Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel
Livadhja, Albania

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Bertocchi F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Nepravishta R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Nepravishta R.,Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel | Mandaliti W.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Paci M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Applied Magnetic Resonance | Year: 2016

During a penal trial, it was requested to our laboratory to contribute the public minister prosecutor to study with a solid-state technique the effect of the time on a photographic negative and, eventually, to determine if the date of a certain photographic development can be located in a particular time range. It was important the determination of the time when a picture has been developed. Particularly, it was asked to define an estimate, more precisely possible, of the time elapsed from when the picture was taken assuming that it was close to the time of the processing of the negative of the photograph. The 13C cross polarization magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is known as a technique that is able to characterize the crystallinity of a sample. Among many materials, cellulose matrix is one whose crystallinity is more influenced on time. Assuming that after the wet development of the negative, the transformation of the crystallinity decreases upon time toward the amorphous state, it was possible, with a suitable reference scale, to obtain the approximate date of the development of the picture as required in the trial. This was possible by the preparation of a crystallinity reference scale obtained by photographic negatives developed at precise intervals along time. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Wien

Hodaj A.,Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel | Baraj B.,University of Tirana | Shehu A.,University of Tirana
Journal of Hygienic Engineering and Design | Year: 2016

The artificial lake of Tirana is situated in the south part of Tirana city, covering an area of 0.55 km2. Pollution in Tirana Lake appears to be high due to sewage and inert discharges in it. Investigation of the long-term changes in the trophic state of this lake was conducted during the period 2011-2012. Ammonia nitrogen, soluble reactive phosphorus-SRP, nitrates and nitrites as well as physico-chemical parameters were analyzed every three months, in six different points of the lake. Water physico-chemical parameters were measured in situ, using a Multi meter water checker. Nitrites, nitrates, ammonia and reactive soluble phosphorus were measured using the 419-NO2-method, 418-NO3-C method, PO43-424F method and 417-N-NH3 C phenate method of the APHA, 1995 [8]. Dissolved oxygen, phosphorus and ammonium nitrogen were found to be the primary limiting nutrients of the lake. Content of SRP and ammonium nitrogen resulted to be higher during June 2012, ranging from 24 to 65 μg.L-1 and 0.28 to 0.44 mg. L-1, respectively. Levels of nitrite nitrogen varied between 3-14 μg.L-1, while nitrate nitrogen values ranged from 0.05-0.35 mg.L-1. Dissolved oxygen was found in low levels in samples collected during September 2011 (5.4-7.9 mg.L-1) while high levels were found in winter and spring as well. Trophic state of the lake may be mainly affected by the eutrophication being more evident in some sampling regions. Conclusively, according to the levels of nutrients being present in its waters, Tirana Lake can be classified as a mesotrophic lake. © 2016, Consulting and Training Center - KEY. All rights reserved.

PubMed | Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel, University of Rome Tor Vergata, National Institute of Health and University Hospital Mother Tereza
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of medical virology | Year: 2016

Human Bocavirus (HBoV) has been recently identified in association with acute viral gastroenteritis (AGE). The objective of this work was to investigate the prevalence of HBoV in children with AGE in Albania. Stool specimens collected from 142 children were analyzed by amplification of partial NP1 and Vp1/Vp2 genes. HBoV was detected in 13 samples (9.1%), 12 HBoV-1 and one HBoV-2. All HBoV-positive patients were co-infected with rotavirus and/or adenovirus, a finding which might indicate that there is no clear causal association of this agent with diarrhea. Further investigation is needed to assess the pathogenic role of HBoV in childhood diarrhea.

PubMed | University of Rome Tor Vergata and Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel
Type: | Journal: BioMed research international | Year: 2015

The use of Dermal Regeneration Template (DRT) can be a valid alternative for scalp reconstruction, especially in elderly patients where a rapid procedure with an acceptable aesthetic and reliable functional outcome is required. We reviewed the surgical outcome of 20 patients, 14 (70%) males and 6 (30%) females, who underwent application of DRT for scalp reconstruction for small defects (group A: mean defect size of 12.51cm(2)) and for large defects (group B: mean defect size of 28.7cm(2)) after wide excision of scalp neoplasm (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma). In group A, the excisions were performed to the galeal layer avoiding pericranium, and in group B the excisions were performed including pericranium layer with subsequent coverage of the exposed bone with local pericranial flap. In both the groups (A and B) after the excision of the tumor, the wound bed was covered with Dermal Regeneration Template. In 3 weeks we observed the complete healing of the wound bed by secondary intention with acceptable cosmetic results and stable scars. Scalp reconstruction using a DRT is a valid coverage technique for minor and major scalp defects and it can be conducted with good results in elderly patients with multiple comorbidities.

PubMed | University of Turin, Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: Antiviral research | Year: 2016

The control of smallpox was achieved using live vaccinia virus (VV) vaccine, which successfully eradicated the disease worldwide. As the variola virus no longer exists as a natural infection agent, mass vaccination was discontinued after 1980. However, emergence of smallpox outbreaks caused by accidental or deliberate release of variola virus has stimulated new research for second-generation vaccine development based on attenuated VV strains. Considering the closely related animal poxviruses that also arise as zoonoses, and the increasing number of unvaccinated or immunocompromised people, a safer and more effective vaccine is still required. With this aim, new vectors based on avian poxviruses that cannot replicate in mammals should improve the safety of conventional vaccines, and protect from zoonotic orthopoxvirus diseases, such as cowpox and monkeypox. In this study, DNA and fowlpox (FP) recombinants that expressed the VV L1R, A27L, A33R, and B5R genes were generated (4DNAmix, 4FPmix, respectively) and tested in mice using novel administration routes. Mice were primed with 4DNAmix by electroporation, and boosted with 4FPmix applied intranasally. The lethal VV

Antioxidants have a great potential as adjuvant therapeutics in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, although systematic comparisons at pre-clinical level are limited. The present study is a head-to-head assessment, in the exercised mdx mouse model of DMD, of natural compounds, resveratrol and apocynin, and of the amino acid taurine, in comparison with the gold standard -methyl prednisolone (PDN). The rationale was to target the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via disease-related pathways that are worsened by mechanical-metabolic impairment such as inflammation and over-activity of NADPH oxidase (NOX) (taurine and apocynin, respectively) or the failing ROS detoxification mechanisms via sirtuin-1 (SIRT1)-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator 1 (PGC-1) (resveratrol). Resveratrol (100mg/kg i.p. 5days/week), apocynin (38mg/kg/day per os), taurine (1g/kg/day per os), and PDN (1mg/kg i.p., 5days/week) were administered for 4-5 weeks to mdx mice in parallel with a standard protocol of treadmill exercise and the outcome was evaluated with a multidisciplinary approach in vivo and ex vivo on pathology-related end-points and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Resveratroltaurine>apocynin enhanced in vivo mouse force similarly to PDN. All the compounds reduced the production of superoxide anion, assessed by dihydroethidium staining, with apocynin being as effective as PDN, and ameliorated electrophysiological biomarkers of oxidative stress. Resveratrol also significantly reduced plasma levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase. Force of isolated muscles was little ameliorated. However, the three compounds improved histopathology of gastrocnemius muscle more than PDN. Taurine>apocynin>PDN significantly decreased activated NF-kB positive myofibers. Thus, compounds targeting NOX-ROS or SIRT1/PGC-1 pathways differently modulate clinically relevant DMD-related endpoints according to their mechanism of action. With the caution needed in translational research, the results show that the parallel assessment can help the identification of best adjuvant therapies.

PubMed | University of Tirana, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel and Instituto Superiore Of Sanita
Type: | Journal: BioMed research international | Year: 2015

The objectives of the present study were to assess the occurrence of human adenoviruses (HAdVs) in paediatric patients with gastroenteritis in Albania and to characterize HAdV strains. Faecal specimens from children admitted with acute gastroenteritis to the Paediatric Hospital in Tirana were screened for HAdV, using broad-range primers targeting the hexon gene, in combination with species-specific primers targeting the fiber gene. Phylogenetic analysis was then performed to assess the genetic relationships among the different sequences and between the sequences of the samples and those of the prototype strains. Adenovirus DNA was detected in 33/142 samples (23.2%); 14 belonged to species F (13 HAdV-41 and 1 HAdV-40), 13 to species C (1 HAdV-1, 8 HAdV-2, and 4 HAdV-5), 5 to species B (HAdV-3), and 1 to species A (HAdV-12). Rotavirus coinfection was present in 9/33 (27.2%) positive samples. In the remaining 24 positive samples (12 enteric--F species; 12 nonenteric--A, B, or C species), HAdVs were detected as unique viral pathogens, suggesting that HAdV may be an important cause of diarrhoea in children requiring hospitalization. This is the first study investigating the presence of human adenoviruses (species A-G) as etiologic agents of viral gastroenteritis in children in Albania.

PubMed | Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel, University of Milan Bicocca, Polytechnic of Milan and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: Chemosphere | Year: 2016

The emergence and diffusion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been a major public health problem for many years now. In this study, antibiotic-resistance of coliforms and Escherichia coli were investigated after their isolation from samples collected in a municipal wastewater treatment plant in the Milan area (Italy) along different points of the treatment sequence: inflow to biological treatment; outflow from biological treatment following rapid sand filtration; and outflow from peracetic acid disinfection. The presence of E.coli that showed resistance to ampicillin (AMP) and chloramphenicol (CAF), used as representative antibiotics for the efficacy against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, was evaluated. After determining E.coli survival using increasing AMP and CAF concentrations, specific single-resistant (AMP

PubMed | Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel
Type: | Journal: World neurosurgery | Year: 2016

Legs burning for treating lumbar radicular pain are still in use nowadays in low socioeconomical environments. They are dangerous as the case we report shows clearly.A 49-year-old man came to our attention with severe flaccid paraparesis occurred 10 days before, almost immediately after he had immersed his legs in boiling water to treat his severe left lumbocrural pain. This was known to be due to a right L3/4 herniated disk diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging. At the examination he showed severe motor paresis and absent reflexes of his lower limbs, while crural pain was mild and sensation and urinary function were unaffected. The results of his neurologic examination led us to suspect an acute motor axon degeneration related to thermal shock. Lumbar magnetic resonance imaging, performed before the planned electromyogram as an exception to the established routine, showed instead a giant 5- 5.5-cm, herniated disk compressing the dural sac at L3.Prompt surgical decompression led to rapid improvement. We discuss here the pathophysiology of this unusual case and point out how medieval practices for treating sciatica-like pain are not only unjustified from a medical viewpoint but also potentially dangerous.

PubMed | Regina Elena Cancer Institute, ENEA, Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: Virus research | Year: 2016

The therapeutic antitumor potency of a prime-boost vaccination strategy was explored, based on the mutated, nontransforming forms of the E6 (E6

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