Monica Francesca Blasi

National Institute Of Public Health, Bucureşti, Bucureşti, Romania

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Publications (9)34.1 Total impact

  • M Blasi, M Carere, E Funari
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    ABSTRACT: Water-related diseases continue to cause a high burden of mortality and morbidity in the countries of the European Region. Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health are committed to the sustainable use of water resources, the provision of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation to all people of the European Region, and to the reduction of the burden of water-related diseases. A specialized Task Force is implementing a work plan aimed at strengthening the capacity for water-related disease surveillance, outbreak detection and contingency planning. Parties to the Protocol are obliged to set targets, and report on progress on water-related disease surveillance. The present paper aims to provide a baseline assessment of national capacities for water-related disease surveillance on the basis of the replies to a questionnaire. This was prepared in English and Russian and administered to 53 countries, 15 of which replied. The results confirm the heterogeneity in surveillance systems, the weakness of many countries to adequately survey emerging water-related diseases, and the need for specific remedial action. The findings of the exercise will form the basis for future action under the Protocol on Water and Health.
    Journal of Water and Health 12/2011; 9(4):752-62. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Climatic changes are associated with heat waves, droughts, and floods which have significant impacts on human health. Floods enhance the effects of water-borne pathogens increasing the concentration of biological agents in surface water. On the basis of national statistics collected by the Italian Ministry of Health, this work illustrates preliminary observations concerning outbreaks of water-borne diseases after flood events in Italy and presents options for an administrative response. The water-borne infectious diseases taken into account are Legionellosis, Salmonellosis, Hepatitis A, cutaneous and visceral Leishmaniasis, Leptospirosis, and Infectious Diarrhea. An association between these infectious diseases and flood events seems to exist in Italy, although further analysis should be carried out to confirm this relationship. Flood impacts can be distinguished into: immediate, medium term, and long term. Several factors are involved in determining the intensity and the severity of effects. Some vector-borne infectious diseases are likely to become more frequent due to changes in vector distribution and lifecycle dynamics associated with climate change. Health care systems should develop new strategies for a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of changing weather conditions on human health.
    Toxicological and environmental chemistry 01/2010; 92(3):593-599.
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    ABSTRACT: Gastric cancers with mismatch repair (MMR) inactivation are characterised by microsatellite instability (MSI). In this study, the transcriptional profile of 38 gastric cancers with and without MSI was analysed. Unsupervised analysis showed that the immune and apoptotic gene networks efficiently discriminated these two cancer types. Hierarchical clustering analysis revealed numerous gene expression changes associated with the MSI phenotype. Amongst these, the p53-responsive genes maspin and 14-3-3 sigma were significantly more expressed in tumours with than without MSI. A tight immunosurveillance coupled with a functional p53 gene response is consistent with the better prognosis of MSI cancers. Frequent silencing of MLH1 and downregulation of MMR target genes, such as MRE11 and MBD4, characterised MSI tumours. The downregulation of SMUG1 was also a typical feature of these tumours. The DNA repair gene expression profile of gastric cancer with MSI is of relevance for therapy response.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 01/2009; 45(3):461-9. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Water related disease outbreak (WRDO) statistics in Italy from 1998 to 2005 have been discussed in this paper. The true incidence of WRDO is not reflected in the National Surveillance System (NSS), although this study has provided information on pathogens associated to different water sources, incidence in Regions and inadequacy of regulations. 192 outbreaks and 2546 cases of WRD were reported to the NSS, an average of 318 cases per year. Cases were associated to shellfish (58.79%), drinking water (39.94%) and agricultural products (1.25%). WRDs have been detected in 76% of Regions: central and southern Regions showed lower percentage of cases (35.4%) due to under-reporting. Most of WRD cases in the North were related to drinking water; WRDs in marine coastal Regions were mostly related to shellfish. 49% of Districts (Province) notified WRDs, including only 101 Municipalities. Pathogenic microorganisms were identified in a few cases from clinical investigations. They included enteric viruses, Norwalk viruses, Salmonella, Shigella, Giardia and Campylobacter. There is the need to improve the existing NSS in relation to WRDs. An adequate WRDs Surveillance System should be based on connection between health and environmental authorities, priority pathogens and critical areas identification, response capability and contingency plans.
    Journal of Water and Health 10/2008; 6(3):423-32. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a clonal expansion of hematopoietic precursors blocked at the promyelocytic stage. Gene expression profiles of APL cells obtained from 16 patients were compared to eight samples of CD34+-derived normal promyelocytes. Malignant promyelocytes showed widespread changes in transcription in comparison to their normal counterpart and 1020 differentially expressed genes were identified. Discriminating genes include transcriptional regulators (FOS, JUN and HOX genes) and genes involved in cell cycle and DNA repair. The strong upregulation in APL of some transcripts (FLT3, CD33, CD44 and HGF) was also confirmed at protein level. Interestingly, a trend toward a transcriptional repression of genes involved in different DNA repair pathways was found in APL and confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reactor (PCR) in a new set of nine APLs. Our results suggest that both inefficient base excision repair and recombinational repair might play a role in APLs development. To investigate the expression pathways underlying the development of APL occurring as a second malignancy (sAPL), we included in our study eight cases of sAPL. Although both secondary and de novo APL were characterized by a strong homogeneity in expression profiling, we identified a small set of differentially expressed genes that discriminate sAPL from de novo cases.
    Leukemia 12/2006; 20(11):1978-88. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a new approach to investigate alterations in the human MLH1 mismatch repair (MMR) gene. This is based on complementation of the phenotype of a MLH1-defective subclone of the ovarian carcinoma A2780 cells by transfection of vectors encoding altered MLH1 proteins. Measurements of resistance (tolerance) to methylating agents, mutation rate at HPRT, microsatellite instability (MSI), and steady-state levels of DNA 8-oxoguanine were used to define the MMR status of transfected clones. The approach was validated by transfecting cDNA of wild-type (WT) MLH1, cDNAs bearing two previously identified polymorphisms (I219V and I219L) and two with confirmed hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) syndrome mutations (G224D and G67R). A low-level expression of two MLH1 polymorphisms partially reversed methylation tolerance and the mutator phenotype, including MSI. Higher levels of I219V resulted in full restoration of these properties to WT. Increased expression of I129L did not fully complement the MLH1 defect, because there was a simultaneous escalation in the level of oxidative DNA damage. The findings confirmed the important relationship between deficient MMR and increased levels of oxidative DNA damage. Mutations from Italian HNPCC families (G224D, G67R, N635S, and K618A) were all ineffective at reversing the phenotype of the MLH1-defective A2780 cells. One (K618A) was identified as a low penetrance mutation based on clinical and genetic observations.
    Cancer Research 10/2006; 66(18):9036-44. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The activity of the cell is often coordinated by the organisation of proteins into regulatory circuits that share a common function. Genome-wide expression profiles might contain important information on these circuits. Current approaches for the analysis of gene expression data include clusteringthe individual expression measurements and relatingthem to biological functions as well as modelling and simulation of gene regulation processes by additional computer tools. The identification of the regulative programmes from microarray experiments is limited, however, by the intrinsic difficulty of linear methods to detect lowvariance signals and by the sensitivity of the different approaches. Here we face the problem of recognising invariant patterns of correlations among gene expression reminiscent of regulation circuits. We demonstrate that a recursive neural network approach can identify genetic regulation circuits from expression data for ribosomal and genome stability genes. The proposed method, by greatly enhancing the sensitivity of microarray studies, allows the identification of important aspects of genetic regulation networks and might be useful for the discrimination of the different players involved in regulation circuits.
    Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 01/2005; 348:349-370. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The activity of the cell is often coordinated by the organisation of proteins into regulatory circuits that share a common function. Genome-wide expression profiles might contain important information on these circuits. Current approaches for the analysis of gene expression data include clustering the individual expression measurements and relating them to biological functions as well as modelling and simulation of gene regulation processes by additional computer tools. The identification of the regulative programmes from microarray experiments is limited, however, by the intrinsic difficulty of linear methods to detect low-variance signals and by the sensitivity of the different approaches. Here we face the problem of recognising invariant patterns of correlations among gene expression reminiscent of regulation circuits. We demonstrate that a recursive neural network approach can identify genetic regulation circuits from expression data for ribosomal and genome stability genes. The proposed method, by greatly enhancing the sensitivity of microarray studies, allows the identification of important aspects of genetic regulation networks and might be useful for the discrimination of the different players involved in regulation circuits. Our results suggest that the constitutive regulatory networks involved in the generic organisation of the cell display a high degree of clustering depending on a modular architecture.
    Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 01/2005; · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidation is a common form of DNA damage to which purines are particularly susceptible. We previously reported that oxidized dGTP is potentially an important source of DNA 8-oxodGMP in mammalian cells and that the incorporated lesions are removed by DNA mismatch repair (MMR). MMR deficiency is associated with a mutator phenotype and widespread microsatellite instability (MSI). Here, we identify oxidized deoxynucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs) as an important cofactor in this genetic instability. The high spontaneous hprt mutation rate of MMR-defective msh2(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts was attenuated by expression of the hMTH1 protein, which degrades oxidized purine dNTPs. A high level of hMTH1 abolished their mutator phenotype and restored the hprt mutation rate to normal. Molecular analysis of hprt mutants showed that the presence of hMTH1 reduced the incidence of mutations in all classes, including frameshifts, and also implicated incorporated 2-oxodAMP in the mutator phenotype. In hMSH6-deficient DLD-1 human colorectal carcinoma cells, overexpression of hMTH1 markedly attenuated the spontaneous mutation rate and reduced MSI. It also reduced the incidence of -G and -A frameshifts in the hMLH1-defective DU145 human prostatic cancer cell line. Our findings indicate that incorporation of oxidized purines from the dNTP pool may contribute significantly to the extreme genetic instability of MMR-defective human tumors.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 02/2004; 24(1):465-74. · 5.37 Impact Factor