The oral cavity is inhabited by a wide spectrum of microbial species, and their colonization is mostly based on commensalism. These microbes are part of the normal oral flora, but there are also opportunistic species that can cause oral and systemic diseases. Although there is a strong exposure to various microorganisms, the oral mucosa reduces the colonization of microorganisms with high rotation and secretion of various types of cytokines and antimicrobial proteins such as defensins. In some circumstances, the imbalance between normal oral flora and pathogenic flora may lead to a change in the ratio of commensalism to parasitism. Healthy oral mucosa has many important functions. Thanks to its integrity, it is impermeable to most microorganisms and constitutes a mechanical barrier against their penetration into tissues. Our study aims to present the role and composition of the oral cavity microbiota as well as defense mechanisms within the oral mucosa which allow for maintaining a balance between such numerous species of microorganisms. We highlight the specific aspects of the oral mucosa protecting barrier and discuss up-to-date information on the immune cell system that ensures microbiota balance. This study presents the latest data on specific tissue stimuli in the regulation of the immune system with particular emphasis on the resistance of the gingival barrier. Despite advances in understanding the mechanisms regulating the balance on the microorganism/host axis, more research is still needed on how the combination of these diverse signals is involved in the regulation of immunity at the oral mucosa barrier.
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are capable of transforming chemical energy into electrical energy with zero emissions. Therefore, these devices had been a point of attention for the scientific community as to provide another solution to renewable sources of energy. Since the PEMFC is commonly driven with a power converter, a controller has to be implemented to supply a convenient voltage. This is an important task as it allows the system to be driven at an operative point, which can be related to the maximum power or an user desired spot. Along this research article, a robust controller was compared against a fuzzy logic strategy (with symmetric membership functions) where both were implemented to a commercial PEMFC through a dSPACE 1102 control board. Both proposals were analysed in an experimental test bench. Outcomes showed the advantages and disadvantages of each scheme in chattering reduction, accuracy, and convergence speed.
Herpes simplex virus type 1 infection commonly affects many people, causing perioral sores, as well as severe complications including encephalitis in immunocompromised patients. The main pharmacological approach involves synthetic antiviral drugs, among which acyclovir is the golden standard, often leading to resistant virus strains under long-term use. An alternative approach based on antiviral plant-derived compounds, such as quercetin and mangiferin, demonstrated an antiviral potential. In the present study, semisolid forms for cutaneous application of quercetin and mangiferin were designed and evaluated to treat HSV-1 infection. Phosphatidylcholine- and poloxamer-based gels were produced and characterized. Gel physical–chemical aspects were evaluated by rheological measurements and X-ray diffraction, evidencing the different thermoresponsive behaviors and supramolecular organizations of semisolid forms. Quercetin and mangiferin diffusion kinetics were compared in vitro by a Franz cell system, demonstrating the different gel efficacies to restrain the polyphenol diffusion. The capability of gels to control polyphenol antioxidant potential and stability was evaluated, indicating a higher stability and antioxidant activity in the case of quercetin loaded in poloxamer-based gel. Furthermore, a plaque reduction assay, conducted to compare the virucidal effect of quercetin and mangiferin loaded in gels against the HSV-1 KOS strain, demonstrated the suitability of poloxamer-based gel to prolong the polyphenol activity.
Parvovirus B19 (B19V) is a human pathogenic virus of clinical relevance, characterized by a selective tropism for erythroid progenitor cells in bone marrow. Relevant information on viral characteristics and lifecycle can be obtained from experiments involving engineered genetic systems in appropriate in vitro cellular models. Previously, a B19V genome of defined consensus sequence was designed, synthesized and cloned in a complete and functional form, able to replicate and produce infectious viral particles in a producer/amplifier cell system. Based on such a system, we have now designed and produced a derived B19V minigenome, reduced to a replicon unit. The genome terminal regions were maintained in a form able to sustain viral replication, while the internal region was clipped to include only the left-side genetic set, containing the coding sequence for the functional NS1 protein. Following transfection in UT7/EpoS1 cells, this minigenome still proved competent for replication, transcription and production of NS1 protein. Further, the B19V minigenome was able to complement B19-derived, NS1-defective genomes, restoring their ability to express viral capsid proteins. The B19V genome was thus engineered to yield a two-component system, with complementing functions, providing a valuable tool for studying viral expression and genetics, suitable to further engineering for purposes of translational research.