M La Rosa

University of Catania, Catania, Sicily, Italy

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Publications (68)148.28 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Airway inflammation plays a central role in cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease, and biomarkers of inflammation, such as high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) could be used to monitor disease activity. The main aim of this study was to confirm the role of HMGB1 in CF patients, correlating its serum and sputum levels with pulmonary function and inflammation. Serum and sputum HMGB1 were evaluated in a cohort of 31 CF patients and 30 non-smoking healthy subjects (HS group). Acute pulmonary exacerbation events and lung function decline have been also evaluated during a 3-year follow-up period. Serum HMGB1 levels were significantly higher than those measured in HS, such as sputum HMGB1. Kaplan-Meier survival curves revealed that patients with high HMGB1 values experienced a significantly faster evolution to decline of lung function. A multiple Cox regression analysis assessed that an increase of serum HMGB1 was associated with 5% increased risk of pulmonary disease progression, whereas elevated sputum HMGB1 was related to a 10% increased risk of lung function decline. In CF patients, HMGB1 closely reflects the entity of pulmonary impairment and represents a strong and independent risk marker for progression of lung function decline. Copyright © 2014 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Clinical Microbiology and Infection 11/2014; 21(4). DOI:10.1016/j.cmi.2014.11.004 · 5.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is characterized by an inflammatory reaction. High-mobility group box-1 protein (HMGB1) has many characteristics similar to classic proinflammatory cytokines. No study has yet investigated its role in AR. The aim of this study was to measure HMGB1 levels in the fluid recovered from nasal lavage in children with untreated AR and in control subjects. Materials: The study was conducted on 104 AR subjects (48 males and 56 females, median age 10.3 ± 3.4 years) and 97 healthy children (42 males and 55 females) who were age-matched (median age 9.8 ± 4.1 years). Total serum immunoglobulin E, peripheral eosinophils and nasal symptoms assessed by visual analog scale (VAS) were considered. HMGB1 was measured using an ELISA assay. Results: HMGB1 levels in nasal lavage fluid were higher in AR children than in the control group (96.9 ± 19.3 vs. 9.27 ± 4.01 ng/ml; p < 0.001). There was a very strong relationship between HMGB1 levels and VAS values in AR children (r = 0.919). Considering the symptom severity assessed by VAS, there was a relationship between HMGB1 and VAS in all AR subgroups: more evident in the severe subgroup (r = 0.727). Conclusions: Nasal HMGB1 has significantly increased in children with AR and is significantly related to symptom severity.
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 01/2013; 161(2):116-121. DOI:10.1159/000345246 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Asthma is characterized by airway inflammation that is controlled by a complex cytokine network. The Th1/Th2 imbalance has been well documented in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma. Recently, Th17 cells and regulatory T (Treg) cells have been found to participate in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma. This study aimed at verifying whether anti-inflammatory treatment could change serum IL-4, IL-10 and IL-23 in asthmatic children. Globally, 78 children (40 males and 38 females, median age 9.3 +- 3.7 years), with asthma and monosensitized to house dust mites, were evaluated. Lung function (such as FEV1) and serum IL-4, IL-10 and IL-23 levels were measured at baseline (T0), after 4 weeks (T1) and after 12 weeks (T2) of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatment. The control group consisted of 40 healthy children (22 males and 18 females) age matched. At baseline, IL-4 and IL-23 levels were higher in severe asthmatics than in control group (p less than 0.001), while serum IL-10 levels were significantly lower in group of asthmatic children as compared to healthy control group (p less than 0.001). At T2, IL-4 and IL-23 significantly diminished (p less than 0.001), while IL-10 significantly increased. There was significant relationship between FEV1 and IL-4, IL-10 and IL-23 at T0 (r=-0.784; r=-0.735 and r=-0.787, respectively). Moreover, there were correlations between FEV1 and IL-4, IL-10 and IL-23 in patients at T1 (r=-0.563; r=-0.539 and r=-0.583, respectively) and at T2 (r=-0.549; r=-0.428 and r=-0.393, respectively). The present study provided evidence that: i) serum IL-23 was up-regulated also in asthmatic children, ii) ICS treatment was able of reducing IL-23, and iii) IL-23 change well related with lung function improvement. Thus, it is presumable that IL-23 could be a suitable marker of allergic inflammation in asthma.
    Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 06/2012; 26(1 Suppl):S53-61. · 2.04 Impact Factor

  • Clinical & Experimental Allergy 03/2012; 42(3):481-2. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2011.03908.x · 4.77 Impact Factor
  • S Leonardi · R Longo · M Cotugno · L Tardino · M Spina · E Lionetti · M La Rosa ·
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    ABSTRACT: Human leucocyte antigen (HLA) system plays an essential role in the human immune system activity and the expression of some specific HLA antigens could modify the immune response to vaccinations. Celiac disease is included among the diseases associated to specific HLA profiles, principally characterized by the expression of the HLA DQ2 antigen. Our study was a retrospective study, leaded on a group of celiac children, with the object to evaluate their immunological response to both obligatory and recommended vaccinations in childhood. It was a retrospective study, including 66 patients affected by celiac disease, between 3 and 15 years of age, and a control group of 50 children of the same age. All patients performed both obligatory and recommended vaccinations as indicated in the Italian standard regimen for vaccinations. The immunologic response to each vaccine was analysed and compared in the two groups. Moreover, authors also studied the immunologic response to vaccines in celiac children comparing patients whose diagnosis was made before 18 months of age with those whose disease was diagnosed after 18 months of age. Our results showed that in celiac patients the immunological response to vaccine is similar to that one found in general population, except for HBV vaccine. The evaluation of immunological response to HBV vaccine should be regularly effectuated in celiac children and revaccination should be recommended.
    Minerva pediatrica 10/2011; 63(5):363-7. · 0.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Allergic rhinitis is a respiratory disease caused by an inflammatory process related to IgE mediated reaction versus allergens to which the subject is sensitized. Allergic rhinitis is not an isolated disease because the nasal mucosa inflammation involves paranasal sinuses and lower airways, thus worsening the asthmatic symptoms. Recently, a new classification of allergic rhinitis based on the duration and severity of clinical symptoms has been proposed. This classification takes into consideration both the quality of life and the possible impact of the symptoms on school, work and free-time activities. Children's quality of life is severely compromised by frequent night awakenings, easy fatigue, defects of language and irritability, which can have a negative influence on learning abilities. Allergic rhinitis has a negative impact on the quality of life of the whole family because it can cause interference on social life, and financial costs.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 10/2011; 24(4 Suppl):25-8. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of inhaled aerosols allows selective treatment of the lungs directly by achieving high drug concentrations in the airway while reducing systemic adverse effects by minimizing systemic drug levels. Aerosol drug delivery is painless and often convenient, but the proliferation of inhaler devices has resulted in a confusing number of choices for clinicians who are selecting a delivery device for aerosol therapy. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each device category. Several factors can guide clinicians to choose a device for a specific patient. This choice has to be tailored according to the patient's needs, situation and preference. Whatever the chosen inhaler, inhaler technique is the critical factor in the correct use of delivery devices and patient education has a key-role for improving technique and compliance.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 10/2011; 24(4 Suppl):61-7. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The importance of early life environmental influences on the etiology of asthma is implied by the observed geographic and temporal variation in the prevalence of the disease among children. There is evidence pointing to the role of exposure to allergen, various aspects of diet and hygiene-related factors in the etiology of asthma. There is also evidence that heritable factors influence the impact of hygiene-related exposures on the risk of having asthma. A number of important gene-environment interactions have been identified. These interactions point to the biology of environmental exposures as the involved genetic variation is suggestive of certain underlying mechanisms. Polymorphisms within genes coding for the toll-like receptor-lipopolysaccharide (TLR-LPS) signalling pathway may underlie variations in effects of hygiene-related exposures, including specifically endotoxin, on the risk of developing allergic sensitization and allergic disease. This review presents recent findings illustrating the role of gene-environment interactions in childhood asthma susceptibility.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 10/2011; 24(4 Suppl):41-7. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The nose plays a primary role within the airways, working as a filter and air-conditioner, together with other important functions. Thus, it is not surprising that nasal diseases are associated with several other comorbidities, including both upper and lower airways, such as bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) and asthma. Several studies have investigated the relationship existing between the upper and the lower airways and new insights are rising. Nevertheless, some uncertainties still remain, mainly because nasal disorders are quite heterogeneous, overlapping (i.e. rhinitis-rhinosinusitis-sinusitis, acute or chronic, allergic or non-allergic) and difficult to diagnose, so that, frequently, many studies don’t differentiate between the various conditions. For this reason, the purpose of this review is to systematically analyze present epidemiological, pathophysiological and clinical data on the relationship between nasal diseases and asthma, splitting up three main conditions: allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 10/2011; 24(4 Suppl):7-12. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Specific immunotherapy (SIT) is the only treatment able to not only act on the symptoms of allergy but also act on the causes. At present, SIT may be administered in two forms: subcutaneous (SCIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). SCIT represents the standard modality of treatment while SLIT has recently been introduced into clinical practice and today represents an accepted alternative to SCIT. The main advantages of SIT that are lacking with drug treatment are long-lasting clinical effects and alteration of the natural course of the disease. This prevents the new onset of asthma in patients with allergic rhinitis and the onset of new sensitizations. The mechanism of action of both routes is similar; they modify peripheral and mucosal Th2-responses into a prevalent Th1-polarization with subsequent reduction of the allergic inflammatory reaction. Both have long-term effects for years after they have been discontinued, although for SLIT these evidences are insufficient. To date several guidelines have defined indications, controindications, side-effects, and clinical aspect for SCIT and SLIT. New forms of immunotherapy, allergen products and approaches to food allergy and atopic eczema represents the future of SIT.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 10/2011; 24(4 Suppl):69-78. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have outlined a possible relationship between an increased body mass index and respiratory allergic diseases, such as asthma and rhinitis.The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between BMI and lung function, including bronchodilation test, in allergic children. The study included 153 children (103 males, mean age 12.8 years) with allergic rhinitis and mild asthma. All subjects were evaluated performing skin prick test, spirometry, and bronchodilalation test. BMI values were in the normal range as well as lung function. BMI significantly related with FEV1, FVC values and FEV1/FVC ratio both before and after bronchodilation. In conclusion, this study provides the first evidence that BMI is negatively related with bronchial reversibility in children with allergic rhinitis and asthma.As reversibility is related with bronchial inflammation, this finding might underline a link between overweight and allergic inflammation.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 10/2011; 24(4 Suppl):21-4. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Genetic factors have an important role in atopic dermatitis (AD) predisposition. Toll like receptor (TLR) are important mediators between environment and immune system. There are incosnsitent studies about TLSR polymorphisms in AD. OBJECTIVE This study examined whether single nucleotide polimorphisms (SNPs) in the genes for TLR2 and TLR4 could be associated with the AD phenotypes and with its clinical severity in a large group of Italian children. METHODS 187 children with Ad and 150 healthy children were recruited. AD severity was assessed by SCORAD. TLR2 (A-16934T and R753Q polymorphisms) and TLR4 (D299G and T399I SNPs) were genotyped by PCR-RFLP. RESULTS The frequency of the R753Q was significantly higher in AD children (16.0 percent) compared with controls (6.0 percent, P =0.004; OR2.99, 95 percent CI 1.39-6.41; RR 1.46, 95 percent CI 1.14-1.69). AD patients a significantly different frequency of the D299G SNP (14.9 percent) in comparison with the controls (6.6 percent, P = 0.01; OR 2.46, 95 percent CI 1.17–5.17; RR 2.24; 95 percent CI 1.15-4.45). CONCLUSION Children with AD may have a distinct genotype and the TLR-2 R753Q SNP was prevalent in a subset of patients with AD characterized by a more severe clinical picture.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 10/2011; 24(4 Suppl):33-40. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    S Leonardi · G Vitaliti · A.D. Praticò · M La Rosa ·

    Allergologia et Immunopathologia 09/2011; 40(5):321-3. DOI:10.1016/j.aller.2011.05.006 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The American Journal of Gastroenterology is published by Nature Publishing Group (NPG) on behalf of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG). Ranked the #1 clinical journal covering gastroenterology and hepatology*, The American Journal of Gastroenterology (AJG) provides practical and professional support for clinicians dealing with the gastroenterological disorders seen most often in patients. Published with practicing clinicians in mind, the journal aims to be easily accessible, organizing its content by topic, both online and in print. www.amjgastro.com, *2007 Journal Citation Report (Thomson Reuters, 2008)
    The American Journal of Gastroenterology 09/2010; 105(9):2117-9. DOI:10.1038/ajg.2010.195 · 10.76 Impact Factor

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    ABSTRACT: The ATLAS liquid argon calorimeter has been operating continuously since August 2006. At this time, only part of the calorimeter was readout, but since the beginning of 2008, all calorimeter cells have been connected to the ATLAS readout system in preparation for LHC collisions. This paper gives an overview of the liquid argon calorimeter performance measured in situ with random triggers, calibration data, cosmic muons, and LHC beam splash events. Results on the detector operation, timing performance, electronics noise, and gain stability are presented. High energy deposits from radiative cosmic muons and beam splash events allow to check the intrinsic constant term of the energy resolution. The uniformity of the electromagnetic barrel calorimeter response along η (averaged overφ) is measured at the percent level using minimum ionizing cosmic muons. Finally, studies of electromagnetic showers from radiative muons have been used to cross-check the Monte Carlo simulation. The performance results obtained using the ATLAS readout, data acquisition, and reconstruction software indicate that the liquid argon calorimeter is well-prepared for collisions at the dawn of the LHC era.
    European Physical Journal C 12/2009; 70(3):723-753. DOI:10.1140/epjc/s10052-010-1354-y · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This update on treatment of asthma exacerbations in children is the result of an Italian Pediatric Society Task-force, made up of a panel of experts working in 2007-2008. The aim is to give clear indications on the use of the drugs most employed in children, grading the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations. Suggestions on their limits due to unlicensed and off-label use are reported. The level of evidence and the strength of recommendations for different therapeutic approaches demonstrate that frequently the use of drugs in children is extrapolated from the experience in adults and that more studies are required to endorse the correct use of different drugs in asthmatic children.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 10/2009; 22(4):867-78. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    S Leonardi · M Spina · L Spicuzza · N Rotolo · M La Rosa ·
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    ABSTRACT: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) phenotype DQ2 is considered the most important genetic marker for un-responsiveness to hepatitis B vaccine. Since celiac disease (CD) is also strongly associated with the same haplo-type it may be hypothesized that celiac patients are less able to respond to the vaccine. We report a retrospective study on celiac patients vaccinated with three doses of 10 microg at 3, 5 and 11 months of age by an intramuscular injection of a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine (Engerix B). We found 30 of 60 celiac patients (50%) unresponsive to vaccination and a significant higher number of responders among patients younger than 18 months at the time of celiac disease diagnosis. Our study confirms that celiac patients have a lower percentage of response to hepatitis B vaccination than healthy subjects. These findings provide useful information to evaluate if current vaccine strategies should be reassessed and if revaccination should be recommended.
    Vaccine 09/2009; 27(43):6030-3. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.07.099 · 3.62 Impact Factor
  • F Marcucci · M Duse · F Frati · C Incorvaia · G L Marseglia · M La Rosa ·
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    ABSTRACT: Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is currently the most prescribed form of allergen immunotherapy in many European countries. Its use has been accepted in the international consensus publications, and recently also the scepticism of USA scientists is attenuated. Still, this treatment may be improved, and the possible developments consist of modification of the materials, use of adjuvants and use of recombinant allergens. Moreover, new applications of SLIT, such as food allergy, seem promising. Concerning materials, the future form of SLIT is likely to be represented by tablets, which were already tested for efficacy and safety with grass pollen extracts, and are likely to increase the convenience for the patient by the use of no-updosing schedule. Adjuvants fitting with the characteristics of SLIT seem to be CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG), able to interact with the Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) whose activation induces a Th1-like pattern of cytokine release, combination of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 plus dexamethasone (VitD3-Dex), and Lactobacillus plantarum. The approach with recombinant allergens, named component-resolved diagnosis, offers the possibility to tailor immunotherapy, which was found to be effective in two randomized trials of subcutaneous SIT (16-17), while studies with SLIT are not yet available. Regarding food allergy, an important controlled study demonstrated that SLIT with hazelnut is able to increase patients tolerance over possible reactions from inadvertent assumption of the culprit food, and warrants for further trials with other foods.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 01/2009; 22(4 Suppl):31-3. · 1.62 Impact Factor
  • L Spicuzza · C Sciuto · G Vitaliti · G Di Dio · S Leonardi · M La Rosa ·
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    ABSTRACT: In patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), there is an increasing incidence of some uncommon respiratory pathogens, such as Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and Achromobacter xylosoxidans. In order to evaluate the prevalence and the clinical impact of these pathogens, we retrospectively studied a total of 109 patients followed in our center from 1996 to 2006 and reviewed the results of 1,550 sputum samples. The isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa slightly decreased over the observed decade, whereas Staphylococcus aureus exhibited an irregular trend. Infection with Bcc reached a peak in 1998 and successively decreased to a stable 4%. S. maltophilia and A. xylosoxidans were the real emerging pathogens, since first isolation occurred in 2004; however, the percentage of infected patients remained low (7% and 3.2%, respectively) through the years. In conclusion, in our center for CF, the reduced prevalence of P. aeruginosa over the last decade has been associated with a concurrent reduction of infections by Bcc and, as compared to other centers in Italy, Europe, and the US, with a low incidence of emerging pathogens such as S. maltophilia and A. xylosoxidans.
    European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 09/2008; 28(2):191-5. DOI:10.1007/s10096-008-0605-4 · 2.67 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
148.28 Total Impact Points


  • 1980-2014
    • University of Catania
      • • Department of Medical and Pediatric Sciences
      • • Department of Educational Sciences
      Catania, Sicily, Italy
  • 2011
    • Policlinico San Matteo Pavia Fondazione IRCCS
      • s.c. Pediatria
      Ticinum, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2009
    • Azienda Ospedaliera Santa Maria della Misericordia
      Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • 1989
    • Università degli Studi di Messina
      • Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale
      Messina, Sicily, Italy
  • 1982
    • University of Hamburg
      • Department of Legal Medicine
      Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany