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Nada Majkić-Singh

Biomarkers: From Standardization to Performance

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Nada Majkić-Singh

Proteins: from electrophoresis to proteomics 5th EFCC Symposium for Balkan Region

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Nada Majkić-Singh

Education and Recognition of Professional Qualifications in the Field of Medical Biochemistry in Serbia

Medical biochemistry is the usual name for clinical biochemistry or clinical chemistry in Serbia, and medical biochemist is the official name for the clinical chemist (or clinical biochemist). This is the largest sub-discipline of the laboratory medicine in Serbia. It includes all aspects of clinical chemistry, and also laboratory hematology with coagulation, immunology, etc. Medical biochemistry laboratories in Serbia and medical biochemists as a profession are part of Health Care System and their activities are regulated through: the Health Care Law and rules issued by the Chamber of Medical Biochemists of Serbia. The first continuous and organized education for Medical Biochemists (Clinical Chemists) in Serbia dates from 1945, when the Department of Medical Biochemistry was established at the Pharmaceutical Faculty in Belgrade. In 1987 at the same Faculty a five years undergraduate branch was established, educating Medical Biochemists under a special program. Since school-year 2006/2007 the new five year undergraduate (according to Bologna Declaration) and postgraduate program of four-year specialization according to EC4 European Syllabus for Post-Gradate Training in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine has been established. The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Public Health accredits the programs. There are four requirements for practicing medical biochemistry in the Health Care System: University Diploma of the Faculty of Pharmacy (Study of Medical Biochemistry), successful completion of the profession exam at the Ministry of Health after completion of one additional year of obligatory practical training in the medical biochemistry laboratories, membership in the Serbian Chamber of Medical Biochemists and licence for skilled work issued by the Serbian Chamber of Medical Biochemists. The process of recognition of a foreign higher education document for field of medical biochemistry is initiated on request by Candidate. The process of recognition of foreign higher education documents is performed by the University. In the process of recognition in Serbia national legislations are applied as well as international legal documents of varying legal importance.

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Nada Majkić-Singh

What is a Biomarker? From its Discovery to Clinical Application

The term biomarker in medicine most often stands for a protein measured in the circulation (blood) whose concentration indicates a normal or a pathological response of the organism, as well as a pharmacological response to the applied therapy. From a wider perspective, a biomarker is any indicator that is used as an index of the intensity of a disease or other physiological state in the organism. This means that biomarkers have a very important role in medical research and practice providing insight into the mechanism and course of a disease. Since a large number of biomarkers exist today that are used for different purposes, they have been classified into: 1) antecedent biomarkers, indicating risk of disease occurrence, 2) screening biomarkers, used to determine a subclinical form of disease, 3) diagnostic biomarkers, revealing an existing disease, 4) staging biomarkers, that define the stage and severity of a disease, and 5) prognostic biomarkers, that confirm the course of disease, including treatment response. Regardless of their role, their clinical significance depends on their sensitivity, specificity, predictive value, and also precision, reliability, reproducibility, and the possibility of easy and wide application. For a biomarker to become successful, it must undergo the process of validation, depending on the level of use. It is very important for every suggested biomarker, according to its purpose or its nature, to possess certain characteristics and to meet the strict requirements related to sensitivity, accuracy and precision, in order for the proper outcome to be produced in the estimation of the state for which it is intended. Finally, the development of guidelines for biomarker application is very important, based on well defined and properly conducted assessments of biomarker determination, providing the means by which research is translated into practice and allowing evidence based on facts to promote the clinical application of new biomarkers.

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Nada Majkić-Singh

Summary

During 15th Belgrade Symposium for Balkan Region (April 11 and 12, 2019, Belgrade, www.dmbj.org.rs) Society of Medical Biochemists of Serbia organized scientific and professional program with aim to discuss laboratory medicine topics of mutual interest for all the countries of the Region, such as:

  • Laboratory Medicine Planning and Organization

  • Type of Medical Laboratory and Strategy

  • Laboratory Medicine Management

  • Leadership Skills

  • Accreditation and Competences

  • Environmental Health and Safety

  • Laboratory Standards in Balkan Countries

  • Experiences of Young Scientists

  • Students Achievements

Together with the countries from Balkan Region the countries from our neighborhood as Italy, Austria, Hungary, Cyprus and Israel have been invited to discuss this important topics and exchange the mutual experiances with aim to improve the laboratory medicine in our countries and to help our colleagues to improve daily laboratory practice in our countries. Also participation in the Symposium took colleagues from France and Belgium.

Open access

Sanja Stanković and Nada Majkić-Singh

Advances in the Genetic Basis of Ischemic Stroke

As one of the leading causes of death within both the developed and developing world, stroke is a world-wide problem. About 80% of strokes are ischemic. It is caused by multiple genetic factors, environmental factors, and interactions among these factors. There is a long list of candidate genes that have been studied for a possible association with ischemic stroke. Among the most widely investigated genes are those involved in haemostasis, inflammation, nitric oxide production, homocysteine and lipid metabolism, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Combined link-age/association studies have demonstrated that genes encoding PDE4D and ALOX5AP confer risk for stroke. We review the studies of these genes which may have potential application on the early diagnosis, prevention and treatment ischemic stroke patients.

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Sanja Stanković and Nada Majkić-Singh

Myeloperoxidase: New Roles for an Old Molecule

Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a member of the heme peroxidase-cyclooxygenase superfamily. It is abundantly expressed in neutrophils and monocytes. During inflammation MPO is released from leukocytes and catalyzes the formation of several reactive species and tissue damage. In this article we present state of the art knowledge on the general properties, biosynthesis and processing and trafficking of MPO. The basic functions of MPO in inflammation and oxidative stress are discussed in detail. This article also summarizes the studies that investigated the relationship between MPO and cardiovascular disease. An overview of the assays for determination of MPO, the sample type and preanalytical procedures is given. Future studies are needed before this marker is introduced into routine clinical practice.

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Nada Majkić-Singh and Zorica Šumarac

Quality Indicators of the Pre-Analytical Phase

Quality indicators are tools that allow the quantification of quality in each of the segments of health care in comparison with selected criteria. They can be defined as an objective measure used to assess the critical health care segments such as, for instance, patient safety, effectiveness, impartiality, timeliness, efficiency, etc. In laboratory medicine it is possible to develop quality indicators or the measure of feasibility for any stage of the total testing process. The total process or cycle of investigation has traditionally been separated into three phases, the pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical phase. Some authors also include a »pre-pre« and a »post-post« analytical phase, in a manner that allows to separate them from the activities of sample collection and transportation (pre-analytical phase) and reporting (post-analytical phase). In the year 2008 the IFCC formed within its Education and Management Division (EMD) a task force called Laboratory Errors and Patient Safety (WG-LEPS) with the aim of promoting the investigation of errors in laboratory data, collecting data and developing a strategy to improve patient safety. This task force came up with the Model of Quality Indicators (MQI) for the total testing process (TTP) including the pre-, intra- and post-analytical phases of work. The pre-analytical phase includes a set of procedures that are difficult to define because they take place at different locations and at different times. Errors that occur at this stage often become obvious later in the analytical and post-analytical phases. For these reasons the identification of quality indicators is necessary in order to avoid potential errors in all the steps of the pre-analytical phase.

Open access

Mirjana Bećarević and Nada Majkić-Singh

Potential Markers of Arterial and/or Venous Thromboses and their Complications in Primary Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome is characterized by venous or arterial thromboses and/or recurrent abortions accompanied by antiphospholipid antibodies and it can be primary (PAPS) or secondary (SAPS) to another disease. Arterial thromboses are less common than venous and most frequently they manifest as ischemia or infarction. Venous thromboses are usually multiple and bilateral and the most common complication of venous thromboses are pulmonary emboli. Considering that laboratory diagnosis of PAPS is currently based on persistently positive aCL, aβ2gpl and/or LA tests, and that neither one of those tests can discriminate between PAPS patients with arterial or venous thromboses or their complications, the aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostical significance of the determination of apo(a), oxLDL, anti-oxLDL antibodies, antianxA5 antibodies, hsCRP, C3 and C4 complement components and HPT for discrimination between PAPS patients with diverse clinical manifestations. Considering that elevated oxLDL and anti-oxLDL antibodies concentrations were found in PAPS patients, and also in subgroups of PAPS patients with MI or PE, it can be concluded that those parameters represent additional risk factors which together with other factors may lead to thromboses and their complications in PAPS. Regarding the fact that C3 and C4 concentrations were decreased in PAPS patients and that a positive correlation was found between hsCRP and C3 concentrations, this finding could indicate potential roles of these parameters as markers of atherosclerosis, which represents the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. HPT and apo(a) concentrations are not independent risk factors for MI in PAPS because lower levels were found in those patients in comparison to MI survivors without PAPS. No significant correlation of anti-anxA5 antibodies and the presence of arterial or venous thromboses or their complications was found, but increased concentrations of the IgG isotype of those antibodies could be a marker for recurrent abortions in PAPS, although this finding should be further investigated on a larger number of patients with this clinical finding. Determination of hsCRP in PAPS patients could not be an adequate parameter which would provide discrimination between patients with increased risk for development and/or recurrence of venous and/or arterial thromboses, nor for their complications, because no statistically significant difference in concentrations of this parameter was found among PAPS, IM, PE and SLE patients who were included in this study.

Open access

Emina Čolak and Nada Majkić-Singh

The effect of Hyperglycemia and Oxidative Stress on the Development and Progress of Vascular Complications in Type 2 Diabetes

Oxidative stress is the result of increased production of free radicals, which impair the cell function and cause many pathological conditions and diseases. The development of diabetes, its course and complications are closely associated with an imbalance in pro-antioxidative cell state and change of redox potential. Prolonged exposure to hyperglycemia is currently considered the major factor of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis in diabetes. Atherosclerosis is the cause of about 80% of mortality in diabetics, and over 75% of all hospitalized diabetic patients have associated cardiovascular complications. Hyperglycemia induces different vascular tissue damage at the cellular level, which potentially accelerates the atherosclerotic processes. The most significant mechanisms responsible for acceleration of atherosclerotic processes in diabetic patients are: a) non-enzymatic protein and lipid glycosylation which interferes with normal function, in the way that it deranges molecular conformation, impairs enzymatic function, reduces the capacity of breakdown and interferes with recognition of protein structures by receptors; b) interaction of glycosylated proteins with their receptors resulting in induction of oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory reactions; c) polyol pathway; d) hexosamine pathway and e) activation of protein kinase C and impaired growth factor expression.