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A 5 años de su consagración: repensando el Derecho al Olvido

En mayo se cumplirán cinco años desde que el Tribunal Europeo de Justicia falló el polémico Caso Costeja, que estableció la responsabilidad de los motores de búsqueda sobre las bases de datos y dio pie a la posibilidad de cancelar la disponibilidad de ciertos resultados a solicitud de sus titulares: lo que hoy conocemos como “derecho al olvido”. Desde entonces, distintos países de Latinoamérica han propuesto incorporar esta figura a sus ordenamientos jurídicos, pero ¿es realmente necesaria su consagración en Chile? 

Jurídicamente, el derecho al olvido no es más que la decisión legislativa de declarar a los motores de búsqueda como responsable de bases de datos personales. La consecuencia de ello es que habilita a los titulares de datos personales a ejercer derechos ARCO (acceso, rectificación, cancelación u oposición) cuando estos datos resultan inexactos, falsos o dejan de ser relevantes. De esta forma, una persona puede pedir, por ejemplo, que una determinada URL no aparezca en los resultados de búsqueda cuando se busque su nombre; como sucedió en el Caso Costeja donde -a pesar de haber transcurrido más de 10 años- un anuncio de embargo aún aparecía en los resultados de búsqueda asociados a nombre en Google, afectando su derecho a la participación en la vida económica y su capacidad de hacer negocios luego de haber saldado sus deudas.  

Exigir a Google, Bing, Yahoo y compañía eliminar ciertos contenidos de los resultados de búsqueda también resulta problemático desde una perspectiva del derecho a la información, la libertad de expresión, el ejercicio del periodismo y la memoria histórica. Después de todo ¿de qué sirve que algo esté disponible en internet si cuando alguien intenta acceder a él no aparezca entre los resultados de búsqueda? 

Desde la academia, la sociedad civil y la jurisprudencia se ha hecho un importante esfuerzo para compatibilizar la consagración del derecho al olvido con otros derechos que se pueden ver afectados. Sin embargo, vale la pena preguntarse si nuestro ordenamiento jurídico ya cuenta con herramientas suficientes para enfrentar este fenómeno de una forma que permita ponderar de mejor manera los intereses en juego.  

¿Qué dice la evidencia?

De los seis buscadores con mayor presencia en internet, Google domina por sobre un 90% el mercado de motores de búsqueda, siendo el principal buscador utilizado por los usuarios globalmente, ejerciendo una actividad casi monopólica respecto del universo de motores de búsqueda que existen. 

A fin de hacerse una idea del impacto que ha tenido el derecho al olvido en Europa, fue necesario revisar las estadísticas de solicitudes de desindexación. De todos los motores de búsqueda solamente Google, Bing y Yahoo tienen a su disposición formularios para solicitar la desindexación de contenido a nivel europeo.  En cuanto a la transparencia de estas solicitudes y sus resultados, solo Google y Bing cuentan con estadísticas públicas relativas a las solicitudes recibidas y su aceptación o rechazo.

Partiendo de las estadísticas disponibles, es posible observar que de 785.027 solicitudes totales recibidas por Google (3.038.858 URL solicitadas) y Bing (78.781 URL solicitadas), un total de 1.020.404 URL solicitadas fueron aceptadas. Es decir, el buscador decidió que la solicitud tenía mérito suficiente y las URLs han dejado de aparecer en los resultados de búsqueda asociados a sus datos personales. Por otra parte, 1.305.256 URLs fueron rechazadas. De esta forma, la tasa de aceptación de solicitudes de desindexación es de aproximadamente un 43%. Una cifra bastante elevada que permite sospechar que el mecanismo de desindexación no está siendo utilizado en casos excepcionales en que la afectación justifique una medida de estas características. 

Además el hecho de que se utilice la legislación de protección de datos personales  como mecanismo procesal implica que el primer organismo en decidir la validez de la solicitud será el responsable de la base de datos, en este caso: las empresas privadas que las posean. Esto resulta problemático ya que decidir sobre la ponderación de distintos derechos fundamentales debería recaer únicamente en los tribunales de justicia, quienes cuentan con la independencia, imparcialidad y legitimidad constitucional para decidir materias que pueden afectar derechos humanos. 

Corremos el riesgo, entonces, de establecer una especie de censura privada en donde le toca solucionar a una empresa colisiones entre derechos fundamentales, no siendo capaz de resolver imparcialmente, pues no decidiría a partir de los derechos en pugna, sino de lo que parezca más seguro para evitar conflictos judiciales y sanciones.

¿Es el derecho al olvido la vía adecuada?

Ante la ausencia de una legislación específica, las personas afectadas por contenido en línea desactualizado, inexacto o que podría coartar sus derechos se han visto obligadas a echar mano al recurso de protección como mecanismo para evitar que cierto contenido en línea sea vinculado a su identidad. 

Uno de los primeros fallos sobre la materia (incluso previo al caso Costeja) fue el caso del exfiscal Abbot (2012). Alegando que el contenido de un blog resultaba atentatorio a su persona, la Corte decidió que Google debía “establecer los filtros necesarios para evitar publicaciones de carácter injurioso”, sin considerar la calidad de funcionario público del entonces fiscal regional. El año 2016 el caso del periódico El Mercurio se presentó cómo otro error de criterio de la Corte, la que ordenó no sólo la desindexación del contenido, sino su eliminación. En ambos casos se muestra la ausencia de una correcta ponderación entre la afectación de la honra del quienes exigen este recurso y el derecho de los medios de comunicación de cubrir legítimamente acontecimientos de interés público.

Sin embargo, en el último tiempo los criterios de las Cortes superiores de justicia han ido evolucionado, llegando al acuerdo respecto a que los recursos de desindexación deben operar únicamente de forma excepcional. En la sentencia más reciente de la Corte Suprema -relacionada a la publicación de una noticia por un delito al que finalmente la autora fue absuelta- el tribunal terminó por decidir que “no procede la eliminación de la noticia que en su día fue publicada lícitamente”,  estipulando que si existe un interés público, al ser ponderado con otros derechos fundamentales, este tendrá mayor relevancia sobre  la solicitud de eliminación del contenido. Del mismo modo, en este y en otros casos, la Corte ha optado por medidas que se alinean con el derecho al acceso a la información, solicitando la actualización del contenido objetado o la inclusión de notas respecto a la vigencia de su contenido en el mismo portal. 

En conclusión…

La implementación del derecho al olvido en Europa ha resultado problemática. Existen indicios de que la tasa de solicitudes aceptadas de desindexación es excesivamente alta, no asegurando que su aplicación se realice de forma excepcional. Del mismo modo, en la práctica esta vía ha significado entregar a una empresa privada el poder de decidir en primera instancia qué debe y qué no debe aparecer en internet. 

El ordenamiento jurídico chileno cuenta actualmente con mecanismos que, si bien pueden ser mejorados, hoy están sirviendo como vía para que los individuos afectados puedan hacer valer sus derechos. El recurso de protección -que a lo largo de estos 5 años ha ido afinando sus criterios- ha permitido generar una válvula de escape al problema social que el derecho al olvido busca enfrentar, al mismo tiempo que se asegura que la desindexación de contenido sea utilizada de manera excepcional y bajo la tutela de entidades imparciales, como los tribunales de justicia. 

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Helminth mediated modulation of the systemic and mycobacterial antigen – stimulated cytokine profiles in extra-pulmonary tuberculosis

by Gokul Raj Kathamuthu, Saravanan Munisankar, Rathinam Sridhar, Dhanaraj Baskaran, Subash Babu

Background

Helminth infections are known to regulate cytokine responses in both pulmonary and latent tuberculosis infection. Whether helminth infections also modulate cytokine responses in extra-pulmonary tuberculosis, specifically tuberculous lymphadenitis (TBL), has not been examined thus far.

Methodology

Hence, to determine the cytokine profile in helminth-TBL coinfection, we measured the systemic and mycobacterial (TB)–antigen stimulated levels of Type 1, Type 2, Type 17, regulatory and pro-inflammatory cytokines in TBL individuals coinfected with or without Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss) infection.

Significant findings

TBL-Ss+ individuals have significantly higher bacterial burdens in the affected lymph nodes in comparison to TBL-Ss- individuals. TBL-Ss+ individuals exhibit significantly enhanced plasma levels of Type 2 (IL-5 and IL-13), Type 17 (IL-17 and IL-22) and regulatory (IL-10) cytokines in comparison to TBL-Ss- individuals. In contrast, TBL-Ss+ individuals exhibit significantly diminished plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1α and GM-CSF) in comparison to TBL-Ss- individuals. TBL-Ss+ individuals also exhibit significantly diminished unstimulated or mycobacterial—antigen stimulated levels of Type 1, Type 17 or IL-1 family cytokines in comparison to TBL-Ss- individuals but no differences in mitogen stimulated cytokine levels.

Conclusion

Therefore, our data reveal a profound influence of Ss infection on the bacteriological profile of TBL and suggesting that the underlying modulation of cytokine responses might be a mechanism by which this helminth infection could impart a detrimental effect on the pathogenesis of TBL disease.

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Aurora kinase protein family in <i>Trypanosoma cruzi</i>: Novel role of an AUK-B homologue in kinetoplast replication

by Matías Fassolari, Guillermo D. Alonso

Aurora kinases constitute a family of enzymes that play a key role during metazoan cells division, being involved in events like centrosome maturation and division, chromatin condensation, mitotic spindle assembly, control of kinetochore-microtubule attachments, and cytokinesis initiation. In this work, three Aurora kinase homologues were identified in Trypanosoma cruzi (TcAUK1, -2 and -3), a protozoan parasite of the Kinetoplastida Class. The genomic organization of these enzymes was fully analyzed, demonstrating that TcAUK1 is a single-copy gene, TcAUK2 coding sequence is present in two different forms (short and long) and TcAUK3 is a multi-copy gene. The three TcAUK genes are actively expressed in the different life cycle forms of T. cruzi (amastigotes, trypomastigotes and epimastigotes). TcAUK1 showed a changing localization along the cell cycle of the proliferating epimastigote form: at interphase it is located at the extremes of the kinetoplast while in mitosis it is detected at the cell nucleus, in close association with the mitotic spindle. Overexpression of TcAUK1 in epimastigotes leaded to a delay in the G2/M phases of the cell cycle due a retarded beginning of kinetoplast duplication. By immunofluorescence, we found that when it was overexpressed TcAUK1 lost its localization at the extremes of the kinetoplast during interphase, being observed inside the cell nucleus throughout the entire cell cycle. In summary, TcAUK1 appears to be a functional homologue of human Aurora B kinase, as it is related to mitotic spindle assembling and chromosome segregation. Moreover, TcAUK1 also seems to play a role during the initiation of kinetoplast duplication, a novel role described for this protein.

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The prevalence and antifolate drug resistance profiles of <i>Plasmodium falciparum</i> in study participants randomized to discontinue or continue cotrimoxazole prophylaxis

by Dennis W. Juma, Peninah Muiruri, Krista Yuhas, Grace John-Stewart, Ronald Ottichilo, John Waitumbi, Benson Singa, Christina Polyak, Edwin Kamau

Objective

Cotrimoxazole prevents opportunistic infections including falciparum malaria in HIV-infected individuals but there are concerns of cross-resistance to other antifolate drugs such as sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). In this study, we investigated the prevalence of antifolate-resistance mutations in Plasmodium falciparum that are associated with SP resistance in HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral treatment randomized to discontinue (STOP-CTX), or continue (CTX) cotrimoxazole in Western Kenya.

Design

Samples were obtained from an unblinded, non-inferiority randomized controlled trial where participants were recruited on a rolling basis for the first six months of the study, then followed-up for 12 months with samples collected at enrollment, quarterly, and during sick visits.

Method

Plasmodium DNA was extracted from blood specimens. Initial screening to determine the presence of Plasmodium spp. was performed by quantitative reverse transcriptase real-time PCR, followed by genotyping for the presence of SP-resistance associated mutations by Sanger sequencing.

Results

The prevalence of mutant haplotypes associated with SP-resistant parasites in pfdhfr (51I/59R/108N) and pfdhps (437G/540E) genes were significantly higher (P = 0.0006 and P = 0.027, respectively) in STOP-CTX compared to CTX arm. The prevalence of quintuple haplotype (51I/59R/108N/437G/540E) was 51.8% in STOP-CTX vs. 6.3% (P = 0.0007) in CTX arm. There was a steady increase in mutant haplotypes in both genes in STOP-CTX arm overtime through the study period, reaching statistical significance (P < 0.0001).

Conclusion

The frequencies of mutations in pfdhfr and pfdhps genes were higher in STOP-CTX arm compared to CTX arm, suggesting cotrimoxazole effectively controls and selects against SP-resistant parasites.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01425073

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A major hurdle in the elimination of urogenital schistosomiasis revealed: Identifying key gaps in knowledge and understanding of female genital schistosomiasis within communities and local health workers

by Vida Ami Kukula, Eleanor E. MacPherson, Irene Honam Tsey, J. Russell Stothard, Sally Theobald, Margaret Gyapong

Background

Urogenital schistosomiasis is endemic throughout Ghana with elevated infection levels in certain areas e.g. Lake Volta Region. While the primary focus of the national control program is on mass drug administration of praziquantel to school-aged children, Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS), a disease-specific affliction of girls and women, has been largely overlooked. To better focus future actions, our study investigated the perceptions, knowledge and understanding of FGS amongst community members and health providers.

Method/Principal findings

We used qualitative methods including 12 focus group discussions and 34 in-depth interviews. We purposively selected 16 communities along the Lake Volta in the Shai-Osudoku District. Participant selection was based on gender, age and occupation; providing an opportunity to explore community understanding of FGS through participants own words and perceptions. Awareness of schistosomiasis was reported and is commonly experienced among children (12–17 years) and younger adults (18–25 years) in the study communities but is typically considered a boy’s disease. Knowledge of FGS was lacking in women, girls and front-line health workers. There was a general misconception that FGS may be the result of sexual promiscuity. Adolescent girls reporting vaginal discharge and itching were often stigmatized by health workers and treated for sexually transmitted infections. Limited alternatives to the river as key source of water meant that all members of the community faced the regular risk of schistosomiasis.

Conclusion/Significance

There is a clear imperative for the national control program to better engage on FGS and implement interventions to meet girls and women’s needs. The key consideration is to integrate more adequately preventive services with sexual and reproductive primary health care with future training of health workers for improved management of FGS cases. More broadly, harmonizing the portfolio of all actions on FGS is needed, especially with a call for improved access to safe water and sanitation for all those at current or future risk.

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Calculating the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infection through pooling of stool samples: Choosing and optimizing the pooling strategy

by James E. Truscott, Julia C. Dunn, Marina Papaiakovou, Fabian Schaer, Marleen Werkman, D. Timothy J. Littlewood, Judd L. Walson, Roy M. Anderson

Prevalence is a common epidemiological measure for assessing soil-transmitted helminth burden and forms the basis for much public-health decision-making. Standard diagnostic techniques are based on egg detection in stool samples through microscopy and these techniques are known to have poor sensitivity for individuals with low infection intensity, leading to poor sensitivity in low prevalence populations. PCR diagnostic techniques offer very high sensitivities even at low prevalence, but at a greater cost for each diagnostic test in terms of equipment needed and technician time and training. Pooling of samples can allow prevalence to be estimated while minimizing the number of tests performed. We develop a model of the relative cost of pooling to estimate prevalence, compared to the direct approach of testing all samples individually. Analysis shows how expected relative cost depends on both the underlying prevalence in the population and the size of the pools constructed. A critical prevalence level (approx. 31%) above which pooling is never cost effective, independent of pool size. When no prevalence information is available, there is no basis on which to choose between pooling and testing all samples individually. We recast our model of relative cost in a Bayesian framework in order to investigate how prior information about prevalence in a given population can be used to inform the decision to choose either pooling or full testing. Results suggest that if prevalence is below 10%, a relatively small exploratory prevalence survey (10–15 samples) can be sufficient to give a high degree of certainty that pooling may be relatively cost effective.

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A comparative genome analysis of Rift Valley Fever virus isolates from foci of the disease outbreak in South Africa in 2008-2010

by Moabi R. Maluleke, Maanda Phosiwa, Antoinette van Schalkwyk, George Michuki, Baratang A. Lubisi, Phemelo S. Kegakilwe, Steve J. Kemp, Phelix A. O. Majiwa

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a re-emerging zoonotic disease responsible for major losses in livestock production, with negative impact on the livelihoods of both commercial and resource-poor farmers in sub-Sahara African countries. The disease remains a threat in countries where its mosquito vector thrives. Outbreaks of RVF usually follow weather conditions which favour increase in mosquito populations. Such outbreaks are usually cyclical, occurring every 10–15 years. Recent outbreaks of the disease in South Africa have occurred unpredictably and with increased frequency. In 2008, outbreaks were reported in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng provinces, followed by 2009 outbreaks in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape provinces and in 2010 in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape, North West, Free State and Mpumalanga provinces. By August 2010, 232 confirmed infections had been reported in humans, with 26 confirmed deaths.To investigate the evolutionary dynamics of RVF viruses (RVFVs) circulating in South Africa, we undertook complete genome sequence analysis of isolates from animals at discrete foci of the 2008–2010 outbreaks. The genome sequences of these viruses were compared with those of the viruses from earlier outbreaks in South Africa and in other countries. The data indicate that one 2009 and all the 2008 isolates from South Africa and Madagascar (M49/08) cluster in Lineage C or Kenya-1. The remaining of the 2009 and 2010 isolates cluster within Lineage H, except isolate M259_RSA_09, which is a probable segment M reassortant. This information will be useful to agencies involved in the control and management of Rift Valley fever in South Africa and the neighbouring countries.

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Structural determination of the complement inhibitory domain of <i>Borrelia burgdorferi</i> BBK32 provides insight into classical pathway complement evasion by lyme disease spirochetes

by Jialei Xie, Hui Zhi, Ryan J. Garrigues, Andrew Keightley, Brandon L. Garcia, Jon T. Skare

The carboxy-terminal domain of the BBK32 protein from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, termed BBK32-C, binds and inhibits the initiating serine protease of the human classical complement pathway, C1r. In this study we investigated the function of BBK32 orthologues of the Lyme-associated Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, designated BAD16 from B. afzelii strain PGau and BGD19 from B. garinii strain IP90. Our data show that B. afzelii BAD16-C exhibits BBK32-C-like activities in all assays tested, including high-affinity binding to purified C1r protease and C1 complex, and potent inhibition of the classical complement pathway. Recombinant B. garinii BGD19-C also bound C1 and C1r with high-affinity yet exhibited significantly reduced in vitro complement inhibitory activities relative to BBK32-C or BAD16-C. Interestingly, natively produced BGD19 weakly recognized C1r relative to BBK32 and BAD16 and, unlike these proteins, BGD19 did not confer significant protection from serum killing. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed to convert BBK32-C to resemble BGD19-C at three residue positions that are identical between BBK32 and BAD16 but different in BGD19. The resulting chimeric protein was designated BXK32-C and this BBK32-C variant mimicked the properties observed for BGD19-C. To query the disparate complement inhibitory activities of BBK32 orthologues, the crystal structure of BBK32-C was solved to 1.7Å limiting resolution. BBK32-C adopts an anti-parallel four-helix bundle fold with a fifth alpha-helix protruding from the helical core. The structure revealed that the three residues targeted in the BXK32-C chimera are surface-exposed, further supporting their potential relevance in C1r binding and inhibition. Additional binding assays showed that BBK32-C only recognized C1r fragments containing the serine protease domain. The structure-function studies reported here improve our understanding of how BBK32 recognizes and inhibits C1r and provide new insight into complement evasion mechanisms of Lyme-associated spirochetes of the B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex.

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Inflammatory monocytes are detrimental to the host immune response during acute infection with <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i>

by Lena J. Heung, Tobias M. Hohl

Cryptococcus neoformans is a leading cause of invasive fungal infections among immunocompromised patients. However, the cellular constituents of the innate immune response that promote clearance versus progression of infection upon respiratory acquisition of C. neoformans remain poorly defined. In this study, we found that during acute C. neoformans infection, CCR2+ Ly6Chi inflammatory monocytes (IM) rapidly infiltrate the lungs and mediate fungal trafficking to lung-draining lymph nodes. Interestingly, this influx of IM is detrimental to the host, since ablating IM or impairing their recruitment to the lungs improves murine survival and reduces fungal proliferation and dissemination. Using a novel conditional gene deletion strategy, we determined that MHC class II expression by IM did not mediate their deleterious impact on the host. Furthermore, although ablation of IM reduced the number of lymphocytes, innate lymphoid cells, and eosinophils in the lungs, the effects of IM were not dependent on these cells. We ascertained that IM in the lungs upregulated transcripts associated with alternatively activated (M2) macrophages in response to C. neoformans, consistent with the model that IM assume a cellular phenotype that is permissive for fungal growth. We also determined that conditional knockout of the prototypical M2 marker arginase 1 in IM and deletion of the M2-associated transcription factor STAT6 were not sufficient to reverse the harmful effects of IM. Overall, our findings indicate that C. neoformans can subvert the fungicidal potential of IM to enable the progression of infection through a mechanism that is not dependent on lymphocyte priming, eosinophil recruitment, or downstream M2 macrophage polarization pathways. These results give us new insight into the plasticity of IM function during fungal infections and the level of control that C. neoformans can exert on host immune responses.

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