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El acelerado avance de la inmunología ha generado el desarrollo de técnicas que permiten resultados más precisos y de métodos de separación, tanto de componentes celulares como humorales, útiles en el diagnóstico. La presente edición tiene como objetivo proveer las herramientas necesarias para entender estos avances, junto con los mecanismos implicados en el desarrollo de algunas técnicas de diagnóstico inmunológico e interpretación clínica. Entre los temas tratados se encuentra el estudio de la estructura y fisiología de Toxoplasma gondii, que sirve de modelo para la elaboración de péptidos sintéticos de proteínas inmunogénicas y, además, puede ser aplicado en el desarrollo de métodos de diagnóstico en otros parásitos de importancia clínica. El presente manual ha sido elaborado con el fin de proporcionar una ayuda en el desarrollo de prácticas de laboratorio en inmunología y está dirigido, principalmente, a estudiantes universitarios y trabajadores de las diferentes áreas de la salud como medicina, bacteriología, biología y química.

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Protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22) is a negative regulator of T-cell activation associated with several autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Missense rs2476601 is associated with SLE in individuals with European ancestry. Since the rs2476601 risk allele frequency differs dramatically across ethnicities, we assessed robustness of PTPN22 association with SLE and its clinical subphenotypes across four ethnically diverse populations. Ten SNPs were genotyped in 8220 SLE cases and 7369 controls from in European-Americans (EA), African-Americans (AA), Asians (AS), and Hispanics (HS). We performed imputation-based association followed by conditional analysis to identify independent associations. Significantly associated SNPs were tested for association with SLE clinical sub-phenotypes, including autoantibody profiles. Multiple testing was accounted for by using false discovery rate. We successfully imputed and tested allelic association for 107 SNPs within the PTPN22 region and detected evidence of ethnic-specific associations from EA and HS. In EA, the strongest association was at rs2476601 (P = 4.761029, OR = 1.40 (95% CI = 1.25–1.56)). Independent association with rs1217414 was also observed in EA, and both SNPs are correlated with increased European ancestry. For HS imputed intronic SNP, rs3765598, predicted to be a cis-eQTL, was associated (P = 0.007, OR = 0.79 and 95% CI = 0.67–0.94). No significant associations were observed in AA or AS. Case-only analysis using lupus-related clinical criteria revealed differences between EA SLE patients positive for moderate to high titers of IgG anti-cardiolipin (aCL IgG .20) versus negative aCL IgG at rs2476601 (P = 0.012, OR = 1.65). Association was reinforced when these cases were compared to controls (P = 2.761025, OR = 2.11). Our results validate that rs2476601 is the most significantly associated SNP in individuals with European ancestry. Additionally, rs1217414 and rs3765598 may be associated with SLE. Further studies are required to confirm the involvement of rs2476601 with aCL IgG.

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Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder haracterized by extreme sensitivity to actinic pigmentation changes in the skin and increased incidence of skin cancer. In some cases, patients are affected by neurological alterations. XP is caused by mutations in 8 distinct genes (XPA through XPG and XPV). The XP-V (variant) subtype of the disease results from mutations in a gene (XPV, also named POLH) which encodes for Polg, a member of the Y-DNA polymerase family. Although the presence and severity of skin and neurological dysfunctions differ between XP subtypes, there are overlapping clinical features among subtypes such that the sub-type cannot be deduced from the clinical features. In this study, in order to overcome this drawback, we undertook whole-exome sequencing in two XP sibs and their father. We identified a novel homozygous nonsense mutation (c.897T.G, p.Y299X) in POLH which causes the disease. Our results demonstrate that next generation sequencing is a powerful approach to rapid determination of XP genetic etiology.

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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, lupus) is the prototype of systemic autoimmune disease (AD). Immune system activation in SLE is characterized by exaggerated B-cell and T-cell responses and loss of immune tolerance against selfantigens. Production and defective elimination of antibodies, circulation and tissue deposition of immune complexes, and complement and cytokine activation contribute to clinical manifestations that range from fatigue and joint pain to severe, life-threatening organ damage

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Autoimmune diseases (ADs) are chronic conditions initiated by the loss of immunological tolerance to self-antigens and represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that afflict specific target organs ormultiple organ systems [1]. The chronic nature of these diseases places a significant burden on the utilization of medical care, direct and indirect economic costs, and quality of life. The fact that ADs share several clinical signs and symptoms (i.e., subphenotypes), physiopathological mechanisms, and genetic factors has been called autoimmune tautology and indicates that they have common mechanisms

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The prevalence and genetic susceptibility of autoimmune diseases (ADs) may vary depending on latitudinal gradient and ethnicity. The aims of this study were to identify common human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II alleles that contribute to susceptibility to six ADs in Latin Americans through a meta-analysis and to review additional clinical, immunological, and genetic characteristics of those ADs sharing HLA alleles. DRB1∗03:01 (OR: 4.04; 95%CI: 1.41–11.53) was found to be a risk factor for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren’s syndrome (SS), and type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D). DRB1 ¨ ∗04:05 (OR: 4.64; 95%CI: 2.14–10.05) influences autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and T1D; DRB1∗04:01 (OR: 3.86; 95%CI: 2.32–6.42) is a susceptibility factor for RA and T1D. Opposite associations were found between multiple sclerosis (MS) and T1D. DQB1∗06:02 and DRB1∗15 alleles were risk factors for MS but protective factors for T1D. Likewise, DQB1∗06:03 allele was a risk factor for AIH but a protective one for T1D. Several common autoantibodies and clinical associations as well as additional shared genes have been reported in these ADs, which are reviewed herein. These results indicate that in Latin Americans ADs share major loci and immune characteristics.

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The age at onset refers to the time period at which an individual experiences the first symptoms of a disease. In autoimmune diseases (ADs), these symptoms can be subtle but are very relevant for diagnosis. They can appear during childhood, adulthood or late in life and may vary depending on the age at onset. Variables like mortality and morbidity and the role of genes will be reviewed with a focus on the major autoimmune disorders, namely, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D), Sjögren's syndrome, and autoimmune thyroiditis (AITD). Early age at onset is a worst prognostic factor for some ADs (i.e., SLE and T1D), while for others it does not have a significant influence on the course of disease (i.e., SS) or no unanimous consensus exists (i.e., RA and MS).

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Epigenetics is defined as the study of all inheritable and potentially reversible changes in genome function that do not alter the nucleotide sequence within the DNA. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modification, nucleosome positioning, and microRNAs (miRNAs) are essential to carry out key functions in the regulation of gene expression. Therefore, the epigenetic mechanisms are a window to understanding the possible mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of complex diseases such as autoimmune diseases. It is noteworthy that autoimmune diseases do not have the same epidemiology, pathology, or symptoms but do have a common origin that can be explained by the sharing of immunogenetic mechanisms. Currently, epigenetic research is looking for disruption in one or more epigenetic mechanisms to provide new insights into autoimmune diseases. The identification of cell-specific targets of epigenetic deregulation will serve us as clinical markers for diagnosis, disease progression, and therapy approaches.

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There is genetic evidence of similarities and differences among autoimmune diseases (AIDs) that warrants looking at a general panorama of what has been published. Thus, our aim was to determine the main shared genes and to what extent they contribute to building clusters of AIDs. We combined a text-mining approach to build clusters of genetic concept profiles (GCPs) from the literature in MedLine with knowledge of protein-protein interactions to confirm if genes in GCP encode proteins that truly interact. We found three clusters in which the genes with the highest contribution encoded proteins that showed strong and specific interactions. After projecting the AIDs on a plane, two clusters could be discerned: Sjögren’s syndrome—systemic lupus erythematosus, and autoimmune thyroid disease—type1 diabetes—rheumatoid arthritis. Our results support the common origin of AIDs and the role of genes involved in apoptosis such as CTLA4, FASLG, and IL10.

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Autoimmune diseases (ADs) represent a diverse collection of diseases in terms of their demographic profile and primary clinical manifestations. The commonality between them however, is the damage to tissues and organs that arises from the response to self-antigens. The presence of shared pathophysiological mechanisms within ADs has stimulated searches for common genetic roots to these diseases. Two approaches have been undertaken to sustain the “common genetic origin” theory of ADs. Firstly, a clinical genetic analysis showed that autoimmunity aggregates within families of probands diagnosed with primary Sjögren's (pSS) syndrome or type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D). A literature review supported the establishment of a familiar cluster of ADs depending upon the proband's disease phenotype. Secondly, in a same and well-defined population, a large genetic association study indicated that a number of polymorphic genes (i.e. HLA-DRB1, TNF and PTPN22) influence the susceptibility for acquiring different ADs. Likewise, association and linkage studies in different populations have revealed that several susceptibility loci overlap in ADs, and clinical studies have shown that frequent clustering of several ADs occurs. Thus, the genetic factors for ADs consist of two types: those which are common to many ADs (acting in epistatic pleitropy) and those that are specific to a given disorder. Their identification and functional characterization will allow us to predict their effect as well as to indicate potential new therapeutic interventions. Both autoimmunity family history and the co-occurrence of ADs in affected probands should be considered when performing genetic association and linkage studies.

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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a complex polygenic autoimmune disease, is associated with increased complement activation. Variants of genes encoding complement regulator factor H (CFH) and five CFH-related proteins (CFHR1-CFHR5) within the chromosome 1q32 locus linked to SLE, have been associated with multiple human diseases and may contribute to dysregulated complement activation predisposing to SLE. We assessed 60 SNPs covering the CFH-CFHRs region for association with SLE in 15,864 case-control subjects derived from four ethnic groups. Significant allelic associations with SLE were detected in European Americans (EA) and African Americans (AA), which could be attributed to an intronic CFH SNP (rs6677604, in intron 11, Pmeta = 6.6×10-8, OR = 1.18) and an intergenic SNP between CFHR1 and CFHR4 (rs16840639, Pmeta = 2.9×10-7, OR = 1.17) rather than to previously identified disease-associated CFH exonic SNPs, including I62V, Y402H, A474A, and D936E. In addition, allelic association of rs6677604 with SLE was subsequently confirmed in Asians (AS). Haplotype analysis revealed that the underlying causal variant, tagged by rs6677604 and rs16840639, was localized to a ~146 kb block extending from intron 9 of CFH to downstream of CFHR1. Within this block, the deletion of CFHR3 and CFHR1 (CFHR3-1Δ), a likely causal variant measured using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, was tagged by rs6677604 in EA and AS and rs16840639 in AA, respectively. Deduced from genotypic associations of tag SNPs in EA, AA, and AS, homozygous deletion of CFHR3-1Δ (Pmeta = 3.2×10-7, OR = 1.47) conferred a higher risk of SLE than heterozygous deletion (Pmeta = 3.5×10-4, OR = 1.14). These results suggested that the CFHR3-1Δ deletion within the SLE-associated block, but not the previously described exonic SNPs of CFH, might contribute to the development of SLE in EA, AA, and AS, providing new insights into the role of complement regulators in the pathogenesis of SLE.

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Background: Plasmodium vivax malaria remains a major health problem in tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide. Several rhoptry proteins which are important for interaction with and/or invasion of red blood cells, such as PfRONs, Pf92, Pf38, Pf12 and Pf34, have been described during the last few years and are being considered as potential anti-malarial vaccine candidates. This study describes the identification and characterization of the P. vivax rhoptry neck protein 1 (PvRON1) and examine its antigenicity in natural P. vivax infections. Methods: The PvRON1 encoding gene, which is homologous to that encoding the P. falciparum apical sushi protein (ASP) according to the plasmoDB database, was selected as our study target. The pvron1 gene transcription was evaluated by RT-PCR using RNA obtained from the P. vivax VCG-1 strain. Two peptides derived from the deduced P. vivax Sal-I PvRON1 sequence were synthesized and inoculated in rabbits for obtaining anti-PvRON1 antibodies which were used to confirm the protein expression in VCG-1 strain schizonts along with its association with detergent-resistant microdomains (DRMs) by Western blot, and its localization by immunofluorescence assays. The antigenicity of the PvRON1 protein was assessed using human sera from individuals previously exposed to P. vivax malaria by ELISA. Results: In the P. vivax VCG-1 strain, RON1 is a 764 amino acid-long protein. In silico analysis has revealed that PvRON1 shares essential characteristics with different antigens involved in invasion, such as the presence of a secretory signal, a GPI-anchor sequence and a putative sushi domain. The PvRON1 protein is expressed in parasite's schizont stage, localized in rhoptry necks and it is associated with DRMs. Recombinant protein recognition by human sera indicates that this antigen can trigger an immune response during a natural infection with P. vivax. Conclusions: This study shows the identification and characterization of the P. vivax rhoptry neck protein 1 in the VCG-1 strain. Taking into account that PvRON1 shares several important characteristics with other Plasmodium antigens that play a functional role during RBC invasion and, as shown here, it is antigenic, it could be considered as a good vaccine candidate. Further studies aimed at assessing its immunogenicity and protection-inducing ability in the Aotus monkey model are thus recommended.

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Introducción: La enfermedad celiaca (EC) es una enfermedad autoinmune (EA) intestinal desencadenada por la ingesta de gluten. Por la falta de información de la presencia de EC en Latinoamérica (LA), nosotros investigamos la prevalencia de la enfermedad en esta región utilizando una revisión sistemática de la literatura y un meta-análisis. Métodos y resultados: Este trabajo fue realizado en dos fases: La primera, fue un estudio de corte transversal de 300 individuos Colombianos. La segunda, fue una revisión sistemática y una meta-regresión siguiendo las guías PRSIMA. Nuestros resultados ponen de manifiesto una falta de anti-transglutaminasa tisular (tTG) e IgA anti-endomisio (EMA) en la población Colombiana. En la revisión sistemática, 72 artículos cumplían con los criterios de selección, la prevalencia estimada de EC en LA fue de 0,46% a 0,64%, mientras que la prevalencia en familiares de primer grado fue de 5,5 a 5,6%, y en los pacientes con diabetes mellitus tipo 1 fue de 4,6% a 8,7% Conclusión: Nuestro estudio muestra que la prevalencia de EC en pacientes sanos de LA es similar a la notificada en la población europea.

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Protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22) is a negative regulator of T-cell activation associated with several autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Missense rs2476601 is associated with SLE in individuals with European ancestry. Since the rs2476601 risk allele frequency differs dramatically across ethnicities, we assessed robustness of PTPN22 association with SLE and its clinical subphenotypes across four ethnically diverse populations. Ten SNPs were genotyped in 8220 SLE cases and 7369 controls from in European-Americans (EA), African-Americans (AA), Asians (AS), and Hispanics (HS). We performed imputation-based association followed by conditional analysis to identify independent associations. Significantly associated SNPs were tested for association with SLE clinical sub-phenotypes, including autoantibody profiles. Multiple testing was accounted for by using false discovery rate. We successfully imputed and tested allelic association for 107 SNPs within the PTPN22 region and detected evidence of ethnic-specific associations from EA and HS. In EA, the strongest association was at rs2476601 (P = 4.761029, OR = 1.40 (95% CI = 1.25–1.56)). Independent association with rs1217414 was also observed in EA, and both SNPs are correlated with increased European ancestry. For HS imputed intronic SNP, rs3765598, predicted to be a cis-eQTL, was associated (P = 0.007, OR = 0.79 and 95% CI = 0.67–0.94). No significant associations were observed in AA or AS. Case-only analysis using lupus-related clinical criteria revealed differences between EA SLE patients positive for moderate to high titers of IgG anti-cardiolipin (aCL IgG .20) versus negative aCL IgG at rs2476601 (P = 0.012, OR = 1.65). Association was reinforced when these cases were compared to controls (P = 2.761025, OR = 2.11). Our results validate that rs2476601 is the most significantly associated SNP in individuals with European ancestry. Additionally, rs1217414 and rs3765598 may be associated with SLE. Further studies are required to confirm the involvement of rs2476601 with aCL IgG.

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El acelerado avance de la inmunología ha generado el desarrollo de técnicas que permiten resultados más precisos y de métodos de separación, tanto de componentes celulares como humorales, útiles en el diagnóstico. La presente edición tiene como objetivo proveer las herramientas necesarias para entender estos avances, junto con los mecanismos implicados en el desarrollo de algunas técnicas de diagnóstico inmunológico e interpretación clínica. Entre los temas tratados se encuentra el estudio de la estructura y fisiología de Toxoplasma gondii, que sirve de modelo para la elaboración de péptidos sintéticos de proteínas inmunogénicas y, además, puede ser aplicado en el desarrollo de métodos de diagnóstico en otros parásitos de importancia clínica. El presente manual ha sido elaborado con el fin de proporcionar una ayuda en el desarrollo de prácticas de laboratorio en inmunología y está dirigido, principalmente, a estudiantes universitarios y trabajadores de las diferentes áreas de la salud como medicina, bacteriología, biología y química.