to EUCAST guidelines.

Results: A total of 45 non-repeat Enterobaceriaceae (32 strains Klebsiella pneumoniae, 5 strains E.coli, 8 strains Enterobacter spp) were identified as non-susceptibile to one or more carbapenems (93,33% ertapenem, 53,33% meropenem, 48,88% imipenem). Most strains were isolated from urine (75,55%). MHT was positive in 55,6% (25/45) of carbapenem-resistant strains; in 24 cases the carbapenem-hydrolizing enzyme was identified as: OXA-48-like (n=16), KPC (n=4), MBL (n=1), KPC + MBL (n=2) and MBL + OXA-48-like (n=1). All carbapenemase- positive strains were 100% resistant to 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins, showing less resistance to tigecycline (12,5% resistant and 25% intermediate), colistin (37,5%) and fosfomycin (41,6%).

Conclusion: During 6 months period, there were isolated 7,66% (45/587) carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (K. pneumoniae 21,47%, E. coli 1,23%). Twenty four strains were carbapenemase-producers. The most frequent carbapenemase isolated in our study was OXA-48-like.

Abstract

The objective of preservation is to keep fruit fresh as long as possible after harvesting, without major physical, chemical or biological changes in their composition. The experimental factors underlying it the organization scheme are: A Factor - apple varieties: ‘Idared’, ‘Goldrush’, ‘Florina’, ‘Pinova’, ‘Dalinette’, ‘Golden reinderes‘,‘Golden lassa‘,‘Ariane‘; B factor - storage methods, with three graduations: classical method - low temperature and high humidity (1-4ºC; humidity 85-90%), Janny MT box storage method (1-4 ºC; 95-100% humidity; O2 1-3%; CO2 2-5%), fruit control equipment box-pallets (1- 4ºC; 90-95% humidity; O2 1-3%; CO2 2-5%) and factor C - fruit storage period -at 3, 4 and 5 months after harvest respectively. On the average of the cultivars taken in the study, on observe the tendency to increase the total dry mater and total sugar content, and decrease the total tritrable acidity and vitamin C with the prolongation of the fruit storage period.

Abstract

Background: Snake venom is a complex mixture of biologically active substances. Some peptides and proteins from snake have already demonstrated their therapeutically potential. The venom of Naja haje, an Elapidae member, has been analyzed from this point of view. Understanding the fully biochemical role of its enzymes has determined the scientists to find new separation and identification methods.

Objective: Our goal was to develop an optimal HPLC analytical method for separation and identification of Naja haje snake venom components, known for its neurotoxic activity. In addition, we wanted to find out if crude snake venom could inhibit the development of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial cultures. Materials and Method: Analysis of venom was performed on a HPLC system using a C16 column with UV detection at 210 nm. The analysis was done using two mobile phases, containing different concentrations of acetonitrile and trifluoroacetic acid aqueous solution at different pH values. An elution gradient was set at a flow of 0.60 mL/min. Bactericidal activity was quantified by measuring inhibition diameter around an aseptically disk filled with crude venom using Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Results: An optimal HPLC analytical method has been developed by changing different parameters such as the pH value of mobile phase A or the elution gradient. The best resolution were obtained at a pH value of 7.4, in gradient varying from 5% to 45% in mobile phase B. Microbiological studies of the venom showed that Gram-positive bacteria growth was inhibited by crude venom, while on Gram-negative bacteria growth no effect was observed. Inhibition zone is dose-dependent and fresh crude venom is with 30% more potent than venom freeze and kept at -55°C. Conclusions: A comprehensive catalog of venom composition may serve as a starting point for studying structurefunction correlations of individual toxins for the development of new research tools and drugs of potential clinical use.