[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccines are administered to large population of healthy individuals, particularly to millions of infants every year, through national immunization programs. Although vaccines represent a good defense against some infectious diseases, their administration may be related with the development of adverse vaccine events (AVEs); therefore their use is continually monitored to detect these side effects. In the presents work, we reported the suspected AVEs recorded in 2012 in Calabria, Italy. We performed a retrospective study on report forms of patients that developed AVEs in Calabria from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. Naranjo score was used to evaluate the association between AVEs and vaccines and only suspected AVEs definable as certain, probable, or possible were included in this analysis. During the study period, we evaluated 461 records of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and 18 (3.9%) were probably induced by vaccination. AVEs were common in females (almost 77.7%) and in children aged 0-3 years. The largest number of non-serious AVEs involved "skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders" and "general disorders and administration site conditions." In conclusion, we documented that in Calabria the total number of AVEs is very low and it may be useful to increase the pharmacovigilance culture in order to evaluate the safety of these products in large populations.
Journal of pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics. 12/2013; 4(Suppl1):S61-S65.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic Bartonella henselae infections are unusual in immunocompetent adults. However, here we report one such case of bartonellosis in a 34-year-old patient, who presented with fever and multinodular splenomegaly. We also describe a novel method of identifying Bartonella henselae by Real-Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction and sequencing of amplified products. This could prevent splenic bartonellosis being mistaken for lymphoma and thereby avert unnecessary splenectomy.
Journal of Medical Microbiology 03/2013; · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: La leishmaniosi è una zoonosi mediterranea, causata da protozoi del genere Leishmania, trasmessa da insetti ematofagi. La letteratura della leishmaniosi riporta casi di localizzazione laringea primitiva e di infezione secondaria a riattivazione di leishmaniosi cutanea o muco-cutanea, in pazienti immunodepressi o trattati con corticosteroidi inalatori.
Un uomo di 51 anni è giunto alla nostra osservazione riferendo disfonia ingravescente da quattro anni. La laringoscopia ha evidenziato una lesione vegetante sulla corda vocale di sinistra, che è stata ritenuta sospetta per precancerosi. L’esame istologico ha rivelato la presenza di displasia lieve. Il paziente è stato sottoposto a controlli laringoscopici mensili. Una seconda biopsia è stata eseguita dopo tre mesi, per il peggiorare della disfonia e l’evidenza di una nuova lesione leucoplasica. L’esame istologico ha identificato la presenza di Leishmania Infantum. Il paziente è stato inviato presso il reparto di Malattie Infettive, dove sono state identificate tre lesioni cutanee e splenomegalia, ed è stata formulata la diagnosi di leishmaniosi muco-cutanea. Il paziente è stato trattato con Amfotericina B e.v. ed ha raggiunto una remissione quasi completa.
Nel nostro caso la displasia laringea ha comportato una precisa sorveglianza endoscopica della laringe, che ha consentito di identificare precocemente la seconda lesione. Questa lesione è stata considerata un’evoluzione della precancerosi e solo l’esame istologico ha identificato la localizzazione laringea della Leishmania Infantum.
Questo è il primo caso di leishmaniosi insorgente su displasia e sebbene la localizzazione laringea non fosse primitiva, i sintomi disfonici hanno condotto all’identificazione della leishmaniosi ed al trattamento appropriato con guarigione del paziente.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In a 1996 survey, prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibodies (anti-HCV) in a southern Italian town was 12.6%. AIMS: To identify changes in the epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. METHODS: Anti-HCV, HCV-RNA (PCR, detection limit 15IU/mL), HCV genotype (Innolipa). Were performed in a random 1:4 systematic sample of the general population. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate factors independently associated with the likelihood of anti-HCV positivity. RESULTS: Of 1012 subjects, 58 (5.7%) were anti-HCV-positive, compared to 12.6% 14 years earlier. Prevalence was 0.4% in individuals <30 years old and 31.8% in those ≥70 years old. Among 139 HCV-negative in 1996 re-sampled in 2010, only one had seroconverted (incidence: 0.05×100 persons/year). Alanine transaminase levels were elevated in 8 (13.8%). HCV-RNA was detected by PCR in 46.5% anti-HCV-positive subjects. In 2010 59% were genotype 2-infected, in 1996 50.7% genotype 1-infected. Previous use of non-disposable glass syringes was a strong independent predictor (OR 3.2; CI 95%=1.4-7.3). CONCLUSION: Epidemiology of HCV infection in an endemic area of south Italy has changed over 14 years, now largely confined to the oldest age group; this seems to be due to the disappearance of its past main mode of transmission, namely the use of glass syringes.
Digestive and Liver Disease 11/2012; · 3.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major goal of modern medicine is the application of personalized therapies, consisting of decisions and practices tailored to the individual patient. Information about genetic variants, either mutant or polymorphic, represents the basis for the development of this clinical approach. Recently, several independent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the IL28B locus associated with HCV containment, spontaneous clearance, treatment response, and disease progression. In this minireview we will concisely discuss some critical genetic concepts that may have possible implications for clinical decisions in the treatment of HCV infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To report about a case of acute renal failure due to absence of communication between physician and patient.
A 78 year old man with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) accessed our hospital and was brought to our attention in August 2011 for severe renal failure. Clinical history revealed that he had been taking highly active antiretroviral therapy with lamivudine/abacavir and fosamprenavir since 2006. In April 2011 due to an augmentation in creatinine plasma levels, a reduction in lamivudine dosage to 100 mg/day and the prescription of abacavir 300 mg/day became necessary. Unfortunately, the patient took both lamivudine and abacavir therefore the association of the two medications (lamivudine/abacavir) lead to asthenia and acute renal failure within a few days.
This case emphasizes the importance about how physicians must pay very careful attention during drug prescription, most particularly, as far as elderly patients are concerned. In fact, communication improvement between physicians and patients can prevent increase of adverse drug reactions related to drug dispensing, with consequential reduction of costs in the healthcare system.
Journal of forensic and legal medicine 11/2012; 19(8):497-8.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hepatitis B virus infection has decreased in Italy. The aims of this study were to identify changes, if any, in the epidemiological pattern of HBV infection in a southern Italian town first surveyed in 1996 and to assess the effectiveness of vaccination campaign against hepatitis B. METHODS: In 2010, subjects were selected from the census by a systematic 1:4 random sampling procedure. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) were detected by ELISA. Associations (odds ratios) linking exposure to hepatitis B virus infection to potential risk factors were estimated by univariate and multivariate analyses. RESULTS: Of the 1100 eligible subjects, 1020 (92.0%) agreed to participate. The prevalences of HBsAg (0.6%) and anti-HBc (15.2%) were significantly lower than in 1996 (0.8% and 21.5%) (p<0.01). No subject below 30years of age (those that had been targeted for compulsory immunization) had been exposed to HBV infection. At multiple logistic regression analysis, age>45years (OR=9.8; 95% CI=5.1-18.7) and past use of glass syringes (OR=1.9; 95% CI=1.2-3.1) independently predicted the likelihood of anti-HBc positivity. CONCLUSIONS: These results, albeit obtained in a small town and thus not generalizable, confirm the continuous decreasing trend of HBV infection and demonstrate the effectiveness of the Italian hepatitis B vaccination program.
European Journal of Internal Medicine 09/2012; · 2.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment choice for chronic HBV infection is a continuously evolving issue, with a wide range of options. We aimed to evaluate the current practice of HBV therapies in the real world in Southern Italy.
A prospective study enrolling over a six month period (February-July 2010) all consecutive HBsAg positive subjects, never previously treated, referred to 16 liver units in two Southern Italy regions (Calabria and Sicily).
Out of 247 subjects evaluated, 116 (46.9%) had HBV-DNA undetectable or lower than 2000 UI/ml. There were 108 (43.7%) inactive carriers, 103 (41.7%) chronic hepatitis, and 36 (14.6%) liver cirrhosis. Antiviral treatment was planned in 94 (38.0%) patients (26 cases with Interferon or Pegylated Interferon and 68 with nucleos(t)ides analogues). As many as 49.5% of subjects with chronic hepatitis did not receive antiviral treatment.
The majority of chronic HBsAg carrier referring centres for evaluation were not considered suitable for antiviral treatment. Nucleos(t)ides analogues are the preferred first choice for therapy. A long-lasting period of observation may be needed to make appropriate therapeutic decisions in several cases.
European Journal of Internal Medicine 07/2012; 23(5):e124-7. · 2.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analysis of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) genotype spread in a particular area has a crucial impact on public health. In this study, we update information on the distribution of HCV genotypes, by evaluating a hospital-based cohort of 2,153 chronic hepatitis C patients, collected prospectively among subjects attending University Hospital of Catanzaro, within an area of Southern Italy. We assessed the rates (%) of HCV genotypes during two consecutive periods, from 2001 to 2005 and from 2006 to 2011, according to age and gender. Considering overall observation time, subtype 1b was predominant followed by subtypes 2a/2c, genotype 3 and 4. Statistical evaluation of the age of HCV patients stratified by genotypes, revealed a slight but significant increase in the median age of 1b, 2a/2c and 3 HCV genotype-infected subjects, during the 2006-2011 period, whilst genotype 4 patients exhibited a decrease in the median age during the same period studied. Moreover genotype 4 increased between 2002 and 2003 as well as between 2010 and 2011. Due to the peculiar diagnostic/clinical/therapeutic features of HCV-4, our findings warrant a deeper investigation to better control infections caused by such genotype.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Universal anti-hepatitis B vaccination of infants and of 12-year-old children became mandatory in Italy in 1991. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the persistence of anti-hepatitis B surface (HBs) antibodies several years after a primary course of vaccination.
In 2010, anti-HBs titers were measured in all subjects aged between 5 and 25 years residing in a southern Italian town. Individuals with an anti-hepatitis B antibody concentration of 10 IU/ml or more were considered to be protected.
Of the 671 subjects evaluated, 149 (30%) lacked protective antibodies. Fifty-three (29.4%) of the subjects had been vaccinated ≤10 years earlier and 96 (30.3%) more than 10 years earlier (P = not significant). Subjects vaccinated in infancy were more likely to lack protective anti-HBs antibodies than subjects vaccinated at 12 years of age, regardless of the years elapsed since immunization.
Most subjects maintained protective antibodies for a considerable number of years after vaccination. Vaccination in adolescence results in more prolonged immunogenicity than vaccination in infancy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Muscle tissue damage might be related to metabolic and mechanical factors. Certain drugs have been associated with increased blood levels of creatin phospho kinase (CPK) and myoglobin that are biochemical markers of musculoskeletal damage. An increase of CPK plasma levels might suggest severe rhabdomyolysis with possible resulting renal failure. Telbivudine is an antiviral drug indicated for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in adult patients. An increase in CPK plasma levels has been recently described in some telbivudine-treated CHB patients without muscle-skeletal symptoms. In this paper we report a CHB patient that developed a severe increase of CPK plasma levels during telbivudine-treatment. Pharmacological evaluation, using the Naranjo probability scale, indicated a probable relationship between telbivudine and CPK increase, so telbivudine was discontinued and replaced with entecavir with a complete resolution of laboratory findings. In conclusion, telbivudine treatment can induce muscular damage in the absence of skeletal injury, therefore we suggest to closely monitor the muscular function of the patients treated with this drug in order to prevent possible major complications.
Muscles, ligaments and tendons journal. 04/2011; 1(2):57-60.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels during pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN)-alpha-2a in a patient with chronic HCV without other clinical manifestations.
A 38-year-old man presented for HCV infection evaluation. Serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and ALT levels were 43 and 116 U/l, respectively; RT-PCR blood analysis revealed HCV-RNA infection. PEG-IFN-alpha-2b plus ribavirin treatment induced both a rapid virologic response and a normalization of transaminase plasma levels. During follow-up, an increase in transaminase and HCV-RNA values prompted us to start a new antiviral treatment with PEG-IFN-alpha-2a plus ribavirin. Four months later, after the follow-up, a new blood test documented both a HCV-RNA titer <50 U/ml and an increase in ALT and AST plasma levels. Immunostaining of the liver biopsy showed an accumulation of PEG-IFN-alpha-2a. PEG-IFN-alpha-2a elimination and the addition of recombinant IFN-alpha-2a induced normalization of the plasma transaminase levels in about 2 months.
We postulate PEG-IFN-alpha-2a treatment because both the molecular weight and the distribution volume of the PEG-IFN may accumulate in the liver resulting in an increase of plasma transaminase levels. In contrast, during PEG-IFN-alpha-2b treatment, we did not document any increase in plasma transaminase values probably because of the lower molecular weight of the PEG.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effect of a multi-disciplinary standardized management model on the efficacy of pegylated (Peg)-interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin treatment of chronic hepatitis C in drug addicts undergoing substitutive or antagonist therapy.
Observational prospective multi-centre study.
Six clinical infectious disease centres in collaboration with 11 drug dependency units (DDU) in five Italian regions.
Intravenous drug users affected by chronic hepatitis C engaged in detoxification programmes.
Application of a multi-disciplinary standardized management model for HCV treatment involving DDU operators, psychologists or psychiatrists and infectious disease specialists.
Very early, early, end-of-treatment and sustained virological response to Peg-interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin.
Fifty-three subjects were studied [43.4% with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1 or 4]. Intent-to-treat analysis showed an end-of-treatment virological response in 58.5% of patients (39.1% genotypes 1 or 4; 73.4% genotype 3) and a sustained virological response in 54.7% (34.8% genotypes 1 or 4; 70.0% genotype 3). There were 19 (35.8%) dropouts and three (5.7%) non-responders: one genotype 1 and two genotype 4. Two (3.8%) patients relapsed: genotypes 1 and 3. On-treatment analysis showed negative HCV-RNA in 40 (93.1%) of 43 subjects who completed the first 12 treatment weeks and in 35 who completed the first 24 treatment weeks. All subjects with an end-of-treatment response, except one with genotype 3 infection, had a sustained response.
Our data show that antiviral treatment in the context of a multi-disciplinary standardized management model helps many HCV-positive drug addicts achieve a good virological response.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychological adverse effects in intravenous drug users represent a challenge in the management of anti-HCV therapy.
To evaluate the depressive symptoms during the first weeks of anti-HCV therapy and to assess their impact on the early virological response and discontinuation of therapy.
A prospective cohort study of HCV-infected drug addicts on a detoxification program at the onset of therapy with peg-interferon and ribavirin.
A self-report screening of depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale) and a questionnaire investigating treatment adherence and the presence of side effects were prospectively administered.
The mean baseline Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale score of the 43 subjects studied was 17.3. This value did not worsen significantly after 4 and 12 weeks of therapy. A higher depressive score at baseline neither significantly affected the early virological response, nor the early treatment discontinuation. Conversely, a higher symptoms score (HR 1.33; 95% CI, 1.02-1.71) was associated with a greater probability of early treatment discontinuation.
A depressive attitude should not be considered a contraindication to the treatment of HCV-infected drug addicts on the detoxification program in which they are monitored by a multidisciplinary team. Effective management of side effects could increase the treatment adherence during the first weeks of therapy and increase the possibility of an early virological response.
Digestive and Liver Disease 03/2006; 38(2):119-24. · 3.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate risk factors associated with intrafamiliar transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV), 113 hepatitis C virus index subjects with chronic HCV infection and their 267 family contacts were studied from January 1994 to October 1995. Overall, 16 family contacts (6%) were positive for anti-HCV by ELISA II generation. The prevalence was 11.3% in spouses and 2.9% in other relatives (odds ratios: 4.2; 95% CI: 1.4-12.6). Spouses who had been married to the index cases longer than 20 years had a 7.5-fold risk (95% CI: 1.0-336.3) of HCV seropositivity as compared to those married less than 20 years. In univariate analysis HCV seropositivity was associated with surgical intervention, use of glass syringes and hospitalization. The results of multivariate logistic analysis showed that any parenteral exposure (odds ratios: 3.8; 95% CI: 1.2-12.8) and sexual contact with an anti-HCV index case (odds ratios: 3.0; 95% CI: 1.0-9.4) were both independent predictors of HCV seropositivity among household contacts of HCV positive index cases. These findings indicate that sexual contact and any parenteral exposure both play an independent role in the spread of HCV infection in the family setting.
European Journal of Epidemiology 05/1998; 14(3):229-32. · 5.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 1996 the prevalence, risk factors, and genotype distribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were assessed in the general population of a town in southern Italy. The sample was selected from the census by a systematic 1:4 sampling procedure. The participation rate was 96.6%. Among the 1,352 subjects enrolled, 195 (14.4%) tested reactive to antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) with enzyme immunoassay (EIA 3). When further tested with recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA 3), 170 subjects (87.2%) tested positive, 23 subjects (11.8%) had indeterminate results, and 2 subjects (1%) tested negative. Thus, the overall anti-HCV EIA-positive RIBA-confirmed prevalence was 12.6% (170 of 1,352 subjects) and increased from 1.3% in subjects younger than 30 years to 33.1% in those > or =60 years of age. This latter age group accounted for 72.3% of all anti-HCV-positive subjects. Females tested positive more frequently than males (14.1% vs. 10.5%; P < .05). Alanine transaminase (ALT) concentrations were abnormal in only 4.1% (7/170) of anti-HCV EIA-positive RIBA-confirmed subjects. This suggests that ALT screening is not useful in the detection of anti-HCV-positive subjects in a general population. The results of multiple logistic regression analysis showed that an age of less than 45 years, the use of glass syringes, and dental therapy were all independent predictors of anti-HCV positivity. HCV RNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 75.9% of the 195 anti-HCV EIA-positive subjects: in 84.7% (144/170) of the RIBA-confirmed subjects; in 17.4% (4/23) tested as RIBA indeterminate; and in neither of the two subjects who tested RIBA negative. HCV type 1b was detected in 75 subjects (50.7%), type 2b in 1 subject (0.7%), type 2c in 66 subjects (44.6%), type 3a in 4 subjects (2.7%), and type 4 in two subjects (1.3%). These figures differ from those of Italian patients with chronic liver disease in whom genotype 2 is more rare. None of the individuals was infected with more than one genotype. The distribution of the two most common HCV viral types (1b and 2c) was not statistically different in terms of mean age, sex, or risk factors and suggests that they may have had a parallel spread in this community. These findings provide one of the highest overall anti-HCV prevalence rates in a general population with a likely cohort effect, i.e., decreased risk of infection along generations. These observations may indicate an epidemic or focus of hepatitis C that occurred several years earlier. The majority of anti-HCV-positive subjects in the oldest age group and with no clinical evidence suggests that HCV infection is a very prolonged and indolent disease.