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PubMed | INERIS, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Masaryk University, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and 10 more.
Type: | Journal: Water research | Year: 2016

Bioassays are particularly useful tools to link the chemical and ecological assessments in water quality monitoring. Different methods cover a broad range of toxicity mechanisms in diverse organisms, and account for risks posed by non-target compounds and mixtures. Many tests are already applied in chemical and waste assessments, and stakeholders from the science-police interface have recommended their integration in regulatory water quality monitoring. Still, there is a need to address bioassay suitability to evaluate water samples containing emerging pollutants, which are a current priority in water quality monitoring. The presented interlaboratory study (ILS) verified whether a battery of miniaturized bioassays, conducted in 11 different laboratories following their own protocols, would produce comparable results when applied to evaluate blinded samples consisting of a pristine water extract spiked with four emerging pollutants as single chemicals or mixtures, i.e. triclosan, acridine, 17-ethinylestradiol (EE2) and 3-nitrobenzanthrone (3-NBA). Assays evaluated effects on aquatic organisms from three different trophic levels (algae, daphnids, zebrafish embryos) and mechanism-specific effects using invitro estrogenicity (ER-Luc, YES) and mutagenicity (Ames fluctuation) assays. The test battery presented complementary sensitivity and specificity to evaluate the different blinded water extract spikes. Aquatic organisms differed in terms of sensitivity to triclosan (algae>daphnids>fish) and acridine (fish>daphnids>algae) spikes, confirming the complementary role of the three taxa for water quality assessment. Estrogenicity and mutagenicity assays identified with high precision the respective mechanism-specific effects of spikes even when non-specific toxicity occurred in mixture. For estrogenicity, although differences were observed between assays and models, EE2 spike relative induction EC


Sagnelli C.,The Second University of Naples | Ciccozzi M.,Italian Institute of Health | Ciccozzi M.,Biomedical University of Rome | Pisaturo M.,The Second University of Naples | And 4 more authors.
New Microbiologica | Year: 2015

The incidence of acute hepatitis B (AHB) in Italy, mostly sustained by hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype D, has significantly decreased in the last two decades, but the new HBV strains introduced through immigrant populations from countries with a higher endemicity constitute a new emergency. HBV-genotype D still predominates in AHB, the subgenotype D3 being associated with parenteral transmission, and the recently emerging subgenotype A2 with unsafe sexual intercourse. Genetic, phylogenetic and evolutional analyses are powerful tools for countries with high immigration rates to monitor new viral strains with different aggressiveness and a different response to therapy.


Lo Vecchio A.,University of Naples Federico II | Giannattasio A.,University of Naples Federico II | Duggan C.,Childrens Hospital | Duggan C.,Harvard University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition | Year: 2011

Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the quality of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) instrument, a validated international tool. Materials and Methods: CPGs were identified by searching MEDLINE (1966-January 2009) and Embase (1988-January 2009), CPG databases, and relevant Web sites of agencies and organizations that produce and/or endorse guidelines. Included in the study were CPGs in English that addressed the management of acute gastroenteritis in children. Retrieved CPGs were evaluated with the AGREE instrument for quality assessment by 6 independent reviewers. AGREE consists of 6 domains for a total of 23 items. Results: Nine CPGs were identified. Four were evidence based (EB) and 2 of these included tables of evidence. Eight CPGs (88%) scored <50% for "applicability," 7 (77%) for "stakeholder involvement," and 6 (66%) for "editorial independence." Compared with non-EB CPGs, EB CPGs had higher quality scores for all AGREE domains, with a better score for "rigor of development" (P < 0.001), "stakeholder involvement" and "clarity of presentation" (P < 0.01), and applicability (P < 0.05). Over time, the quality of guidelines tended to improve. The main recommendations of CPGs were similar. However, there were differences in the treatment of diarrhea, namely based on the settings and circumstances in which CPGs were produced. Conclusions: The overall quality of CPGs on acute gastroenteritis management in children is fair. Aims, target population, synthesis of evidence, formulation of recommendations, and clarity of presentation are points of strength. Weak issues are applicability, including identification of organizational barriers and adherence parameters, and cost/efficacy analysis. Copyright © 2011 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology.


Gigante G.,Italian Institute of Health | Gigante G.,Mperience srl | Deco G.,University Pompeu Fabra | Marom S.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | And 2 more authors.
PLoS Computational Biology | Year: 2015

Cortical networks, in-vitro as well as in-vivo, can spontaneously generate a variety of collective dynamical events such as network spikes, UP and DOWN states, global oscillations, and avalanches. Though each of them has been variously recognized in previous works as expression of the excitability of the cortical tissue and the associated nonlinear dynamics, a unified picture of the determinant factors (dynamical and architectural) is desirable and not yet available. Progress has also been partially hindered by the use of a variety of statistical measures to define the network events of interest. We propose here a common probabilistic definition of network events that, applied to the firing activity of cultured neural networks, highlights the co-occurrence of network spikes, power-law distributed avalanches, and exponentially distributed ‘quasi-orbits’, which offer a third type of collective behavior. A rate model, including synaptic excitation and inhibition with no imposed topology, synaptic short-term depression, and finite-size noise, accounts for all these different, coexisting phenomena. We find that their emergence is largely regulated by the proximity to an oscillatory instability of the dynamics, where the non-linear excitable behavior leads to a self-amplification of activity fluctuations over a wide range of scales in space and time. In this sense, the cultured network dynamics is compatible with an excitation-inhibition balance corresponding to a slightly sub-critical regime. Finally, we propose and test a method to infer the characteristic time of the fatigue process, from the observed time course of the network’s firing rate. Unlike the model, possessing a single fatigue mechanism, the cultured network appears to show multiple time scales, signalling the possible coexistence of different fatigue mechanisms. © 2015 Gigante et al.


PubMed | University of Rome La Sapienza, University of Catania and Italian Institute of Health
Type: | Journal: Mediators of inflammation | Year: 2015

The complex relationship between both the Th1/Th17 and Tc1/Tc17 axis and innate defences in the intestinal mucosa during HIV-1 infection has not been well characterized. This study examined the frequency, phenotype, and functional status of T cell populations in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and peripheral blood of virologically suppressed HIV-1-infected patients on therapy, focusing on the Th1, Th17, Tc1, and Tc17 cell subsets. We found a persistent immune cell activation (CD38 and HLADR expression) into the GALT despite the higher levels of Th17 and Tc17 in respect to peripheral blood. An upregulation of type I IFN response in GALT compared to the peripheral blood compartment was also recorded. Furthermore, IFN-/ levels were negatively related to the frequencies of Th1 nave cells and Tc1 cell subsets (nave, central memory, and effector memory) in the GALT. In contrast, no relationships between type I IFN response and Th1 or Tc1 cell subsets in peripheral blood compartment and between IFN-/ and Th17/Tc17 in both GALT and peripheral blood district were recorded. These data indicate that prolonged antiretroviral treatment improves GALT immune function despite the persistence of immune activation and type I IFN response in chronic HIV-1 positive patients.


PubMed | University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy; Mperience s.r.l., Italian Institute of Health and CNR Institute for Chemical and Physical Processes
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Biological networks display a variety of activity patterns reflecting a web of interactions that is complex both in space and time. Yet inference methods have mainly focused on reconstructing, from the networks activity, the spatial structure, by assuming equilibrium conditions or, more recently, a probabilistic dynamics with a single arbitrary time-step. Here we show that, under this latter assumption, the inference procedure fails to reconstruct the synaptic matrix of a network of integrate-and-fire neurons when the chosen time scale of interaction does not closely match the synaptic delay or when no single time scale for the interaction can be identified; such failure, moreover, exposes a distinctive bias of the inference method that can lead to infer as inhibitory the excitatory synapses with interaction time scales longer than the models time-step. We therefore introduce a new two-step method, that first infers through cross-correlation profiles the delay-structure of the network and then reconstructs the synaptic matrix, and successfully test it on networks with different topologies and in different activity regimes. Although step one is able to accurately recover the delay-structure of the network, thus getting rid of any a priori guess about the time scales of the interaction, the inference method introduces nonetheless an arbitrary time scale, the time-bin dt used to binarize the spike trains. We therefore analytically and numerically study how the choice of dt affects the inference in our network model, finding that the relationship between the inferred couplings and the real synaptic efficacies, albeit being quadratic in both cases, depends critically on dt for the excitatory synapses only, whilst being basically independent of it for the inhibitory ones.


PubMed | University Pompeu Fabra, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and Italian Institute of Health
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS computational biology | Year: 2015

Cortical networks, in-vitro as well as in-vivo, can spontaneously generate a variety of collective dynamical events such as network spikes, UP and DOWN states, global oscillations, and avalanches. Though each of them has been variously recognized in previous works as expression of the excitability of the cortical tissue and the associated nonlinear dynamics, a unified picture of the determinant factors (dynamical and architectural) is desirable and not yet available. Progress has also been partially hindered by the use of a variety of statistical measures to define the network events of interest. We propose here a common probabilistic definition of network events that, applied to the firing activity of cultured neural networks, highlights the co-occurrence of network spikes, power-law distributed avalanches, and exponentially distributed quasi-orbits, which offer a third type of collective behavior. A rate model, including synaptic excitation and inhibition with no imposed topology, synaptic short-term depression, and finite-size noise, accounts for all these different, coexisting phenomena. We find that their emergence is largely regulated by the proximity to an oscillatory instability of the dynamics, where the non-linear excitable behavior leads to a self-amplification of activity fluctuations over a wide range of scales in space and time. In this sense, the cultured network dynamics is compatible with an excitation-inhibition balance corresponding to a slightly sub-critical regime. Finally, we propose and test a method to infer the characteristic time of the fatigue process, from the observed time course of the networks firing rate. Unlike the model, possessing a single fatigue mechanism, the cultured network appears to show multiple time scales, signalling the possible coexistence of different fatigue mechanisms.


PubMed | The Second University of Naples and Italian Institute of Health
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The new microbiologica | Year: 2015

The incidence of acute hepatitis B (AHB) in Italy, mostly sustained by hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype D, has significantly decreased in the last two decades, but the new HBV strains introduced through immigrant populations from countries with a higher endemicity constitute a new emergency. HBV-genotype D still predominates in AHB, the subgenotype D3 being associated with parenteral transmission, and the recently emerging subgenotype A2 with unsafe sexual intercourse. Genetic, phylogenetic and evolutional analyses are powerful tools for countries with high immigration rates to monitor new viral strains with different aggressiveness and a different response to therapy.


PubMed | Italian Institute of Health and Instituto Superiore Of Sanita
Type: | Journal: AIDS research and human retroviruses | Year: 2017

The HIV care continuum is a tool that describes the quality of HIV care for people living with HIV and assess the extent to which achieve the goal of viral suppression. In 2014, we conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study to assess the characteristics associated with three steps of the HIV continuum of care in Italy (i.e., most recent diagnoses, people diagnosed and in care who are on therapy, and people with viral load (VL) suppressed among those on therapy). Among the 10,262 individuals diagnosed and linked to care, 9,810 (95.6%) were on therapy and among these 8,383 (85.7%) had VL suppressed. The comparison between people diagnosed in 2013 to those diagnosed before 2013 shows that they were more likely to be male (AOR=1.46 [95%CI 1.18-1.79]), less than 25 years of age (AOR=7.59 [95%CI 4.17-13.79]), and born in Italy (AOR=1.33 [95%CI 1.09-1.62]). Factors significantly associated with not being in therapy were: age < 35 years (AOR=4.03 [95%CI 2.50-6.51]), age 35-55 years (AOR=1.85 [95%CI 1.19-2.87]), being migrants (AOR=1.25 [95%CI 1.13-1.39]), being men who have sex with men (MSM) (AOR=1.54 [95%CI 1.22-1.95]), have been diagnosed in 2010-2012 (AOR=4.51 [95%CI 3.03-6.73]), or before 2010 (AOR=3.18 [95%CI 2.41-4.21]), and not had had previous clinical AIDS (AOR=8.24 [95%CI 3.33-20.23]), whereas factors significantly associated with not having VL suppressed were: age <35 years (AOR= 1.56 [95%CI 1.13-2.13]) and age 35-55 years (AOR=1.23 [95%CI 1.10-1.38]), being migrants (AOR= 1.38 [95%CI 1.11-1.70]), have been diagnosed in 2010-2012 (AOR=1.34 [95%CI 1.14-1.57]), in 2013 (AOR=4.35 [95%CI 2.47-7.68]), and not having had previous clinical AIDS (AOR=0.74 [95%CI 0.63-0.86]. Despite we observed significant disparities for young people, MSM and migrants, overall in Italy the vast majority of people diagnosed with HIV and in care in 2013 received therapy and the percentage of people who are VL suppressed is near the UNAIDS goal.


PubMed | The Second University of Naples and Italian Institute of Health
Type: | Journal: Journal of medical virology | Year: 2016

In a recent testing in the metropolitan area of Naples, Italy, on 945 irregular immigrants or refugees, 87 HBsAg chronic carriers were identified, 53 of whom were infected by HBV-genotype E. The aim of the present study was to identify the genetic diversity of HBV-genotype E in these 53 immigrants. The 53 immigrant patients with HBV-genotype-E infection were born in Africa, central or eastern Asia, eastern Europe or Latin America. These patients had been seen for a clinical consultation at one of the four first-level units from January 2012 to 2013. The first dataset contained 53 HBV-S gene isolates plus 128 genotype/subgenotype specific reference sequences downloaded from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The second dataset, comprising the 53 HBV-S gene isolates, previously classified as HBV-genotype E, was used to perform the time-scaled phylogeny reconstruction using a Bayesian approach. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all 53 HBV-S isolates belonged to HBV-genotype E. Bayes factor analysis showed that the relaxed clock exponential growth model fitted the data significantly better than the other models. The time-scaled Bayesian phylogenetic tree of the second dataset showed that the root of the tree dated back to the year 1990 (95% HPD:1984-2000). Four statistically supported clusters were identified. Cluster A dated back to 2012 (95% HPD:1997-2012); cluster B dated back to 2008 (95% HPD:2001-2015); cluster C to 2006 (95% HPD:1999-2013); cluster D to 2004 (95% HPD:1998-2011). This study disclosed the genetic evolution and phylogenesis in a group of HBV-genotype-E-infected immigrants. J. Med. Virol. 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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