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Abbate I.,Laboratory of Virology | Zanchetta M.,Unit of Viral Oncology | Gatti M.,Molecular Virology Unit | Gabrielli L.,University of Bologna | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Virology | Year: 2011

Background: EBV-related post-transplant lymphoproliferative diseases are usually accompanied by increased EBV DNA in peripheral blood. Monitoring EBV DNAemia is the basis for weighing decisions regarding initiation of pre-emptive or anti-EBV-related tumor therapy. However, the definition of clinically relevant cut-off values is hampered by the lack of standardization in EBV DNA testing. Objectives: To estimate inter-laboratory variability and to evaluate the impact of different matrices in EBV DNA load determination in Italian laboratories involved in monitoring of virus infections in transplanted patients. Study design: Two different proficiency panels were distributed among seven centers: the first contained cell-associated and cell-free EBVs; the second was prepared by spiking both cell-associated and cell-free EBVs in EBV DNA-negative whole blood from EBV seropositive healthy donors. Samples were extracted and amplified with different methods. Intra-laboratory and inter-laboratory variabilities was evaluated. Results: 337 EBV DNA determinations were performed. Sensitivity was 100% for both panels, specificity was 100% for the first and 74% for the second panel, where whole blood was utilized as the matrix. Discrepant results in the second panel were restricted to samples containing low copy numbers. Quantification fell within ±0.5 log in 73% of the determinations. Values for cell-associated samples tended to be more heterogeneous than those obtained from cell-free samples. Good overall linearity was observed for each sample type; inter-laboratory variability ranged from 4.71% to 12.86%. Conclusions: The results of this multicenter study indicate that EBV DNAemia may be reliably quantified by different laboratories using a variety of commercial and in-house molecular assays. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Cecchini M.P.,University of Verona | Pellegrini C.,University of Verona | Bassetto M.A.,University of Verona | Osculati F.,IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo | And 5 more authors.
Medical Hypotheses | Year: 2013

Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori) has been found in dental plaque, saliva and lingual sites. To date, taste or olfaction disorders related to H. pylori infections have never been reported. In a review of the literature we found two papers just referring to a sour taste sensation during H. pylori infection. Studies in animal models suggest that changes in taste perception may relate to infections which damage taste buds. We observed an interesting clinical case of a 24-year-old Ghanaian woman with documented H. pylori gastric infection, complaining of cacosmia and cacogeusia. Taste evaluation indicated hypogeusia and highlighted a specific difficulty in discriminating between bitter and acid tastes. Saliva fluid was found positive for the ureA gene ( H. pylori ureasi A).On the basis of this report, we hypothesize that taste perception might be correlated with a documented H. pylori infection. So, in a dyspeptic clinical picture in both pre and post diagnostic phase when H. pylori infection is suspected, taste evaluation might be important. Further studies are certainly needed in a large patient population to clarify the possible connection between H. pylori infection and smell-taste distortion. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Bortolin M.T.,Immunology and Virology Unit | Zanussi S.,Immunology and Virology Unit | Talamini R.,Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit | Simonelli C.,Centro Of Riferimento Oncologico | And 8 more authors.
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses | Year: 2010

The kinetics and predictive value of HIV-1 DNA (HIV DNA) levels in relapsed or refractory HIV lymphoma patients, treated with high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), were investigated. HIV DNA was measured by real-time PCR in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 22 patients observed for a median follow-up of 31.0 months. At baseline, HIV DNA was found to be correlated with HIV-1 RNA (HIV RNA) (r=0.56), but not with CD4+ counts (r=-0.10). HIV RNA load was under control for the entire follow-up, while HIV DNA levels were almost always detectable (baseline levels vs. 1 year from ASCT levels, p>0.05). Baseline HIV DNA levels were significantly different between alive and deceased patients (p=0.03), and the overall survival (OS) analysis showed that for patients with higher HIV DNA levels at baseline there was a higher and nearly significant risk of death if compared to patients with lower levels (HR, 8.33, 95% CI, 0.99-70.06, p=0.05). Our study demonstrated that high HIV DNA levels at baseline could predict overall survival after ASCT in one of the largest cohorts of HIV lymphoma patients treated with salvage therapy. © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Mascarello M.,University of Verona | Gobbi F.,S Cuore Hospital Of Negrar | Angheben A.,S Cuore Hospital Of Negrar | Gobbo M.,S Cuore Hospital Of Negrar | And 6 more authors.
Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology | Year: 2011

In patients with Strongyloides stercoralis infection, a dysregulation of host immunity can lead to hyperinfection syndrome (HS) and disseminated strongyloidiasis (DS), characterized by high fatality rate. HS has been reported in HIV-positive patients following use of corticosteroids or during immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). A retrospective study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of S. stercoralis infection among HIVpositive immigrants, attending two Italian hospitals. From January 2000 to August 2009, 138 HIV-positive immigrants were systematically screened for strongyloidiasis, as a part of their routine care, with an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) developed at the Centre for Tropical Diseases, Sacro Cuore Hospital of Negrar, Verona. The majority were also submitted to stool examination. Fifteen (11%) resulted infected by S. stercoralis, of whom four (27%) had a negative serology (diagnosis made with stool examination). A higher eosinophil count (0.94 versus 0.24×10 9/l, P<0.01) and more frequent gastrointestinal and cutaneous symptoms (odds ratio: 4.8 and 5.8, respectively) were found in patients with strongyloidiasis compared with controls. The IFAT is more sensitive than direct parasitological methods. The proportion of false negative results was higher than expected based on the theoretical test sensitivity. Considering the high prevalence detected and the apparent, lower sensitivity of serology, we propose a systematic screening for Strongyloides infection, with both serology and stool culture, for all HIV-positive immigrants coming from endemic areas. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2011.


Zehnacker L.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Abe E.,Laboratory of Pharmacology Toxicology | Mathez D.,Immunology and Virology Unit | Alvarez J.-C.,Laboratory of Pharmacology Toxicology | And 2 more authors.
AIDS Research and Treatment | Year: 2014

Study of plasma and intracellular concentrations of atazanavir, lopinavir, nevirapine, and efavirenz was conducted on 48 patients under short cycles of antiretroviral therapy. Intracellular concentrations (IC) were still measurable for all drugs after 85 h or 110 h drug intake despite the absence of drug in plasma for atazanavir and lopinavir. A linear relationship between plasma and intracellular efavirenz was observed. Further studies to fully understand the impact of IC in the intermittent antiviral treatment are required. © 2014 Laura Zehnacker et al.

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