Local Health Unit ASL

Brescia, Italy

Local Health Unit ASL

Brescia, Italy
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Valle I.,Local Health Unit ASL
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology | Year: 2015

Nanobiotechnologies, from the convergence of nanotechnology and molecular biology and postgenomics medicine, play a major role in the field of public health. This overview summarizes the potentiality of piezoelectric sensors, and in particular, of quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM), a physical nanogram-sensitive device. QCM enables the rapid, real time, on-site detection of pathogens with an enormous burden in public health, such as influenza and other respiratory viruses, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and drug-resistant bacteria, among others. Further, it allows to detect food allergens, food-borne pathogens, such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, and food chemical contaminants, as well as water-borne microorganisms and environmental contaminants. Moreover, QCM holds promises in early cancer detection and screening of new antiblastic drugs. Applications for monitoring biohazards, for assuring homeland security, and preventing bioterrorism are also discussed. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Local Health Unit ASL
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene | Year: 2016

Cancer imposes a heavy societal burden worldwide, in terms of both epidemiology and costs. The introduction of more sophisticated imaging and diagnostic techniques and advanced drugs that specifically target tumor cells is leading to increasingly expensive treatments, which may be affordable only for few patients. Prevention, and particularly primary prevention, is an effective way of addressing the challenging issue of cancer, since between a third and a half of cancers could be prevented on the basis of our current knowledge of risk factors. Moreover, prevention is cost-effective, its effects are not limited to high-risk subjects but extend to the entire population, and it is not dependent on socioeconomic status. Regulatory measures can have a broad impact, even on future generations; by empowering and educating subjects, promoting healthy behaviours and teaching self-care, they can trigger a virtuous cycle. In recent decades, oncology has shifted from being merely reactive to being proactive; this shift has led to the development of so-called P4 medicine, where the 4 Ps stand for preventive, predictive, personalized and participatory. Prevention programs are an important part of the effort to control cancer, as they are able to reduce both the incidence of cancer and mortality. For instance, screening for colorectal, breast and cervical cancer is reducing the burden of these common tumors. Anti-cancer vaccines, both prophylactic and therapeutic, constitute another important preventive tool. Although progress has been made in these areas, much remains to be done. With regard to screening programs, coverage could be increased by introducing new, more acceptable, less invasive tests, stratifying screening through correlation with anamnestic, clinical, radiological and genomic data (so-called populationbased personalized cancer screening), and exploiting new information and communication technologies, such as smartphone applications or personalized text messages (so-called screening 2.0). Advocacy and recommendations by physicians can also play a role, in that eligible subjects need to be able to discuss their doubts and their perceived psycho-social barriers. However, new screening initiatives should be implemented only after a careful health technology assessment has been performed within the framework of evidence-based medicine, organized screening programs have been strengthened and opportunistic or spontaneous programs have been limited.


Panizza C.,Local Health Unit ASL | Bai E.,Fondazione IRCCS Instituto dei Tumori | Oddone E.,University of Pavia | Scaburri A.,Fondazione IRCCS Instituto dei Tumori | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Occupational Cancer Monitoring (OCCAM) is an Italian organization that monitors occupational cancers, by area and industrial sector, by retrieving cases and employment history from official databases. OCCAM previously estimated a relative risk (RR) of lung cancer of about 1.32 among "metal treatment" workers in Lombardy, northern Italy, potentially exposed to chrome and nickel. In the present study, lung cancer risk was estimated among electroplating workers only. Methods: Lombardy electroplating companies were identified from descriptions in Social Security files. Lung cancer risk was evaluated from 2001 to 2008 incident cases identified from hospital discharge records. Results: The RR for lung cancer among electroplating workers was 2.03 (90% CI 1.33-3.10, 18 cases) for men; 3.00 (90% CI 1.38-9.03, 4 cases) for women. Conclusions: Electroplaters had higher risks than "metal treatment" workers. Although the risks were due to past exposure, case histories and recent acute effects indicate a present carcinogenic hazard in some Lombardy electroplating factories. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PubMed | Dermatological Health Clinic, OSTEMDA, Instituto Dermopatico dellImmacolata IDI, Local Health Unit ASL and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents | Year: 2014

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting approximately 2-3 percent of the world population; it is characterised by hyperproliferation and hyperplasia of the superficial layers of the epidermis. Inappropriate signals released by the immune system determine an altered keratinocyte differentiation, resulting in the formation of desquamating, thickened, inflamed and erythematous plaques. The aim of this investigation was to study the pharmacological activity and safety of three low dose cytokines, Guna-Interleukin 4, Guna-Interleukin 10 and Guna-Interleukin 11 at the concentration of 10 fg/ml in patients affected by moderate to slight psoriasis vulgaris. The multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial involved 48 patients who were enrolled and followed up according to a 8-month experimental project. All patients received, according to a cross-over model, either the experimental treatment or placebo, alternatively. Globally, in the 41 evaluated patients it was observed a PASI significant reduction (Friedman test: p=0.00960). The DLQI too decreased significantly in all subjects compared to baseline (Friedman test: p=0.00007). The safety of the treatment with three low dose cytokines administered simultaneously was proved; no adverse event was reported during the whole trial.


Saracino M.A.,University of Bologna | Lazzara G.,University of Bologna | Prugnoli B.,Local Health Unit ASL | Raggi M.A.,University of Bologna
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2011

A novel analytical approach has been developed for the determination of clozapine and its metabolites in dried blood spots on filter paper, using a chromatographic method coupled with a microextraction by packed sorbent procedure. The analytes were separated on a RP-C18 column using a mobile phase composed of 20% methanol, 16% acetonitrile and 64% aqueous phosphate buffer. Coulometric detection was used, setting the guard cell at +0.050V, the first analytical cell at -0.200V and the second analytical cell at +0.500V. Clozapine and its metabolites were extracted from dried blood spots with phosphate buffer and, then, a microextraction by packed sorbent procedure for the sample clean-up was implemented obtaining good extraction yields. The calibration curve was linear over the 2.5-1000ngmL -1 blood concentration ranges for all the analytes. The method validation gave satisfactory results in terms of sensitivity, precision, selectivity and accuracy. The analytical method was successfully applied to dried blood spots from several psychiatric patients for therapeutic drug monitoring purpose. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Saracino M.A.,University of Bologna | Mercolini L.,University of Bologna | Carbini G.,University of Bologna | Volterra V.,University of Bologna | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis | Year: 2014

A rapid and reliable analytical method has been developed to quantify the melatonergic antidepressant agomelatine in three matrices, and namely saliva, plasma and dried blood spots. The method is based on the use of liquid chromatography with fluorimetric detection exploiting the native fluorescence of agomelatine. For saliva and plasma samples an original microextraction by packed sorbent procedure was implemented obtaining satisfactory extraction yield of the analyte (always higher than 89%) and a good clean-up of the matrices. On the contrary, agomelatine was extracted from dried blood spots by suitable solvent microwave-assisted extraction and injected into chromatographic system. Satisfactory results in terms of sensitivity, linearity, precision, selectivity and accuracy were obtained. Thus, the developed method seems to be suitable for therapeutic drug monitoring of depressed patients under agomelatine therapy. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Panatto D.,University of Genoa | Amicizia D.,University of Genoa | Bragazzi N.L.,University of Genoa | Rizzitelli E.,University of Genoa | And 3 more authors.
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology | Year: 2015

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a widely distributed and common virus, that causes benign lesions (such as warts and papillomas) but, if not cleared, can lead to malignant lesions as well, such as intraepithelial lesions and neoplasia. An extensive body of researches has demonstrated that E1 and E2 are involved in viral transcription and replication, E5, E6, and E7 act as oncoproteins, whilst L1 and L2 contribute to the formation of the capsid. However, this view has been recently challenged, since also E2 could play a role in HPV-induced carcinogenesis. Therefore, a complex picture is emerging, opening new ways and perspectives.The present article provides an overview of the biology of HPV, paying particular attention to its structural details and molecular mechanisms. The article also shows how this knowledge has been exploited for developing effective vaccines, both prophilactic/preventive and therapeutic ones. L1-based prophylactic vaccines, like Gardasil®, Cervarix®, and Gardasil 9®, have been already licensed, whilst L2-based second generation preventive vaccines are still under clinical trials. New, highly immunogenic and effective vaccines can be further developed thanks to computer-aided design and bioinformatics/computational biology. The optimization of combinational therapies is another promising opportunity. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Local Health Unit ASL and University of Genoa
Type: | Journal: Therapeutics and clinical risk management | Year: 2016

Recurrent pharyngo-tonsillar infections caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS) occur frequently in young children, and the treatment of these infections contributes substantially to the total current requirement for antibiotic prescribing. Our study goal was to assess through a retrospective observational analysis whether the administration of the oral probiotic, Streptococcus salivarius K12 (SsK12), could reduce the occurrence of GABHS pharyngo-tonsillar infections in children who had a recent history of recurrent episodes of these infections. Twelve primary care pediatricians identified, through their databases, a total of 130 children who had experienced recurrent GABHS pharyngo-tonsillar infections over a period of at least 6-12 months prior to their inclusion in the study. Of these children, 76 then undertook a 90-day program requiring once-a-day dosing with a commercially available (Bactoblis) lozenge containing SsK12. No probiotic supplement was given to the remaining 54 (control) children. Each subject was monitored for the occurrence of GABHS pharyngo-tonsillitis and also for acute otitis media, bronchitis, sinusitis, and bronchopneumonia for at least 12 months following their entry to the study. Even 9 months after the use of SsK12 had been stopped, the probability of new GABHS infections was significantly lower (P>0.001) when compared to the period before dosing commenced. When compared to the untreated children, those taking SsK12 appear to have had significantly fewer GABHS infections both during the 90-day period of prophylaxis and during the following 9 months (P<0.001). These observations are supportive of the use of probiotic SsK12 for the control of recurrent GABHS pharyngo-tonsillar infections in children, and as an associated benefit, the use of this probiotic could lead to reduced antibiotic consumption. Follow-up controlled prospective studies should now be initiated in order to further establish the efficacy of this newly emerging prophylactic strategy.


PubMed | Local Health Unit ASL and University of Genoa
Type: | Journal: Advances in protein chemistry and structural biology | Year: 2015

Nanobiotechnologies, from the convergence of nanotechnology and molecular biology and postgenomics medicine, play a major role in the field of public health. This overview summarizes the potentiality of piezoelectric sensors, and in particular, of quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM), a physical nanogram-sensitive device. QCM enables the rapid, real time, on-site detection of pathogens with an enormous burden in public health, such as influenza and other respiratory viruses, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and drug-resistant bacteria, among others. Further, it allows to detect food allergens, food-borne pathogens, such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, and food chemical contaminants, as well as water-borne microorganisms and environmental contaminants. Moreover, QCM holds promises in early cancer detection and screening of new antiblastic drugs. Applications for monitoring biohazards, for assuring homeland security, and preventing bioterrorism are also discussed.


PubMed | Local Health Unit ASL and University of Genoa
Type: | Journal: Advances in protein chemistry and structural biology | Year: 2015

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a widely distributed and common virus, that causes benign lesions (such as warts and papillomas) but, if not cleared, can lead to malignant lesions as well, such as intraepithelial lesions and neoplasia. An extensive body of researches has demonstrated that E1 and E2 are involved in viral transcription and replication, E5, E6, and E7 act as oncoproteins, whilst L1 and L2 contribute to the formation of the capsid. However, this view has been recently challenged, since also E2 could play a role in HPV-induced carcinogenesis. Therefore, a complex picture is emerging, opening new ways and perspectives. The present article provides an overview of the biology of HPV, paying particular attention to its structural details and molecular mechanisms. The article also shows how this knowledge has been exploited for developing effective vaccines, both prophilactic/preventive and therapeutic ones. L1-based prophylactic vaccines, like Gardasil, Cervarix, and Gardasil 9, have been already licensed, whilst L2-based second generation preventive vaccines are still under clinical trials. New, highly immunogenic and effective vaccines can be further developed thanks to computer-aided design and bioinformatics/computational biology. The optimization of combinational therapies is another promising opportunity.

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