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Microcalorimetry – a new method for bacterial characterisation

Dragoș C. Zaharia1, Mihnea G. Popa1, Alexandru T. Steriade1, Alexandru A. Muntean1, 2, Octavian Balint1, Roxana Micuț1, Vlad T. Popa2, Mircea I. Popa1, Miron A. Bogdan1
1. Universitatea de Medicină și Farmacie „Carol Davila“, București 2. Academia Română, Institutul de Chimie-Fizică „Ilie Murgulescu“, București

The microcalorimetry is a method used for recording of the heat produced by a thermodinamic system in a scale of micronanojouls. One of the domains in which this method is used is the one called bacterial microcalorimetry, which studies the heat generated by the bacterial populations. The process of bacterial growth can be monitored in real time by the recording a graph of the generated power over time. The modern isothermal microcalorimeters allow the detection of a signal variation of only one microwatt. The estimated generated power of a bacteria is approximately 1-4 pW, thus only a small number of bacteria is necessary for the experiments. Recent studies in the field of bacterial microcalorimetry have demonstrated that, in standard conditions, this method can be reproductible and can be used to detect and characterize bacterial growth (through the study of the microcalorimetric growth curve particular to a bacterial species which is called a microcalorimetric fingerprint) and offers the posibility of obtaining new information in regards to bacterial metabolism. Also, microcalorimetry can offer information about bacterial interaction with different factors in the medium (for example, antibiotic substances, in which case an antibiogram is obtained in 4-5 hours). In conclusion, we can say that microcalorimetry is a reproducible method, which offers an interesting perspective on bacterial characterization, with great scientific potential, and there are sufficient arguments to continue studies in this field.

Keywords: bacterial population, bacterial culture, microcalorimetry


Role of surgery in small cell lung cancer

Ciprian Bolca, Olga Dănăilă, Cristian Paleru, Ioan Cordoș
Clinica I Chirurgie Toracică, Institutul Național de Pneumologie „Marius Nasta”, București

Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is avery aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma that accounts for approximately 10-15% of all lung cancer cases. This histological subtype is a distinct entity with biological and oncological features differing from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Standard treatment is performed using systemic chemotherapy, and surgery in association with chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be indicated for a minor proportion of cases with limited disease. Since the results after surgical intervention in patients with very early disease are comparable to those for NSCLC, careful staging is required, especially in terms of nodal involvement – use of PET-CT, EUS, EBUS and/ or mediastinoscopy is recommended. However, only two randomized control studies have examined the efficacy of surgery in SCLC, and both yielded negative results and are out of date. We review here several studies concerning surgery for SCLC and discuss the results from a practical standpoint.

Keywords: small cell lung cancer, surgery, staging

The importance of determining the COPD prevalence

Irina-Laura Măgureanu, Florentina Furtunescu
Departamentul de Sănătate Publică şi Management, Universitatea de Medicină şi Farmacie „Carol Davila” Bucureşti

The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, preventable and partially treatable disease. COPD often remains undiagnosed, until it reaches advanced stages and significantly affects the patient’s quality of life. In the European Union the direct costs of COPD represent 56% (38.6 billion euro annually) of the direct costs of pulmonary diseases in the health budget. We analyzed a series of studies and we observed that the prevalence values vary between 6.5% (Lu Ming, China), 8.13% (Mihălţan Florin, Romania), 10.1% (the BOLD study), 17.4% (Peder Fabricius, Denmark). In Romania, the COPD prevalence is partially known, a recent study that evaluated the COPD prevalence on national level revealing a value of 8.13% in the population with an age over 40 years. Most of the studies include a selected population (smokers, age over 40, with or without symptoms). Establishing the prevalence of this disease as precise as possible becomes a necessity, even if this is pretty difficult to accomplish; the methods used in many studies on this subject are not uniform, thus the obtained results cannot be compared and correctly evaluated. Getting to know the prevalence of this disease as exact as possible is a difficult challenge, but extremely necessary for evaluating the seriousness of the phenomenon and getting to know the prevention and fighting measures. It is necessary to establish a methodology that has maximum effectiveness in identifying the COPD cases not only at an age over 40, but at lower ages as well, as it was proven that the disease can appear, even if more rarely, at ages below 40 as well. This article is part of a study which intends to try to determine a national wide applicable methodology.

Keywords: COPD, prevalence, spirometry