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Le Grazie di Ancona, Italy

Bozzola E.,Paediatric and Infectious Disease Unit | Tozzi A.E.,Epidemiological Unit | Bozzola M.,University of Pavia | Krzysztofiak A.,Paediatric and Infectious Disease Unit | And 3 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2012

Although varicella has usually an uncomplicated course in early childhood, several neurological complications may occur. We conducted a study to review the type and the rate of varicella neurological complications in a case series of hospitalized immunologically healthy children over nearly a 8 year period. We also systematically reviewed data from the literature to estimate the rate of varicella neurological complications. In our case reports, the proportion of neurological complications among all those hospitalized for varicella was of 21.7% (CI 17.9-26%). The pooled prevalence of neurological complications resulting from the systematic review of the literature identifies the likelihood of such complications in the range of 13.9-20.4%. Although neurological complications of chickenpox do not frequently result in permanent sequelae, they represent significant determinants of prolonged hospital stay and of other indirect costs. The obtained results may be useful for estimating costs associated with hospitalization from varicella in cost-benefit analysis for immunization. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Lavazza A.,Electronic Microscopy Laboratory | Tittarelli C.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte Liguria e Valle dAosta | Cerioli M.,Epidemiological Unit
Viruses | Year: 2015

Negative staining electron microscopy methods can be employed for the diagnosis of viral particles in animal samples. In fact, negative staining electron microscopy methods are used to identify viruses, especially in minor species and wild animals, when no other methods are available and in cases of rare, emerging or re-emerging infections. In particular, immune-electron-microscopy with convalescent sera is employed to detect etiological agents when there are undiagnosed clinical outbreaks, when alternative diagnostic methods fail due to the lack of immunological reagents and primers, and when there is no indicative clinical suspect. An overview of immune-electron-microscopy with convalescent sera’s use in the diagnosis of new and unsuspected viruses in animals of domestic and wild species is provided through the descriptions of the following four diagnostic veterinary cases: (I) enteric viruses of pigs: Porcine Rotavirus, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, Porcine Circovirus and Porcine Torovirus; (II) Rotavirus and astrovirus in young turkeys with enteritis; (III) Parvovirus-like particles in pheasants; and (IV) Lagoviruses: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus and European Brown Hare Syndrome Virus. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Corona G.,University of Florence | Monami M.,University of Florence | Boddi V.,University of Florence | Cameron-Smith M.,University of Florence | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Sexual Medicine | Year: 2010

Introduction. Although penile blood flow (PBF) has been recommended as an additional diagnostic test in identifying erectile dysfunction (ED) patients at risk for latent cardiovascular disease, no study has ever assessed the possible association of PBF and the relational component of sexual function with incident major cardiovascular events (MACE). Aim.: The aim of this study is to investigate whether severity of ED, PBF, and other factors related to a couple's relationship predict incident MACE. Methods.: A consecutive series of 1,687 patients was studied. Different clinical, biochemical, and instrumental (penile flow at color Doppler ultrasound) parameters were evaluated. Main Outcome Measures.: Information on MACE was obtained through the City of Florence Registry Office. Results.: During a mean follow-up of 4.3 ± 2.6 years, 139 MACE, 15 of which were fatal, were observed. Cox regression analysis, after adjustment for age and Chronic Disease Score, showed that severe ED predicted MACE (hazard ratio [HR] 1.75; 95% confidence interval 1.10-2.78; P < 0.05). In addition, lower PBF, evaluated both in flaccid (before) and dynamic (after prostaglandin-E1 stimulation) conditions, was associated with an increased risk of MACE (HR = 2.67 [1.42-5.04] and 1.57 [1.01-2.47], respectively, for flaccid [<13 cm/second] and dynamic [<25 cm/second] peak systolic velocity; both P < 0.05). Reported high sexual interest in the partner and low sexual interest in the patient proved to have a protective effect against MACE. Conclusions.: The investigation of male sexuality, and in particular PBF, and sexual desire, could provide insights not only into present cardiovascular status but also into prospective risk. © 2010 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Fisher A.D.,University of Florence | Rastrelli G.,University of Florence | Bandini E.,University of Florence | Corona G.,University of Florence | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Sexual Medicine | Year: 2012

Introduction. Previous cross-sectional and longitudinal studies reported a negative correlation between fatherhood and testosterone (T) levels, likely due to a centrally mediated downregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Moreover, epidemiological data indicate that fatherhood might affect metabolic and cardiovascular outcomes, although different results have been reported. Up to now, no studies have evaluated these associations in a population of men seeking treatment for sexual dysfunction (SD). Aim. To explore biological and clinical correlates of number of children (NoC) and its possible associations with forthcoming major cardiovascular events (MACE) in a sample of men with SD. Methods. A consecutive series of 4,045 subjects (mean age 52±13.1 years old) attending the Outpatient Clinic for SD was retrospectively studied. A subset of the previous sample (N=1,687) was enrolled in a longitudinal study. Main Outcome Measures. Information on MACE was obtained through the City of Florence Registry Office. Results. Among patients studied, 31.6% had no children, while 26.3% reported having one child, 33.4% two, and 8.8% three or more children. Although fatherhood was negatively related with follicle-stimulating hormone levels and positively with testis volume, we found a NoC-dependent, stepwise decrease in T plasma levels, not compensated by a concomitant increase in luteinizing hormone. NoC was associated with a worse metabolic and cardiovascular profile, as well as worse penile blood flows and a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS). In the longitudinal study, after adjusting for confounders, NoC was independently associated with a higher incidence of MACE. However, when the presence of MetS was introduced as a further covariate, the association was no longer significant. Conclusions. This study supports the hypothesis that bond maintenance contexts and fatherhood are associated with an adaptive downregulation of the gonadotropin-gonadal axis, even in a sample of men with SD. Moreover, our data suggest that NoC predicts MACE, most likely because of an unfavorable, lifestyle-dependent, parenthood-associated behavior. © 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Parente F.,Dell | Marino B.,Dell | Ardizzoia A.,Oncology Unit | Ucci G.,Oncology Unit | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2011

Objectives: In 2005, the National Health Service recommended a population-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening program using biennial fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), followed by total colonoscopy in positive patients. So far, no studies have been performed to evaluate the impact of a mass-screening CRC campaign on the health system services at the community level in Italy. We have therefore assessed the workload generated by the first two biennial rounds of screening program on the activity of hospital services involved in CRC diagnosis in the Lecco province. Methods: Routine data from all hospital services of our province were collected on activity levels related to CRC diagnosis from January 2003 to December 2009. This time span covered the 2 years prior to, as well as the two biennial rounds of the CRC screening program. In particular, we focused on the volume of outpatient FOBTs and colonoscopies (both diagnostic and interventional) performed among subjects outside the screening program. Joinpoint models were used to test whether an apparent change in trend of examination over time was statistically significant in different age cohorts of the population (<50 years, 50-69 years, and ≥70 years). Results: The volume of extra-screening per-patient/FOBTs and colonoscopies increased significantly over the evaluated periods in all ages, until year 2008, when a steady trend was beginning; the AAPCs (average of the annual percent changes) values were 5.7, 3.1, and 8.4 for FOBT and 14.6, 13.4, and 16.7 for colonoscopy in the three age cohorts, respectively. However, the increase in both FOBT and colonoscopy demand was maximal in the cohort ≥70 years, where three statistically significant annual percent changes (APCs) were identified (in 2003-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007 APCs were 12.3, 14.9, and 15.9 for FOBT, and 18.7, 36.8, and 25.4 for colonoscopy, respectively). Conclusions: After the implementation of a FOBT-based mass-screening program for CRC, careful consideration must be given to the significant increase in the workload of hospital services involved in CRC diagnosis, outside the screening campaign. The extra-work mainly involves gastroenterologists performing colonoscopy, whose activity increased over the 5-year period by 118%, as well as laboratory services, where the demand of FOBTs rose by 40%. This phenomenon, mainly attributable to a profound change in the attitude toward CRC screening by those age cohorts outside the program, covers a time span of two full rounds of screening, whereupon a steady trend for colonoscopy is apparent. © 2011 by the American College of Gastroenterology.

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