Malaria surveillance in Italy: 1997 analysis and 1998 provisional data.
ABSTRACT Malaria is the commonest imported infectious disease in Italy. Malaria was endemic throughout much of the country until it was eradicated nearly 50 years ago. Since then, a malaria surveillance system has been set up to detect locally acquired cases that
Article: Could malaria reappear in Italy?[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Because of concern about the possible reintroduction of malaria transmission in Italy, we analyzed the epidemiologic factors involved and determined the country's malariogenic potential. Some rural areas in central and southern Italy have high receptivity because of the presence of potential malaria vectors. Anopheles labranchiae is probably susceptible to infection with Plasmodium vivax strains, but less likely to be susceptible to infection with P. falciparum. Its vulnerability is low because of the low presence of gametocyte carriers (imported cases) during the season climatically favorable to transmission. The overall malariogenic potential of Italy appears to be low, and reintroduction of malaria is unlikely in most of the country. However, our investigations showed that the malaria situation merits ongoing epidemiologic surveillance.Emerging infectious diseases 7(6):915-9. · 6.17 Impact Factor
Article: Prevalence of Plasmodium spp. in malaria asymptomatic African migrants assessed by nucleic acid sequence based amplification.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Malaria is one of the most important infectious diseases in the world. Although most cases are found distributed in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Central and South Americas, there is in Europe a significant increase in the number of imported cases in non-endemic countries, in particular due to the higher mobility in today's society. The prevalence of a possible asymptomatic infection with Plasmodium species was assessed using Nucleic Acid Sequence Based Amplification (NASBA) assays on clinical samples collected from 195 study cases with no clinical signs related to malaria and coming from sub-Saharan African regions to Southern Italy. In addition, base-line demographic, clinical and socio-economic information was collected from study participants who also underwent a full clinical examination. Sixty-two study subjects (31.8%) were found positive for Plasmodium using a pan Plasmodium specific NASBA which can detect all four Plasmodium species causing human disease, based on the small subunit 18S rRNA gene (18S NASBA). Twenty-four samples (38%) of the 62 18S NASBA positive study cases were found positive with a Pfs25 mRNA NASBA, which is specific for the detection of gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum. A statistically significant association was observed between 18S NASBA positivity and splenomegaly, hepatomegaly and leukopaenia and country of origin. This study showed that a substantial proportion of people originating from malaria endemic countries harbor malaria parasites in their blood. If transmission conditions are available, they could potentially be a reservoir. Therefore, health authorities should pay special attention to the health of this potential risk group and aim to improve their health conditions.Malaria Journal 02/2009; 8:12. · 3.19 Impact Factor