Influenza epidemiology in Italy two years after the 2009–2010 pandemic
ABSTRACT Since 2000, a sentinel surveillance of influenza, INFLUNET, exists in Italy. It is coordinated by the Ministry of Health and is divided into two parts; one of these is coordinated by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the other by the Inter-University Centre for Research on Influenza and other Transmissible Infections (CIRI-IT). The influenza surveillance system performs its activity from the 42nd week of each year (mid-October) to the 17th week of the following year (late April). Only during the pandemic season (2009/2010) did surveillance continue uninterruptedly. Sentinel physicians – about 1,200 general practitioners and independent pediatricians – send in weekly reports of cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) among their patients (over 2% of the population of Italy) to these centers.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Paolo Bonanni, Jun 23, 2014
- SourceAvailable from: Axel Heiser
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- "Influenza is a respiratory infection caused by influenza virus (IFV) that produces a variety of symptoms including high fever, chills, sore throat, headache, runny or stuffy nose, weakness, muscle pain and sometimes diarrhoea (Barik 2012). These clinical symptoms often become severe in elderly individuals and infants because of a poor or weakened immune system (Guillemard et al. 2010; Gasparini et al. 2013). Vaccination against IFV is usually administered as a practical, prophylactic method, but is not necessarily sufficient because viral mutagenesis occurs rapidly (Ujike et al. 2010). "
ABSTRACT: Lactobacillus brevis KB290 (KB290), isolated from a traditional Japanese pickle 'Suguki', has been reported to have immunomodulatory effects. We investigated whether oral administration of KB290 has protective effects against influenza virus (IFV) infection in mice. After 14 days of administration of lyophilized KB290 suspended in phosphate-buffered saline by oral gavage, BALB/c mice were intranasally infected with 2 × MLD50 (50% mouse lethal dose) of IFV A/PR/8/34 (H1N1). Prophylactically administered KB290 significantly alleviated the loss of body weight and the deterioration in observational physical conditions induced by the infection. In addition, 7 days after infection, the levels of IFV-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)A in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were significantly increased in mice fed KB290 compared with controls. Moreover, there was a significant elevation of serum interferon (IFN)-α in KB290 group mice, even at three and 7 days after infection, despite the administration of KB290 being stopped before IFV infection. Our results demonstrated that oral administration of KB290 before infection could alleviate IFV-induced clinical symptoms. Alleviation of clinical symptoms by KB290 consumption may have been induced by long-lasting enhancement of IFN-α production and the augmentation of IFV-specific IgA production. This study demonstrated that oral administration of Lactobacillus brevis KB290 (KB290), a probiotic strain derived from a Japanese traditional pickle, could protect against influenza virus (IFV) infection in mice. Our results demonstrated that continual intake of KB290 for 14 days prior to IFV infection alleviated clinical symptoms such as loss of body weight and deterioration in observational physical conditions induced by the infection. The beneficial effects of KB290 consumption may have been elicited by the long-lasting enhancement of interferon-α production and the augmentation of IFV-specific immunoglobulin A production.Letters in Applied Microbiology 01/2014; 58(1):87-93. DOI:10.1111/lam.12160 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Two phylogenetic lineages of influenza B virus coexist and circulate in the human population (B/Yamagata and B/Victoria) but only one B-strain is included in each seasonal vaccine. Mismatch regularly occurs between the recommended and circulating B-strain. Inclusion of both lineages in vaccines may offer better protection against influenza. METHODS: This study (NCT00714285) assessed the immunogenicity and safety of two candidate quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV) containing two A- and two B-strains (one from each lineage) in adults (18--60 years). Subjects were randomized and stratified by age to receive either QIV (non-adjuvanted or low-dose adjuvanted [LD QIV-AS]) or trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV, non-adjuvanted or low-dose adjuvanted [LD TIV-AS]), N = 105 in all treatment groups. The study evaluated the statistical non-inferiority of the immunological response elicited by QIV and LD QIV-AS versus TIV and LD TIV-AS and the statistical superiority of the response elicited by the quadrivalent vaccines against the B-strain (B/Jiangsu) not included in the TIV. RESULTS: Pre-defined non-inferiority and superiority criteria were reached for both QIVs compared to the TIVs. On Day 21 in all vaccine groups SCRs were >=54.8%, SPRs >=88.5% and SCFs >=5.4 for the A strains and B strain included in all vaccines (B/Malaysia). This fulfilled the European (CHMP) and the US (CBER) licensing criteria for the assessment of influenza vaccines in adults (CHMP criteria: SCR > 40%, SPR > 70%, SCF > 2; CBER criteria: LL of 95%CI for SPR >= 70% or SCR >= 40%). Only the QIVs met the CHMP and CBER criteria for the B/Jiangsu strain. In the QIV and LD-QIV-AS groups, the SCFs were 9.1 and 8.1, respectively and the SPRs were 98.1% and 95.2%, whereas for the TIV and LD-TIV-AS groups, the SCFs were 2.3 and 2.5, respectively, and the SPRs were 75.0% and 63.8%, with the LLs of the 95%CI <70% for SPR and <40% for SCR. CONCLUSIONS: Addition of a fourth strain did not impact the immune response elicited by the three original strains contained in the TIV. A clear immunological benefit was seen with the QIV formulation for the second B-strain, indicating that quadrivalent vaccines could provide broader protection against influenza.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00714285.BMC Infectious Diseases 05/2013; 13(1):224. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-13-224 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Two antigenically distinct influenza B lineages have co-circulated since the 1980s, yet inactivated trivalent influenza vaccines (TIVs) include strains of influenza A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and only one influenza B from either the Victoria or Yamagata lineage. This means that exposure to B-lineage viruses mismatched to the TIV is frequent, reducing vaccine protection. Formulations including both influenza B lineages could improve protection against circulating influenza B viruses. We assessed a candidate inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) containing both B lineages versus TIV in adults in stable health. A total of 4659 adults were randomized 5:5:5:5:3 to receive one dose of QIV (one of three lots) or a TIV containing either a B/Victoria or B/Yamagata strain. Hemagglutination-inhibition assays were performed pre-vaccination and 21-days after vaccination. Lot-to-lot consistency of QIV was assessed based on geometric mean titers (GMT). For QIV versus TIV, non-inferiority against the three shared strains was demonstrated if the 95% confidence interval (CI) upper limit for the GMT ratio was <=1.5 and for the seroconversion difference was <=10.0%; superiority of QIV versus TIV for the alternate B lineage was demonstrated if the 95% CI lower limit for the GMT ratio was >1.0 and for the seroconversion difference was >0%. Reactogenicity and safety profile of each vaccine were assessed. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01204671. Consistent immunogenicity was demonstrated for the three QIV lots. QIV was non-inferior to TIV for the shared vaccine strains, and was superior for the added alternate-lineage B strains. QIV elicited robust immune responses against all four vaccine strains; the seroconversion rates were 77.5% (A/H1N1), 71.5% (A/H3N2), 58.1% (B/Victoria), and 61.7% (B/Yamagata). The reactogenicity and safety profile of QIV was consistent with TIV. QIV provided superior immunogenicity for the additional B strain compared with TIV, without interfering with antibody responses to the three shared antigens. The additional antigen did not appear to alter the safety profile of QIV compared with TIV. This suggests that the candidate QIV is a viable alternative to TIV for use in adults, and could potentially improve protection against influenza B.Trial registration: Clinical Trials.gov: NCT01204671/114269.BMC Infectious Diseases 07/2013; 13(1):343. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-13-343 · 2.61 Impact Factor