N Romano

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States

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Publications (94)242.94 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In recent years an increase in the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in men who have sex with men (MSM) has been reported in different industrialised countries. Because few epidemiological data on the STls/MSM population in Sicily are available, a survey was conducted to assess the prevalence of STls/enteric protozoa and risky sexual behaviours among MSM in western Sicily. In 2010, 74 MSM with median age of 30 years old, were recruited via networks. All participants to the study were interviewed by anonymous self-administered questionnaire in order to collect social/demographic information, clinic data and STI-related risky sexual behaviours. After completing the questionnaire, blood samples were collected to determine HIV, HCV, HHV8 and Treponema pallidum antibodies; presence of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium parvum was also investigated in faecal samples by immunofluorescence assay. HIV, HHV8, T. pallidum and Giardia prevalence were 8.1%, 16.2%, 21.6% and 16.4% respectively; all patients were negative for HCV and Cryptosporidium infections. The median values of sexual anal intercourse and oral sex per week were 2 and 1, respectively. 7% of participants always had unprotected anal sex, 50.7% sometimes used condom during sexual anal intercourse and 42.3% always had protected anal sex. All MSM-HIV+ and 7 (43.7%) syphilis seropositives were unaware of their own infection. MSM in western Sicily are a high risk group for important STIs. It seems necessary that continuous interventions for preventing HIV/AIDS and other STls and for improving the level of knowledge of symptoms are needed.
    Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene 12/2012; 53(4):181-5.
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    ABSTRACT: High Toscana virus (TOSV) antibody seropositivity rates have been documented in the last decade, especially in the Mediterranean area. It is unclear if these rates are associated with a recent or past exposure to the virus. This is of importance, as primary infection can cause neurologic complications, especially in adults. The aim of the present study was to assess the current active TOSV circulation in western Sicily. A cross-sectional seroprevalence study was conducted on 271 individuals aged 4-92 years, sampled from the general population of a small city. Each participant completed a self-administered questionnaire and provided serum, which was analyzed for the presence of specific anti-TOSV IgM and IgG. Anti-TOSV IgM was detected in eight (3.0%) participants, of whom only three had anti-TOSV IgG. The prevalence of anti-TOSV IgM was highest in subjects aged 25-34 and 35-44 years (7.1% and 4.8%, respectively). All subjects positive for anti-TOSV IgM were resident in the suburban area. The detection of IgM documented the circulation of TOSV, a Phlebovirus, in a random population sample of Sicilian adults. The highest risk of TOSV seroconversion in subjects living in the suburbs appears to suggest a high density of TOSV vectors in peri-urban areas.
    International journal of infectious diseases: IJID: official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases 06/2012; 16(8):e633-5. · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is to improve the feasibility perception of policymakers, health care workers and target population about the cost-effectiveness of the implementation of colorectal screening as Public Health strategy. Retrospective study by application of a three-step model designed for a local setting in Sicily (Palermo and its Province) in order to distribute Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBTs), offer colonoscopy and surgery, by district allocation of pharmacies, public digestive endoscopic centres and oncologic and general surgery units. Mean adherence to consolidated colorectal screening programs in Italy was applied in order to evaluate the feasibility of an operative model in our area. Applying the model to the target population (269,368 individuals of both sexes), it can be expected a mean percentage of 79% delivered invitation and a mean participation rate of 46.3% accounting for a total of 213,070 invited individuals and 98,651 participating in the first round of the program. Furthermore, considering the national mean of 6% positive FOBT, 82% of colonscopy adhesion and 7% CRC detection rate, it can be scheduled a burden for health care structures involved in the program accounting for 49,325 FOBTs, 2,338 colonscopies and 141 surgeries for each year. This work demonstrates the feasibility of a colorectal screening project in our area, showing a sustainable impact for local health care involved structures. Furthermore, this program may be spread as an applicative model to other areas, adapting the project to the needs of the local setting in which the colorectal screening will be organized.
    Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene 12/2011; 52(4):191-5.
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    ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to assess seroprevalence of and risk factors for Toscana (TOSV) and Sicilian (SFSV) virus infections in a sample of Sicilian subjects. A cross-sectional seroepidemiological study was conducted on 271 individuals. Each participant completed a self-administrated questionnaire and provided a serum sample which was analyzed for the presence of IgG specific anti-TOSV and anti-SFSV viruses. Overall, 90 subjects (33.2%) were positive for TOSV IgG, 25 (9.2%) were positive for SFSV IgG and 11 (4%) were positive for both the viruses. A higher risk for TOSV seropositivity was found in participants who were older (adjOR = 1.02 per year; 95% CI = 1.01-1.03), having a pet living outdoors (adjOR = 2.62; 95% CI = 1.42-4.83) and being obese (adjOR = 2.37; 95% CI = 1.06-5.30). TOSV seroprevalence appears to be relatively high in Sicilian general population, especially in older adults, representing a potential public health concern. The observations that seropositivity for TOSV was not significantly associated with SFSV seropositivity, and none of the risk factors associated with TOSV were associated with SFSV seem to suggest that these two phleboviruses may have different ecology and transmission pathways.
    The Journal of infection 11/2011; 64(2):212-7. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess whether arthropod bites promote Kaposi sarcoma (KS), we determined the seroprevalence of Sicilian (SFSV) and Toscana (TOSV) phlebovirus antibodies in 30 patients with classic KS and 100 controls in Sicily. Nine (6.9%) subjects, all controls, were positive for SFSV, whereas 41 (31.5%) were positive for TOSV. Seroprevalence with immunoglobulin (Ig) M or IgG against either virus was significantly higher in controls (43% vs 13.3% in case patients; P < .01). Adjusted for age, IgG seroprevalence was significantly lower in KS patients compared to controls (adjusted odds ratio, 0.22; 95% confidence interval, .07-.72). Low phlebovirus seroprevalence in patients with KS may reflect incapacity to produce robust, persistent antibody responses, and suggests that arthropod bites do not promote KS.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2011; 204(9):1423-6. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Kaposi sarcoma (KS) might develop because of incompetent immune responses, both non-specifically and specifically against the KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 15 classic (non-AIDS) KS cases, 13 KSHV seropositives (without KS) and 15 KSHV-seronegative controls were tested for interferon-γ T-cell (enzyme-linked immunospot [Elispot]) responses to KSHV-latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA), KSHV-K8.1 and CMV/Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) peptide pools. The forearm and thigh of each participant was also tested for delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) against common recall antigens. Groups were compared with Fisher exact test and multinomial logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). A KSHV Elispot response was detected in 10 (67%) classic KS cases, 11 (85%) KSHV seropositives (without KS) and two (13%) seronegative controls. All four cases with KSHV-LANA responses had current KS lesions, whereas five of six cases with KSHV-K8.1 responses had no lesions (P = 0.048). No case responded to both LANA and K8.1. Compared with the seronegative controls, the risk for classic KS was inversely related to DTH in the thigh (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.55-0.94, P = 0.01), directly associated with DTH in the forearm (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.02-1.80, P = 0.04) and tended to be increased fivefold per KSHV Elispot response (OR 5.13, 95% CI 0.86-30.77, P = 0.07). Compared with KSHV seropositives (without KS), the risk for classic KS was reduced fivefold (OR 0.20, CI 0.03-0.77, P = 0.04) per KSHV response. The CMV/EBV Elispot responses were irrelevant. Deficiency of both KSHV-specific and KSHV-non-specific immunity is associated with classic KS. This might clarify why Kaposi sarcoma responds to immune reconstitution.
    Cancer Science 07/2011; 102(10):1769-73. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Italian Ministry of Health, recommends vaccination for seasonal influenza to all healthcare workers (HCW), particularly to nurses who have an important interaction with patients. The aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review in order to estimate the pooled prevalence of influenza vaccinations among nurses and ancillary workers in Italy and analyse the enhancing and hindering factors. The review was performed using 15 articles, six containing the prevalence of vaccination for nurses and ancillary workers, while the others qualitative analysis. In all the selected articles the score calculation has been carried out by using a protocol for observational studies. The nurses and ancillary workers pooled proportion of influenza vaccination was respectively 13.47% (95%CI 9.58-17.90%) and 12.52% (95%CI 9.97-15.31%). The Italian mean of influenza vaccination prevalence appear low if compared to other European countries, ranging from 15% to 29% in Countries such as UK, Germany, France. This situation of weakness should be seen as an opportunity to improve the vaccination rate for seasonal influenza significantly This should be done by intervening on the category which affirms caring less. In fact, this category has a priority to receive vaccination, due to their numbers and closer contact to patients. Research was conducted using medical database Scopus, PubMed, the search engine Google Scholar and ISI web of knowledge, and was concluded February 1st 2011.
    Human vaccines 07/2011; 7(7):728-33. · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of new therapeutic strategies, such as monoclonal antibodies directed against human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2), has offered new hopes for women with early breast cancer whose tumors overexpress HER2. We retrospectively analyzed the population-based data of Breast Cancer Registry of Palermo in 2004-2006, and selected 1401 invasive breast cancer cases, nonmetastatic at diagnosis, having HER2/neu oncogene expression determined. We have correlated this information to age, tumor stage at diagnosis (TNM), nodal involvement, and receptor status (ER and PgR). Survival analysis was conducted dividing the patients in two different groups according to date of diagnosis: one group diagnosed in 2004 and a second group in 2005-2006. In the 460 cases of 2004, nodal involvement, receptor status, age at diagnosis and TNM maintained a strong predictive value (p < 0.0001). In this group of patients, overall survival was significantly different according to the HER2 expression levels (p = 0.001). In the second group of patients (941 incident cases in 2005-2006) there was a statistically significant survival difference comparing patients with high levels of HER2 expression treated with trastuzumab versus those untreated (p = 0.006). Our data show that elevated levels of HER2 are a negative prognostic factor. In addition, patients overexpressing HER2 show a significant increase of overall survival when treated with trastuzumab.
    Omics: a journal of integrative biology 06/2011; 15(6):363-7. · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immune perturbation likely affects the development of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) among people infected with the KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). We tested whether KSHV-seropositive individuals or cases of classic KS (cKS), which typically originates in the leg, had differing delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) in the forearm or leg. Mantoux DTH with three antigens (Candida, tetanus, PPD) was performed on the forearm and leg of 15 cKS cases, 14 KSHV-positives without KS, and 15 KSHV-negative controls. The diameters of induration responses were compared by group and body site. Leg DTH was greater than forearm DTH among controls (mean difference 5.6 mm, P=0.0004), whereas this was not observed in cKS cases (-2.2 mm, P=0.32) or KSHV-positives (0.5 mm, P=0.56). Leg-minus-forearm DTH difference was greater in controls compared with cKS cases (P=0.004) and KSHV-positives (P=0.002). Leg-plus-forearm DTH was similar in controls (mean 28.2 mm) and cKS cases (24.5 mm, P=0.60), but it was reduced in KSHV-positives (11.8 mm, P=0.02), particularly in the leg (P=0.004) and marginally in the forearm (P=0.07). KS cases had weaker DTH only in the leg, whereas both body sites appeared weaker in KSHV-positives without KS. Both systemic and regional immune alterations may influence the development of this malignancy.
    British Journal of Cancer 02/2011; 104(3):433-6. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to investigate factors involved in vaccination acceptance among healthcare workers (HCWs) and adverse reactions rates associated with pandemic influenza vaccination. The study was carried out in the major teaching hospital of Sicily from November 2009 to February 2010 on 2267 HCWs. A total of 407 (18%) HCWs were vaccinated against the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1). A logistic regression analysis indicates an increased risk of non-vaccination against pandemic influenza in females (OR=1.6; 95% CI=1.3-2.1) compared to males, in nurses/technicians/administrative workers (OR=1.7; 95% CI=1.3-2.2) compared to doctors/biologists, and in HCWs who were non-vaccinated against seasonal influenza in 2008-2009 (OR=4.9; 95% CI=3.7-6.5) compared to vaccinated HCWs. Overall, 302 (74.2%) out of 407 questionnaires distributed to vaccinated HCWs were returned within the observation period. One hundred fifty-two workers (50.3%) experienced at least one adverse reaction (30.1%, local reactions; 6.6% systemic reactions and 13.6% both of them). The most frequent side effect of vaccination was pain at the injection site (43.4%). Twelve (3.9%) out of 302 HCWs stated they experienced influenza-like illness episodes during the follow-up period. The use of an adjuvanted vaccine against pandemic influenza A (H1N1) appears to be an effective and safe preventive strategy, showing a prevalence of both local and systemic adverse reactions not very different from that seen after vaccination with non-adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine. Despite this finding, vaccination coverage among HCWs remains very low, suggesting the need to implement educational campaigns directed to groups with lower coverage rates.
    Vaccine 02/2011; 29(7):1408-12. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the MDM2 promoter (SNP309; rs2279744) causes elevated transcription of this major negative regulator of p53 in several cancer types. We investigated MDM2 SNP309 and CDKN1A (p21/Waf1/Cip1) codon 31 (rs1801270) polymorphisms in 86 cases of cutaneous Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) from African and Caucasian patients, and 210 healthy controls. A significant increase of the MDM2 SNP309 T/G genotype was observed among classic KS cases (odds ratio 2.38, 95% confidence interval 1.0-5.5). Frequencies of CDKN1A codon 31 genotypes were not significantly different between cases and controls. The results suggest that the MDM2 SNP309 G allele may act as a susceptibility gene for the development of classic KS in Caucasian patients.
    Biomarkers 10/2010; 16(1):42-50. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transmission of drug-resistant HIV-1 strains might compromise the efficacy of current first-line antiretroviral (ARV) regimens. Between 2004 and 2008, HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease (PR) genes of 108 ARV-naive Sicilian patients were amplified and sequenced to describe the prevalence of ARV resistance mutations among HAART-naive HIV-1-infected individuals. The frequency of transmitted drug resistance mutations (DRAMs) was determined by using genotypic interpretation algorithms. The proportion of HAART-naive HIV-1-infected patients in Sicily increased from 18.4% to 23.5% during 2004-2008. Among naive patients, the overall prevalence of DRAMs was 15.7% [17/108; 95% CI: 9.4-24.0]. DRAMs to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (nNRTI) were detected most frequently [11/108 (10.2%)], of which K103N was the most prevalent (4.6%), whereas the prevalence of DRAMs was lowest for protease inhibitors (PI) [3/108 (2.8%)]. Drug resistance substitutions associated with two or three drug classes were rarely observed. The prevalence of HIV-1 DRAMs in Sicily was relatively higher than that observed in Italy and other European geographic areas and much higher than in resource-limited countries. However, the possible clinical role played by DRAMs in HAART-naive HIV-1-infected individuals will require further assessment.
    AIDS research and human retroviruses 09/2010; 26(9):961-5. · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ecologic and in vitro studies suggest that exposures to plants or soil may influence risk of Kaposi sarcoma (KS). In a population-based study of Sicily, we analyzed data on contact with 20 plants and residential exposure to 17 soils reported by 122 classic KS cases and 840 sex- and age-matched controls. With 88 KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) seropositive controls as the referent group, novel correlates of KS risk were sought, along with factors distinguishing seronegatives, in multinomial logistic regression models that included matching variables and known KS cofactors - smoking, cortisone use, and diabetes history. All plants were summed for cumulative exposure. Factor and cluster analyses were used to obtain scores and groups, respectively. Individual plants and soils in three levels of exposure with Ptrend ≤ 0.15 were retained in a backward elimination regression model. Adjusted for known cofactors, KS was not related to cumulative exposures to 20 plants [per quartile adjusted odds ratio (ORadj) 0.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73 - 1.25, Ptrend = 0.87], nor was it related to any factor scores or cluster of plants (P = 0.11 to 0.81). In the elimination regression model, KS risk was associated with five plants (Ptrend = 0.02 to 0.10) and with residential exposure to six soils (Ptrend = 0.01 to 0.13), including three soils (eutric regosol, chromic/pellic vertisol) used to cultivate durum wheat. None of the KS-associated plants and only one soil was also associated with KSHV serostatus. Diabetes was associated with KSHV seronegativity (ORadj 4.69, 95% CI 1.97 - 11.17), but the plant and soil associations had little effect on previous findings that KS risk was elevated for diabetics (ORadj 7.47, 95% CI 3.04 - 18.35) and lower for current and former smokers (ORadj 0.26 and 0.47, respectively, Ptrend = 0.05). KS risk was associated with exposure to a few plants and soils, but these may merely be due to chance. Study of the effects of durum wheat, which was previously associated with cKS, may be warranted.
    Infectious Agents and Cancer 01/2010; 5(1):23.
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundTo clarify the immunological alterations leading to classical Kaposi sarcoma (cKS) among people infected with KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). MethodsIn a population-based study of 119 cKS cases, 105 KSHV-seropositive controls, and 155 KSHV-seronegative controls, we quantified plasma soluble cluster of differentiation (sCD) levels and antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen-1 (anti-EBNA-1) and viral capsid antigen (anti-VCA). Differences between groups in prevalence of low-tertile anti-EBNA-1 and high-tertile anti-VCA were compared by logistic regression. Continuous levels between groups and by presence of cKS co-factors among controls were compared by linear regression and Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon methods. ResultsComparisons of cKS cases to seropositive controls and of seropositive to seronegative controls revealed no significant differences. However, controls with known cKS cofactors (male sex, nonsmoking, diabetes and cortisone use) had significantly lower levels of anti-EBNA (P = 0.0001 - 0.07) and anti-VCA (P = 0.0001 - 0.03). Levels of sCD26 were significantly lower for male and non-smoking controls (P adj ≤ 0.03), and they were marginally lower with older age and cortisone use (P adj ≤ 0.09). ConclusionsAnti-EBV and sCD26 levels were associated with cofactors for cKS, but they did not differ between cKS cases and matched controls. Novel approaches and broader panels of assays are needed to investigate immunological contributions to cKS.
    Infectious Agents and Cancer 01/2010; 5(1):1-5.
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    ABSTRACT: Legionella pneumophila and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are common colonizers of water environments, particularly dental unit waterlines. The aim of this study was to assess whether the technical, functional and structural characteristics of dental units can influence the presence and the levels of opportunistic pathogens. Overall, 42 water samples were collected from dental units in a teaching hospital in Palermo, Italy, including 21 samples from the 21 taps supplied by the municipal water distribution system and 21 samples from oral rinsing cups at 21 dental units. L. pneumophila was present in 16 out of 21 water samples (76.2%) from dental units, and the median concentration was higher in samples from oral rinsing cups than in those from taps (P < 0.001). P. aeruginosa was equally distributed in water samples collected from oral rinsing cups and from taps. Some characteristics of dental units (age, number of chairs per room, number of patients per day and water temperature) were slightly associated with the presence of P. aeruginosa, but not with contamination by L. pneumophila. Our experience suggests that L. pneumophila is frequently detected in dental units, as reported in previous studies, whereas P. aeruginosa is not a frequent contaminant. As a consequence, microbiological control of water quality should be routinely performed, and should include the detection of opportunistic pathogens when bacterial contamination is expected.
    Journal of Oral Science 01/2010; 52(4):641-6.
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    ABSTRACT: The virus that causes Kaposi sarcoma, KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV, also known as human herpesvirus 8) has an unusual distribution and poorly characterized modes of transmission. To clarify these issues, socio-demographic correlates of KSHV seroprevalence were examined in a population-based study. In 1,154 randomly sampled adults (aged 32- 92, mean 71 years) throughout Sicily, KSHV antibodies were detected with four assays and a conservative algorithm. Seroprevalence was re-weighted to the population. Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (OR, CI) from multivariate logistic regression were used to estimate associations of seroprevalence with interview data. KSHV seroprevalence was 8.5%, including 5.3% among men (N = 848) and 11.5% among women (N = 306, P = 0.22). Seroprevalence was higher with residence in a smaller community during childhood (P(trend) = 0.03) and working with plants/soil during adulthood (OR 2.9, CI 1.1-7.9); these were especially strong among women. Among men, seroprevalence was significantly associated with lower education (OR 2.6, CI 1.1-5.9) and migration to a larger community (OR 0.3, CI 0.1-0.9). Other demographic and household variables were unrelated to seroprevalence. From these data, KSHV in Sicily appears to be related to low socio-economic status, but micro-endemicity in small communities cannot be excluded.
    Journal of Medical Virology 11/2009; 81(11):1938-44. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hairdressing trade may potentially expose its practitioners and their customers to blood-borne infections. Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards occupational risk of HIV, HBV and HCV infections were evaluated in a cross-sectional survey, conducted during spring 2008, in 105 out of 112 randomly selected hairdressers of Palermo. Participants were queried by answering to an anonymous questionnaire. Most of hairdressers (93.3%) knew that HIV and hepatitis are transmitted through parenteral route and could also be transmitted by razors. The availability of gloves was inadequate, up to 30% of the participants never used them and up to 50% usually reused them. In total, 90 respondents stated to perform a sterilization process of the cutting instruments by ultraviolet light, but only 70 sterilized the articles between two customers and only 34.3% executed a daily disinfection of the hair brushes. Statistical analysis showed that younger age and post-primary school instruction were significantly associated with knowledge and procedures that could prevent transmission of blood-borne virus (P = 0.01 and P < 0.01, respectively). Moreover, only 32 hairdressers agreed to participate to a free specific course on occupational risk offered by the University of Palermo. Although the level of awareness among hairdressers about HIV, hepatitis and risk of transmission was good, there were some unsafe practices that may lead to infections due to blood-borne viruses. The present article highlights the need to improve specific health messages in media campaigns carried out to general population, diffusing more appropriate educational materials for salons and organizing obligatory refresher courses for the hairdressing sector.
    The European Journal of Public Health 11/2009; 20(4):433-7. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The seroprevalence of Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV8) and its transmission pattern were assessed testing serum samples of 120 internationally adopted children (aged 1-15 years) coming from Eastern Europe. Determinations of IgG antibodies against both latent and lytic HHV-8 antigens were performed by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Antibodies were detected only for lytic antigen of the virus in 12.5% of children with a seroprevalence significatively higher (19.6%) in young children (age 1-6). No correlation was observed between HHV8 seropositivity and serological markers for hepatitis A, B and C viruses and Human Immunodeficiency virus. In conclusion, our findings suggest that HHV8 infection is widespread in some populations from the East Europe, and that person to person contacts among children could be considered the predominant mode of HHV8 transmission in younger age.
    The New Microbiologica: official journal of the Italian Society for Medical Virology (SIVIM) 02/2009; 32(1):11-5. · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Classical Kaposi sarcoma is a rare complication of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) infection. We conducted a population-based, frequency-matched case-control study in Sicily to further investigate the reported inverse relationship between smoking and classical Kaposi sarcoma and to identify other factors associated with altered risk. All incident, histologically confirmed classical Kaposi sarcoma cases in Sicily were eligible. A two-stage cluster sample design was applied to select population controls. KSHV seropositivity was determined using four antibody assays (K8.1 and orf73 enzyme immunoassays and two immunofluorenscence assays). Using SAS-callable SUDAAN, we compared the characteristics of classical Kaposi sarcoma cases and KSHV-seropositive controls. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) are presented. In total, 142 classical Kaposi sarcoma cases and 123 KSHV-seropositive controls were recruited. Current cigarette smoking was associated with reduced risk of classical Kaposi sarcoma amongst males (OR, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.06-0.67). Edema was associated with classical Kaposi sarcoma, but only when it presented on the lower extremities (OR, 3.65; 95% CI, 1.62-8.23). Irrespective of presentation site, diabetes and oral corticosteroid medications were associated with increased risk (OR, 4.73; 95% CI, 2.02-11.1 and OR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.23-4.45, respectively). Never smoking, diabetes, and oral corticosteroid medication use were all independently associated with classical Kaposi sarcoma risk. We confirmed previous reports that cigarette smoking was associated with a reduced risk of classical Kaposi sarcoma, and we found that risk was lowest among current smokers. We also found that classical Kaposi sarcoma risk was strongly and independently associated with oral corticosteroid use and diabetes. Corroboration of these observations and investigation of possible underlying mechanisms are warranted.
    Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers &amp Prevention 01/2009; 17(12):3435-43. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to evaluate patients' customer satisfaction with the hospital catering services of two public hospitals and one private sector hospital in the city of Palermo (Italy). A multiple choice questionnaire was administered by face-to-face interview to 207 of 227 hospitalized patients. Positive responses regarding the perceived quality of food were given especially by patients of the private sector hospital, 80% of which reported being satisfied with the catering service. A higher percentage of patients in the private sector hospital were satisfied with the food distribution modalities with respect to the two public hospitals. Only 3% of patients in the private sector hospital required their families to bring food from home, with respect to 7.9% and 30% respectively in the two public hospitals. Private sector patients also reported appreciating the wide availability of food and the help given by health care workers (79% vs a mean of 55% in the two public hospitals). No differences were found amongst hospitals with regards to the hygienic characteristics of meals. The results of this study indicate the need to make changes in the management of the catering service of one of the involved public hospitals especially.
    Igiene e sanita pubblica 01/2009; 65(1):29-39.

Publication Stats

587 Citations
242.94 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2010
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
      Bethesda, MD, United States
  • 1970–2010
    • Università degli studi di Palermo
      • • Dipartimento di Scienze per la Promozione della Salute e Materno Infantile "G. D'Alessandro"
      • • Sezione di Igiene
      Palermo, Sicily, Italy
  • 2004
    • Istituto Nazionale Tumori "Fondazione Pascale"
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 2002
    • National Cancer Institute (USA)
      • Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
      Bethesda, MD, United States
  • 1986
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem District, Israel
  • 1983
    • A.R.N.A.S. Ospedale Civico Palermo
      Palermo, Sicily, Italy