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Found 10 results

  1. 02/07/2018 - Babesiosis is a malaria-like parasitic disease caused by infection with Babesia, a genus of Apicomplexa, which is commonly spread via the bite of infected Ixodes ticks, by blood transfusion or congenitally. Although most patients with babesiosis typically have a fever, there can also be non-specific symptoms, which can triggers delays or errors in diagnosis. Babesia divergens is considered the main agent of human babesiosis in Europe. A team of researchers recently reported a case of a celiac disease patient with splenic dysfunction from resulting in severe babesiosis. Their report describes a 79-year-old Irish man with hyposplenism and splenic atrophy due to adult celiac disease, who became critically ill from a severe Babesia divergens infection. So far, this is particular report about a single patient doesn't give much information beyond citing the development itself, and urging doctors to be on the lookout for possible consequences of splenic dysfunction from adult celiac disease, such as serious pneumococcal infections and babesiosis. The report does mirror, or touch on, another clinical report from Spain in 2016. In that report, by Arsuaga, et. al., a 35-year old patient with normal splenic function presented with persistent nonspecific symptoms such as the recurrence of fever, chills, headaches, weakness, general malaise, and constant fatigue over several months. As fever indicated an infectious disease, laboratory tests were carried out for a large number of pathogens, including Anaplasma phagocytophilum, B. divergens, and B. microti. After initial treatment with atovaquone/proguanil and azithromycin failed to produce results, the patient remained on that drug regimen for 10 weeks without side effects. Although the patient still had frequent episodes of fever, his general condition improved. At the end of the treatment, the bouts of fever were resolved and the patient's only symptom was fatigue. In follow-up visits during the subsequent 4 months, PCR analysis revealed that the patient had cleared the parasites. Though these reports have been isolated, they do indicate that doctors should watch for possible consequences of splenic dysfunction from adult celiac disease, such as serious pneumococcal infections and babesiosis. Celiac.com will follow and report on any developments in this story. Sources: Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2017 Jun;8(4):537-539. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2017.02.016. Epub 2017 Feb 28. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. October 2016, 16(10): 677-679. The clinical team included S O'Connell, C Lyons, M Abdou, R Patowary, S Aslam, N Kinsella, A Zintl, KP Hunfeld, GP Wormser, J Gray, C Merry, and H Alizadeh. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Infectious Diseases, St. James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, the Department of Surgery, Letterkenny University Hospital, Letterkenny, Ireland, the Department of Haematology, Letterkenny University Hospital, Letterkenny, Ireland, the Department of Haematology, St. James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, the School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, the Institute for Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology & Infection Control, Northwest Medical Centre, Academic Teaching Hospital, Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany, the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA, the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland, the Department of Infectious Diseases, St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland; Northwestern Memorial University Chicago, USA; Makerere University Uganda, Uganda, the Department of Haematology, Letterkenny University Hospital, Letterkenny, Ireland; and with Pecs University, Faculty of General Medicine, Pecs, Hungary.
  2. Celiac.com 03/10/2017 - PvP Biologics, a business spun out of the University of Washington, now has a $35 million deal with Takeda Pharmaceutical to develop its therapy for celiac disease. PvP Biologics is developing an enzyme that can be taken orally and survive in the harsh acidic environment of the stomach. That enzyme is called KumaMax. Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will fund $35 million in PvP's research and development of the therapy through phase 1 clinical trials. The agreement gives Takeda Pharmaceutical the exclusive option to acquire PvP for an undisclosed fee upon successful completion. PvP Biologics has its roots in a University of Washington tech incubator program, but spun out on its own in 2016, in advance of its arrangement with Takeda. Says Adam Simpson, president and CEO of PvP Biologics, "Takeda's GI experience and capabilities are a great fit with our goal of developing a novel oral enzyme therapy to make a meaningful impact on the lives of people with celiac disease." The enzyme-driven KumaMax works by targeting gliadin, the parts of gluten that cause the autoimmune reaction leading to celiac disease. The company hopes to prevent the adverse immune reaction seen in celiac sufferers, by breaking down the gliadin. Like most similar enzyme therapies, KumaMax is not designed to be a cure for celiac disease. It is designed to help prevent adverse reactions from accidental gluten contamination. In a statement by the company, Asit Parikh, head of the gastroenterology therapeutic area for Takeda, says that "KumaMax could address a significant unmet need for celiac patients who are unable to completely avoid gluten exposure in their diets, and thus continue to experience debilitating symptoms." Read more at BizJournals.com.
  3. Celiac.com 12/22/2016 - The nature of gut intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) lacking antigen receptors remains controversial. A team of researchers recently set out to better understand the mechanisms by which innate intraepithelial lymphocytes develop in the intestine and become cancerous in celiac disease patients. The research team included J Ettersperger, N Montcuquet, G Malamut, N Guegan, S Lopez-Lastra, S Gayraud, C Reimann, E Vidal, N Cagnard, P Villarese, I Andre-Schmutz, R Gomes Domingues, C Godinho-Silva, H Veiga-Fernandes, L Lhermitte, V Asnafi, E Macintyre, C Cellier, K Beldjord, JP Di Santo, N Cerf-Bensussan, and B Meresse. They are variously affiliated with the INSERM UMR1163, Laboratory of Intestinal Immunity, Institut Imagine; Laboratory of Human Lymphohematopoiesis; Institut Necker-Enfants-Malades, INSERM UMR1151 and, Biological Hematology, AP-HP Necker-Enfants-Malades; the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité and Institut Imagine in Paris, France; AP-HP, Department of Gastroenterology, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, 75015 Paris, France; Institut Universitaire d'Hématologie, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France; Innate Immunity Unit, Institut Pasteur, 75015 Paris, France; INSERM U 668, Paris, France; Paris-Descartes Bioinformatic Platform, 75015 Paris, France; and with the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal. The team was able to show, in humans and in mice, innate intestinal IELs expressing intracellular CD3 (iCD3(+)) differentiate along an Id2 transcription factor (TF)-independent pathway in response to TF NOTCH1, interleukin-15 (IL-15), and Granzyme B signals. In NOTCH1-activated human hematopoietic precursors, IL-15 induced Granzyme B, which cleaved NOTCH1 into a peptide lacking transcriptional activity. As a result, NOTCH1 target genes necessary for T cell differentiation were silenced, and precursors were reprogrammed into innate cells with T cell marks, including intracellular CD3 and T cell rearrangements. In the intraepithelial lymphoma complicating celiac disease, iCD3(+) innate IELs acquired gain-of-function mutations in Janus kinase 1 or Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, which enhanced their response to IL-15. The research team observed and described gut T cell-like innate IELs, decoded their pathway of change, and showed their malignant transformation in celiac disease. This study offers an exciting glimpse into the hard work being done in the far corners of celiac disease and cancer research. Source: Immunity. 2016 Sep 20;45(3):610-25. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.07.018. Epub 2016 Sep 6.
  4. Celiac.com 09/06/2012 - Researchers at the Department of Food Technology of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have used teff flour to develop a new biscuit they claim is suitable for "celiac patients and sportsmen." Teff (Eragrostis tef) is an annual grass, a species of lovegrass, native to the northern Ethiopian and Eritrean highlands of Northeast Africa. Flour made from teff grains has been used in local bread products for centuries. Before you picture a light, fluffy, fresh-from-the-oven biscuit, it's important to remember that the Europeans use the term biscuit for what Americans call a 'cracker.' So, the final product is likely something drier and crunchier than the American biscuit, and much more like an American cracker. The developers have applied for a patent on their process, and say that manufacturers will be able to use the process to create new products once it is granted. One of the current challenges for manufacturers of gluten-free foods is to modify their production process in order to mimic the natural, chewy, elastic properties that are inherent to wheat flour. That challenge is one reason so many gluten-free products are dry and brittle. That is not true of this new product, say the researchers. Unlike many non-wheat flours, teff has a "high capacity to absorb water and act also as binder in the dough, alleviating the problems deriving from the absence of gluten in cereal,” said the researchers. According to the research team, 100g of teff contains between 9 and 15 grams of protein, 73 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber. This means that their product needs no added fats or artificial thickeners commonly used in other gluten-­free foods, which reduces calories and improves texture and flavor. Moreover, the biscuits can be made using existing manufacturing processes. Teff also has a remarkable essential amino acids profile, note the researchers. It is high in zinc and iron, and has a naturally low glycemic index, resulting in a slow breakdown of its carbohydrates. The resulting product, they say, will appeal to athletes, diabetics and people with anemia, and celiac disease, and will likely sell at a lower price than similar products. Other than teff flour, the biscuits also include skimmed milk, non­fat plain yogurt, brown sugar, defatted cocoa powder, orange zest and hazelnuts. Source: Nutraingredients.com
  5. Celiac.com 08/17/2012 - In an effort to promote the production of safe, reliable gluten-free food products, the Canadian Government has announced a $245,000 grant that will help the Canadian Celiac Association partner with ExcelGrains Canada, the Packaging Association of Canada and the Canadian Health Food Association to develop specific controls and the supporting tools for each of their existing food safety systems. The measure includes specific controls for gluten-free foods. The end result will be a group of gluten-free controls and guidelines that will help to eliminate the risk of gluten contamination in grains, packaging materials, and bakery products, across the entire product manufacturing chain. Once developed, these gluten-free controls and guidelines will be adaptable and transferrable to other producers and manufacturers across the Canada. The CCA's mission is to promote awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance, along with offering advice and information to manufacturers and distributors of gluten-free foods. ExcelGrains Canada is a farm food safety program for grain farmers managed by the Canada Grains Council. Member of Parliament Ron Cannan of Kelowna-Lake Country is a strong supporter of the measure. He says that food safety is one of the government's priorities, and that the investment "will help provide consumers with the gluten-free foods they need and boost consumer confidence in Canadian food." Thanking the government for passing the measure, Jim McCarthy, Executive Director of the CCA, noted how important it is for "government and industry to work together to ensure that foods labeled 'gluten-free' truly are safe for the consumers who need them." He added that the measure will help the three million or so Canadians who suffer from celiac disease and gluten intolerance to more easily and safely access a 100% gluten-free diet. The investment is part of the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative, through which, the Canadian government helps organizations develop national, government-recognized on-farm and/or post-farm hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) or HACCP-based food safety systems.
  6. Celiac.com 06/11/2009 - Specialty pharmaceutical and diagnostic company, Prometheus Laboratories Inc., announced new findings regarding a correlation between an important serologic marker used in the detection of Crohn's disease and particular genetic markers in patients at risk for celiac disease. Using proprietary Prometheus technology, researchers analyzed blood and serum samples from 5,406 patients at risk for celiac disease who are EMA positive. Results showed a significant correlation between antibodies to the flagellin CBir1 and HLA haplotypes DQ2.5 and DQ8. They found that an overly aggressive immune response to particular bacteria in the intestine, as in Crohn's disease, may contribute to the inflammation seen in patients with celiac disease. Relatively few susceptible individuals "actually develop the disease, despite gluten ingestion, for reasons that are not well understood," said Dr. Michelle Pietzak, a Pediatric Gastroenterologist in the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Research like this is helping us figure out the answers to those questions. Source: Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.
  7. This approach has great promise for improving the quality of future gluten-free products--here is a related article. Celiac.com 10/11/2005 - Arcadia Biosciences, an agricultural biotechnology company focused on products that benefit the environment and human health, today announced that it has received a Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) grant from the National Institutes of Health in partnership with Washington State University (WSU) to research novel lines of wheat with reduced celiac disease-causing proteins. The grant will be split equally between Arcadia and its academic collaborator at WSU, Dr. Diter von Wettstein, the R.A. Nilan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Science. Nearly 1 percent of American people and 4 percent of European people are estimated to suffer from celiac disease, or gluten intolerance. This genetic disorder can create symptoms that range from chronic diarrhea to malnutrition. Studies also indicate that celiac disease sufferers who continue to eat gluten are between 40 and 100 times more likely to develop gastrointestinal cancer than non-celiac disease sufferers. The only known treatment for celiac disease is adherence to a gluten-free diet, which includes complete abstinence from wheat, rye, barley, and their derivatives. "New diagnostic tests continue to identify people who suffer from celiac disease and who need to make extreme dietary adjustments," said Eric Rey, president of Arcadia Biosciences. "This grant is the first step in our effort to identify and develop wheat varieties that can significantly expand the dietary options for people on gluten-free diets. Our goal is to help enable people who suffer from celiac disease to enjoy wheat-based products, like bread and cookies, and not experience an adverse reaction." Working with Dr. von Wettstein and his colleagues at WSU, Arcadia will use its proprietary TILLING® technology to identify wheat plants in which harmful gluten proteins are minimized. Arcadias current product pipeline includes six technologies that either protect the environment or improve human health. The company expects to launch its first product, GLA-enriched safflower oil, to the nutritional supplement market in 2008. Other technologies include higher-yielding plants that use less nitrogen fertilizer, salt-tolerant plants, and fresh produce with high levels of antioxidants such as lycopene. These products are being developed using both genetic engineering and advanced breeding technologies.
  8. J Autoimmun. 2004 Feb;22(1):65-72 Celiac.com 01/29/2004 - A new cloning technique developed by Italian researchers may lead to more accurate diagnoses of celiac disease in borderline patients, including those who are asymptomatic. The technique screens for anti-tTG antibodies in the intestinal mucosa by utilizing a cloning process to amplify the antibodies, thus allowing for their detection even in cases where only minute amounts are present. The new technique is similar to that developed and long utilized by Dr. Kenneth Fine of Enterolab, in that both techniques look for the presence of antibodies in the intestinal mucosa rather than in the blood. The new technique also has the potential to easily screen large numbers of people, which, if the researchers are correct, will lead to a celiac disease diagnostic explosion, as those who are missed by current screening methods will be properly diagnosed. The number of celiacs who are missed using current screening techniques is a topic of debate, and Dr. Fines methods have demonstrated that "in normal people without specific symptoms or syndromes , the stool test is just under three times more likely to be positive than blood tests," as reported in the Winter 2004 edition of Scott-Free newsletter. It would be very interesting to see how many people test positive in a healthy population using this new technique. Below is the abstract of the article: One-step cloning of anti tissue transglutaminase scFv from subjects with celiac disease. Celiac disease is characterized by intestinal mucosal injury and malabsorption precipitated by dietary exposure to gluten of some cereals with a prominent role being played by gliadins, specific antigenic determinants found in wheat gluten. Patients suffering from celiac disease have serum antibodies recognizing gliadin, as well as the Endomysial autoantigen tissue transglutaminase. Phage display antibody libraries have revealed ectopic production of anti-transglutaminase antibodies by intestinal lymphocytes with a biased use of the VH5 antibody gene family. Here we report a study on the pairing of VH and VL families in the antibodies to transglutaminase. Our results led to the construction of small phage display antibody libraries based on the amplification of the two genes in the VH5 family from intestinal lymphocytes. This method can be used for the rapid characterization of the anti-transglutaminase response in a potentially large number of subjects including asymptomatic patients whose serum antibodies may be undetectable.
  9. JAMA 2002;287:1413-1419. Celiac.com 04/12/2002 - According to a report published in the March 20th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, people with celiac disease are three times more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) than the normal population. Dr. Carlo Catassi and colleagues from the University of Maryland in Baltimore compared the prevalence of celiac disease in 653 NHL patients with more than 5,000 healthy control subjects to determine the NHL-celiac disease occurrence rate. The results indicate that 1% of NHL patients also have celiac disease, in comparison with 0.42% of the healthy controls. Adjustments were made for age and sex, and the final results indicate that the odds ratios for a patient with celiac disease of developing NHL are: 3.1 for all types of NHL, 16.9 for gut NHL, and 19.2 for T-cell NHL. The overall risk, however, for someone with celiac disease developing NHL is only 0.63%. The researchers do not feel that their findings support mass screening for celiac disease, but they do feel that selected NHL patients should be screened for celiac disease. We would also like to add that these findings support the screening of people with celiac disease for NHL, which was not directly addressed by the report.
  10. Nahrung. 2003 Oct;47(5):345-8. Celiac.com 01/14/04 – German researchers have developed a new test to determine the level of gliadin, the portion of gluten that is toxic to celiac patients, in foods. This new technique is called immunopolymerase chain reaction (iPCR), and it utilizes immunological detection of gliadin by a monoclonal antibody R5 conjugated when an oligonucleotide is amplified by PCR. The technique yields a "30-fold above the level reached by enzyme immunoassay" in laboratory tests, and it detects concentrations in food "as low as 0.16 ng/ml corresponding to 16 microgram gliadin/100 g food or 0.16 ppm (corresponding to 0.25 g of food extracted in 10 ml of solvent and 25-fold dilution of the extract prior to analysis)." This is the first time that this highly sensitive technique has been used for gliadin analysis, and "is the first approach to perform real-time iPCR in one step without changing the reaction vessels after enzyme immunoassay for subsequent PCR analysis thus minimizing risks of contamination and loss of sensitivity."