Lucinda Furci

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Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), one of the most common hospital-acquired infections, is increasing in incidence and severity with the emergence and diffusion of hypervirulent strains. CDI is precipitated by antibiotic treatment that destroys the equilibrium of the gut microbiota. Human α-defensin 5 (HD5), the most abundant enteric antimicrobial(More)
BACKGROUND α-defensin-5 (HD5) is a key effector of the innate immune system with broad anti-bacterial and anti-viral activities. Specialized epithelial cells secrete HD5 in the genital and gastrointestinal mucosae, two anatomical sites that are critically involved in HIV-1 transmission and pathogenesis. We previously found that human neutrophil defensins(More)
Despite repeated exposure to HIV-1, certain individuals remain persistently uninfected. Such exposed uninfected (EU) people show evidence of HIV-1-specific T cell immunity and, in rare cases, selective resistance to infection by macrophage-tropic strains of HIV-1. The latter has been associated with a 32-base pair deletion in the C-C chemokine receptor gene(More)
To investigate the role played by chemokines in the natural history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, we measured the plasma levels of RANTES. MIP-1 alpha and MIP-1 beta in a cohort of patients with primary HIV-1 infection (PHI) followed longitudinally. The cohort included 17 patients with well-documented history of acute HIV syndrome within(More)
Alpha-defensins are antibiotic peptides that act as natural inhibitors of HIV-1 infection. However, the mechanisms of such inhibition are still unclear. Here we demonstrate that alpha-defensins block the earliest steps in the viral infectious cycle, as documented using an HIV-1 envelope-mediated cell-fusion assay. A broad-spectrum inhibitory activity was(More)
The natural history of HIV-1 infection is highly variable in different individuals, spanning from a rapidly progressive course to a long-term asymptomatic infection. A major determinant of the pace of disease progression is the in vivo level of HIV-1 replication, which is regulated by a complex network of cytokines and chemokines expressed by immune and(More)
BACKGROUND Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) has evolved multiple mechanisms to manipulate its cellular niche for its own advantage. Many efforts have been made to understand basal mechanisms of mycobacterial infections. However, the underlying molecular regulation is not fully understood. Recently, a new class of non-coding, small RNAs, called microRNAs(More)
Human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) has been identified as the most likely candidate to be involved in the development of Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS). HHV-8 has been associated with all forms of KS, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease and detected in various non-neoplastic cells. Its presence in cells of the different hemopoietic lineages(More)
OBJECTIVES Some individuals remain uninfected despite repeated exposure to HIV-1 [exposed-uninfected (EU)]. In addition to genetic factors, acquired immune responses elicited by repeated exposure to HIV antigens may contribute to protection. We investigated the ability of unstimulated CD8+ T lymphocytes from EU individuals to inhibit HIV-1 infection. (More)
A growing number of reports indicates that certain groups of individuals who almost certainly have been exposed to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), yet continue to exhibit no signs or symptoms of infection, often have subtle evidence of specific immunity. We studied such a high-risk (HR) cohort of persistently seronegative individuals with histories of(More)