M Pizzuto

Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Sicily, Italy

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Publications (11)60.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To assess the usefulness of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay amplifying the small subunit rRNA coding region of Leishmania species performed on peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) aspirates for the diagnosis and follow-up of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in children living in the Mediterranean basin. A prospective study was conducted on children consecutively hospitalized over a 1-year period at our Infectious Diseases Department in Sicily (Italy) presenting with fever, hepatosplenomegaly, and/or pancytopenia and a positive Leishmania serology (> or =1:40). Among the 14 patients hospitalized with signs and symptoms suggestive of the disease and a positive serology, we identified 10 cases of Mediterranean VL. PCR performed on PB and BM aspirates was positive in all cases and concordant with microscopy and/or culture performed on BM. Leishmania DNA was cleared from PB a median of 6 days after the start of treatment; during follow-up (median: 9 months; range: 6-12 months) 1 child relapsed. In this case, BM PCR remained positive with rapid reappearance of a positive signal also in PB. PB PCR allows a rapid and noninvasive parasitologic diagnosis of Mediterranean VL among immunocompetent children and is at least as sensitive as a diagnosis made on the basis of BM aspirates. The lack of disappearance from BM and the reappearance of positive PCR on PB is predictive of clinical relapse. Qualitative and semiquantitative PCR may be the standard method for monitoring response to therapy in immunocompetent children.
    PEDIATRICS 02/2002; 109(2):E27. DOI:10.1542/peds.109.2.e27 · 5.47 Impact Factor

  • Clinical Infectious Diseases 12/2001; 33(9):1614-5. DOI:10.1086/324090 · 8.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A group of 76 consecutive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients with fever of unknown origin (n = 52) or fever associated with pulmonary diseases was evaluated in order to assess the usefulness of PCR with peripheral blood in the diagnosis and follow-up of visceral leishmaniasis. We identified 10 cases of visceral leishmaniasis among the 52 patients with fever of unknown origin. At the time of diagnosis, all were parasitemic by PCR with peripheral blood. During follow-up, a progressive decline in parasitemia was observed under therapy, and all patients became PCR negative after a median of 5 weeks (range, 6 to 21 weeks). However, in eight of nine patients monitored for a median period of 88 weeks (range, 33 to 110 weeks), visceral leishmaniasis relapsed, with positive results by PCR with peripheral blood reappearing 1 to 2 weeks before the clinical onset of disease. Eight Leishmania infantum and two Leishmania donovani infections were identified by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. PCR with peripheral blood is a reliable method for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in HIV-infected patients. During follow-up, it substantially reduces the need for traditional invasive tests to assess parasitological response, while a positive PCR result is predictive of clinical relapse.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 02/2001; 39(1). DOI:10.1128/JCM.39.1.357-361.2001 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a case of post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) in a woman with AIDS which occurred 13 months after a diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis concomitantly with immunological recovery induced by highly active retroviral therapy. Cytokine pattern at the time of visceral leishmaniasis and PKDL diagnosis was studied and pathogenic implications were discussed.
    Journal of Infection 04/2000; 40(2):199-202. DOI:10.1053/jinf.1999.0630 · 4.44 Impact Factor
  • S Sollima · M Pizzuto · S Bonetto · L Ravasio · A Tosoni · L Vago · M Corbellino · S Antinori ·

    European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 11/1999; 18(10):752-5. DOI:10.1007/s100960050394 · 2.67 Impact Factor

  • Blood 03/1999; 93(3):1110-1. · 10.45 Impact Factor
  • A Cerri · C Gianni · M Corbellino · M Pizzuto · L Moneghini · C Crosti ·
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphangiosarcoma is a rare, aggressive, vascular neoplasm arising in chronic congenital or acquired lymphedema. Although it is most frequently associated with post-mastectomy lymphedema (Stewart-Treves's syndrome), lymphangiosarcoma can exceptionally arise in congenital hereditary lymphedema (Milroy's syndrome and Meige's syndrome) and non-hereditary lymphedema (congenital, praecox or forme tarde lymphedemas). We report a case of lymphangiosarcoma of the pubic region, supported by immunohistochemical studies, in a 42-year-old woman affected by congenital, non-hereditary lymphedema of the left genital region and homolateral lower limb. In addition, molecular analysis demonstrated the absence of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated Herpes virus (KSHV) DNA sequences in tumour lesions. To our knowledge, this is the first case of lymphangiosarcoma associated with congenital non-hereditary lymphedema confined to the pubic region. The literature concerning the cases of lymphangiosarcoma arising in congenital hereditary and non-hereditary lymphedema is reviewed. Moreover, we emphasized the importance of regular clinical controls in all patients affected by chronic lymphedema. In fact, although the prognosis of this neoplasm is very poor, a prompt diagnosis and a rapid, ablative surgery associated with radiation therapy can increase the possibility of survival of these patients.
    European journal of dermatology: EJD 01/1998; 8(7):511-4. · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a newly discovered herpes virus found in all forms of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) including KS among immunosuppressed transplant patients. It is unknown whether this virus is transmitted by organ transplantation or is reactivated during immunosuppression among those patients infected before transplantation. To investigate the risk of KSHV transmission during organ transplantation, we conducted a case-control study of transplant recipients with and without KS matched to their respective donors. Sera were collected at time of transplantation and tested in a randomized and blinded fashion using four KSHV serologic assays testing for antibodies to both latent and lytic phase antigens. Ten (91%) of 11 organ recipients who developed KS were seropositive prior to transplantation by one or more of the assays compared with two (12%) of 17 control organ recipients (OR = 75, 95% CI = 4.7, 3500). KS cases were more likely to have been born in southern Italy where KS is endemic than the recipient controls or either donor group. Only four (36%) of 11 donors to case patients and three (18%) of 17 donors to control patients were seropositive (P = .38, two-tailed Fisher's exact test). KSHV transmission could not be ruled out for the single KS patient seronegative at transplantation and clear evidence for organ-related transmission was found for another KS patient outside of the case-control study. Antibodies to KSHV are detectable in the sera from most transplant recipients before initiation of immunosuppressive treatment suggesting that KS among immunosuppressed transplant patients is primarily due to virus reactivation. KSHV transmission, however, from an infected allograft can occur, and our study reports the first documented case of person-to-person transmission of KSHV.
    Blood 11/1997; 90(7):2826-9. · 10.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the simultaneous occurrence of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (CBCL) of the leg in a 79-year-old woman, seronegative for HIV-1, HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. The CBCL underwent complete clinical remission after local radiotherapy, whilst the KS became disseminated within a year following diagnosis. However, 2 years after the diagnosis of KS, the patient died with neurological symptoms. These were presumed to be due to involvement of the central nervous system by lymphoma, although in the absence of an autopsy, this could not be proven. Skin biopsies from the original KS and CBCL lesions, as well as short-term culture of spindle cells from the KS lesion and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), were studied by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers specific for DNA sequences of a novel gamma-herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8). PCR studies were strongly positive for the virus on KS cells and PBMC; conversely, a low viral load was found on CBCL cells. A high titre of serum IgG antibodies reacting with the nuclei of the HHV-8 positive cell line BCP-1 was found. These data suggest that reactivation of latent infection with HHV-8 had occurred in this patient, and that HHV-8 is directly involved in KS, but not in CBCL of the leg, an aggressive variant of CBCL.
    British Journal of Dermatology 07/1997; 136(6):924-9. DOI:10.1046/j.1365-2133.1997.01803.x · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/1996; 174(3):668-70. DOI:10.1093/infdis/174.3.668 · 6.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Specific herpesvirus-like DNA sequences have been found in Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) lesions of AIDS patients, suggesting that a novel gamma herpesvirus, homologous to Epstein-Barr virus and herpesvirus saimiri, could be implicated in the pathogenesis of KS. To better understand the role of this putative etiological agent, named Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), we investigated by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) the presence of viral DNA sequences in various organs obtained at autopsy from seven AIDS patients with KS and six without KS. For each sample, to exclude positive results due to visceral KS dissemination, the presence of microscopic foci of KS cells was rules out by histology and CD34 immunohistochemistry on serial frozen sections immediately adjacent to those employed for DNA extraction. PCR and nested PCR were performed with primers specific for the HIV-8 330 Bam fragment originally described by Chang et al. (Science 1994;266:1865-1869). As quality control, the extracted DNA was amplified with primers for human beta-globin. All KS legions were HHV-8 positive. In addition, extralesional KSHV DNA sequences were detected in seven of seven lymphoid organs and in five of five prostate glands of KS patients. Normal skin was positive in three of five cases and bone marrow in two of three tested cases, all other tissues being negative by PCR and nested PCR. By contrast, no virus was detected in tissue samples of AIDS cases without KS. The restricted organ distribution here documented argues for a selective tissue tropism of HHV-8 in vivo in AIDS patients and suggests that in the infected host lymphoid organs and the prostate gland may represent privileged sites of viral latency and persistence.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 06/1996; 12(8):651-7. DOI:10.1089/aid.1996.12.651 · 2.33 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

426 Citations
60.95 Total Impact Points


  • 2002
    • Università degli Studi di Palermo
      Palermo, Sicily, Italy
  • 1999
    • University of Milan
      • Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "Luigi Sacco"
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy