Microbiology Time

In this edition of our Microbiology Time, we selected three papers that showcase the diverse applications of our products.

  • The first study we selected is from the Netherlands. Here, Laura Hughes and colleagues reported three cases of chronic follicular conjunctivitis caused by the zoonotic transmission of Chlamydia felis from domestic cats. The study aimed to increase awareness about the possible zoonotic transmission of C. felis and suggest PCR and subsequent sequence analysis as a valuable method to accurately identify the pathogen. Moreover, the researchers discussed the factors contributing to the potential under-diagnosis of C. felis infections and proposed treatment options for C. felis-related conjunctivitis cases.
  • In the second study, the Slovenian researchers discussed the application of gene electrotransfer (GET) of plasmids encoding IL12 in treating tumors and as a DNA vaccine adjuvant. In previous studies, they had already developed a plasmid encoding human IL12, now in a phase I clinical study. In this study, they aimed to validate previous findings in mice by using a porcine model, which better mimics human skin. Nine pigs underwent GET of IL12 using different concentrations and types of electrodes. Results showed that needle electrodes induced the highest IL12 expression. The plasmid was distributed to all organs, but its concentration decreased over time. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that IL12 GET is safe in pigs, making them a valuable model for human gene therapy safety studies.
  • We move to Italy for the third study, conducted in Milan. The researchers aimed to compare the performance of a self-administered POC test for anal HPV screening with a laboratory gold-standard test in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users. Participants self-collected anal swabs and completed anonymous questionnaires on self-sampling feasibility. Afterward, participants underwent standard viral genotyping at local clinics. 68.2% of the subjects tested positive for at least one high-risk HPV genotype on POCT, compared to 77% with the gold-standard test. The feasibility questionnaire revealed that 92.7% found self-swabbing easy. The agreement between POCT and the gold-standard test was moderate, with POCT showing a sensitivity of 81.0%, specificity of 73.8%, positive predictive value of 91.0%, and negative predictive value of 54.4%. The study concludes that POCT could serve as a valuable and feasible additional tool for HPV screening, particularly in low-resource and community-based settings.

Read the full studies: