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Corteno Golgi, Italy

Civardi E.,Neonatal Intensive Care Unit | Tzialla C.,Neonatal Intensive Care Unit | Baldanti F.,Molecular Virology Unit | Strocchio L.,Neonatal Intensive Care Unit | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Infection Control | Year: 2013

Background: Nosocomial infection is among the most important causes of morbidity, prolonged hospital stay, increased hospital costs, and mortality in neonates, particularly those born preterm. The vast majority of scientific articles dealing with nosocomial infections address bacterial or fungal infections, and viral agents are often disregarded. This analysis reviews the medical literature in an effort to establish the incidence, types of pathogens, and clinical features of noncongenital neonatal viral infections. Methods: This analysis was performed using the worldwide database of health care-associated outbreaks (http://www.outbreak-database.com). Items analyzed included causative pathogens, types of infection, source of outbreaks, and measures taken to stop outbreaks. Results: The outbreak database contained a total of 590 neonatal outbreaks, of which 64 were originated by viruses, 44 of which (68.75%) were reported from neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The 5 most frequent viral agents were rotavirus (23.44%), respiratory syncytial virus (17.19%), enterovirus (15.63%), hepatitis A virus (10.94%), and adenovirus (9.38%). Conclusion: Our analysis of the viral origins of nosocomial infections in NICUs can be a valuable tool in the investigation of neonatal infections. The mortality rates reported in this analysis demonstrate the significance of noncongenital viral infections in NICUs and the need for more effective outbreak prevention strategies. Copyright © 2013 by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.

Pedrazzoli P.,IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation | Baldanti F.,Molecular Virology Unit | Donatelli I.,Parasitic and Immune mediated Diseases | Castrucci M.R.,Parasitic and Immune mediated Diseases | And 3 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: Influenza virus causes annual epidemics in the winter-spring season with significant morbidity in the general population and important mortality in high-risk groups, including cancer patients. Opinions on the suitability of patients with malignancies not undergoing active treatment and in different phases of antineoplastic therapy, to receive influenza vaccination, vary considerably among oncologists, sometimes even within one center. Methods: We reviewed available data, including recommendations by national health authorities, on impact of influenza in patients with cancer and their capacity to mount protective immunological responses to vaccination, thus allowing, on behalf of Italian Association of Medical Oncology, to make suitable recommendations for the prevention and treatment of seasonal influenza. Results and discussion: Patients with cancer often have disease- or treatment-related immunosuppression, and as a consequence, they may have a suboptimal serologic response to influenza vaccination. The protective effect of the different preparations of influenza vaccines in patients with cancer has not been widely investigated, especially in adult patients harboring solid tumors. The optimal timing for administration of influenza vaccines in patients receiving chemotherapy is also not clearly defined. However, since vaccination is the most effective method, along with antiviral drugs in selected patients, for preventing influenza infection, it has to be recommended for cancer patients. Implementing vaccination of close contacts of oncology patients would be an additional tool for enhancing protection in fragile patient populations. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

Pollard C.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Pollard C.,Ghent University | De Koker S.,Ghent University | Saelens X.,Molecular Virology Unit | And 4 more authors.
Trends in Molecular Medicine | Year: 2013

In recent years, mRNA vaccines have emerged as a safe and potent approach for the induction of cellular immune responses. Whereas initial studies were limited to the ex vivo loading of dendritic cells (DCs) with antigen-encoding mRNA, recent progress has led to the development of improved mRNA vaccines that enable direct in vivo targeting of DCs. Although preclinical studies demonstrated their potency in inducing antitumor immunity, several bottlenecks hinder the broader application of mRNA vaccines. In this review, we discuss the challenges associated with mRNA-based vaccination strategies, the technological advances that have been made to overcome these limitations, and the hurdles that remain to be tackled for the development of an optimal mRNA vaccine. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Piralla A.,Molecular Virology Unit | Girello A.,Molecular Virology Unit | Premoli M.,Molecular Virology Unit | Baldanti F.,Molecular Virology Unit | Baldanti F.,University of Pavia
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2015

A global reemergence of human enterovirus 68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness occurred in 2014. We developed and validated an EV-D68-specific real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) for the detection of EV-D68 in respiratory samples. The rapid diagnosis of EV-D68 may contribute to better management of EV-D68 infections. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Calarota S.A.,Molecular Virology Unit | Aberle J.H.,Medical University of Vienna | Puchhammer-Stockl E.,Medical University of Vienna | Baldanti F.,Molecular Virology Unit | Baldanti F.,University of Pavia
Journal of Clinical Virology | Year: 2015

Opportunistic viral infections are still a major complication following solid organ transplantation. Immune monitoring may allow the identification of patients at risk of infection and, eventually, the modulation of immunosuppressive strategies. Immune monitoring can be performed using virus-specific and non virus-specific assays. This article describes and summarizes the pros and cons of the different technical approaches. Among the assays based on non virus-specific antigens, the enumeration of T-cell subsets, the quantification of cytokines and chemokines and the quantification of intracellular adenosine triphosphate following mitogen stimulation are described and their clinical applications to determine the risk for viral infection are discussed. In addition, current specific methods available for monitoring viral-specific T-cell responses are summarized, such as peptide-MHC multimer staining, intracellular cytokine staining, enzyme-linked immunospot and virus-specific IFN-γ ELISA assays, and their clinical applications to determine the individual risk for opportunistic viral infections with human cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and polyoma BK virus are discussed. The standardization of the procedure, the choice of the antigen(s) and the criteria to define cut-off values for positive responses are needed for some of these approaches before their implementation in the clinic. Nevertheless, immune monitoring combined with virological monitoring in transplant recipients is increasingly regarded as a helpful tool to identify patients at risk of infection as well as to assess treatment efficacy. © 2015.

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