bruna neroni

Microbiologia e Diagnostica di Immunologia
Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Roma


Scopus Publications

Scopus Publications

  • Women Skin Microbiota Modifications during Pregnancy
    Giulia Radocchia, Francesca Brunetti, Massimiliano Marazzato, Valentina Totino, Bruna Neroni, Giulia Bonfiglio, Antonietta Lucia Conte, Fabrizio Pantanella, Paola Ciolli, and Serena Schippa

    Several studies have shown fluctuations in the maternal microbiota at various body sites (gut, oral cavity, and vagina). The skin microbiota plays an important role in our health, but studies on the changes during pregnancy are limited. Quantitative and qualitative variations in the skin microbiota in pregnant woman could indeed play important roles in modifying the immune and inflammatory responses of the host. These alterations could induce inflammatory disorders affecting the individual’s dermal properties, and could potentially predict infant skin disorder in the unborn. The present study aimed to characterize skin microbiota modifications during pregnancy. For this purpose, skin samples were collected from 52 pregnant women in the first, second, and third trimester of non-complicated pregnancies and from 17 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The skin microbiota composition was assessed by next generation sequencing (NGS) of the V3–V4 region of the bacterial rRNA 16S. Our results indicate that from the first to the third trimester of pregnancy, changes occur in the composition of the skin microbiota, microbial interactions, and various metabolic pathways. These changes could play a role in creating more advantageous conditions for fetal growth.

  • Gut Microbiota Structure and Metabolites, Before and After Treatment in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Pilot Study
    Massimiliano Marazzato, Cristina Iannuccelli, Maria Paola Guzzo, Lucia Nencioni, Bruno Lucchino, Giulia Radocchia, Chiara Gioia, Giulia Bonfiglio, Bruna Neroni, Francesca Guerrieri,et al.

    Frontiers Media SA
    Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease. Modifications of gut microbiota seem to be associated with the disease, but the impact of gut microbiota on therapies’ outcome remains unclear. A role of T cells in RA pathogenesis has been addressed, particularly on the Th17/Treg cells balance. Our study aimed to evaluate in early RA (ERA) patients compared to a control group, fecal gut microbiota composition, short-chain fatty acids concentrations, and the levels of circulating Th17/Treg and their own cytokines, before and after 3 months of standard treatment (Methotrexate (MTX) plus glucocorticoids). Fecal microbiota characterization was carried out on 19 ERA patients and 20 controls matched for sex and age. Significant decreased biodiversity levels, and a partition on the base of the microbiota composition, between the ERA patients at baseline compared to controls, were observed. The co-occurrent analysis of interactions revealed a characteristic clustered structure of the microbial network in controls that is lost in ERA patients where an altered connection between microbes and clinical parameters/metabolites has been reported. Microbial markers such as Acetanaerobacterium elongatum, Cristiansella massiliensis, and Gracilibacter thermotolerans resulted significantly enriched in control group while the species Blautia gnavus emerged to be more abundant in ERA patients. Our results showed an alteration in Th17/Treg balance with higher Th17 levels and lower Treg levels in ERA group respect to control at baseline, those data improved after therapy. Treatment administration and the achievement of a low disease activity/remission appear to exert a positive pressure on the structure of intestinal microbiota with the consequent restoration of biodiversity, of the structure of microbial network, and of the abundance of taxa that became closer to those presented by the subject without the disease. We also found an association between Blautia gnavus and ERA patients characterized by a significant reduction of propionic acid level. Furthermore significant differences highlighted at baseline among controls and ERA patients are no more evident after treatment. These data corroborate the role played by gut microbiota in the disease and suggest that therapy aimed to restore gut microbiota would improve treatment outcome.

  • Evaluation of the anti-proliferative activity of violacein, a natural pigment of bacterial origin, in urinary bladder cancer cell lines
    Bruna Neron, Maria Zingaropoli, Giulia Radocchia, Maria Ciardi, Luciana Mosca, Fabrizio Pantanella, and Serena Schippa

    Spandidos Publications
    Violacein is a natural pigment, a pyrrolidone, and a bisindole derived from the condensation of two tryptophan molecules, which gives a blue violet color to several gram-negative violacein-producing bacteria. Violacein production provides a competitive advantage against antagonistic species or predators. In addition, the compound has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antioxidant activities. Several studies on colon, breast, and head and neck cancer lines have already demonstrated the anti-proliferative potential of violacein. Bladder cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in urology. The therapeutic approach is mainly based on surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-proliferative activity of violacein against the human bladder cancer cell lines, HTB4 (T24) and HTB9 (5637), using low-grade and high-grade transitional cell carcinoma models, respectively, which has never been assayed before. For this purpose, the potential violacein anti-proliferative effect on T24 and 5637 cells was evaluated by studying the cell viability, proliferation, cell cycle, and caspase-3 activation. The results showed that violacein had anti-proliferative activity in the two cell lines, which was greater for the second-stage bladder cancer cell line (5637), and a different mode of action against the two cell lines.

  • Genetic Vaccination as a Flexible Tool to Overcome the Immunological Complexity of Invasive Fungal Infections
    Laura Luberto, Bruna Neroni, Orietta Gandini, Ersilia Vita Fiscarelli, Giovanni Salvatori, Giuseppe Roscilli, and Emanuele Marra

    Frontiers Media SA
    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted genetic vaccination as a powerful and cost-effective tool to counteract infectious diseases. Invasive fungal infections (IFI) remain a major challenge among immune compromised patients, particularly those undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic bone marrow transplantation (HSCT) or solid organ transplant (SOT) both presenting high morbidity and mortality rates. Candidiasis and Aspergillosis are the major fungal infections among these patients and the failure of current antifungal therapies call for new therapeutic aids. Vaccination represents a valid alternative, and proof of concept of the efficacy of this approach has been provided at clinical level. This review will analyze current understanding of antifungal immunology, with a particular focus on genetic vaccination as a suitable strategy to counteract these diseases.

  • Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction: Is there a connection with gut microbiota?
    Giulia Radocchia, Bruna Neroni, Massimiliano Marazzato, Elena Capuzzo, Simone Zuccari, Fabrizio Pantanella, Letizia Zenzeri, Melania Evangelisti, Francesca Vassallo, Pasquale Parisi,et al.

    Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) is a rare clinical syndrome characterized by severe impairment of gastrointestinal (GI) motility, and its symptoms are suggestive of partial or complete intestinal obstruction in the absence of any lesion restricting the intestinal lumen. Diagnosis and therapy of CIPO patients still represent a significant challenge for clinicians, despite their efforts to improve diagnostic workup and treatment strategies for this disease. The purpose of this review is to better understand what is currently known about the relationship between CIPO patients and intestinal microbiota, with a focus on the role of the enteric nervous system (ENS) and the intestinal endocrine system (IES) in intestinal motility, underling the importance of further studies to deeply understand the causes of gut motility dysfunction in these patients.

  • Relationship between sleep disorders and gut dysbiosis: what affects what?
    Bruna Neroni, Melania Evangelisti, Giulia Radocchia, Giovanni Di Nardo, Fabrizio Pantanella, Maria Pia Villa, and Serena Schippa

    Elsevier BV
    Sleep plays a fundamental role in maintaining good psycho-physical health, it can influence hormone levels, mood, and weight. Recent studies, focused on the interconnection between intestinal microbiome and sleep disorders, have shown the growing importance of a healthy and balanced intestinal microbiome for the hosts health. Normally, gut microbiota and his host are linked by mutualistic relationship, that in some conditions, can be compromised by shifts in microbiota's composition, called dysbiosis. Both sleep problems and dysbiosis of the gut microbiome can lead to metabolic disorders and, in this review, we will explore what is present in literature on the link between sleep pathologies and intestinal dysbiosis.

  • Insight into the possible use of the predator bdellovibrio bacteriovorus as a probiotic
    Giulia Bonfiglio, Bruna Neroni, Giulia Radocchia, Massimiliano Marazzato, Fabrizio Pantanella, and Serena Schippa

    The gut microbiota is a complex microbial ecosystem that coexists with the human organism in the intestinal tract. The members of this ecosystem live together in a balance between them and the host, contributing to its healthy state. Stress, aging, and antibiotic therapies are the principal factors affecting the gut microbiota composition, breaking the mutualistic relationship among microbes and resulting in the overgrowth of potential pathogens. This condition, called dysbiosis, has been linked to several chronic pathologies. In this review, we propose the use of the predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus as a possible probiotic to prevent or counteract dysbiotic outcomes and look at the findings of previous research.

  • Structural Variations of Vaginal and Endometrial Microbiota: Hints on Female Infertility
    Lucia Riganelli, Valerio Iebba, Mariagrazia Piccioni, Isabella Illuminati, Giulia Bonfiglio, Bruna Neroni, Ludovica Calvo, Antonella Gagliardi, Massimo Levrero, Lucia Merlino,et al.

    Frontiers Media SA
    Microbiota are microorganismal communities colonizing human tissues exposed to the external environment, including the urogenital tract. The bacterial composition of the vaginal microbiota has been established and is partially related to obstetric outcome, while the uterine microbiota, considered to be a sterile environment for years, is now the focus of more extensive studies and debates. The characterization of the microbiota contained in the reproductive tract (RT) of asymptomatic and infertile women, could define a specific RT microbiota associated with implantation failure. In this pilot study, 34 women undergoing personalized hormonal stimulation were recruited and the biological samples of each patient, vaginal fluid, and endometrial biopsy, were collected immediately prior to oocyte-pick up, and sequenced. Women were subsequently divided into groups according to fertilization outcome. Analysis of the 16s rRNA V4-V5 region revealed a significant difference between vaginal and endometrial microbiota. The vaginal microbiota of pregnant women corroborated previous data, exhibiting a lactobacilli-dominant habitat compared to non-pregnant cases, while the endometrial bacterial colonization was characterized by a polymicrobial ecosystem in which lactobacilli were exclusively detected in the group that displayed unsuccessful in vitro fertilization. Overall, these preliminary results revisit our knowledge of the genitourinary microbiota, and highlight a putative relationship between vaginal/endometrial microbiota and reproductive success.

  • Nasal microbiota in RSV bronchiolitis
    Serena Schippa, Antonella Frassanito, Massimiliano Marazzato, Raffaella Nenna, Laura Petrarca, Bruna Neroni, Giulia Bonfiglio, Francesca Guerrieri, Federica Frasca, Giuseppe Oliveto,et al.

    Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the leading cause of bronchiolitis, and the severity may be influenced by the bacterial ecosystem. Our aim was to analyze the nasal microbiota from 48 infants affected by bronchiolitis from RSV virus and 28 infants with bronchiolitis but negative for the virus. Results showed a significantly lower biodiversity in the RSV-positive group with respect to the RSV-negative group, a specific microbial profile associated with the RSV-positive group different from that observed in the negative group, and significant modifications in the relative abundance of taxa in the RSV-positive group, as well as in the RSV-A group, with respect to the negative group. Furthermore, microbial network analyses evidenced, in all studied groups, the presence of two predominant sub-networks characterized by peculiar inter- and intra-group correlation patterns as well as a general loss of connectivity among microbes in the RSV-positive group, particularly in the RSV-A group. Our results indicated that infants with more severe bronchiolitis disease, caused by RSV-A infection, present significant perturbations of both the nasal microbiota structure and the microbial relationships. Patients with a milder bronchiolitis course (RSV-B-infected and patients who have cleared the virus) presented less severe alterations.

  • Growth control of adherent-invasive escherichia coli (Aiec) by the predator bacteria bdellovibrio bacteriovorus: A new therapeutic approach for crohn’s disease patients
    Giulia Bonfiglio, Bruna Neroni, Giulia Radocchia, Arianna Pompilio, Francesco Mura, Maria Trancassini, Giovanni Di Bonaventura, Fabrizio Pantanella, and Serena Schippa

    In Crohn’s disease (CD) patients, intestinal dysbiosis with an overgrowth of Proteobacteria, mainly Escherichia coli, has been reported. A new pathotype of E. coli, the adherent-invasive Escherichia coli strain (AIEC), has been isolated from the mucosae of CD patients. AIEC strains play an important role in CD pathogenesis, increasing intestinal mucosa damage and inflammation. Several studies have been undertaken to find possible strategies/treatments aimed at AIEC strain reduction/elimination from CD patients’ intestinal mucosae. To date, a truly effective strategy against AIEC overgrowth is not yet available, and as such, further investigations are warranted. Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is a predator bacterium which lives by invading Gram-negative bacteria, and is usually present both in natural and human ecosystems. The aim of this study was to evaluate a novel possible strategy to treat CD patients’ mucosae when colonized by AIEC strains, based on the utilization of the Gram-negative predatory bacteria, B. bacteriovorus. The overall results indicate that B. bacteriovorus is able to interfere with important steps in the dynamics of pathogenicity of AIEC strains by its predatory activity. We indicate, for the first time, the possibility of counteracting AIEC strain overgrowth by exploiting what naturally occurs in microbial ecosystems (i.e., predation).

  • Rebuilding the gut microbiota ecosystem
    Antonella Gagliardi, Valentina Totino, Fatima Cacciotti, Valerio Iebba, Bruna Neroni, Giulia Bonfiglio, Maria Trancassini, Claudio Passariello, Fabrizio Pantanella, and Serena Schippa

    A microbial ecosystem in which bacteria no longer live in a mutualistic association is called dysbiotic. Gut microbiota dysbiosis is a condition related with the pathogenesis of intestinal illnesses (irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease) and extra-intestinal illnesses (obesity, metabolic disorder, cardiovascular syndrome, allergy, and asthma). Dysbiosis status has been related to various important pathologies, and many therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring the balance of the intestinal ecosystem have been implemented. These strategies include the administration of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics; phage therapy; fecal transplantation; bacterial consortium transplantation; and a still poorly investigated approach based on predatory bacteria. This review discusses the various aspects of these strategies to counteract intestinal dysbiosis.

  • Behaviour of bdellovibrio bacteriovorus in the presence of gram-positive staphylococcus aureus